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Savage Avengers #27: Review

Dec 2021
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

Chapter 27: Into the past

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #27 Review by (December 18, 2021)
This ends the war against Kulan Gath that has snaked through this whole series.

You might think that Conan would just stay back in the Hyborian Age (but then this is almost certainly not the exact time he left in the Avengers: No Road Home series, and is probably before he was actually born) and he *does* promise to train the boy. However next issue (the last) the series will have a Coda, and the cover has Conan on a horse in New York.

Presumably the Kang from #25 recruited the other version of himself and the other heroes from before Gath killed most of them early in #24. Dr Strange must have been taken between when he got the dagger with Shuma-Gorath's blood near the end of #23 and was defeated at the beginning of #24, leading to Gath taking over the world. Presumably he didn't have chance to enact his SG plan then. And maybe most of the other chars came from that point too.

This ending is steeped in narrativium, utilising as it does Shuma-Gorath and his blood from previous issues and KG's past from #11.

But it suffers from problems typical of time-travel stories. The Gath who gets taken away by SG has already killed the heroes and destroyed the world in the future, so this shouldn't stop *that* from happening. Conan's action in the Hyborian past if successful would stop that future happening, but only by wiping this whole series out! And then there's the overall Marvel use of the branching timelines theory of alternate realities which means nothing *ever* actually gets un-done.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #27 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Kulan Gath with the added power stolen from Shuma-Gorath defeated nearly all the super-characters and ruled the world. Years in the future aged Conan The Barbarian teamed up with Kang The Conqueror. Conan fought a delaying battle with the sorcerer and was killed for his pains. But meanwhile Kang gathered an assemblage of heroes back in the present in the Savage Land including younger Conan and another Kang. Gath followed them there and survived all their attacks including being stabbed through the heart by Magik with a mystic-powered dagger provided by Dr Strange. Now he threatens to ascend to the next level of existence, destroying the Earth as he goes.

Of course he pauses to gloat. But then he coughs up blood and realises that the dagger wound isn't healing. Strange utters a reminder that their bargain is binding. KG doesn't know what he means, but DrS says he wasn't talking to *him* but his master Shuma-Gorath. Gath had sensed SG's blood on the blade but thought nothing of it. But Strange now reveals that he made a blood pact with the elder god (behind the scenes in #23). Together they will kill Kulan Gath and Shuma-Gorath will get his power back and promise to leave Earth's dimension alone from now on. The bloody dagger delivered KG's fate ...

... and now SG's tentacles erupt from his chest and mouth. The wizard casts a portal spell with 1 hand to try to escape. But Conan chops the hand off and stops him. Black Knight widens the chest wound with his Ebony Blade and Black Widow irritates it with her Widow's Sting. BK prepares a killing blow to the skull but Juggernaut stops him as Shuma-Gorath bursts free of the body. Conan thinks they should kill them both but Strange warns that interfering might help Gath win. KG is now trapped *within* SG. He calls out for help, promising to leave this dimension peacefully. DrS doesn't trust either of them to keep their word, but Gorath is bound by the blood pact and if he breaks it then he will face these assembled warriors. The demon laughs as he leaves this plane, promising KG a very long slow painful death as he is consumed.

Conan says this rates a feast and Dr Doom is the only 1 here who knows how to provide 1 so they retire to Doom's Latverian castle. Elektra (currently Daredevil), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) and Wolverine are those at the table I haven't mentioned yet. (The Kangs are reduced from 2 to 1.)

Doom and Kang conspire together to persuade Conan that they need a more absolute solution to the Kulan Gath problem because he has cheated death before, and also travelled in time. But Dr Strange has overheard them and guessed their plan. He sends his astral self to warn them that he won't allow them to kill Gath as a child. When they hear this most of the others round the table seem to feel the same way. But Conan says he'll do it and Kang whisks them both off through time.

As we learned in #11 the original Kulan Gath was a Hyborian Age sorcerer who sorely abused his young slave boy. But the boy killed him and took his name and his magic and grew up to be the villain of this series. Now Kang and Conan arrive just after the original KG has bought the boy at a Stygian market. And the 2 of them kill the old wizard with sword and big gun. Then Conan addresses the boy (as Kulan Gath which is surely wrong) and tells him that magic is evil and will corrupt him. But he gives the boy his sword and (the real) KG's purse of money. He promises to teach him how to survive, but also warns him that if he ever turns to wizardry he will kill him. The boy of course agrees.

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Java Tartaglia
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Penciler)
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)

(Cain Marko)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Illyana Rasputin)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Kulan Gath, Shuma-Gorath.

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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