Written By: Zac Thompson
Art By: Germán García
Colors By: Matheus Lopes
Letters By: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art By: Jesús Saiz
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 13, 2021
Ka-Zar: Lord Of The Savage Land #2 finds Ka-Zar, Shanna, Matthew, and Zabu heed the call of the trees as something is killing the Moldwood Forest. When the family arrives, they find their presence is not entirely welcome and their cure to heal the land may be worse than the disease.
Was It Good?
This second entry in the post-resurrection of the titular jungle family is a bit odd. It’s odd because a significant amount of emphasis is placed on showing how everyone in the family is flawed (except for Shanna) to the point of becoming dangerous to themselves and others. You could make the case the story is still in its beginning stages and Thompson is laying out both internal and external obstacles for the heroes to overcome. Perhaps, but it’s too early to tell.
Ka-Zar is, in a word, a mess. His ability to focus and his memories are a jumbled mass of confusion. It helps that Shanna’s “been there and done that”. However, his emerging abilities are different than hers so her foundation for guiding him through post-death recovery seems a little too dismissive.
Matthew is turning out to be a brat. Disrespectful, secretive, and mildly spiteful. I’m not sure if he’s always been this way, but the more you get exposed to Matthew, the less you want to be exposed to Matthew.
I point these things out because it’s difficult to get into a story about heroes when at least two of the main characters are so flawed that you either don’t like them or you want them to leave to get some help before making a bigger mess.
At the heart of this issue is an “attack” on the Moldwood Forest. The ground water is being poisoned by some type of acid and the same forest is attacked by giant, biotech spiders. It’s all very dangerous, and the attack(s) play out as a genuine threat, but there doesn’t appear to be any purpose, rhyme, or reason. On another level, the ambiguity of the the attack also makes it difficult to get into the story.
When the battle reaches a fever pitch, Ka-Zar explodes into a massive dinosaur form that wipes out most of the forest. He doesn’t have his emerging powers under control, Shanna is nurturing him through his changes but with a mildly condescending tone, and Matthew absolutely has insight into what’s going on but he refuses to come clean because his opinion of his parents is rock bottom. In short, the Plunder family is almost a stereotypical suburban family replete with dysfunction, more prone to hurt than help.
The saving grace of the issue is García’s art mixed with Lopes’s colors. It’s a visually captivating issue. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to the oversaturation of soft colors, it has a unique look that plays up the beauty of the jungle.
Ka-Zar: Lord Of The Savage Land #2 has some unique action and eye-catching art. That said, it’s a struggle to get behind a family of heroes that are increasingly dysfunctional and a villainous threat that executes targeted attacks with seemingly no purpose.