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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"This night's going to be Ka-Zaryyy!"

It's Random.....Comic.....Review.....time kiddies, and for some strange reason this comic sorta jumped out at me to review.
I'm talking about KA-ZAR#1 from May of '97. For those who don't know, this book was launched along with a bunch of other titles by Marvel right after the whole Onslaught event took place and removed the more popular Marvel characters like the FF, Avengers, and Dr.Doom from the regular MU. Marvel was feeling experimental at the time and put out books like Alpha Flight, Heroes for Hire, Deadpool, Sensational Spider-Man(what a bust), and of course Thunderbolts to name just a few. Some of these books did well, but most did not, and only Deadpool(albeit relaunched) and Thunderbolts survived that era.

So why Ka-Zar again? I was briefly attracted to the creative team on the book at the time, Mark Waid and Andy Kubert. This team was gold on the X-Men and Captain America, so why wouldn't they be great on an old C-lister like Ka-Zar?  Not too much apparently, as the title only lasted a year, with only 20 issues to show for. Waid did try though, as Ka-Zar fought Thanos, Kraven the Hunter's teacher Gregor, and host of others. It just wasn't enough to keep interest going, and the title was soon cancelled.

Today I'm reviewing Ka-Zar#1(Vol.4).

KA-ZAR#1(Vol.4) May 1997 by Mark Waid and Andy Kubert

The story starts off with a man who's later revealed to be Ka-Zar's brother, Parnival Plunder, talking to another man. This guy is the same man who trained Kraven the Hunter, and his name is Gregor. After a brief display of his fighting ability, Parnival hires Gregor to go into the Savage Land and kill Ka-Zar. We're then shown a double spread page of the Savage Land, where Ka-Zar's out hunting for food in his own unusual way. He's riding a giant T-Rex, trying to steer it clear of a nearby village. He stabs it's eye, driving it off a cliff, but he's tangled up in his own rope. Zabu helps him break free in the nick of time, as the T-Rex goes sailing over the edge of the cliff. "Wow, quite a sense of drama for a cat. Thanks, pal."

Heading home, Ka-Zar and Zabu run into a friendly dispute between two tribes concerning the rules of baseball. Only in a comic book does shit like this happen folks! Anyways, Ka-Zar's wife, Shanna the She-Devil arrives, and promptly scares off the two tribes. They head to their jungle home, discussing the outside world and the things that Ka-Zar misses about it. Shanna's a little perturbed by the sudden love for he outside world, but things calm down as they both meet their son Mathew. Today is the couples' anniversary, and the scene fades with them doing, you know, couple stuff.

Gregor's arrived in the Savage Land, and wastes no time recruiting troops to help in his mission. Playing on the superstitions of a local tribe, he takes someone's picture, leading them to believe he now can own their soul. One of the tribe challenges Gregor, only to be quickly dispatched in a creative fashion. "Any other doubters? No? Good. Then everyone step up and take a magic fire-stick! Bring me the head of Lord Kevin Plunder." If you didn't know by now, Ka-Zar's real name is Kevin Plunder.

Meanwhile Ka-Zar's talking with Zabu about his wife Shanna, and the increasing difference of opinions they're starting to have regarding the outside world, when all of a sudden Zabu gets fried by a beam of intense heat! Ka-Zar then sees the tribe that Gregor recruited, called the N'Gala tribe. He comments that they've always been at peace with each other, but not now. They fire on Ka-Zar, but he easily manages to avoid their gunfire and swings back around to attack them. After a little more fighting, it seems Ka-Zar's got the upperhand until Gregor makes his presence know and directly attacks Ka-Zar himself. Ka-Zar's being strangled with his own necklace by Gregor, but is quickly able to get him off him. Ka-Zar runs back to his injured friend Zabu, but Zabu doesn't answer him. The issue ends with Gregor pirched up in a tree staring coldly and intently on the pair. To be continued.

Not bad huh? Now I don't have the rest of the issues, but it's safe to say Ka-Zar beat Gregor, since both Ka-Zar, Zabu, and Shanna are all still alive. In fact, Paul Jenkins is currently writting a 5-issue mini-series about Ka-Zar right now. Check it out if you're interested.

TomorrowI start to review Grant Morrison's X-Men run.

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