Review by Frank Plowright
In the Marvel universe the Savage Land is a vast area beneath Antarctica with its own ecosystem populated by dinosaurs and plenty of unmapped areas offering opportunities for new writers. Cue Frank Cho and Wolverine: Savage Land. At Marvel at least, Cho’s best known for his meticulous art on the stories of others, but for years beforehand he both wrote and drew daily gag strip Liberty Meadows, so he’s no novice writer.
A feature of Liberty Meadows was attractively drawn women, covered in Savage Land by local resident Shanna O’Hara, or the She-Devil as she’s known in the area. She was aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. craft that crash-landed after entering a power-dampening field, is now the only survivor and is beginning to believe the legends about the island being cursed. Wolverine’s presence is a little more mysterious, but if he and Shanna can disable the power dampening field they can leave the island.
No two ways about it, Savage Land is lush to look at. Depending on where you draw the line yourself, Cho stops short of completely objectifying the near-naked women and is just artistically revelling in the beauty of the human form, or he’s transgressing. It’s noticeable Wolverine and later guest star Amadeus Cho aren’t seen nearly naked, while Wolverine’s costume also seems to have a healing factor.
For Wolverine at least it’s a frustrating two steps forward, one step back process in reaching the power dampening area, punctuated by beautifully drawn surprise attacks from dinosaurs and giant gorillas. It’s an enjoyable ride if you’re willing to accept the logic of appearances without explanation, and an ending that’s a beginning.