Ka-Zar the Savage #22-27
Issue(s): Ka-Zar the Savage #22, Ka-Zar the Savage #23, Ka-Zar the Savage #24, Ka-Zar the Savage #25, Ka-Zar the Savage #26, Ka-Zar the Savage #27
Then Shanna gets the news that Zabu has also been killed, shot by Ramona while he was "out of control". Shanna freaks out and gets herself put in a mental institution. Spider-Man breaks her out, but she gives him the slip.
She goes after Ramona, but the woman she finds turns out to be a different woman dressed up as Ramona. Confused by that, Shanna is distracted long enough for Ramona's "husband", Dr. Courtland, to shoot her.
Luckily Spider-Man finds her before she loses too much blood.
Meanwhile, Ka-Zar is actually alive, and so is Zabu. It turns out Ramona and Courtland are both AIM agents, and have been all along. They're using Kevin for AIM missions with the double threat that they'll kill Shanna if he disobeys them and the fact that they've got a chip in his brain.
Ka-Zar eventually figures out that they don't actually have Shanna, and when the AIM agents (who never actually wear their beekeeper outfits, sadly)...
...try to kill him, they wind up killing themselves in an explosion...
...and Ka-Zar heads back to New York to find Shanna. (But not before Zabu gets into a fight with a shark!)
Unfortunately, Shanna's not handling Kevin's death well...
...and she gets put back in the mental hospital. Peter is told that if Shanna were to somehow actually see Ka-Zar again, she would become permanently damaged, mentally. That's a weird prognosis, which is of course convenient to the plot. When Ka-Zar shows up, Spider-Man has to fight him to prevent her from seeing him.
After their misunderstanding fight...
...Ka-Zar convinces Spidey that due to AIM's involvement it's not safe to let Shanna stay at the hospital, so they break her out.
Ka-Zar brings Shanna back to the Savage Land, hoping that the familiar surroundings will help. But the work that AIM did to make Ka-Zar obedient takes an effect on him, and he seemingly dies (again!) when they get to the Savage Land. Luckily Zabu brings Buth from the Aerie to help out.
Buth and Dherk use Aerien and ancient Atlantean technology to fix both Shanna and Ka-Zar (the cure includes a mental adventure in Shanna's head).
I'm not entirely pleased at the implication that Shanna is so dependent on Ka-Zar that she goes crazy without him. And the plot device that forced the Ka-Zar/Spidey fight was weak. Generally speaking, though, from a writing perspective these issues are of similar high caliber to Bruce Jone's previous issues on this title. Unfortunately, this is his last arc on the series.
From an art perspective, it's a bit of a mess. Ron Frenz draws some issues, and Armando Gil eventually takes over on both pencils and inks, with some fill-ins mixed in. But even Frenz and Gil's art, normally pretty good, looks sloppy,as if they were behind deadline getting them out and had to rush (i generally pick out the good pictures to scan, ofc).
Overall, still not a bad end to Jones' really amazing run on this title, but it's a bit of a rough finish.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: There's a short break between issue #21, where Ka-Zar "dies", and this arc, which begins with Shanna dealing with the implications of his death. It's enough to fit in some other generic Spider-Man appearances, but obviously no Ka-Zar or Shanna appearances should appear in the gap.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBelasco, Buth, Dherk, Ka-Zar, Mamie Muggins, Shanna the She-Devil, Spider-Man, Zabu
The title to #26 refers to the 1981 Kurt Russell film.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 4:18 PM
Ka-Zar has known Spider-Man's secret identity for a long time before Marvel Fanfare, although the exact point is not clear to me. There was a Amazing Spider-Man story where Peter and Gwen end up in the Savage Land on Daily Bugle business and Ka-Zar ends up covering for Peter.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 22, 2012 8:18 AM
The footnote in Ka-Zar #25 says that Ka-Zar has known Peter's ID "since Marvel Fanfare #2", but you're right, Luis. I put up the scan in ASM #104. Judging from that scan ("Hmmmm"), it looks like that's when Ka-Zar learns the ID. The problem is with the footnote here; there's no scene in Fanfare #2 that contradicts ASM #104; Ka-Zar doesn't react to the unmasked Peter in Fanfare.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 23, 2012 10:18 PM
#26(and Marvel Team-Up #128) were announced as being released with photo-covers, but I don't know if that actually happened.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 8:13 PM
I can confirm Spider-Man and Captain America shared the photo cover of MTU #128; Eliot R. Brown did all Marvel's photo covers.
Posted by: Cecil | July 7, 2015 3:21 AM
The wrap-around covers are cool -
Posted by: Jake Amidon | October 18, 2017 11:43 PM
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