Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land has been an interesting experiment in how you can change a character for the better. From the first issue, Zac Thompson and Germ�n Garc�a have introduced interesting concepts like colonialism while developing the Savage Land and its flora and fauna. It’s also a story about family, as Ka-Zar tries to do what’s best for his. Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land�#5 is the last issue in the story arc and it delivers a good story in multiple ways.
This is a resurrection story of sorts as Ka-Zar was brought back to life at the start, but it opens with him seemingly dead. Ka-Zar is facing a primordial bacteria called Domovoy who has created many techno-organic creatures with designs to conquer the Savage Land. Domovoy left Ka-Zar without a head and his son is partly to blame. Things are looking bleak, but if you’ve been reading this series you know Ka-Zar can do incredible things with his body.
One such incredible thing is regrowing his own head. It’s a wild scene shown through a dream Ka-Zar is having about his childhood that blends with his head being woven and remade. It’s a gnarly visual well done by Garc�a and color artist Mat Lopes. There’s a rebirth here that looks a bit Biblical–it’s certainly visually referencing some Jesus imagery–but by the end of the issue, the comic has a spiritual connection that’s modern and maybe even needed in our techno-focused society. In that respect, this issue serves as a message for all of us to regrow something inside of us.
Outside of the deeper meaning, there’s an action comic here as well. Garc�a gets to draw some crazy animal transformations for Ka-Zar. There are many growths and amazing feats done by him fully featuring these powers. Meanwhile, Garc�a draws Domovoy as this grotesque thing that’s somewhat organic in the mouth but colored in a deathly looking blue with unnatural features. The issue goes hard for quite a few pages with a lot going on. Highlights include Ka-Zar growing a tail and whipping it around to fight off enemies or turning his arm into a squid before body-slamming Domovoy.
The speed in which things move with so many can get pretty chaotic, resulting in some scenes not being able to breathe. It reads like the book had to rush to its finish. That pace also applies to how quickly things wrap up.
This issue also leaves Ka-Zar in a place where he’s grown along with the Savage Land too. Things have changed and the world feels different from where it started. In five issues it’s done more to change things than most serial stories these days, and that’s rather admirable. The fact that this issue ends with a letter from the Ka-Zar creative team recapping their hard work while offering a hopeful sentiment is a nice touch.
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land�#5 marks the ending of the story, but in many ways, it also goes on hopefully for a long time. Its blend of nature vs. technology and how it reaches its harmonious end for Ka-Zar is satisfying.
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