Russ Heath dinosaur art from Tor Volume 2 #5.
1976 DC Comics (National Periodical Publications, Inc.)
*Dinosaur enthusiasts will note that this beast’s name was changed to Apatosaurus before the 20th century was over.
– From Tor #4
Dig this Russ Heath art? See the prior post featuring Russ Heath dinosaur art from Ka-Zar.
We wouldn’t say this volume of Tor is a must-have, but Joe Kubert did craft some very cool vignettes in this short-lived series. We like it best for the dinosaur art like this Russ Heath gem. But you can pick up whole series for about $6 if you don’t mind slightly worn but solid VG+ copies.
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 the best Moon Knight stories ever, 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 5-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, 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.