dinosaur, dinosaur comics, Doug Moench, jungle, Ka-zar, Lizard Men, Marvel Comics, marvel value stamps, mole man value stamp, Russ Heath, Savage Land, Smilodon, Triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex, Wizard of Forgotten Flesh, Zabu
2022 Update: This was the first post here at Mars Will Send No More, way back in January 2011. Since then, the scans I painstakingly made for it have somehow become FUBAR; so, eleven years later, I’ve pilfered some pirated scans from the web to restore this post to its former glory. Along the way, I re-discovered that the letters page contains the Mole Man Value Stamp, which later became the avatar for our blogging buddy Paul at Longbox Graveyard — a truly historic comics coincidence!
Anyway, let’s rock this thing!
Doug Moench penned Wizard of Forgotten Flesh for the Ka-zar in 1974. Doug Moench did a huge amount of writing for Marvel in the 1970s: teaming up with Bill Sienkewicz for awesome Moon Knight stories, Gil Kane & George Perez on the Inhumans, Paul Gulacy on Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu, and — our personal favorites — the two Six From Sirius limited series.
That being said, Russ Heath‘s dinosaur artwork in Wizard of Forgotten Flesh speaks for itself. Dig his splash panel for page one.
Here is a the five-page sequence where Ka-zar and his buddies harness a Triceratops. They ride it into a river where they wage battle against the evil cult of serpent people.
Gotta admit: we love Zabu, the sabre-tooth tiger. One of our favorite scenes in any superhero book is Zabu and Wolverine having a conversation in animal language. That was Uncanny X-Men #116, when Chris Claremont and John Byrne took the X-men to Ka-zar’s home, the Savage Land.
Anyway, these serpent cultists are up to no good and using some ancient skull to give them power to enslave the tattooed guy’s people. The good guys free the prisoners, but the serpent priestess invokes skull power. With that power, she raises the dead to life to be her unholy soldiers.
This is a fun issue. It transplants some of the best 1970s Conan and Kull cliches and male-bonding adventures into a world of dinosaurs, and the artwork makes the script come to life. Unfortunately, it was only a fill-in from Russ Heath, and he would not again grace the pages of this series.
Collector’s Guide: From Ka-Zar #12, Marvel Comics, 1974.