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.
If you liked that, dig the rest of our Gallery of Dinosaur Comics both old and new, or our guide to Steve Bissette’s Complete History of Dinosaur Comics.