“The heart of animals is the foundation of their life, the sovereign of everything within them, the sun of their microcosm” - William Harvey De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis (1682) dedication to King Charles.
Montana, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan peers across some bush and sees a grizzly bear heading towards a camping ground. He hoped at least the bear would be quiet with his foraging so as not to wake the nearby campers, but the bear is a noisy eater. ‘Dad! There’s some animal rummaging around in the garbage!’ a young man calls out as he gets out of his tent to investigate, but in the dark of the night, he can’t see properly and assumes the animal to be a raccoon. ‘For pity’s sake, Harry, it’s only garbage. It’s not like we need it’ the young man’s mother points out as she and Harry exit their tent. ‘You want it tracking around in here, Selma? Dennis, shoo it away’ Harry tells his son. Harry moves forward, ‘Gowan! Get outta here -’ Dennis calls out, but the grizzly stands up, and Dennis looks scared: ‘Cripes! Dad! It’s a grizzly!’ he exclaims.
Selma stands with a young woman, and tells Dennis to get away from it. ‘Uh…uh…okay, Yogi. Just…just take what you want’ Dennis calls out, while Harry goes to his car and reaches for his gun. He tells his son for get out of the way and give him a clear shot, when suddenly, ‘That, buddy, is exactly what you don’t need’ Wolverine announces as he slices his way through a tree. Who- who?’ someone calls out, while Wolverine introduces himself and tells the campers that the bear is just as spooked by them as they are by him. He adds that if they just kept to themselves, then it’s likely the bear would have gone on his way.
Wolverine tells the campers that if he let them take a shot at the grizzly, then, given the grizzly weighs about half a ton and moves at speeds of over thirty miles per hour, the little gun would probably have just angered him. ‘The only thing more dangerous than angering a grizzly…is getting me annoyed!’ Wolverine warns the campers, when suddenly, the bear vanishes. ‘What the blazes!?’ Wolverine cries. One of the campers asks whether the bear has gone, to which Wolverine replies ‘Oh, he’s more than gone. He’s vanished into thin air’. Wolverine frowns and decides that this means his little expedition to Montana wasn’t a washout after all, as the reports he has been hearing are true - something is causing animals to just disappear.
Meanwhile, Namor the Sub-Mariner dives up out of the Mediterranean sea. ‘FAWH! Humans would consider the notion of bathing in sewage to be utterly revolting. How nauseatingly ironic, then, that they think nothing of inflicting such a fate on the creatures of the sea…by befouling the waters of the Earth’ the Prince of Atlantis remarks. He adds that the true irony is that the humans don’t understand the simple truth - that they think they endanger the Earth, but they do not, as it may take centuries for the planet to recover from this abuse, but it will recover. However, with their disregard for the environment, humankind will have wiped themselves out long before that happens. ‘The planet will survive…but humanity will not’ Namor states.
Namor sees a family of monk seals swimming nearby, and realizes that they look somewhat sickened by the odious waters. Namor recalls that the ancient Greeks held that monk seals were protected by Poseidon, and decides that that being the case, he can do no less. ‘Follow me, my friends. I know of cleaner waters to lead you to, where you can…eh?’ Namor calls out, surprised when he turns back to the seals to discover that they have vanished. ‘By Neptune’s trident!’ he gasps.
In Africa, Ka-Zar and Shanna are sitting on the veranda of a large house. Shanna is reading a book, and Ka-Zar is having a drink, while wearing only a pair of briefs. Suddenly, there is a loud BLAM and they leap to their feet. ‘Did you hear that?’ Shanna asks. ‘Gunshots!’ Ka-Zar exclaims. Shanna agrees, and points out that this is far off the interstate, so they don’t get many cars backfiring here. Rushing out into the savannah, Ka-Zar tells Shanna that it is not something to be joking over, and Shanna replies that she isn’t joking, that she is running. And need I point out…I’m running faster than you’ she adds. They soon reach a clearing, where two poachers are aiming their rifles at a rhinoceros. ‘Man, I’ve seen blind men who can shoot better than you. One side and let me show you how it’s done’ one of the poachers tells his companion. But, before he can shoot, Ka-Zar and Shanna both lunge at them, knocking their weapons out of their hands.
‘You’re the one who’s done, my friend. You should have stuck to poaching eggs!’ Ka-Zar tells them, while Shanna points out that rhinos are protected by the law, and that they are the law’s long arm. Ka-Zar moves towards the rhino and tells it to head back to its momma. ‘And take that highly valued horn with you’ he adds, when suddenly, the rhino vanishes. ‘Did I just see what I thought I didn’t see?’ Shanna asks. ‘You mean a rhino that wasn’t when it when it was a moment ago?’ Ka-Zar asks. Shanna declares that there is something happening here, and Ka-Zar adds that whatever it is isn’t clear. He asks Shanna if she still talks occasionally with Dr Coral Mollison, that friend of hers in the organization that monitors illegal wildlife trade, and suggests that now might be a good time to ring her up.
Inside a communications room, Wolverine examines some monitors and decides that this is no big trick for the tracking hardware that his teammates, the X-Men, have at their disposal, before he discovers something on one of the screens. ‘I knew that any sort of ray capable of zapping a full-grown grizzly out from under my nose would have to leave a radiation trace. And there it is’ Wolverine tells himself, before deciding to track it back to its origin.
Undersea, some fish, a turtle, a dolphin and an eel appear before Namor, who commands the to take him to the place where their fellow sea creatures have been transported, if they know of it.
Shanna sits at a video-monitor, while Ka-Zar and his prehistoric tiger, Zabu, stand nearby. Dr Coral Mollison is on-screen and tells Shanna that it is weird she called her, since she was going to consult with her on this. Coral reveals that they had a report from a low-flying plane cruising over an uncharted Pacific Island, north of New Guinea and south of the Caroline Islands. She adds that the pilot said it was the most bizarre thing he had ever seen - several endangered species, that normally exist in wildly different environments all on the one island.
Soon, a high-tech boat has pulled up at the edge of a lagoon, nestled in the uncharted island in the Pacific. Examining her surroundings, Shanna decides that Coral was certainly on target, and adds that she always is. ‘This place is right up our alley’ Ka-Zar tells his partner. Shanna agrees, and remarks that it is like an annex of the Savage Land. A pink bird flies down in front of Shanna, who tells Ka-Zar that she forgets the birds name, but would swear that it was reported extinct. ‘Hold it. There’s something in the brush…’ Ka-Zar calls out, when suddenly, Wolverine emerges from the shrubs. ‘Can’t pull anything over on you, huh, Ka-Zar?’ Wolverine remarks. ‘Pleasure as always, Shanna’ he adds.
Shanna tells Wolverine to keep his distance, and Ka-Zar warns him to prove that he has nothing to do with the endangered animal gulag. ‘You can’t be serious’ Wolverine replies. ‘What I can’t be is someone who takes anything for granted…least of all your presence here’ Ka-Zar declares. Suddenly, ‘So, my finny subjects were not in error after all!’ the Sub-Mariner exclaims as he leaps from the water. ‘Oh joy. The only guy I know who wears less than you’ Wolverine mutters to Ka-Zar, who asks if that is supposed to be funny. Striding onto the island, the Sub-Mariner announces that this is a coincidence he cannot ignore: ‘Three humans renowned for their hunting prowess…on an island that would serve as a true challenge for those who would hunt the last of a species’ he declares.
‘You know something, Namor? You’re the second guy in as many minutes to insult me…when all I’m trying to do is help. I think you got too much water on the brain’ Wolverine replies. ‘You will not take that insulting tone with me’ Namor warns Wolverine, who asks him if he would like to add injury to the insult. ‘Get over here, you fin-headed Fred Astaire’ Wolverine calls out, lashing out with his claws, but the Sub-Mariner dodges the attack. Wolverine warns him that he could have filleted him just then if he had wanted. ‘Doesn’t the fact that I didn’t tell you something’ Wolverine asks. ‘It tells me that you’re insufferably overconfident!’ the Sub-Mariner retorts.
As small animals start to gather near Shanna and Ka-Zar, the jungle warrior declares that this is ridiculous, and pointless. ‘Obligatory’ Shanna adds. ‘Yes! Exactly right!’ Ka-Zar agrees. Wolverine rolls to safety just as the Sub-Mariner brings a powerful fist down, smashing it into a rock instead of the X-Man. ‘This idiocy has to stop before someone gets -’ Shanna calls out, but before she can say “hurt”, some small stones fly up from where the Sub-Mariner slammed his fist, and one of them strikes Shanna in the head. Ka-Zar calls out to his lover, and rushes over, pulling the Sub-Mariner away from Wolverine, he shouts ‘Enough!’. As Zabu lunges against Wolverine, the Sub-Mariner looks at Ka-Zar who is pulling him back and asks ‘You dare stay the fist of the Avenging Son? Are you mad?’, to which Ka-Zar replies that he is beyond mad - he is incensed. ‘We should be working together, and instead -’ Ka-Zar begins as a platypus rushes past them.
A voice interrupts Ka-Zar, as a white-haired man calls out ‘Instead you are behaving exactly as people have always behaved…obsessed with their own petty squabbles and limited outlooks! How utterly, pathetically predictable!’ the man, dressed in a blue pants and a purple shirt, with a purple cloak declares. ‘Who are you?’ Namor enquires, though the stranger says the same thing, and tells them that even their questions are predictable. ‘Hopefully, my answers will be less so’ he remarks, while Ka-Zar is holding Shanna, who is rubbing her head. ‘Bring your woman, Blond Hair. Aside from a likely headache, she appears uninjured’ the mysterious man tells Ka-Zar.
‘I do not appreciate your imperious manner’ the Sub-Mariner tells the man as he, Wolverine, Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu all follow him. ‘Why? Too similar to your own?’ the man asks he leads them through the jungle. ‘That’s a big touché there, Namor’ Wolverine remarks. All four suddenly look shocked, as they approach a high-tech facility in the middle of the jungle. The man explains that it is time home, and reveals that the name of this island is Castillo. ‘I hope you like it, although ultimately it makes no difference if you do or not’ he adds. Animals walk around the outside of the strange building, and as they enter, the man explains that he has left his true name back with the rest of humankind, and tells them that they can call him the Conservator.
Animals are in various tanks, cages and domes, as the Conservator states that for too long he bore silent witness as mankind destroyed its environment and its neighbors in nature. ‘Laws were either too little, too late or ignored entirely’ he points out, stating that he decided to use his resources to create a place where he is a law unto himself. The Conservator remarks that this “New Eden” that he has constructed gives safe haven to those species on the verge of extinction - thanks to humanity hunting them down, or obliterating their former natural environments. The heroes all look concerned, while the Conservator boasts that the madness stops at the shores of Castillo.
‘Unfortunately…you must stop here as well’ the Conservator announces as he presses a button, and beams of energy trap the heroes. Wolverine, the Sub-Mariner and Zabu are all held individually, while Ka-Zar and Shanna are behind the same set of energy beams. ’What’re you, crazy?’ Ka-Zar asks, while Shanna declares that this is an outrage. ’Never ask the villains if they’re crazy, dear. It just irritates them’ Shanna mutters, while the Sub-Mariner tells the Conservator that he cannot think to simply keep them here forever. ‘Forever? Of course not. Eventually, you’ll die’ the Conservator points out. Wolverine tells the Conservator that whatever his intentions, he is going about this all wrong.
Suddenly, a large red beast can be seen through a small window - or, at least part of its red face and eye can be - as the Conservator replies ‘So you claim’ and points out that he hears no complaints from the animals. Suddenly, the large red creature bursts through the side of the building and roars - it is a red tyrannosaurs rex - Devil Dinosaur. ‘What the devil?’ Conservator gasps as he leaps for safety, before Devil Dinosaur starts kicking his legs against the equipment in the room and thrashing his tail about. ‘Stop it! You’re destroying everything!’ the Conservator exclaims. The destruction causes the energy beams to vanish, and the heroes are freed. Wolverine watches as Devil Dinosaur stomps out of the room, and Ka-Zar explains that Devil Dinosaur came here in response to Zabu’s summons. ‘Thank heavens Zabu is multi-lingual’ Shanna remarks.
Ka-Zar asks the Conservator if he is okay, to which the old man, fallen to the ground, asks ‘What do you care of it?’, to which Ka-Zar tells him that they are more than he does - about people - and about animals. ‘Impossible’ the Conservator declares. ‘Possible. And true’ Shanna tells him, explaining that while he is being a control freak and spiriting animals away, they are there fighting not only for the animals’ right to live, but to live in a world that welcomes them instead of hides them. Shanna tells the Conservator that hiding and running solves nothing, and that if he really cared about animals, he would be out there educating people. He would be fighting for the glory and health of the bio-sphere instead of creating an insular monument to his own ego. ‘If you really cared…that’s what you’d be doing…don’t you agree?’ Shanna asks.
Later, Ka-Zar and Shanna are dressed formally and stand behind the Conservator, now wearing a suit, as he signs a document, and states that he is signing over his island, Castillo, to the authorities as a wildlife resort. Speaking at a World Wildlife Fund conference, and explains that he hopes to create a living, public memorial of what this world had once been - a blend of animal two-and-four-legged co-existing with nature instead of savaging it. ‘Let all who visit Castillo take with them a reminder of things past…and a warning of what they must be again, if we hope to survive to the 21st Century and beyond’.
Sometime later, back in Africa, Wolverine, Namor, Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu walk alongside each other, and Namor tells Ka-Zar that he has a truly impressive estate, and that he may take pride in it. ‘May I? You’re too kind, Namor’ Ka-Zar replies, while Shanna remarks that in addition to being proud, they also have to constantly be watching out for - ‘Safaris?’ Wolverine asks. ‘Like the one I hear a half mile east?’ he adds. ‘Ohhh, here we go again! Come on!’ someone remarks. The heroes rush off , and as they get closer, they hear someone shout ‘I got ‘em right in my sights!’ as someone else exclaims ‘Hurry! Shoot! Shoot!’ But, as they approach a clearing, where a river flows, they find a lioness and her three cubs lapping water out of the river, and two photographers filming them. ‘Ahem…false alarm, guys’ Ka-Zar smiles. Shanna points out that technically they are trespassing, but tells her male companions that they shouldn’t interrupt them just yet, as she wouldn’t want to spoil their photo opportunity. Wolverine and the Sub-Mariner smile, as Wolverine asks ‘Get the picture?’