Hey everybody, welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! Today’s subject will be that Tarzan wannabe, Ka-Zar! Yeah, I know he’s a ripoff of the jungle lord, but he’s been around long enough to have made his own mark in the comic book world, and he truly stands alone as his own man! A creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (X-Men #10) in 1965, he was actually a pulp character that was repackaged for the Silver Age. Alright, let’s get down to business!
Ka-Zar is actually not a native of the Savage Land as most believe, but was born in England, to a nobleman. His father had taken his son on a trip to the Antarctic, and discovered the Savage Land. Here, his father was murdered by the Man-Ape natives that are indigenous to the area . Ka-Zar was then raised by Zabu, the sabre-toothed tiger. Ka-Zar became an expert hunter and gatherer.
Next, Ka-Zar met the X-Men, as they both battled a villain named Maa-Gor. He soon encountered Daredevil, and then his evil brother, the Plunderer! The appearances of other heroes flowed in, as he then met the Hulk, Spider-Man, and even Doctor Octopus and Kraven the Hunter. Some of these adventures were outside of the Savage Land, as Ka-Zar, for one reason or another, left his new home, and sought out adventure. In the series Astonishing Tales he even fought against the benevolent Man-Thing.
Ka-Zar eventually received his own series (1974), and it showed his triumphant return to the Savage Land. After visiting “civilized” man’s world, Ka-Zar returned, but brought a friend with him. Bobbi Morse, not yet Avenger, but Agent of SHIELD! Most of those adventures revolved around Ka-Zar fighting dinosaurs and evil inhabitants of the Savage Land alongside Bobbi.
In his 1981 series, Ka-Zar is given a wife, Shanna the She-Devil, and once again (eventually) leaves his surroundings for adventure elsewhere in the world. More Kraven the Hunter, and Spider-Man craziness, an adventure featuring the devilish Belasco, Klaw, and of course his long time nemesis, Sauron! Most of his best stories (written and drawn) feature Ka-Zar in his beloved Savage Land. Let’s face it, a guy swinging around New York City in a loin cloth seems quite odd.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list, along with some of Ka-Zar’s best cover shots from years past! See you next time!
X-Men #10, 62, 63, 115, 116, 138, 250, 274, 275 (vol. 1, 1963)
Ka-Zar #1-20 (vol. 1, 1974)
Astonishing Tales #1-20 (1970)
Ka-Zar the Savage #1-34 (vol. 2, 1981)
Marvel Fanfare #2-4 (1982)