Friday, January 31, 2020

Unforgettable Books: TARZAN, CONQUEROR OF MARS by Will Murray

This is it: The most eagerly awaited team-up of all time. The Lord of the Jungle meets the Warlord of Mars!

I’m not going to tell you tell you how that meeting comes about – or what sort of ruckus erupts when it does – but I’ll tell you this: It was well worth the wait. I found Tarzan, Conqueror of Mars faithful in every way to the spirit and tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a thoroughly entertaining adventure.

I have only one complaint. After 437 pages, it ended. I wanted the story to go on and on.

Having proven his ability to channel Lester Dent in the Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, Will Murray demonstrates he’s also up to filling the dusty boots of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

I was impressed with his deft handling of both main characters. Tarzan is as fierce as ever, half-savage and half-civilized, and loyal to Jane and all who depend on him. John Carter is proud, fair-minded, considerate, and a great strategist. Both, of course, are self-sacrificing and utterly fearless. To add to the authenticity, Tarzan’s point of view is narrated in third person, while John Carter’s is in first, just like the Burroughs’ books.

In typical Burroughs fashion, Tarzan finds himself mysteriously transported to Barsoom, and sets about dealing with his strange new environment. He encounters beasts, peoples and circumstances wholly outside his experience, and – in typical Tarzan fashion – makes himself master of this new domain. He turns enemies into allies and embarks on an unrelenting quest to find his way back to home and family.

Along the way, there are typically ferocious battles, cool plot twists and a host of engaging characters – both old and new. For those of us who’ve read both the Tarzan and Mars series, this is a joyous reunion with many of the characters and concepts we’ve come to love. For those acquainted only with Tarzan, it’s a great introduction to the world of Barsoom, opening up a whole new world of adventure.

The battle scenes are all nicely handled, and one in particular was so good it made me want to stand up and cheer.

It’s rare these days for me to find a book I don’t want to put down, but this one was exactly that. The narrative drive kept me turning those pages until my eyeballs gave out, and left me eager to start again.

Bravo, Mr. Murray! Tarzan, Conqueror of Mars is an instant classic. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

HAMMETT HERALD-TRIBUNE: The First Falcon Movie, Part 2 (1931)

New York Daily News, May 29, 1931

Detroit Free Press, May 31, 1931

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 4, 1931

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 4, 1931

Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1931

Pittsburgh Press, June 5, 1931

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 6, 1931

Los Angeles Times, June 7, 1931

Indianapolis Star, June 8, 1931

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Basil Wolverton's SPACEHAWK Unmasked! (1940)

From Target Comics #7, of August 1940, comes this classic tale of love and peckerneck aliens. Thanks to "hufflepuffle" and comicbookplus.