“Guns of the Savage Land”
Writers: Chuck Dixon and Timothy Truman
Artist: Gary Kwapisz
A nearly naked man is found wandering out of the Nevada desert. He speaks a language nobody recognizes and has serious radiation poisoning. Dr. Wyatt Wingfoot an anthropologist is called and finds out the man speaks an ancient Paiute language. He theorizes that he came from the world under the Earth that the Paiute legend says the tribe originated from.
So he goes to recruit Ka-zar and his wife Shanna. They are living in England because the Savage Land tribes united and rejected Ka-zar’s rule. Now Ka-zar is estranged from Shanna and slowly going insane from living in civilization. This trip piques his interest and with Shanna they head out to discover this new land. Borrowing the Fantasticar from the Fantastic Four they find a world under the surface filled with dinosaurs. They find the lost tribe but there has already been contact with civilization.
An oil company has set up a base to drill for oil. Lead by an ex-Legionnaire named Lestrade he runs a brutal operation. Some of the mercenaries attack the tribe and Ka-zar with his friends manage to defeat them. Ka-zar decides to arm and teach the tribe to use the guns. They attack the base and destroy it. Shanna leaves Ka-zar and Zabu because of Ka-zar’s erratic behavior.
The only graphic novel of Ka-zar ever done. It was between the third and fourth series. There were a number of differences with the characters that go against what was established in the various series. Shanna seems to want to live in civilization while Ka-zar has a real hatred for it. It seems to be the other way around in the series. Also they have their son named Kyle instead of Mathew. It was never really explains what this world under the Earth was. It seems like some sort of Pellucidar type world. Ka-zar also seems to be a bit unstable with a power mad desire to rule and bloodlust to kill the outsiders. I suppose it could be the effects of his insanity.
Still what is good is the overall story. Truman and Dixon are experts in writing good quality action stories. Kwapisz was some beautiful art. So we get an interesting adventure story. Lots of action and machine guns mounded on dinosaurs attacking the evil oil company. Not sure where this fits into the Ka-zar continuity or even if its supposed to. It seems like a sort of alternate world adventure. Definitely worth the look for the story and artwork.