New Golden Age Revival: Thun'da (As In Frank Frazetta)

By Todd Allen

thunda 200x281 New Golden Age Revival: Thun'da (As In Frank Frazetta)Thun’da is a bit of an oddity from the tail end of the golden age (1952).  On the surface, it’s a variation on the Tarzan mythos, with a bit of a cold war spin.  It only ran for six issues.  On the other hand, the first issue was one of legendary painter/illustrator Frank Frazetta’s comic projects.  It also was tapped for a movie serial starring Buster Crabbe.  According to comics.org, Gardner Fox was the scripter on the first issue, adding a little most historical flavor to it.

The variation on this one was that instead of being raised by apes, this jungle lord (“King of the Congo”) was a crashed Air Force officer with amnesia.  In the film version, he’s getting chased by communist spies while patrolling his new home.

The revival is landing at Dynamite in August.  Robert Place Napton (Warriors of Wars, Prophet, Battlestar Galatica) will be writing.  Cliff Richards (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will be on the art.

Official PR:

THUN’DA RETURNS AT DYNAMITE!

IN COMIC STORES EVERYWHERE THIS COMING AUGUST!

May 17th, 2011, Runnemede, NJ – Thun’da makes his return to comic books this August from Dynamite!  Written by Robert Place Napton with art by Cliff Richards and an INCREDIBLE cover by Jae Lee!  As a bonus, this over-sized issue also includes the original first Thun’da story with fantastic art by the one-and-only Frank Frazetta at no extra cost!  Be sure to pick up Thun’da #1 in August!

In August’s Thun’da #1, a Military helicopter crash lands in a remote valley in Africa.  A lone survivor awakens with no memory of who he is or what he was doing there, but he’s wearing a uniform and is a skilled combatant.  From the wreckage he learns only his name — ROGER DRUM.  As he explores his new surroundings he is confronted by a bizarre lost world of dinosaurs and other strange creatures.  Drum must learn to survive in this terrifying new reality while coming to terms with fragments of a past he isn’t sure he wants to remember.

“What excited me about THUN’DA is the aspects that differentiate him from other Jungle Lords,” says writer Robert Place Napton.  “One of the coolest elements of the original story that we are expanding on as we move the character into the modern day is that he is a CIPHER — ROGER DRUM has amnesia as a result of his crash in Africa so the details of his past life are murky.  He was like JASON BOURNE before there was JASON BOURNE, so we are picking up the baton on that aspect and taking it a step further.  He has military training, he’s a bad ass, but instead of being pitted against other combatants he’s facing the dangers of a LOST WORLD so even with all his skill, he is facing challenges he’s not prepared for, with the added burden of being haunted by his past.”

“This project came as a gift to me,” adds artist Cliff Richards. “Since I was young reader, Frank Frazetta´s drawings always fascinated me. I couldn’t be happier about Thun’da and I bet the readers will love the book!”

“Robert Place Napton’s story will surely please all Thun’da fans everywhere,” says Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “The interior art by Cliff Richards is unbelievable in how much passion Cliff is pouring into every page.  We don’t want to give away a lot yet, but these sketches by Cliff says a lot.  And the Jae Lee cover is just amazing!  And with a 48-page count sold at regular price, readers can also enjoy the first Thun’da story by Frank Frazetta!”

Thunda01 Cov Lee1 New Golden Age Revival: Thun'da (As In Frank Frazetta)

The Jae Lee cover for #1

Comments

  1. I’m sort of interested to see what the commenters/fanboys/fangirls/mehliens think of this. On one hand, its Frazetta — but on the other, this is Dynamite capitalizing on a public domain property presumably without paying the Frazetta estate. As is completely their right. So those of you who boycotted Avengers or are quitting DC jobs or buying Watchmen toasters at Costco — where do you fall on something like this?

    I’m a big fan of Frazetta and have used Thun’da images myself — I draw stick figures so finding out it was PD was like homage manna for me.
    http://www.lastson.com/shop.html
    Because it is PD, the case is completely different. But I don’t think Dynamite is doing anything wrong ethically, either. I don’t know. Plus they have Jae Lee. Again: they have Jae Lee.

  2. Joe Lawler says:

    That seems like more of an apples and oranges comparison, though. This is public domain, the same thing that lets Alan Moore do LOEG.

    I’m all for more pop culture figures falling into public domain. But I think we’ll see less and less of that in the future.

  3. You’ll see a LOT fewer copyrights lapsing into the public domain now –thanks to the changes to copyright law that were bought and paid for by Disney a few years back.

    IMHO, copyright law made a lot more sense when copyrights were good for 28 years with an optional 28 year renewal.

  4. “IMHO, copyright law made a lot more sense when copyrights were good for 28 years with an optional 28 year renewal.”

    Which is exactly what made Thun’da a PD character…it’s 28-year copyright expired in 1980 and wasn’t renewed since the copyright owner, Magazine Enterprises went out of business in the late 1950s and no successor company claimed the rights!
    (in fact, even while ME properties were still under copyright, they were being reprinted by MF/Super Comics without royalties!)

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