Saturday, 3 July 2010

Ka-Zar #15. A peer into the land of the savage.

Ka-Zar #15, pteranodon over the streets of London

The House of Lords. You might think it's full of senile old dodderers - sleeping their way through debates about dog mess - and people who simply bribed their way to a seat. In that case, you've never read  Ka-Zar, Lord of the Hidden Jungle in which you'll see at once the truth about British peers. They might struggle to stay awake through their own speeches but give them a monster to fight, and it's off with the shirt and out with the knife.

It's issue #15 and we're back in London - or at least the London that exists only in American comic books where every building's at least five hundred years old, everyone says "bloody" and the police wear strange uniforms and allow you to do anything you want as long as you've just told them you're a peer of the realm.

Ka-Zar #15
Happily, Ka-Zar's just such a peer and, as such, can do all the damage he wants without having to worry about anyone ever trying to stop him or even asking if he has a license for that sabre-tooth tiger. He's just had a fight with Klaw, master of sound, in the Imperial War Museum, now he has to fight a bright red flying monster Klaw's whipped up with his sonic claw, before jetting off to the Savage Land to head off an alien invasion. It's all a day's work when you're Lord Kevin Plunder.

I love this comic. For reasons I can never put my fingers on, I love Ka-Zar and I love Zabu. I love the Savage/Hidden Land, that not-so-secret realm that can never quite make up its mind what it's called. And, more specifically, this issue I love the pretty pictures.

Ka-Zar #15

What's always stood out for me in this tale, apart from Gil Kane's wonderfully dramatic cover - as Ka-Zar takes on a monster over a city that bears no resemblance whatsoever to London - is its interior artwork by Val Mayerik. Mayerik's art is sloppy and messy, untidy, his characters looking at times like they're made of plasticine that's been stood in front of the fire for too long but it's also oddly beautiful, his use of light and shade's compelling and he draws a mean Zabu. He also draws a mean green alien and the last few pages, where Ka-Zar and his associates confront the alien invaders of his secret kingdom, produce his best work of the tale.

Now all Lord Kevin has to do is get back for that vital debate about what should be the correct legal height for traffic cones.

Ka-Zar #15

1 comment:

cerebus660 said...

"Mister Speaker, could we please have my honourable friend, Lord Plunder's... er, pet, removed from the chamber? And perhaps the buffalo carcass it dragged in as well?"

The best image in this issue is Zabu with a parachute strapped to his back :-)
Classic stuff!

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