The Marvel Rundown: Ka-Zar dominates death in this first miniseries


His name is Kevin… Looting? You learn something new every day, I guess. And you too if this is your first go-around with the Lord of the Savage Land himself, Ka-Zar!

We have a review of the first issue of his miniseries, as well as a bunch of other books in this week’s Rapid Rundown, all coming to the Marvel Rundown!

Ka-Zar: Lord of the Wild Land # 1

Ka-Zar: Lord of the Wild Land # 1

Written by Zac thompson
Art by German Garcia
Coloring by Matheus lopes
Lettering by Joe caramagna
Covered by Jesus saiz

I’m a fan of the Marvel Universe, but writing for this column I realized how little I know about it. I know Savage Land from a few X-Men stories I’ve read here and there, but Ka-Zar has always been a mystery to me. As I mentioned above, his name is Kevin Plunder! And apparently he’s a British lord whose father tried to take over the Savage Land.

I thought to myself that a clearly socially conscious writer like Zac thompson would take that concept, roll with it and deconstruct it through a more modern lens, right? He doesn’t, but instead views Ka-Zar and his wife Shanna as an ecological force that protects the Wild Land when it needs protection, and not to dominate it as the very title of the comic suggests. In that sense, I expected more from a comic that mentions that the Savage Land does indeed have an indigenous population but literally relegates them to a few panels before Ka-Zar arrives to save the day. I expected more from a comic whose very premise suggests that colonization was a failure in this particular place, and that despite all of this, a white family “lord” on this place and also happens to be the only beings that have changed and developed a deeper connection to the world. Don’t get me started on the name of this place. Wilderness ? Honestly, I would be very happy if Thompson came up with a better name for this place at the end of the series.

De Ka-Zar: Lord of the Wild Land # 1

All of this, and I admit I’m being harsh and unfair to the creative team because I emphasize what this comic does not, which is an unfair review. Not to mention that this is just the first issue in a five-issue mini-series. And I’m not such a gifted writer as one with the right expertise will most certainly unbox it in the days to come. So I’m going to leave my social justice hat attempt at the door and discuss the comic a little more broadly.

Thompson noted Immortal hulk and House of X / Powers of X as influences on this comic, and it couldn’t be clearer after knowing that. There are a few cases of weird body horror akin to Al Ewing confronting the Hulk, who is not limited to body opening or weird sprawling creatures emerging from the t-rex, but can also be found in Ka-Zar himself as he questions his newfound powers and this that they can do, and find out firsthand. Hell, the cover even seems to be a tribute to Immortal hulk # 1, until the title is processed. The House of X The connection is a bit broader, applying to the Savage Land as a concept, as a living, breathing thing, and connecting it to its protector in a way that I don’t think I’ve done before.

De Ka-Zar: Lord of the Wild Land # 1

Having recently died in the Empyre: Avengers bonding issues, Ka-Zar was resurrected by the Savage Land and can now smell everything alive around him, like rain hitting mud for miles and miles. He taps into the strength of a mammoth when he fights a dinosaur, saving his kid son Matthew. Matthew is a problem. Is that a typical distressed teenager who wants to… eat meat? He claims to love the Savage Land more than his parents since he was born there, but wants to reject their meat eating rules that come from respect for the land. The pieces dealing with Ka-Zar’s new powers are the most interesting pieces to find in this issue, but the plot of the son is frankly painted by numbers. However, it seems to be heading in an interesting direction by the end of the issue.

German Garcia did a great job here. I first encountered his art in his Immortal hulk problem and it looked like the polar opposite of this problem. While the Hulk was technical, sci-fi, extremely broad and minimalist work, Garcia’s work here is utterly lush and dreamlike, at times tapping into a superhero aesthetic for its action scenes while remaining naturalistic. and gorgeous throughout. Matheus lopes, known for his recent collaborations with Bilquis Evely and Nick robles on recent The dream series for DC, lends his incredible talent to the pages of Garcia and elevates them beautifully. It is probably the most magnificent book you will read this week.

Final verdict: NAVIGATE STRONG. This comic has issues that the creative team is not responsible for, but they still left me uncomfortable. The art is beautiful and the plot is solid despite a few cliché elements involving Ka-Zar’s son.

  • Excalibur # 23
    • Excalibur is one of the X books that I haven’t followed closely, not being a big fan of magic, fairies, etc. I recently decided to catch up on the series, however, digging through everything that happened after-X of swords, and I found it quite pleasant when read in a satisfying piece. This week’s issue, arriving just as I’m finishing my catch-up, sees the team reluctantly accompany Doctor Doom into Otherworld to retrieve something unknown from Morgan Le Fay’s castle. I’ve been enjoying seeing Doom noodling with non-Fantastic Four parts of Marvel U lately in issues of guardians of the galaxy and SWORD, his presence here is therefore more than welcome, and Tini Howard, Marcus at, Erick Arciniega, and Ariana Maher present an entertaining story with fun interactions between the characters. I don’t know if I would be called a monthly Excalibur convert, but I will definitely continue to read the chunky series in the future. –JG
  • Extreme Carnage: Toxin # 1
    • As the Extreme carnage event rushes to an end, we check with the 1000e spawn in the genealogy of Venom, Toxin, son of Carnage… and make no mistake about it: the father element is very important in this chapter of the history of the Symbiote Hive, which puts daddy’s problems in the foreground. I particularly appreciated Steve Orlandothis issue’s dialogue, which leaned heavily on humor (and you know, Carnage is right – Eddie Brock is sort of God Absent from all this sordid affair). Visually, the scenes in which Toxin confronts Carnage inside The Void were highlights. With only two numbers remaining in this event, I look forward to the inevitable collision between the various symbiont factions and the xenophobic “Friends of Humanity”… Hopefully it’s bloody enough! –AJK
  • “The four five”
    • Some new Marvel releases this week include an eight-page save story, “The four five», Commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11. Joe quesada, John Romita Jr., Scott hanna, Marte Gracia, and Joe caramagnas vignette has Spider-Man and Captain America at Ground Zero Memorial in New York for the strike of the four five, a traditional firefighter ringing ceremony in honor of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Romita Jr. and Hanna were the pencil and inker on The Incredible Spider-Man # 36, which adds an extra layer of pathos to the largely silent solemn tale. –JG
  • X-Force # 23
    • Be the Black Ops Book of the Krakoan Nation, Writer Benjamin Percy, and artist Martin coccolo show us around the counter-espionage set up against mutants by Mikhail Rasputin, Colossus’ brother, the family what are you going to do? A twisted take on the cult sci-fi classic Fantastic trip, the Beast is attacked by microscopic agents that do not prepare anything good, its only hope, the micro self of Black Tom. Percy has a grim take on what it takes to secure a home in a world that wants you dead, and his version of the Beast who is a cold, calculating spy master is weirdly engaging. If you enjoy spying with a sci-fi kicker, this series is for you. –CG3

Next week, Magneto’s trial continues, and the Fantastic Four’s mega-anniversary issue!


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