Strangers in a Savage Land
Sauron might not have been from the Savage Land, but his origin is still forever tied to it. As the X-Men search for his body, they discover a passage into this legendary realm, a primitive jungle world hidden beneath Earth’s southern pole. They have an adventure with Ka-Zar and Zabu! The X-Men find themselves knocked down a few pegs on the food chain, faced with dinosaurs, monsters, and a classic villain. Issues 62 and 63 are full of surprises and danger.
As the other X-Men were chasing Lykos off a cliff, Angel was still tied up on the couch of a New York apartment. Havok and Polaris wake him from a terrible nightmare, where he is being attacked by flying dinosaurs, presumably the same kind that attacked Lykos long ago. When he realizes where he is, he flies off to save his friends. Warren tracks Lykos to Tanya’s father’s house, and then the mountain cabin where he died. We find out that it’s at Tierra del Fuego, which is on the southern tip of South America. When he finds out that Lykos jumped to his death, he goes after the body, stumbling into a passage to the Savage land. After a long fall, Angel is broken and unconscious. He is discovered by a strange old man with some sort of bionic gauntlets and jetpack. He has some frog man with him. The man is known as The Creator, and he commands a small army of Savage Land mutants. Warren has but a spark of life, and they carry him away to their hideout.
The rest of the X-Men have gone looking for Lykos as well, and are met with ferocious dinosaurs. It isn’t long before they run into Ka-Zar, the Tarzan of the Marvel Universe. They all start fighting and Ka-Zar has little trouble taking down Bobby and Hank before running off. Ka-Zar isn’t actually interested in the X-Men. He is tracking a group of mutants, goons working for The Creator.
Ka-Zar attacks them but is defeated by a mutant named Equilibrius. As tough as Ka-Zar is, he is no match for the dizzying power of vertigo. The X-Men, however, have his back, running into battle.
Meanwhile, Angel has a new costume. Awesome! It looks terrific, miles above that stupid suspender crap he was wearing before. This was long overdue. Now it’s a simple blue and white with a halo emblem on his chest. He has awoken in the hidden lair of the Creator, and is invited into their faction.
The Creator’s best men are a group of mutant outcasts, sort of a prehistoric X-Men. There members are represented here, with the exceptions of Equilibrium and The Piper. Equilibrium comes rushing in to inform the Creator of his defeat at the hands of Ka-Zar and the X-Men. When Angel realizes that the Creator is an enemy of the X-Men, he says that he would help the Creator fight them. After all, he saved Angel’s life. Dumb. Really dumb.
The Piper is already causing trouble for the X-Men. He’s a scrawny guy with a pan flute, and he can control beasts with his music. A giant swamp monster is sent to stop the X-Men, and Ka-Zar runs off like a bitch. At least that’s what they all think, until Ka-Zar takes out the Piper and saves everyone’s life. Oops. The X-Men can be dicks.
The Creator is ready to send out the rest of his troops, but Angel demands a chance to talk some sense into the X-Men. After all, the Creator is a really swell guy. Right? I’m sure he is. He saved Angel’s life and gave him that nice outfit. What are the chances that this guy has some hidden agenda?
This guy’s got a hidden agenda. In fact, he has a hidden persona. In the Savage Land he is known as the Creator, but on the surface world he was known as… Magneto! It’s their mortal enemy, who Warren has so easily trusted. The Angel foolishly flew off to perform his bidding, as this is all part of some elaborate plan Magneto has devised. I love the reveal of the helmet. Also, this explains why the Sentinels never found him. He was hiding out in the Savage Land.
Angel reaches Ka-Zar first, and the two start throwing punches. Before the X-Men can set everyone straight, the Creator sends in his troops. There’s an excellent fight where each of the Creator’s mutants has a chance to display their abilities.
Meanwhile, Angel returns to the Creator’s compound to discover the truth. Not only is he really Magneto, but these aren’t mutants from the Savage Land. These were people, outcasts who were different but not mutated. Magneto experimented on them, created mutants out of them. Warren confronts this monster, and he explains how he is still alive. When he fell into the ocean at the end of issue 53, he sunk to the bottom of the ocean. There he found a complex structure of underwater caves, which lead into the Savage Land. He’s been living here ever since. His latest scheme is to first take over the Savage Land, and then build an army to take over the surface world. Magneto never gives up with this shit.
By this point the X-Men have decimated Magneto’s mutant forces, and storm the compound looking for The Creator. They are stunned to find Magneto instead.
He, on the other hand, has prepared for this and has a secret weapon ready and waiting. It is another mutant, a woman named Lorelei. Her soothing voice puts men into a trance, and the X-Men are stopped dead in their tracks. However, there is also an X-Woman, and Jean Grey is unaffected. Magneto counted on this, but he underestimated her ingenuity. Magneto reveals a giant machine that is going to turn countless people within a certain radius into mutants. Unable to destroy Magneto or his machine directly, Jean manipulates Scott’s visor. An optic beam cuts right into the machine, causing destruction and chaos.
There’s that crazy face!
Magneto is seemingly destroyed in the explosions, his legacy and hard work all in ruins. All of the mutants that he created are turned back into who they were before Magneto manipulated them. The X-Men leave on a sad note, reminded of how much they would love to lose their own mutants powers. All the excitement of the X-Men can’t replace a peaceful, normal life.
It was really great to see Magneto again, and I guess Ka-Zar is entertaining enough. It was nice to visit the Savage Land. More so, it was nice to see the X-Men fight a group of actual mutants again, not robots or people with gadgets. It felt like a prehistoric Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Nothing terribly important happens in this issue, but it was a fun read.