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07.18.2018
Kazar Savage Dawn: Volume 1 (2017)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger
12.20.17

Kazar Savage Dawn: Volume 1 (2017) I think the first time I ever came across Ka-zar in a comic book, it was in Marvel Team-Up with Spider-man. While I always loved lost lands and dinosaurs I could take or leave this jungle man. But this comic run from the early 80's definitely changed my opinion.

This was the first time anyone treated these Marvel Tarzan wannabees-Ka-zar and Shanna the She Devil like real people rather than jungle action Tarzan mimics.

When we first see Kazar he's a bit morose. He's been in the Savage Land for ten years, fighting and killing, and there hasn't been a lot of excitement. This irritates his woman, Shanna, who came to the Savage Land because she was sick of civilization. He should be happy as she is. Kazar gets more depressed when his companion Zabu, a saber-toothed tiger disappears for over a week. He tells her how they first met, how Zabu looked after him when he was a kid trying to survive in this jungle, and how they are indeed like brothers, equals. So Kazar goes in search of the giant cat and discovers an entirely new section of the Savage Land, which is called Pangea. He rescues a woman named Leanne from a tribe of cavemen-and she tells him she's Queen of Zarhan. He immediately likes her. This same tribe has also captured a saber-tooth tiger and he waits and sees if it's Zabu. It's not-it's a female-but Zabu shows up, which is a signal he should interrupt the tribe's sacrificial ceremony. The reason Zabu had disappeared all those weeks is because he was looking for a mate. Kazar rescues the other female tiger and eventually returns Leanne to her city. He wants to stay with her but she says it's no place of a wild man. Dejected, he wanders off.

While he's despondent over having been rejected by Leanne, Shanna shows up, climbing down the steep ravine that leads to this new land. He goes to help her and they both fall, presumably to their deaths. But they awaken to find themselves rescued by a tribe of winged men. They look like angels, with wings protruding from their backs and entirely covered with feathers. They tell Kazar and Shanna that Pangea has been undergoing severe climatic and ecological changes and they don't know why. They become friends with these winged people. However, there's some conflict within this society and when Leanne shows up, there's trouble. She's involved with one of the winged men who is planning a revolt. There's a pivotal moment when Kazar has to choose between saving the life of Leanne or Shanna--and he chooses Shanna. Leanne plummits to her death into a bottomless ravine. Even though he saved Shanna, she still thinks he regrets his actions. She loves him but he is still ambivalent. This is all resolved when she's in danger once again and he saves her. It puts everything in perspective.

I like this book because, while it puts them in a slightly different perspective, it opens up the whole "Savage Land" concept by introducing the entirely new lost land of Pangea and its strange inhabitants which include the bird-men. Recommended.

Writer: Bruce Jones

Art: Brent Anderson


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