Savage Land, Strange Heart (Part Two)
Written by Robert N. Skir & Marty Isenberg
Summary: Sauron uses his abilities to drain Storm’s excess power. Storm then destroys one of the Garokk monuments, inadvertently spreading his essence across the soil of the Savage Land. Garokk fuses with the planetary forces under a volcano and grows thousands of feet tall. Sauron responds by absorbing the same forces and growing as large as Garokk. Their fight ends in a large explosion; Garokk is once again trapped inside a monument, while Sauron reverts into Karl Lykos. The X-Men return home, with a better understanding of the burden Storm’s powers place upon her.
Continuity Notes: The High Evolutionary appears in a flashback story narrated by Garokk. Garokk explains that the High Evolutionary was threatened by his power and had him imprisoned years earlier.
Miscellaneous Note: Garokk quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias" when he emerges from the ground, adding more credence to my theory that comic fans absolutely cannot escape this poem.
"Actiiing!": All of Storm’s dialogue in this episode is insane, but my favorite horrific line-reading is “Rain! Lightning! Thunder! Your power is miiine!”
Review: The second chapter really does nothing to save this two-parter. The character hook for this story is merely “it sure is hard being Storm,” but at no point in the story does she feel particularly sympathetic. There is a root of a good idea in there, hinted at in the first chapter when Rogue encourages Storm to let loose and later realizes how horrifying that would be, but the execution just falls apart. The other hook for this story is seeing the X-Men team with Sauron, and while those scenes do alleviate some of the boredom, Sauron isn’t interesting enough to play a Magneto role. And that ending that has Garokk and Sauron both growing several stories high after squatting over a volcano…I’ve always hated it. It looks absolutely ridiculous, and it’s a poor use of both characters. I can appreciate that the producers were inspired by the Garokk/Zaladane/Sauron/Savage Land story from the Claremont and Byrne days, but that makes these episodes even more frustrating. There really is solid material to be adapted here, but instead we got this mess.
Credit to http://marvel.toonzone.net/
xmen/ for the screencaps.