Writer: Zac Thompson
Art: German Garcia, Matheus Lopes, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 8, 2021
Reviewer: JR Huitt
Lord Kevin Reginald Plunder, better known as KA-ZAR, returns following the events of EMPYRE: AVENGERS #1-3 as KA-ZAR: LORD OF THE SAVAGE LAND #1 by Zac Thompson kicks off. How do the challenges of the Savage Land, along with having a teenage son, impact his ongoing recovery following his recent death and resurrection? Let’s follow Thompson as he begins to pull back the curtain in the prehistoric world of the Savage Land.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
KA-ZAR died. Then he was resurrected by the Savage Land. With the new lease on life, he is finding that he has a closer connection to the very land that he and his wife, Shanna, have sworn to protect. While his resurrection has brought him closer to Shanna, it has not done anything to help his relationship with their son, Matthew. Matthew is the typical teenager that every one of us was at one point. He knows more than his parents. And, if they would just listen, everything would work out.
Throughout KA-ZAR: LORD OF THE SAVAGE LAND #1, Thompson pushes our lead character from his comfort zone. The new connections to the world are extremely overwhelming his senses and leaving him exhausted. Shanna’s connection, on the other hand, makes it where she “can see clearly for the first time in years.” Elsewhere, Matthew has an encounter with a Rex that ends when his parents arrive. However, it was the art team that really stepped up their game when KA-ZAR was using his new powers.
After the rescue, the Plunders sit down for a family meal while Matthew continues to push at the guidelines his parents have established. After he leaves the dinner, Matthew spends the rest of the night speaking to his new friend, Polyscion. Matthew’s words “Your creations can reshape the place” are setting up the crux of the series. Nevertheless, with both KA-ZAR and Shanna’s deeper connection to the Savage Land, they will quickly oppose any changes that come their way. The big question will be: how far will Matthew travel down this path?
Germán García’s artwork is beautiful. The colors that Matheus Lopes use are bright and make sure that the Savage Land feels like something otherworldly as it should. García’s KA-ZAR looks like a man at the end of his rope. While he’s been resurrected, it seems as though he is still haunted by both having fallen and the new connections that he has to the Savage Land. Shanna looks like an actual woman, rather than the cheesecake that some artists tend to turn to. Most importantly, the story is easy to follow thanks to the art style by this team.
The last time that I read a KA-ZAR book, it was 1997 and Mark Waid was knocking it out of the park with Andy Kubert. That said, KA-ZAR: LORD OF THE SAVAGE LAND #1 did two things. It made me want to read the EMPYRE: AVENGERS series to see how KA-ZAR gets to where the book starts; and, it made me want to pick up the next issue. I’m really anxious to see how the Plunder family will weather the coming storm as it looks like Kazar and Shanna will be on one side of the conflict, while Matthew will be on the other. I strongly recommend you pick up this issue and add the series to your pull list.