Characters Appearing: Devil Dinosaur, Ka-Zar, Shanna the She-Devil, Sub-Mariner, Wolverine, Zabu
Wolverine: Global Jeopardy
Issue(s): Wolverine: Global Jeopardy
Part of that may be the art by Richard Howell, whose very old school style makes even regular Marvel comics feel like coloring books.
The book also doesn't feel canon from a continuity perspective. The main thing being that Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil are seen living in their home... in Africa?
But even beyond that, the characters don't really act like themselves. We all know about Misunderstanding Fights but the amount of distrust between Ka-Zar and Wolverine seems wrong.
That doesn't stop Peter David from inserting some fun genre-aware humor, though.
The story is that Wolverine, Ka-Zar and Shanna, and Namor all start noticing animals disappearing. Their investigation brings them together on an island that seems to house a lot of extinct animals (and how unfair is it that only Wolverine gets title billing?). After their Misunderstanding Fight, they find a guy called the Conservator, who is like a small scale Collector.
The heroes are captured, but are rescued by an unusually devilish dinosaur.
The heroes then convince Conservator that he should turn his animal refuge into a "preserve resort".
It's not exactly the clearest message about how we can protect animals from extinction, although a list provided at the end does tell us that we can recycle our bottles and volunteer at the zoo.
Sadly, despite being in the corner box on the cover, the WWF panda does not join in the fight. But inside the book, every right page has a picture of an animal with a little description.
The back page of this issue has a dedication to Carol Kalish, who was Marvel's Sales Manager and VP of Product Development. The dedication is written by Terry Stewart, Marvel's President. Kalish was important to Marvel's history and she died at a tragically young age of 36. And the creative team was chosen due to the creator's relationship with Kalish. Peter David worked for Kalish in the Sales Department before becoming a writer, and Richard Howell was her long-time boyfriend (i don't know if inker Bill Anderson was close to her). The dedication doesn't really say why this particular issue, which is otherwise supposed to be about raising awareness and money for the World Wildlife Fund, was chosen for Kalish's dedication aside from saying that she was a "lover of creatures, large or small... real or fantastical". What's also weird is that Kalish died about two years prior to the publication of this issue, in September 1991. I guess that is how long the issue took to get published.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Seeing that the book might have been in the works for two years might put Ka-Zar and Shanna's residence in Africa into perspective. Shanna had an extended adventure in Africa in Marvel Comics Presents #68-77, which was published in 1991, and maybe the plan was for her and Ka-Zar to settle there afterwards. However, we never actually saw anything like that, and in Namor #16 Shanna was shown in a flashback returning from Africa to find Ka-Zar missing. Namor would basically be unavailable during that time period anyway due to the loss of his ankle wings and various other status quo changes. So i'm following the MCP in putting this closer to the publication date, although it still has to be pushed back a bit to account for Wolverine's adamantium. The MCP do count this as an actual appearance for Devil Dinosaur.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I'm a fan of Richard Howell's work, and this also looks like a lot of fun! Now I want to find a copy. I should ask Richard Howell if he has any extra copies on hand.
Of course, I certainly understand why fnord isn't so enthusiastic about this, since for the purposes of this project it's a pain to figure out it's proper chronological location.
By the way, I knew that a few of Marvel's benefit books were considered at least semi-canonical, such as the two Captain America Goes To War On Drugs stories with their alien drug dealers (someone bring those guys back) but I'm totally surprised to find out they also consider the Asthma Monster to be in-continuity. Yes, the Asthma Monster *sounds* like a cool idea for a villain, at least until you find out he's not an actual monster, but is instead a Scooby Doo type baddie running around in a costume.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 4, 2016 2:55 PM
We had quite a debate over at the MCP where to place this. For starters, Namor has short hair in this story but he has long hair once he gets his wings back and doesn't have short hair again until Onslaught in 1996! Also, it's weird that Ka-Zar and Shanna don't mention their son. And you can't explain it by saying the issue was delayed since there's no point after PAD started writing for Marvel where Wolverine had a yellow costume and Namor had ankle wings and short hair.
Posted by: Michael | November 4, 2016 7:54 PM
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