Astonishing Tales #19-20
Issue(s): Astonishing Tales #19, Astonishing Tales #20
In the previous arc we saw the origin of Victorius, the AIM scientist who developed a super-serum and was forced to take it himself. In these issues he resurfaces as a formal super-villain (and apparent S&M enthusiast)...
...and keeps a bucket over his head so that he can use the fact that he's an older man as a surprise (although Ka-Zar isn't all that interested when he finds out).
Gemini, also from last arc, has ties to AIM (and surprisingly still no reference to the Zodiac, and a response the lettercol for issue #20 is coy about whether it's the same guy that has appeared before), so Victorius hooks up with him and his partner Parnival Plunder as well.
Victorius kidnaps Bobbi Morse because he's concerned about SHIELD's newly developed serum. This all results in two issues of Ka-Zar running around a castle fighting AIM agents and the various super-villains...
...which would be totally fine except that Zabu is left out of the action for most of the arc and when he finally arrives most of the villains (plausibly) don't want to tangle with him.
Victorius does, though, and he seems to have grabbed a javelin from the Silver Age Black Knight's arsenal.
Zabu does get to maul some AIM agents, something the story apologizes for.
Morse gets some licks in, too.
It's interesting how long (since issue #12, and this was a bi-monthly book) this series has been concerned with the super-soldier serum, a topic you wouldn't normally associate with Ka-Zar. Thankfully Ka-Zar himself refuses when he has the opportunity to partake in the serum...
...although it would have been interesting if Bobbi Morse was forced to use it. Unless, since it was developed from Ted Sallis' research, it would have turned her into a Woman-Thing.
William Calvin refuses to create another serum, having been convinced by Ka-Zar that super-soldiers are not a force for good in the world.
After these issues, Ka-Zar graduates to his own title and goes back to the Savage Land, while this book becomes the home of It, the Living Colossus.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A decent amount of time has taken place after the end of the last arc. Victorius has had time to familiarize himself in a variety of fighting styles. The last arc had to take place before MODOK resurfaces in Hulk #167, and this arc has to take place after that. Gemini's appearance in Avengers #120-124 can take place between his appearances in the last arc and this one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showDamian Link, Gemini, Ka-Zar, Mockingbird, Nick Fury, Parnival Plunder, Victorius, Wilma Calvin, Zabu
A Woman-Thing did later show up in Dave Sim's Cerebus.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 30, 2013 3:29 PM
thats right, kids. Ka-zar says NO to drugs.
I like something about old Victorious, especially when he comes back in MTIO.
And its amazing Bobbi ever made it out of the 70s with that look. Those sure are some kicking white boots and specs.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | March 31, 2013 5:14 PM
Would have really been neat to keep Bobbi as a meganekko as such but...heck, I guess we were lucky she was saved from obscurity in the 80s anyway so by then she was lucky to just get an appearance and prominence due to Hawkeye and the WCA.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 31, 2013 6:45 PM
Mike Friedrich needs to learn the difference between acronyms and "anagrams", it appears.
I love Bobbi's outfit here, specs and all. So, assuming that she switched to contact lenses later on (rather than early LASIK surgery or some such), that means her marriage to Clint was somebody with a mild visual impairment paired with somebody with a fairly severe hearing loss.
Intriguing to see Bobbi not caring overly much about Zabu mauling the AIM agent. That sort of "killers deserve to die" attitude isn't going to serve her too well, down the road. (Even if Englehart says he was on her side.)
Posted by: Dan Spector | March 26, 2018 4:31 PM
Bobbi's fashion choices give off the vibe of a taller, hotter Velma from the Scooby-Doo gang.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | April 12, 2018 11:33 PM
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