Ka-Zar Lord of the Savage Land (2022)
Writer – Zac Thompson
Artists – German Garcia and Alvaro Lopez
I have done a great job finding new, collected trades to read on Hoopla and I have shared my reviews of them with you. It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that the streak is over! NOOOOOO!
I picked Ka-Zar Lord of the Savage Land because the Savage Land is one of the greatest locations in all of the Marvel Universe. This mini-series takes place shortly after Ka-Zar’s resurrection after his death during the Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre crossover. The Savage Land is attacked by creatures that are technologically upgraded. Ka-Zar, Shanna, and their son Matthew must find the mastermind behind these ‘Polyscions’ before the Savage Land is overrun by these abominations and destroyed.
I got three issues into this trade when I realized I really didn’t like the story at all. If you have read any of my previous comic book reviews (thank you, by the way, for reading them. It is appreciated that you take the time to read my write-ups) I usually go on about how I couldn’t put the book down or I had to finish the collection as soon as possible because I enjoyed it so much. I put off finishing the story and I wasn’t really sure if I should finish it or not. I did so with four days left to spare before Hoopla automatically returns it.
The main plot point of nature versus technology is an important one. Conservation of natural resources and trying to make the planet habitable for our family and our future offspring is important now more than ever. These were my main takeaways from the story. Changing Ka-Zar into an Animal Man pastiche does not do the character any justice. The sequences of him changing into different animals is totally badass but I like the good old days when Ka-Zar was just an ordinary man trying to survive the dangers of the jungle. That made him relatable to ordinary people like you and I. These changes to Ka-Zar are baffling and unwarranted. I’m sure his new powers are tied into his resurrection somehow, but they need a better explanation on how and why this happened.
Garcia and Lopez’s art was the best part of the story. They do a great job showing off the lush jungles and the animals that populate this secret locale. The nightmares Ka-Zar has about his father are both gross and delightful and will be burned into your memory long after seeing them. The native fauna that gets transformed by the villain Domovoy are reminiscent of the creatures in John Carpenter’s The Thing.
My advice is for you to skip this trade paperback and read about the adventures of Ka-Zar from yesteryear. Sadly, there are no other trades featuring Ka-Zar available on Hoopla at the moment. Check your local library or your local comic shop’s back issue or dollar bin. Also, the themes featured in the story came across better in DC Comics’ Animal Man and Swamp Thing runs during the New 52 era.
The streak is over! I’m going to take a few days and gather my thoughts and search for another new release from Hoopla. Hopefully I’ll get on another hot streak and share some recommendations with you shortly.
Avoid Ka-Zar Lord of the Savage Land at all costs and find something else to read instead. You’ve been warned!