Off The Rack
One Man's Views: Ka-Zar The Savage Notes #3 of 3 If you've read the other 2 summaries, you already know that way back in the late 1990's, I was asked to review/ summarize Ka-Zar's previous appearances for an article in the Spanish translated re-launch of the series by Mark Waid. Realizing I never published those notes anywhere I wanted to make them available. Once again, here they are, very brief, very rough, but always fun. These summaries are for the The Savage series - my favorite of the whole lot! Hope you enjoy them!
Again, pre-warning. 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!! :)
Ka-Zar The Savage
#1 - Apr 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson (Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu on cover)
There ya go. Issue one. BANG. Right off the bat you KNOW this isn't the foolish little "Tarzan Wanna-Be/ Conan-Could-Be" of the previous series. You KNOW Bruce Jones KNOWS the inherent potential in the character and the WEALTH of stories to be told. Is it any wonder I grew to love this character so much?
#2- May 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
Now tell me again. Is this guy just incredible or what? His characters come to LIFE so easily! REAL humans with their own idiosyncracies and everything! You just didn't see that then, and you actually don't really see it these days much either.
#3- Jun 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
#4- July 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
#5- Aug 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
Wow. The power of the writing, is just too stunning. I've GOT to meet Bruce Jones one day.
#6 - Sep 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
#7 - Oct 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson/Jerry Bingham I-Carlos Garzon
#8 - Nov 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
#9 - Dec 81. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
#10 - Jan 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Carlos Garzon
Special note on this issue: this marks the first issue of Ka-Zar to be sold in Specialty Stores and Subscription ONLY. No more newstand sales. Ka-Zar, along with Moon Knight and Micronauts were the first 3 books Marvel decided to test direct-sales on. They also all went up to 32 pages for 75 cents (where before they were less pages for 50 cents). This issue also has the drawing of issue 1 Brent originally drew (he was asked to come up with something more ferocious). It's a beauty!
#11 - Feb 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Josef Rubinstein
This issue also contains a 5 page backup story by Bruce Jones and Gil Kane called "Tales of Zabu!" which feature Zabu as a "kitten"
#12 - Mar 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
Tales of Zabu showed how, after his mother had been killed, he was adopted and raised by wolves as one of them until the sibling rivalry ends in two male wolves being killed (one wolf killed his brother, and Zabu avenged him) and then Zabu left "home"
#13 - Apr 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
#14 - May 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
In the "Tales of Zabu" section, we see his first love and how one day he came home to find her murdered. He tracks the killers and they turn out to be none other than the Ape-Men who've JUST cornered Kevin Plunder and are about to kill him!
#15 - Jun 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
"Tales of Zabu" explains how Maa-Gor was the leading cause of the Sabre-Tooth population almost being extinct. He'd been attacked and scarred by one and decided to kill them all. So, now, we see Zabu attacking the tribe, effectively saving Kevin, and Kevin returning the favor by shooting Maa-Gor as he was sneaking up on Zabu.
#16 - Jul 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Armando Gil
#17 - Aug 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Steve Mitchell
#18 - Sep 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
The inside front and back covers starting including fumetti stories (marvel joke-pieces done in panel-photo style) this issue, as well as wrap-around fold-out cover pieces.
#19 - Oct 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Brent Anderson I-Armando Gil
#20 - Nov 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Armando Gil
#21 - Dec 82. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Mel Candido
#22 - Jan 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Mel Candido
#23 - Feb 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Bob Hall & Armando Gil I-Armando Gil
#24 - Mar 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Bob Hall & Armando Gil I-Armando Gil
#25 - Apr 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Armando Gil
#26 - May 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Ron Frenz I-Armando Gil
#27 - Aug 83. W-Bruce Jones A-Armando Gil
#28 - Oct 83. W-Mike Carlin (from an idea by Bruce Jones) A-Armando Gil I-Mike Mignola
#29 - Dec 83. W-Mike Carlin A-Ron Frenz I-Armando Gil (Double-sized wedding issue)
#30 - Feb 84. W-Mike Carlin A-Marv Wilshire / Ricardo Villamonte I-Carlos Garzon
#31 - Apr 84. W-Mike Carlin A-Paul Neary I-John Beatty
This issue had the *weakest* artwork in the series. Sometimes it was so bad it actually detracted from the story.
#32 - Jun 84. W-Mike Carlin A-Paul Neary I-Carlos Garzon
Another very weak issue. Same artist, thus, same lousy art. It hurts to go over these issues, Adela.
#33 - Aug 84. W-Mike Carlin A-Paul Neary I-Carlos Garzon
#34 - Oct 84. W-Mike Carlin A-Paul Neary I-Carlos Garzon
And he was. Interesting side note if I may. I hadn't looked at this issue in YEARS. And, when I did, the first thing that struck me is the cover. It's a wrap around cover, featuring Ka-Zar in the front in a space suit, and the faces of Shanna and Zabu in the back. You know what? That Zabu picture is almost 96% identical to a Black Panther face I got tattooed on my chest a few months ago!!! They're both even facing the same way!! What a strange co-incidence...
Next time: [ ] (there was no label to the last series - it was just titled 'Ka-Zar' and referred to as Ka-Zar v4). Will I really write up some new summaries of v4? Maybe... although I doubt it... unless highly encouraged to do so...
(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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