- Y'know-- --it's okay to call for backup!
- -- Spider-Man
Appearing in "A Savage Land"
- Chtylok (First appearance)
- Stegron (Vincent Stegron)
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Fall People
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Mentioned)
- U.N. (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "A Savage Land"
Deep below the Earth, water from the surface begins to seep into ancient caverns and begins to thaw out something that has been frozen for millennia. Freed from its frozen tombs, this ancient monster awakens and begins digging its way to freedom.
At the offices of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson has just finished telling Peter Parker about his latest assignment: To go to the Savage Land to report on the effects of climate change in the region.[Continuity 1] He has chosen Peter to go as the photographer has been to the Savage Land in the past.[Continuity 2] Although Peter has his reservations, he is eventually talked into going by his wife, Mary Jane, as they could really use the money to pay for their schooling.[Continuity 3]
He soon finds himself on a transport to the South Pole along with a collection of other reporters and scientists. The entire expedition is overseen by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Chris Townsend under directions of the United Nations, who is there to makes sure that the reporters and scientists get in and out of the region safely. Although the reporters are allowed to roam freely, Townsend warns that the Savage Land is a dangerous place and they should always have a S.H.I.E.L.D. advisor with them at all times. As he begins briefing them on the environmental reports, which Peter has already read. He thinks grimly about how climate change has been causing the glaciers around the Savage Land to thaw, threatening massive floods that will wipe out all life in the region. It will be the largest ecological disaster in human history unless the United Nations and S.H.I.E.L.D. can do something to stop it. Soon, they arrive over the Savage Land, the sight of which still manages to take Peter's breath away. Once they land at a facility, Peter and the others are brought to a lab that is being run by the Roxxon corporation. Agent Townsend explains that Roxxon is working on building massive refrigeration units to keep the glaciers from melting further. They are then introduced to the head of the project, Doctor Gerald Roth, who thanks them all for coming and tells them that the road ahead will be a treacherous one.
Suspicious of what Roxxon is really up to, Peter Parker slips away from the group and changes into Spider-Man so he can look around unimpeded and get photos of the truth. Given his past experience in the Savage Land, the wall-crawler knows that there is only one person in all of the Savage Land who can give him the unfettered truth. At that moment, in the village of the Fall People, a triceratops is running wild. When a little girl ends up in the path of the rampaging dinosaur, Ka-Zar swoops in and rescues her from being trampled. After the dinosaur is restrained, Ka-Zar meets with Tongah, his ally to warn him that a nearby dam is about to burst.[Continuity 4] Once that happens, the entire village will be washed away and time is of the essence as the dam is scheduled to burst by nightfall. Sensing Spider-Man up in a nearby tree, Ka-Zar tells the wall-crawler he can come down. Spider-Man explains that he has heard about the problems they have been having in the Savage Land and has come to lend a hand.[Error 1]
In the caverns of Monster Island,[Error 2] the various monsters who live here are waiting patiently for the return of their absent master, the Mole Man.[Continuity 5] The creatures suddenly hear rumbling coming from one of the tunnels. When they see the creature that is coming their way, these monsters flee in abject terror.
Back in the Savage Land, Agent Townsend is informed that although the refrigeration units are operating at peak capacity but are still unable to abate the melting glaciers. As they discuss what to do next none are aware that within the melting glacier is the form of Stegron the Dinosaur Man.[Continuity 6] While back in the village of the Fall People, Spider-Man and Ka-Zar are working together to evacuate the villagers to higher ground. Ka-Zar explains that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not helping with the evacuation because the Fall People do not trust them. Making matters more difficult is the fact that the time table for evacuation continues to be pushed up. That's when Spider-Man's spider-sense begins going off followed by the arrival of two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The agents warn Ka-Zar that he has less than an hour to get his people to higher ground before the dam bursts. With this news, Spider-Man and Ka-Zar begin rushing the Fall People to safety. With the majority of the people brought to safety, Ka-Zar takes the wall-crawler back to the village for the last two people to be evacuated. In a tent, they find Shanna the She-Devil who is caring for a young girl who is sick with Malaria. Ka-Zar and his wife explain that the local shaman refuses to allow them to use modern medicine to cure the girl. Worse, at the advice of this same shaman, the other villagers have shunned the girl as an outcast to be left behind.
Suddenly, the dam bursts sending torrents of water heading toward the village. Spider-Man, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu scramble to get the girl to safety. After they have gotten to high ground, Spider-Man suggests that they call in some back-up to help with this situation. While at the S.H.I.E.L.D./Roxxon facility, Agent Townsend is kept up to date on the deterioration of the glaciers, Chris then determines that the Savage Land is a lost cause. However, once the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has left, Doctor Roth checks with his technicians who are actually accellerating the melting of the glaciers so that Roxxon can claim the Savage Land for themselves.
Back on Monster Island, the Mole Man's creatures flee the island for their lives. Shortly after their departure the creature known as Chtylok the Che-K'n Kau emerges from the underground caverns and begins making its way to the Savage Land.
- J. Jonah Jameson specifically cites the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. At the time this issue was published, this was a serious concern. Although ozone depletion is still a concern, the growing damage that was a major concern in 1997 is less so a concern now. A 2018 UN report has noted that the ozone layer is actually starting to heal and could return to pre-1980 levels (when the ozone crisis began) by 2060. As such, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Likewise should the use of the phrase "global warming" be considered a topical reference as the more accurate term of "climate change" has long since been adopted.
- Peter has been to the Savage Land on a few occasions at this point. His first visit occurred in Amazing Spider-Man #103–104. He subsequently visited the Savage Land in Marvel Fanfare #1–3.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- When last seen in Ka-Zar the Savage #5, Tongah had died. However, as explained in X-Men: Earth's Mutant Heroes #1, Tongah was one of the many Savage Land residents that were resurrected by the High Evolutionary in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12, explaining why he is alive here.
- At the time of this story, the Mole Man was incarcerated as seen in Heroes for Hire #1. He will return to his domain in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #1. These monsters are the same ones that were first seen in Fantastic Four #1, none of which have been identified by name.
- Stegron has been frozen in ice since Thunderstrike #20.
Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affects the chronology of the following characters:
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- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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