“Stalker In A Savage Land”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: John Buscema and Tony DeZuniga
Ka-zar and Zabu continue their fight with the T-rex from last issue. Ka-zar manages to impale it with a tree and the group moves on to the Mountain of Darkness. There they are attacked and captured by warriors and taken to the city of Sylanda. A city made of glass and located inside the mountain. There Ka-zar and his companions are sentenced to death by the fop of a leader the city has. Ka-zar finds a group of outsiders are also prisoner. So Ka-zar then finds out the city does have water with healing powers but its ruler will not share. Indeed he forces Ka-zar to fight his best man who Ka-zar makes short work of. This then devolves to a free for all fight that sees the leader killed. Just then the T-rex that Ka-zar thought he killed comes looking for revenge and in the process tears apart the whole city. Ka-zar and the others escape with the water to cure the plague.
“The Unspeakable Shrine”
Writer: Doug Moench based on book by John Jakes
Artist: Steve Gan
Brak has just been exiled from his tribe and his heading to the southern land of Khurdistan. His first stop is the city of Kamda Kai. He finds it a squalid place filled with painted strumpets and weird cultists. He runs afoul of the worshipers of Yob-Haggoth. They need a third sacrifice one who doesn’t believe and Brak fits the bill. The Blind acolytes are young children with silver eyes, filed teeth and silver claws. They have power to shoot lightning which knocks him out.
“Creating A Fantasy Hero”
by Lin Carter
An article by Lin Carter on how he created the Jandar of Callisto series. He is quite open in that he used Burrough’s Martian series as an inspiration. It is about an American pilot in Cambodia who finds a temple that transports him to a moon of Jupiter and the wild adventures he has. This sounds interesting and I would like to check these books out in the future.
“The Dream-Temple of Kandu Ra!”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: John Buscema & Crusty Bunkers
Ka-zar is at the village celebrating the success of his mission to find a cure. He falls for a woman named Myrain. Unfortunately she is soon kidnapped by the cult of Kandu Ra. Ka-zar tracks them to their temple and tries to put a stop to the ritual. Then Kandu Ra shows up and it is a giant Komono Lizard. Ka-zar frees Myrain but she runs toward the beast and is killed by it. Ka-zar and Zabu then kill the creature. He finds out that the smoke the cultists were burning had a drug. This drug made its victim want to be sacrificed which is why Myrain ran to the creature. Ka-zar gets angry and throws the priest into the burning alter.
So this second issue of the new Ka-zar lead Savage Tales was an all original edition and I loved it. The stories were of a much more savage Ka-zar which is consistent with the title. Here you see a Ka-zar without the self aggrandizing statements of “Mighty as the Mastodon” schtick. He is a man of few words and all action. He drives a tree trunk through a T-rex and throws one of the cultists into the fire in anger. The Savage Land is portrayed as a place with monsters and strange lost tribes which is what it was meant to be. I think these were some of the finest Ka-zar stories I have ever read.
The Brak backup was also quite interesting. A new barbarian and a whole new savage world to explore. I am intrigued by John Jakes character and would also like to check out his books sometime. This was a great idea for the magazine. Look forward to more of both next issue.