Dark Horse Comics
I’m fairly sure Sergio Aragonés‘ latest comic book should be renamed I Dream of Groo and Tarzan after reading issue #2. His teammates Mark Evanier and Thomas Yeates are also in for the ride in this wonderful satire on comic conventions which frames the secondary narrative, and puts the creator in the jungle, the mighty jungle where a certain lion is sleeping. But in the village, the peaceful village, two heroes from different worlds are being set up to encounter one another. By the second issue, the equal amounts of humour and adventure that’s spread across three tales makes picking up this series a must!
The first issue is, as always, that introduction to establish the conflict. Sergio’s story involves him at San Deigo Comic-Con 2021 (which didn’t happen) dealing with a few nerds who don’t know who they are. How these youths acted reminded me of when I went to my very first comic book convention in my hometown of Victoria, BC. I didn’t know who everyone was, but I at least didn’t dismiss them like those teens in this comic. The talents from Marvel and DC comics who were present was an 80s comic book nerd’s dream come true. The vibe from this framing narrative is truly a reflection of those yesteryears where the focus on talents was at a different state than the current milieu.
Further into the this series, Aragonés reveals one source of where his inspiration comes from. He has an idea of what Tarzan and Groo’s next adventure can be. When this creator goes to sleep. I can hear the drums, and one particular song, “George of the Jungle,” beating as he dreams up the next tale. The two are on an adventure that’s taking place on opposite sides of the same mountain.
As for the artists themselves, I don’t think their tale is even over. It’s cool to see these talents offer up a self-parody. The first issue of Groo Meets Tarzan ends with them at a local zoo, and the second is about Aragonés stuck in that environment, attempting to survive. It’s very Warner Brothers in its humouristic approach! And the build-up to how Groo and Tarzan meet is very well done. Sergio makes the perfect connection by referring to a certain lost civilization from Burrough’s Tarzan the Terrible to explain why Groo looks like a “hideous deformed being.”
If these two heroes are going to fight each other or immediately ally, it’s hard to say. The real adversary is nearby.
Plus, the tale I feel truly invested in is that of Sergio stuck in the zoo. As for the fictional heroes, they still have two more issues to deal with the plot at hand–to deal with the slavers who may well possess the ultimate recipe for cheese dip!