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Savage Avengers #5: Review

Sep 2019
Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

Chapter 5: The triumph of Kulan Gath

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #5 Review by (September 14, 2019)
I was wrong last issue about the city the fight is happening in. I assumed it was Marvel's default option New York, but it's Shanghai this time.

The many deaths of Kulan Gath:-
KG 1st appeared in Conan The Barbarian #14-15 featuring Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, where he was killed by Terhali the undead Green Empress of Melniboné.
In Savage Sword Of Conan #260 he was killed by Shuma-Gorath, who in modern times has been a foe of Dr Strange.
In Conan: The Flame And The Fiend #3 he was killed by Conan himself.
All of which makes you wonder why Conan is surprised to see him alive yet again.
A flashback in Marvel Team-Up #79 says Kulan Gath was also killed by Red Sonja once. This leads to various adventures in modern times. He frequently gets killed here too, but Conan knows nothing of this.

Next issue it seems we'll follow Conan and Punisher's adventures.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Kulan Gath succeeded in summoning Jhoatun Lau, the Marrow God, but it turned out that he *expects* Earth's defenders to defeat the being. It's a test to gauge the planet's defences. Now back in the City Of Sickles in the Savage Land he thanks his minions the Sickle Priest, 1 of the Hand and a representative of the Egyptian cult and bids them return home.

In Shanghai the warriors are taking the fight to the 'God'. He has Conan and Venom in each hand but the pair are hacking at him. Doctor Voodoo has anchored a rope line to a fire hydrant and now Elektra fires an arrow attached to the line across the path of Jhoatun Lau, tripping him up. Voodoo magically holds JL's head to the ground while Wolverine tries to cut off his neck. But it keeps healing up.

Logan changes tack and tries to push his adamantium claws into the Marrow God's skull. That also proves tough so he calls for help. Conan's black sword is formed by the Klyntar symbiote keeping him alive. It transforms into a large mallet and Conan starts hammering 1 of Wolvie's elbows to force 1 set of claws further in. The currently-independent Klyntar Venom duplicates the action on the other elbow. When his claws are fully sheathed in the skull it explodes.

Jericho Drumm prepares a spell to take them back to the Savage Land to deal with Gath next. Conan is still totally opposed to being aided by a wizard. Punisher makes *his* contribution by tossing a parting hand-grenade to blow up the body.

When they get back to the City Of Sickles Conan collapses. Venom reminds them that his fellow symbiote is dying, and the fatally-wounded Conan with him. DrV asks Logan to bring 1 of the Hand back alive so he can use him to save the Barbarian. Luckily there are lots of Hand ninjas, as well as Egyptian cultists and Sickle warriors, for Wolverine, Elektra, Punisher and Venom to play with. They take them out ...

... and Logan returns with a ninja missing a hand. He explains that the hand was attached to the blade stuck in his back, which he now removes. Jericho uses black magic (and accepts the consequences) to transfer the ninja's life-force into Conan. The hole in his chest is healed. But when the Cimmerian awakes he immediately tries to strangle the 'interfering' sorcerer. Then Conan realises his black sword has gone (and Venom says the symbiote is dead), but he spies the 3rd Eye Of Agomotto amulet that he originally came for and pockets it.

The 'team' prepare to enter the doorway they last saw Kulan Gath exit through but they are faced with a large Egyptian guard with an equally-large double-headed axe. Until Conan, Elektra, Venom and Wolverine quadruple-team him. The door is locked so Punisher blows it open with explosives.

The wizard foe sends his 3 lieutenants through a magic portal to prepare the next stage in his plan. He turns to face an attack by Conan, who also at last gets round to asking how come Gath is alive and here in the future (after being killed (several times) in the Hyborian Age). KG just responds by binding the Cimmerian in an energy web, and then freezes his other opponents with another spell. He tells them that the Marrow God has infected them all, and eventually they will all serve Gath.

Kulan escapes through his portal. Dr Voodoo confirms what he said. Jericho creates them a portal of his own to New York. He asks Elektra to warn Dr Strange what's going on, and then he follows Gath through *his* portal. And then the remaining 5 find themselves out in the snow as the City Of Sickles vanishes away. Punisher is left with the 3 coffins of his family.

Elektra, Venom and Wolverine intend to use Voodoo's portal to get home. Conan refuses to use magic again. Punisher elects to *drag* the coffins home, and see whether Conan's god Crom will give him the strength to succeed. The Barbarian elects to help him. Elektra gives Conan a 'token of her affection' which is actually a tracker, and reveals she'd slipped 1 in Jericho's pocket before *he* left. And they all leave in their own ways.

Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Frank Martin
David Finch (Cover Penciler)
David Finch (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

(Frank Castle)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Hand (The Hand), Kulan Gath, Marrow God (Jhoatun), Venom (Symbiote).

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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