Dinosaurs and wolves and Ka-Zar’s abs, oh my! It’s Lockjaw and D-Man in The Savage Land!
Lockjaw #2 pairs Lockjaw and Dennis “D-Man” Dunphy up with Ka-Zar and his sabretooth Zabu as they try to survive a trip to The Savage Land! There they face dinosaurs, wolves, and something even more threatening with an insatiable hunger. Does the issue keep up the strong momentum set by the excellent series debut?
Overall, yes! Seeing characters like D-Man and Lockjaw paired up with Ka-Zar and Zabu feels completely nonsensical and it continues the trend of absurdity set by the first issue. The issue even introduces another ridiculous character coming up that I won’t spoil here, but I love that writer Daniel Kibblesmith is grabbing the silliest toys in Marvel’s toybox and bashing them around for giggles. Though there are plenty of laughs in this issue, Kibblesmith writes Ka-Zar with a gravitas that suits the character well while also adding to the comedy of his being paired up with a doofus like Dennis. Doofus though he may act, Dennis still has a heart and the narration he gives works to establish his emotional core while delivering dry, sarcastic jokes as he stumbles about The Savage Lands. It felt like Lockjaw took a bit more of a backseat to the action in this issue till the end, but seeing him tussle with wolves led to some great faces as the beasts clashed.
These comedy of these faces is thanks to the art team’s excellent job of maintaining the cartoon feel set by the first issue. Penciler Carlos Villa keeps the tone light and funny even when drawing ferocious dinosaurs and wolves. Lockjaw looks as goofy and adorable as ever and he consistently gives Ka-Zar great muscles for D-Man to ogle. At least as important as Ka-Zar looking like a snack is that because he wears so little clothing, his muscles are constantly on display and Villa makes sure they move and stretch accurately as he leaps around in battle. Chris O’Halloran keeps the color palette bright throughout and though the colors appear somewhat flat at a glance, a closer inspection shows the tiny gradients he uses to detail things like the light hitting Lockjaw’s brow or the slowly shifting orange of the sky at twilight.
Because the comic is kept so bright, there isn’t a ton of ink on the page, but Roberto Poggi does a great job of filling in tiny details like leaves on the prehistoric foliage or the little wrinkles of Lockjaw’s skin. Clayton Cowles’s lettering is also used sparingly, but well, like adding action effects to Lockjaw’s sniffing whose shade of blue matches the color of his teleportation aura. During a fight scene, Cowles adds in some electric action effects that always have a thought-out texture or font that match the scene perfectly, making his lettering feel significant, but not overwhelming.
Overall, this issue consistently delivers all the charm and heart of the premiere, so if you loved the first issue you won’t be disappointed picking this one up! Lockjaw #2 provides another silly episode in the lives of D-Man and Lockjaw and I’m excited to see what high jinks they get into in the next issue!