Characters Appearing: Ka-Zar, Parnival Plunder, Shanna the She-Devil, Zabu
Ka-Zar the Savage #32
Issue(s): Ka-Zar the Savage #32
First, it has got to be some kind of record that Ka-Zar's evil brother, Parnival Plunder, aka The Plunderer, didn't appear in this series until 32 issues in (after a tease at the end of last issue). This would be the equivalent of the Inhumans having a steady 30 appearances without Maximus the Mad attacking. It really says something about Bruce Jones' run that he managed to find so much to do with Ka-Zar without bringing in his brother yet again, and even Mike Carlin's use of the character in this issue and next is pretty subdued compared to the usual. No appearance of the luchadore costume, for example. This issue has Parnival making friends with some of the Savage Land natives so that he can gain access to the "anti-metal" (never called vibranium in this story), despite the disapproval of the tribal elder.
Meanwhile, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu are still traveling back to the Savage Land from Pangea. It's been three issues (and 6 months) since the wedding issue, but this is the first downtime they've had since then, so the majority of this issue is about exploring the implications of their marriage. These moments are the stuff that Bruce Jones' run was made for, but Carlin has a different, zanier approach, and that's where Marie Severin's special sequences come in.
I do like the idea that Shanna is making sure that theirs will be a relationship of equals...
...but she takes a hit in my book when Ka-Zar and Shanna finally make it back to the Savage Land and find Parnival. Parnival plays it smart, not doing his usual super-villain schtick.
And Shanna falls for his charm hook, line, and sinker.
There's nothing inherently wrong with that. Parnival is being smart, and Shanna never met him before and has to be the one that falls for it. I'd just like to see her have a little more trust in the guy that she's been a companion to for quite a while now. At least be watchful. But she's completely bought into the idea of Parnival's reform. The audience on the other hand is shown that it's a ruse right away.
We'll see the conclusion of the Parnival plot next issue, but for now he's biding his time.
One final sequence from Severin:
Here's the pin-up mentioned in the Comments.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 74,730. Single issue closest to filing date = 65,519.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Over a week passes during the course of this issue. We can allow some time to pass before the beginning of next issue despite Parnival being around, since he's playing a long game.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"Boy! Being a 'sponsible grown-up sure hurts your heinie!"
Posted by: Robert | March 4, 2015 3:45 PM
There's nothing wrong with having a hero fooled by a villain claiming to want redemption- the problem is that Carlin doesn't have Shanna acknowledge that Parnival has done some horrible things. "I think you've blown some rivalry you had as kids way out of proportion!"The result is that Shanna comes across as an idiot that doesn't appreciate the magnitude of Parnival's crimes.
Posted by: Michael | March 4, 2015 9:58 PM
Anybody know the artist that did the nice bonus pin-up of Shanna in this issue? Looks like her first name is Mary but I can't make out the last name. (It's not Marie Severin.)
Posted by: Doug | March 8, 2015 5:41 PM
It's Mary Wilshire. She was also one of the artists on issue #29 and she's done a few other scattered things in the Marvel Universe (including some New Mutants and the Firestar mini). She also had a run on Red Sonja and did a lot of Marvel's Barbie comics.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 8, 2015 6:21 PM
Thanks much for the reply, and also for posting the pin-up, too. This site is top-notch. :-)
Posted by: Doug | March 9, 2015 2:16 AM
The title to this story, of course, is taken from the Hollies' classic "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 27, 2018 9:52 PM
Comments are now closed.
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