Written by: Mark L. Miller
Pencils by: Eduardo Garcia and Ricardo Onsaya
Colors by: Liezl Buenaventura and Crimson Studio
Letters by: Jim Campbell
Edited by: Hanna Gorfinkle
When Tobaqui met Akili story:
Written by: Robert T. Patey III and Mark L. Miller
Pencils by: Butch Mapa
Colors by: Jason Embry
Events settle in and all the characters begin to make their inevitable moves leading towards the series climax following the slaughter of the Elephant Tribe in the previous issue of Jungle Book: Origin of the Species. Every player in the story seems ready to take their final steps and engage in their ultimate manipulations as all the Chess pieces on the Jungle Book board get ready to play their endgame.
I’ve liked this book from the first mini-series and I feel that this second chapter of the Zenescope Jungle Book has proven to be just as entertaining as the preceding mini-series. There’s a couple of really neat touches in this particular issue that showcase writer Miller’s ability to take previously developed concepts and come up with interesting new twists for them. One touch that I particularly liked in this issue is Miller setting up the apes/monkeys as the drug lords of his particular paradise. Its little bits like that which made me appreciate this particular take on Kipling’s classic.
This issue, as I mentioned previously, is very much a transition phase for the book and appears to be a setup for what’s to come. Miller is able to give each character time for reflection and interaction with others in a way that gives us, the reader, definite insight to their individual personalities and the tribulations that are challenging them. While there’s not a lot of action to this issue, it’s a necessary respite from the savagery that occurred in issue two and gives the audience some breathing time to get ready for what’s to come. The cliffhanger at the end of the book pretty much telegraphs that things are about to pick up again so an issue of relative downtime is probably a good idea.
The only real gripe I have with this book is with the drastic shift in art style as of issue two. While I feel that the colorists of the book are able to maintain some of the visual quality of the book, there is a dynamic element that is lost in the story because of the new storytellers. There is a fluidity of form that has been lost with the new art team and it’s regretful that the artist from issue one or of the first mini wasn’t able to continue the art chores. Despite that, the comic still looks good…it just doesn’t look as good as it used to…which is disappointing.
As with the previous issues of Last of the Species this one contains a backup story exploring the origins of one of the main characters. This time the narrative focuses on human Akili and her integration into Tavi tribe, a group of animal outcasts. It’s a really sweet tale of developing friendship and trust that serves as a bit of a welcome break from the slightly grim main story. The way that Akili is welcomed into the tribe as well as the way that her friendship develops with Tobaqui , an animal in the tribe, are humorous and heartwarming. It’s a neat little origin tale that sheds a bit of light on the background of one of the more interesting characters in the main adventure.