KA-ZAR #16

Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar has stepped out of the apartment of Matt Murdock to get some fresh air. Unfortunately the Punisher is waiting in ambush. Ka-zar still mostly blind and deaf falls off the roof but still manages to land without breaking too much bones. The Punisher is using non-lethal ammunition because he is still unsure if Ka-zar really is a criminal. Well the two fight each other and Ka-zar convinces the Punisher he is not responsible for the shooting on the subway. Meanwhile in the Savage Land Shanna and Zira have to flee the vengeful denizens of the Savage Land. They now blame Shanna for all their troubles since she lost her nature powers.

Well this issue was OK. Nothing really exciting happened. The big Ka-zar/Punisher fight was somewhat of a dud. Shanna is finding out how fickle people are. One day they worship you as a goddess and the next they want to kill you. Her little tussles in the Savage Land in this issue were also so-so. I think it will pick up next issue with Ka-zar trying to get home. This was a mediocre issue.


KA-ZAR #15

“Jungle Book”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar has been befriended by the woman from the subway named Jameke. She takes him to the doctor who is able to rig a microphone to his ear so he can at least talk to someone. The doctor recognizes Ka-zar and calls the police who come and surround the place. Ka-zar with the help of Zabu and his new friend Jameke manage to escape. He calls Matt Murdock’s law firm and gets help from Foggy Bottom a partner at the firm. He puts Ka-zar up in Matt Murdock’s apartment while Matt is out of town. Meanwhile the Punisher has taken an interest in hunting down Ka-zar. Shanna and Zira are finding the inhabitants of the Savage Land are now very hostile to Shanna. Some of the Man-Ape tribes attack and they burn down the treehouse home.

So we have Ka-zar blind and mostly deaf with the cops and the Punisher out to get him. His friend Jamake is a mysterious woman who seems to really want to help Ka-zar. Not sure what her deal is. Ka-zar is spending time at Murdock’s place and finding leftover signs of his past relationship with Shanna. A nice realistic touch to the story. Finally in the Savage Land the native tribes are now turning against Shanna which shows how fickle people are. The new writer/artist team is working out.

KA-ZAR #14

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Ka-zar is losing his wife Shanna and son to the High Evolutionary. So he goes around and tells the people of the Savage Land that the High Evolutionary is taking their beloved Earth Mother. So Ka-zar shows up with a huge army to confront the High Evolutionary. Shanna is starting to have second thoughts and wants to leave but the Evolutionary uses his creations to keep her prisoner. So a big fight starts. Ka-zar riding a pterodactyl and the Evolutionary a mutated dragonfly. Ka-zar then threatens to release the stolen Isotope E and super evolve everyone on Earth unless Shanna is released. The High Evolutionary agrees but Ka-zar is knocked off his pterodactyl. Shanna uses her power to grow plants to cushion his fall. This has snapped Shanna back to reality. She rejects her powers and the High Evolutionary. This impresses the High Evolutionary that Ka-zar has such stamina and leaves them. Ka-zar gets better and lives happily with his family.

“Ka-zar the Savage”
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Kenny Martinez

Ka-zar is on the subway in New York surrounded by two guys with pistols. Ka-zar attacks and the pistols going off both blinding and deafening Ka-zar. He still manages to take out the two thugs and a policeman who in his state he doesn’t recognize as a cop. Zabu who was following busts in and with the help of a woman stranger take Ka-zar away. Through flashbacks we learn that Ka-zar and Zabu are back in New York to take care of the hotel room they were renting. Shanna is depressed after losing her nature powers and recommends that Ka-zar go alone as she works out her problems. While riding the subway he got into a fight with some thugs. So now he finds himself at the woman’s apartment blind and deaf. Also he is a wanted man.

A big double size issue with flip covers. The first was the conclusion to the High Evolutionary story and the swan song for the Waid/Kubert team. An enjoyable issue that sees Ka-zar use his smarts to get back his wife. The High Evolutionary is also shown as not evil but misguided. He sees his mistake and leaves with dignity and a newfound respect for Ka-zar. Shanna has her powers taken away and now the Plunder family is living a happy life. A good ending for the Waid/Kubert team who had done an excellent job on this series.

So as a bonus you flip the book and get the start of the new storyline from the new writer/artist team. Starts out right in the action in New York. At first you are dumped right in the middle of the story but through skillful flashbacks the reader is brought to speed on how Ka-zar came to his predicament. This new team shows great promise and the New York adventure they are starting looks intriguing.

KA-ZAR #13

“The Politics of Evolution”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Aaron Lopresti & Randy Emberlin

Shanna under the tutelage of the High Evolutionary is growing more powerful. She continues to alter the environment and can now sense nature all over the world. Ka-zar has come to the conclusion that going to the High Evolutionary was a mistake. He can’t even talk to Shanna because she is too busy. So he uses their son Matt to get to Shanna. This gets Shanna to think about abandoning the power but the High Evolutionary has a plan to create a new world with Shanna’s help. He is going to convince Ka-zar to join them with their son. Ka-zar meanwhile has stolen a powerful element from the High Evolutionary’s lab that accelerates evolution. When he gets home the High Evolutionary is there. He gives the power to his son and threatens that Ka-zar must get in line or he will lose both his wife and son.

An interesting direction that Mark is taking the series. After the intense Urban Jungle story this is a much more laid back story. More on thinking than action. Shanna is becoming a goddess and losing touch with the real world. The High Evolutionary is adept at manipulating her and seems calmly going about getting what he wants. This is a new enemy for Ka-zar in that it will take brains and not strength to defeat this enemy. He has stolen the means to elevate himself. Will be interesting to see if he uses it.

KA-ZAR #12

“Earth Mother”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Louis Small Jr.

The Savage Land has been saved along with the rest of the universe. Things are getting back to normal except Shanna is now the one people look to as a leader. Ever since she absorbed the power of the terraformer she now has power over nature. This is causing Ka-zar to be a little resentful at his wife’s new found status. After they get into a fight over it he goes off to find the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary is back in the Savage Land conducting his goofy experiments on evolution. He is completely disdainful of Ka-zar and shows no interest in fixing the terraforming machine. But when he hears of Shanna’s new found powers he has to investigate.

So the Urban Jungle story is over and we pick up in the aftermath. Thanks to Shanna the Savage Land is still around and not under the Antarctic ice. She seems to really enjoy her control over nature and I can see where down the road it might go to her head. Still Ka-zar does seem to be a bit immature. In fact at the end he does have some concerns since it looks like the High Evolutionary has become a little too interested in Shanna. A good laid back story after the more intense Urban Jungle story.

KA-ZAR #11

“Urban Jungle Chapter Four Garden of Evil!”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Ka-zar is reunited with his son Matt and Shanna and Zabu. Things are looking grim. The Savage Land is succumbing to the Antarctic weather. Thanos seems unstoppable. Already he is choking all life from the galaxy. Ka-zar decides to go down fighting and attacks. He manages to lure Thanos to an active volcano and push him in. Then he goes and orders Shield to destroy the terraformer. Thanos comes but he is getting weaker because he is no longer in contact with the inside of the terraformer. Ka-zar shatters the medallion with the map and forces Thanos to go in and try to navigate the maze. Shield then opens fire and Ka-zar knows this will destroy the Savage Land. The result is a huge explosion but the Savage Land is still intact. Shanna was next to the terraformer trying to save animals and absorbed the machines power.

The end of the Urban Jungle storyline. This was an enjoyable story. It gave Ka-zar a foe who was way out of his league but Ka-zar for the love of family found the strength to defeat Thanos. So now it looks like Shanna has some power she absorbed so we will see the aftermath of this in the next issue.

KA-ZAR #10

“Urban Jungle Chapter Three Outgrowth”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

The Savage Land is freezing over with the terraforming machine gone. Ka-zar tosses his brother to pterodactyls to get from him how to get to Thanos. So Parnival opens his door and Ka-zar finds that Thanos has Shanna and Zabu in his fist. Ka-zar punches him in the face which startles him enough to drop the two. Shanna and Zabu go back the way they came as Ka-zar taunts Thanos. Stealing back the medallion he leads Thanos throughout the universe where every planet seems to be under the terraforming machine. Shanna gets out of the machine and finds Shield about to destroy the machine. Instead she convinces them to take it back to Antarctica. Ka-zar’s chase ends in the frozen Savage Land with Thanos victorious.

The action is picking up with this installment of Urban Jungle. Thanos is now destroying the entire universe with the power of the machine. Ka-zar manages to free his wife and friend but now faces the wrath of Thanos. One positive development is Parnival getting his comeuppance. Thanos gets tired of his talking and leaves him on some alien world. An exciting issue with a cliffhanger that makes you wonder how Ka-zar can succeed.


“Urban Jungle Part 2 It’s A Jungle Out There”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Thanos has activated the terraforming machine and now New York is a jungle with dinosaurs running around. Ka-zar, Shanna and Zabu make their way through the savage jungle of New York to Central Park. There they take out Plunder’s men. Using the medallion Ka-zar inherited from his father it opens a door to an inter-dimensional portal. Shanna and Zabu go through the maze to find the power source as Ka-zar goes back to his brother to find out who is behind all this. So Ka-zar makes it to Parnival’s office and finds out that Thanos is behind this. Meanwhile Shanna and Zabu get through the maze and find themselves in the pocket universe that Thanos is trapped in. The maze lead them to the source of power and it is the place that Thanos is trapped in.

The story is picking up. There was a brief moment where Ka-zar and Shanna had another argument but they make up and get to business. So it leaves with Shanna and Zabu at the mercy of Thanos. Thanos finally realizes he is the source of power for the terraforming machine and is ecstatic. Some beautiful artwork of New York as a jungle and some cool scenes with dinosaurs. I like how the story is going and looking forward to the next issue.


“Urban Jungle Chapter One Bright Lights Big Jungle”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Parnival and Thano’s plan is finally being implemented. Agents around the city have planted red glowing devices. Ka-zar and Shanna meet with Matt Murdock hoping he has some news on what Parnival is up to. He can’t find any inheritance but does figure out there is a maze on the back of the Plunder medallion. So later Ka-zar comes to the realization that his fascination with technology is his missing his own childhood. So anyway Ka-zar, Zabu and Shanna decide to go over and kick Parnival’s ass. They arrive only to find out that they are too late. Parnival has activated the terraforming technology and has turned New York into a prehistoric jungle complete with dinosaurs.

The beginning of Thanos/Parnival scheme. So basically Thanos wants to use the terraforming tech to conqueror worlds by using the growth against the planet. Ka-zar meanwhile gets all moppy by coming to the conclusion that he isn’t mature enough to be a father. Actually not a lot happened in this issue. Still it ending on a big note and hopefully picks up in the next issue. The only highpoint about this issue was the beautiful artwork. Oh and there was a free CD-Rom with a Spider-man comic and 50 free hours of AOL. Never touched the CD. Missing out on 50 free hours of AOL. What was I thinking?


Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Walter McDaniel

Ka-zar and Zabu are enjoying themselves when they see a stampede of wooly rhinos. They are heading toward a village and the two divert the stampede. Shanna tells them that there are many disasters in the Savage Land and she is off to enlist some help. Ka-zar goes home and finds out from their nanny Zira that the death cult is trying to resurrect Garokk. The cult believes that Garokk will destroy the Savage Land so it can go through a rebirth. First Garokk must occupy a host body and Shanna has been captured for such a role. Ka-zar and Zira go to rescue Shanna and are captured themselves. A Swiss army knife frees Ka-zar in time to rescue Shanna and collapse the temple of the death cult .

Meanwhile in New York Parnival Plunder is attacked by an alien creature. It calls itself Consumption and serves the Lord of Oblivion. Parnival tries to flee but is caught. The creature takes him to Thanos. Thanos offers Parnival control of the Earth. An Earth that is devoid of life and germs. This appeals to the germophobic Parnival so he agrees to serve Thanos.

This is the first and only annual in all of the many runs that Ka-zar has had over the years. It is a prequel to the current series and an interesting read. Ka-zar battles his old foe Garokk and a crazy death cult out to destroy the Savage Land. What is really interesting is Parnival’s story. We get to see how he was recruited to serve Thanos and what is in it for him. Sadly there would be no second annual as this series would not last long enough. Still there is plenty of issues ahead for an enjoyable saga.