The Cast: Badrock, Wolverine, Tyrax, Sauron, Ka-Zar, Zabu, Shaft, Knightsabre
The Catalyst: Tyrax and his fortress Arcadia have appeared in the Savage Land, the villain looking to begin his conquest of Earth not knowing that there are those who will stop him.
The Convergence: Wolverine is out and about getting some rest and relaxation by killing endangered dinosaurs when he is suddenly attacked by Sauron. Elsewhere, Badrock is concentrating on doing his homework by playing video games when he gets a vision of what is happening in the Savage Land. Heading there, he meets up with Wolverine and Zabu who are making their way to rescue Ka-Zar, find out what Sauron is up to and discover why this strange citadel now resides where it does. Together, they team up and route the bad guys and free the Savage Land even though Tyrax gets away in the end.
The Critique: Combining Marvel’s most popular character with that of Extreme Studios seems like a no-brainer in 1996 and as it turns out, worked quite well. Written by Jim Valentino with artwork from Chap Yaep, the two heroes would come together in a fun little adventure in a setting that would feature all sorts of team-ups over the years. There would be nothing overly original about it all, whether it be plot or story but it would make for some light entertainment that would perfectly while away the time with no impact on either of the character’s current titles. Valentino has a good grasp on the characters, each one sounding as they should and Yaep does a great job bringing it all to life with a little help from Jonathan Sibal, the two making it all very dynamic and eye-catching. The choice of villain was a strange one, Tyrax not particularly threatening and having Sauron in the book, while appropriate, was a bit tired after his ten-thousandth appearance in a Savage Land tale. Of course, Ka-Zar and Zabu needed to be in the book, just as much as Sauron did, but they are who one thinks of when they think of the Savage Land. There was a bit of a goof throughout the issue as Sauron’s real name – Karl Lykos, was spelt Lypos for much of it. It did not take anything away from the enjoyability of it all but was a gaff nonetheless. For the most part, the book was all action just as it should have been with only a minimal amount of room left for introductions and world-building and as it turned out, Valentino would balance it all masterfully making for maybe not the greatest crossover to ever see the light of day but one that anybody would be able to find a bit of pleasure in.
The Credits: Jim Valentino – Writer, Chap Yaep – Artist, Jonathan Sibal – Inker, Brian Haberlin and Extreme Colors – Colours, Steve Dutro – Letters
Companies Involved: Image Comics, Marvel Comics
Chronology: June 1996