Ka-Zar the Savage 16 (July 1982)

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Ron Frenz. Ron Frenz does the pencils this issue. Ron Frenz doing jungle action. Not just jungle action, but jungle action with shades of Lovecraft.

It’s hideous. Even though Gil can’t pencil, he’s inked Ka-Zar well but there’s nothing he can do on Frenz’s pencils. This issue looks incredibly silly.

But the story’s not silly.

It reminds of the Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing actually, with Ka-Zar and Shanna getting involved in the fantastic without having any idea what’s going on. The mystery keeps getting more confounding–a pygmy tribe, an adorable lemur and a tentacle monster–until Jones explains it all.

The issue works. Jones pulls it off, particularly because he’s got Ka-Zar alone as the protagonist for a while. And when Shanna is around, Jones comes up with some great character drama for the two of them.

The backup (with lovely Mayerik art) is too short.

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