Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

Off The Rack

One Man's Views: Ka-Zar The Savage Notes — Way back in the late 1990's, I was contacted by Adela Salguero who was in the process of working on the spanish translated versions of Waid and Kubert's Ka-Zar series. Being a huge fan of Ka-Zar, she asked if I would be willing to review/ summarize his previous appearances. I, of course, happily accepted :) I did it because I love the character and wanted to help out. I covered all of the books I had, ending with Ka-Zar The Savage. In the end, she sent me a few copies of the translated books which is always interesting to see. After all this time, I realized I never published those notes anywhere and figured I would fix that. And so, here they are, very brief, very rough, but always fun. Hope you enjoy them!

By the way, as I've written elsewhere, these aren't real reviews. And, considering they're over 30 years old now, I won't worry about spoilers. Let it be known, I'll be spilling the beans on all the storylines!! :)

Marvel SuperHeroes #19, 1968
Conceived by Stan Lee, Written by Arnold Drake and Steve Parkhouse, Drawn by George Tuska, Inked by Sid Greene.

Kevin, at Plunder Castle, listens to his brother "Edgar" tell of their father's discovery of "Anti-Metal" being something done of evil purposes. He wants Kevin's part of the key but he refuses. Kevin goes out at night and finds Edgar dealing with criminals. Kevin gets fed up of being in such an awful place and returns to the jungle in time to stop an alien who's been trying to conquer The Savage Land due to his need to get the Anti-Metal.

Ka-Zar's early adventures in the pages of Daredevil and X-Men were reprinted in various books Marvel put out in the late sixties, early seventies.

Astonishing Tales featuring Ka-Zar and Dr. Doom

#1 - Aug 1970. W-Stan Lee A-Jack Kirby I-Sam Grainger.

Featured Kraven the Hunter. Believing he'd found the perfect subject for his hunt, Kraven goes after Zabu. He and his men manage to best Ka-Zar and get away with Zabu. Ka-Zar makes his way to New York to get his partner back.

#2 - Oct 70. W-Roy Thomas A-Jack Kirby I-Sam Grainger

Ka-Zar battles Kraven and after Kraven runs off, we're introduced to The Petrified Man (who continues to be an influence today)

#3 - Dec 70. W-Gerry Conway A-Barry Smith I-Sam Grainger

We learn of Zaladane, Queen Priestess of Garokk the Sun-God. Also, the story of a sailor who survived a wreck, found the temple of Garokk, drank from a sacred cup, and found he couldn't die. A century later, he began to change into The Petrified Man (the living image of Garokk). Back in The Savage Land, we learn that Tongah is the last survivor of his village (they were massacred by Zaladane's troops who are now en-route to battle the Lizard-Men)

#4 - Feb 71. W-Gerry Conway A-Barry Smith I-Sam Grainger

The battle rages on while Garokk makes peace with what he's become and then forces/ orders everyone to stop fighting in his name. All obey except for Zaladane who (riding a Pterodactyl) swoops down and picks up Ka-Zar before flying off.

#5 - Apr 71. W-Gerry Conway A-Barry Smith I-Frank Giacoia

Ka-Zar escapes from Zaladane while Garokk, slowly losing his mind, concludes that for him to have peace, ALL must die! Ka-Zar battles him and Garokk ends up falling into a pool which takes away his immortality and he dies. Zaladane, trying to escape, dies when the huge statue of the Sun-God falls on her.

#6 - Jun 71. W-Gerry Conway A-Barry Smith I-Bill Everett

A "Mad God" is rampaging through The Savage Land and Ka-Zar and Tongah try to stop him.

#7 - Aug 71. W-Roy Thomas A-Herb Trimpe

The battle continues and then Damon, the Mad God, relaxes when he finds his beloved lives once more and they journey back to the stars.

#8 - Oct 71. W-Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich A-Herb Trimpe I-Tom Sutton

Weird story. A plane crashes and Ka-Zar helps the man locate his fiancé. During the search, we learn that there is a mini-war going on between surviving German and British soldiers who don't know World War 2 is over.

#9 - Dec 71. The book is now "Astonishing Tales featuring Ka-Zar Lord of the Hidden Jungle"

Looks like an Inventory story as it doesn't relate to the previous issue. Written by Stan Lee and drawn (gorgeously) by John Buscema. Ka-Zar battles the Lizard-Men who turn out to be helpless villagers trasformed into Lizard-Men by Iranda, a Lizard Witch-Queen.

#10 - Feb 72. W-Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway A-Barry Smith I-Sal Buscema

In a nutshell, Ka-Zar comes between the battling factions and destroys their camps and their leaders. There is an interesting 2-page layout where Ka-Zar strains at his cage and finally breaks free. Very reminiscent of the time Spider-Man lifted himself out from that ton of rubble he was trapped under (A turning point in Spidey's life)

#11 - Apr 72. W-Roy Thomas A-Gil Kane I-Frank Giacoia

Ka-Zar remembers how he got to be on The Savage Land (his father and he went there to escape evil men who wanted his Dad's Anti-Metal. Dad gets killed by Maa-Gor the Man-Ape, Kevin gets saved and then raised by Zabu). He also remembers how, years later, he managed to best Maa-Gor. At the end, he decides that he will leave with Paul and Barbara (the plane-crash survivors of issue 8)

#12 - Jun 72. W-Roy Thomas A-John Buscema I-Dan Adkins

We learn that Barbara and Paul are Barbara Morse and Paul Allen, working for the Government on a top-secret project. The key-man in their team has disappeared (Ted Sallis -- of course we all know that his experiment went awry and he was transformed into the Man-Thing courtesy of a flashback by Len Wein and Neal Adams) and they need Ka-Zar's help to find him.

#13 - Aug 72. W-Roy Thomas A-John Buscema I-Rich Buckler

Ka-Zar battles both the Man-Thing and AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics). He captures Man-Thing and makes short work of Aim's stronghold. Man-Thing shows up at the end to help blow the place up. We learn that Paul was an Aim agent and Barbara works for Shield. So now, Ka-Zar decides to stay with Barbara (and Shield's project of recreating the Super Soldier Serum which originally created Captain America) and return to New York.

#14 - Oct 72. No credits, but art definately John Buscema. Another Inventory Issue.

Another looter comes for the Anti-Metal (now called Vibranium).

#15 - Dec 72. W-Mike Friedrich A-Gil Kane I-Tom Sutton

Ka-Zar in New York, finds himself fighting drug pushers while trying to save the life of another doctor needed for the super soldier project.

#16 - Feb 73. W-Mike Friedrich A-Rich Buchler I-Chic Stone

A very introspective Ka-Zar finds himself trying to adapt to city life. He continues his quest for the major drug dealer (who goes by the name The Pusher) and pounds him to jelly when he finds him.

#17 - Apr 73. W-Mike Friedrich A-Dan Adkins

We're introduced to a villain named Gemini who's after the Serum everyone's been concerned about since issue 12. Ka-Zar stops him and suddenly his brother (now in tights calling himself Lord Plunder) shows up with an alien monster under his control.

#18 - Jun 73. W-Mike Friedrich A-Dan Adkins I-Frank Chiaramonte

Ka-Zar battles Gemini, Lord Plunder, and the alien creature Gog. After a King-Kong like battle with Gog, the alien disappears and we learn that another super soldier has been created somewhere.

#19 - Aug 73. W-Mike Friedrich A-Dan Adkins I-Jack Abel

The Super Soldier (Prof Victor Conrad) kidnaps Bobbi Morse and Ka-Zar gives chase. He ends up at the Prof's castle fighting him, Gemini, Lord Plunder, and AIM.

#20 - Oct 73. W-Mike Friedrich A-Marie Severin and Warner Roth I-Frank Chiaramonte

Once more, the battle begins anew! And Bobbi and Zabu help finish it. Ka-Zar gets fed up of the problems being caused because of the Serum and destroys it. Finally, Ka-Zar leaves the city and both he and Bobbi keep silent, not speaking of their love and not asking the other to stay.

Shanna The She-Devil

#1 - Sadly, I don't have a copy

#2 - Feb 73. W-Carole Seuling A-Ross Andru I-Vince Colletta [Steranko Cover]

Her pets are 2 leopards, Ina and Biri (one black, one spotted). She leaves the jungles of Africa and goes to the Sahara to stop a band of Slavers

#3 - Apr 73. W-Carole Seuling A-Ross Andru I-Vince Colletta

Shanna comes across descendants of ancient Minoans fighting with Bull-worshippers.

#4 - Jun 73. Carole Seuling Plot Steve Gerber Script A-Ross Andru I-Vince Colletta

Minor flashback where we learn that all the great cats under Shanna's care at the zoo she worked in as a vet were slaughtered by a "mindless sadist" which was what prompted her to leave civilization for the jungles of Africa. We then meet The Mandrill, another would-be conqueror whom Shanna beats.

#5 - Aug 73. W-Steve Gerber A-Ross Andru I-Vince Colletta

Nekra, Priestess of Darkness, leads the Mandrill's followers through a ritual of hate, crying for Shanna's death. Nekra is stopped, but the book gets cancelled before the storyline is resolved. The letters page states that it'll be concluded in an upcoming issue of Daredevil.

More to come!

(Off The Rack (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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