Bruce Jones

Ka-Zar the Savage 16 (July 1982)

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. […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 15 (June 1982)

Brent Anderson did “thumbnail layouts” for this issue, Gil does the rest. So there are some beautifully composed pages and panels and then not the art to make them work. Gil seems better suited for cartoonist work, not jungle adventure. Especially not a jungle adventure where subtle, poignant emotions are going to play a part. […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 14 (May 1982)

And here we go… the perfect example of what it means to have a good inker versus a bad “finisher.” Anderson provides layouts, Gil finishes them. So this issue of Ka-Zar shows evidence of Anderson’s exquisite panel composition, without any of the detail. Gil, though a fine inker, is not a good penciler or fill-in […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 13 (April 1982)

I want to love this issue but I can’t. Jones gets Shanna and Ka-Zar out of the Atlantean technology, away from their sidekicks, and back out into the jungle. Ka-Zar is jungle adventure after all. The issue opens with this amazing argument–going at least three pages (while they’re setting up camp)–between the couple. It’s fantastic […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 12 (March 1982)

Jones finishes up his Inferno homage–he confirms my plotting suspicions too… again, it’d be a great movie. Because kids need to read Dante. There’s a lot of action as Ka-Zar goes it alone (Shanna and his friends are brainwashed) against various demons and the big bad Lucifer stand-in. Armando Gil takes over inking Anderson to […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 11 (February 1982)

Marvel ought to turn this one into a movie. Not a Ka-Zar movie, but a movie about the backstory–Dante Alighieri the action star. Jones’s Dante chased a Cthulhu-worshipping cur from Italy to Antarctica to save his girlfriend, discovering a long abandoned Atlantean vacation resort, which eventually the bad guy turns into Hell. And Dante writes […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 10 (January 1982)

Jones sends Ka-Zar, Shanna and company to Hell. Maybe. This issue is good, though not great–Jones is playing within a self-imposed constrain; there’s only so many places he can go. And they’re in Hell, after all, it’s not like Anderson has a lot to draw besides scary residents. Except a couple amazing double page spreads […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 9 (December 1981)

Ka-Zar is nowhere near the level it was three issues ago, but Jones has definitely partially recovered. He gets away from the Atlantean technology and gives Ka-Zar and Shanna a real problem to deal with. Shanna loosed a giant griffin (inadvertently) and they need to deal with it before it kills all their flying friends […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 8 (November 1981)

Between Jones exploring the history of Atlantis themed entertainment and Anderson apparently deciding to be lazy, Ka-Zar doesn’t feel much like itself. The problem isn’t really Anderson, though his lack of detail is stunning. He takes the time on his panel composition, but the actual faces and figures are broad. The issue is almost entirely […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 7 (October 1981)

This issue isn’t a success, not entirely, but it’s not bad. It’s also why I love and defend Bruce Jones’s writing. I was almost going to say his honor. Anyway, the issue opens with Ka-Zar and Shanna bickering over Shanna getting busy with the Atlantean ghost last issue. It’s a fast, hilarious dialogue exchange in […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 6 (September 1981)

Jones and Ka-Zar have their first mediocre issue. Anderson is fine, opening the issue with this amazing panel of a snow covered jungle, but the story is lacking. The issue concentrates on Shanna this time and Jones hurries her through a life crisis. It turns out Ka-Zar‘s Atlantis isn’t really in Marvel Universe continuity (or, […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 5 (August 1981)

It’s a flashback issue, but only flashing back to right before the first issue of the series. Jones gives the reader an insight into what’s made Ka-Zar so thoughtful about his place in the world (other than being the protagonist in a thoughtful comic book). Jones gets away with a lot here because he realizes […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 4 (July 1981)

Lots more Robert E. Howard influence to detail again. This time it’s lost Atlantean machinery. Now, it works great as a plot detail–and as machinery, apparently Atlantean devices are easier to use than Apple ones–but it’s got me confused. Ka-Zar is in Marvel continuity, right? Their Antarctica is all funky with these lost lands. But […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 3 (June 1981)

So another similarity between Ka-Zar and Conan? Every woman Ka-Zar meets is beautiful… and of loose morale character. I wish the series were about Shanna, being some dedicated scientist who goes a little crazy with the jungle boy, but it’s all an act. Anyway, Jones’s back on track, even though the last issue was only […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 2 (May 1981)

I don’t love this issue of Ka-Zar as much as the first. Jones opens the comic with revelations from Shanna, but he’s iffy on showing her side of them. It’s actually a strange approach–he implies her perspective on them, with Anderson doing a great job complementing the implications, but it’s too little. Ka-Zar is from […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 1 (April 1981)

If the first issue is any indicator, Bruce Jones’s Ka-Zar is a mix of Conan, Tarzan and Woody Allen. This issue is Ka-Zar roaming around, acting like a petulant teenager (even though he’s apparently late twenties) and thinking about his crazy life. It’s a rough life too. He starts the issue bedding Shanna of the […]

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