Ka-Zar the Savage #13-15
Issue(s): Ka-Zar the Savage #13, Ka-Zar the Savage #14, Ka-Zar the Savage #15
Buth has returned to the Aerie Shalan and Dherk has been rebuilt and has remained in Belasco's "Inferno" to help the Children of Dis. Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu have moved on. Since the demonic marriage ceremony Belasco tried to force Shanna into, she's has been in a strange mood, contemplating her thoughts about marriage. She's also been clumsy and temperamental around Ka-Zar...
...who is nervous about the fact that she's contemplating marriage and hiding it with sarcasm. While they're having an argument, Shanna slips into a river and is carried downstream in a heavy current. Ka-Zar is unable to catch up with her.
Shanna winds up being rescued by a humanoid monkey-man with a large tail named Mele. She's taken back to his tree village.
It turns out her rescuer is a widower with a child named Leila, and after some time he proposes to her. Despite not knowing his language and despite the fact that women in his society are left behind to prepare food and clean clothing while the men go out and hunt, she considers his offer. When the child is captured by a pteredon and presumed killed, the man is required by his village customs to kill himself, but Shanna then accepts his proposal, in part because being married will prevent him from having to kill himself and in part because she's fallen in love with Mele. That's when Ka-Zar shows up with the rescued Leila.
Unlike Shanna, Ka-Zar speaks Mele's language...
...and despite the bad feelings over Shanna's betrothal, they become friends. But on a hunting trip, Mele is killed...
...and Ka-Zar is blamed by Mele's villagers, with the assumption that Ka-Zar killed him out of jealousy.
As the widow, Shanna is expected to kill Ka-Zar...
...but instead she helps him escape. They decide to leave Pangea and head back to the Savage Land.
This story arc is supposed to be the parallel to Ka-Zar's midlife crisis from the earlier issues in the series, dealing with Shanna having her own issues about getting older, but it doesn't work as well for me. Generally Shanna has been handled very well in this series, but lately, and especially in these issues, she's been treated as less competent than Ka-Zar. She's also irrationally moody and emotional. Her marriage to Mele just didn't seem 'true' to me.
Issue #13 doesn't have a Tales of Zabu, but issue #14 has Zabu meeting a mate only to have her killed by men. Issue #15's Zabu story is no longer by Gil Kane. Instead it's by Val Mayerick, and it tells the story of the death of Zabu's mate from the side of the men. It focuses on Maa-Gor, who was a recurring villain in Ka-Zar's earlier series and the leader of the tribe that killed Zabu's mate. It's said that he's a manic-depressive but of course none of the tribe was able to diagnose such a thing. I thought that was interesting.
The stories from #14 and #15 both end with Zabu hunting down the 'cavemen' just as they're about to kill young Kevin Plunder.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Moved back in publication time to sync up with the X-Men's appearance in Marvel Fanfare #3-4.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showKa-Zar, Leila, Shanna the She-Devil, Zabu
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