Review: 68 Jungle Jim: Guts n’ Glory

This wasn’t what I was expecting but in a good way.  I was expecting a Dynamite joint taking place in the Pulpy-verse.  Some kind of Dr. Manhattan super-god in the jungles of Vietnam.  Possibly the titular Jungle Jim casually walking out of the jungle and befriending a lost group of soldiers before introducing them to the weird fantastical world of super powered jungle men.  Strap in, the word ‘jungle’ is going to get used a lot. 68---Jungle-Jim---Guts-n-Glory-1That’s not what I got.  No, what I got was a million times better.  This is my first introduction to Image's '68 Jungle Jim, which is apparently part of a big huge thing judging by the list of trade paperbacks at the end of the story and this whole thing is pretty badass.

The premise is essentially Walking Dead meets Full Metal Jacket and it somehow manages to be even cooler than that sounds.  Our titular Jungle Jim comes screaming out of the darkness to kill a bunch of bad guys.  After some creepy monologuing he takes a knife to the heads of some already dead people.  Which is a little disturbing, but we soon find out, holy shit, there are zombies everywhere!  What’s worse, they are communist zombies!  Well, the communism is implied it’s not like they are holding Stalin rallies… that we know of.

There are some really decent mind bending moments where you question reality.  Who is this Jungle Jim guy?  Are there really zombies or is this part of Jim’s psychosis?  At one point he meets another wanderer.  Is this person real?  Are they the only real person and Jungle Jim a figment of HIS imagination?  I don’t get any of those questions answered but with the setting of the story I’m left with voracious curiosity more than indifferent frustration.

This is a very good story but it more than earns its M rating.  There is a ton of well-illustrated violence and gore so this isn’t for the squeamish.

Score: 4/5

'68: Jungle Jim: Guns n' Glory Writer: Mark Kidwell Artist: Jeff Zornow Colorist: Jay Fotos Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/4/15 Format:  One-Shot; Print/Digital