Friday, September 6, 2013

Brothers Of The Spear!



I was most pleased to finally get hold of the first two volumes of Dark Horse's reprints of Gold Key's classic series "Brothers of the Spear". This smart and forward-thinking adventure serial ran successfully for years and years in the back pages of Tarzan of the Apes.

For those who might not know the the story as begun by Gaylord Dubois and drawn by Jesse Marsh tells of Natongo the son of a Zulu chieftan who finds a sturdy comrade and "brother" in Dan-El, a wayward white prince. These two men who both lose their kingdoms swear loyalty to one another and proceed to present quietly the profound message of two men of different ethnic backgrounds working together for the common good. It's a potent message told with little attention to the utterly transforming visual in the early 50's of a white and black man working side by side in harmony.

Gaylord Dubois and Jesse Marsh
Perhaps the series lasted so long (1951-1966) because this challenging image was safely tucked inside a comic book and not blazoned on the covers. It was to some extent a secret story which eluded those looking to make sure that comics were deemed as dangerous and worthless as possible.

Gaylord Dubois and Russ Manning
This great series is being reprinted because it features the earliest work of Russ Manning who took over from Marsh, and that's fine. But I wish the primary reason was that this story created by Gaylord Dubois deserves greater fame for its significant contribution to the lasting significance of comics. It's arguably the finest back-up series in the history of the medium.


A third and final volume is due out this winter. I for one cannot wait. If you cannot wait either check out this link.

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2 comments:

  1. These look cool. I'll have to use them as an upcoming Back up of the week

    ReplyDelete

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