SAVAGE TALES #8 KA-ZAR

“The Billion Year War!”
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: John Buscema and Tony Dezuniga

Ka-zar and Zabu see the Hill-Forrest people worshiping some silver obelisk. After having to kill a guard that attacks Ka-zar decides to not bother this tribe again. Meanwhile in Denmark some object is activated and starts to head toward the Savage Land. Ka-zar later hears that a boat from the outside world has arrived and goes to check it out. It is a SHIELD boat and Bobbi Morse his old flame is leading the expedition. She also has Shanna along since she may need someone who has experience with the jungle. They have come because of the object that is burrowing toward the Savage Land. Ka-zar remembers the obelisk and so the group heads off to the Hill-Forrest people.

Along the way they battle a giant python that Shanna doesn’t want killed but Ka-zar feels no obligation to get eaten so the poor snake is killed. They then fight the Hill-Forrest people and while they are at it the silver obelisk releases a giant lizard man named Grond. Grond seems to recognize Ka-zar. He has been in the obelisk for a billion years waiting to complete the war that was started. The Hill-Forrest people dug up the obelisk and set in off. Ka-zar manages to kill Grond. As the SHIELD expedition leaves they intercept the other obelisk and find inside a body that looks exactly like Ka-zar. So they understand why Grond seemed to recognize Ka-zar but who where the two groups a billion years ago remains a mystery.

“The Unspeakable Shrine”
Writer: Doug Moench adapted from book by John Jakes
Artist: Steve Gan

Brak wakes up to find himself prisoner with two men. One was a follower of Yob-Haggoth who had his eyes sewed shut so he could compose songs. The other is a priest of the Nameless God. Brak is the unbeliever. They are to be sacrificed to Yob-Haggoth by his high priest Septegundis. Just then his daughter Ariane comes and transports Brak in a bubble to her flying chariot. She desires Brak and if he agrees to give her his soul then he will be spared. Brak naturally refuses and Ariane give him a necklace that will summon her if he changes his mind.

So Brak ends up back in front of the giant statue of Yob-Haggoth with the other intended victims. As Septegundis approaches Brak is able to break free of the spell and grab his sword. He then plunges it into the statue that was coming alive killing the earthly manifestation of Yob-Haggoth. Septegundis then magically hurls a knife at Brak who calls forth Ariane. She appears in front of him and takes the knife instead. Septegundis takes his dead daughter and vows to meet Brak at his destination of Khurdistan.

“Ka-zar Of The Pulps”
By Bob Weinberg

An article on the Ka-zar from the pulps from the 1936. He appeared only three times and was the son of a couple that had their plane crash in the jungle. He learned to talk to all animals and became this Tarzan clone. The article was written by the foremost expert on pulp magazines and was quite interesting.

“Jann Of The Jungle”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

Jann and her boyfriend Pat come upon a warrior that is sick. They take him to his village and learn that the tribe is weak from lack of water. The reservoir has been taken over by two men who want the Golden God a statue of solid gold. Jann goes off and defeats the two evil men with a little divine intervention from the Golden God.

So this is the first almost non-reprint issue since Ka-zar took over. The Ka-zar story was an interesting one. It brings back Ka-zar’s old love interest Bobbi Morse and his future wife Shanna. Ka-zar sure does get the beautiful women. So the story was interesting but just fell flat at the end. We never find out why there were these two beings who were still fighting a war from a billion years. I guess that was the point but just didn’t do it for me.

The Brak story was excellent. It was engaging and witty with a cool ending. I will have to explore the writing of Brak in the future.

Jann of the Jungle was surprisingly fairly interesting. This was the first story where Jann didn’t have to save her blundering photographer boyfriend. The artwork is beautiful but the writer just can never write a realistic or engaging story.

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