Saturday, April 10, 2010

Science Fiction Theater: Beyond the Farthest Star by Marv Wolfman and Dan Green

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Today's focus is on the comicbook adaptation of one of Edgar Rice Burroughs lesser-known tales, Beyond the Farthest Star. BtFS was about as close to straight science fiction as the master of romantic fantasy would get. Evidently, when DC got the rights to use ERB concepts, they must've nabbed everything. Tarzan, Korak, John Carter (first in the back of Tarzan, next as a co-feature in Weird Worlds), Carson of Venus (in Korak), Pellucidar (also in Weird Worlds), and when Tarzan needed another back-up, Beyond the Farthest Star. BtFS ran in the back of Tarzan from issues 213-218 (July-December 1972) and Tarzan Family #61 (October 1975). For now, we're gonna focus on the first three stories which were written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Dan Green. Wolfman, of course, is one of the most prolific and well-respected writers of the Groovy and Bronze Ages, while Green is best known as an inker for Marvel during that period. As a penciler, Green is quite interesting. His anatomy is a bit shaky, but his layouts are sometimes breathtaking. His style is clean and crisp (thanks to his inking), combining the styles of many of his contemporaries (Barry Smith, Howard Chaykin, and Mike Kaluta, just to name a few). Both Wolfman and Green left the series all-too-quickly, but it's hard to complain about their replacements--dudes like Howard Chaykin, Murphy Anderson, and Denny O'Neil. We'll look at those tales in the not-too-distant future. Meantime, dig on this terrific trio of tantalizing tales from Tarzan #'s 213-215!

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