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Ka-Zar is the name of two jungle-dwelling comics fictional characters published in the United Statesmarker. The first appeared in pulp magazines of the 1930s, and was adapted for his second iteration, as a comic book character for Timely Comics, the 1930s and 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. The third and most prominent is a heroic character in the modern Marvel Comics universe. Ka-Zar was one of the three Marvel titles in the early 1980s to be available only via subscription or from a direct distribution comics specialty store (the other two were Moon Knight and The Micronauts).

David Rand

The first Ka-Zar, David Rand, was a typical "jungle lord" in the Tarzan vein, also known as Ka-Zar the Great, who first appeared in the pulp magazine Ka-Zar #1 (Oct. 1936) from Manvis Publishing, one of many magazine companies owned by Martin Goodman. Writer-artist Ben Thompson adapted the pulp story "King of Fang and Claw" by Bob Byrd for Goodman's first comic book, Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939). In the 2000s, the David Rand Ka-Zar was integrated into mainstream Marvel continuity, in the All New Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe.

Kevin Plunder

Publication history

The second Ka-Zar started as a similar character, but reminiscent of both Tarzan and of writer-artist Joe Kubert's 1950s caveman character, Tor. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in The X-Men #10 (March 1965), he lives in the dinosaur-populated Savage Land, which was hidden beneath Antarcticamarker by extraterrestrials.

Originally written as a primitive and belligerent savage who spoke in broken English, Ka-Zar later became more articulate and civilized, although he retained a certain degree of distrust toward civilization and was generally wary of outside visitors to the Savage Land. Kevin Plunder refers to himself as the "Lord of the Savage Land", a phrase others have adopted, but this is not a formal title.

He has had four self-titled series (1970-1971; three issues, mostly reprints), 1974-1977 (20 issues) by Mike Friedrich, 1981-1984 (Ka-Zar the Savage, 34 issues) by Bruce Jones and Mike Carlin, and 1997-1998 (20 issues) written by Mark Waid.

The Jungle Lord in Warren Ellis' Planetary, was inspired largely by Tarzan, but was named Kevin Sack in a homage to Ka-Zar.

Fictional character biography

Ka-Zar is Lord Kevin Reginald Plunder, born in Castle Plunder, Kentish Townmarker, Londonmarker, Englandmarker. He is the eldest son of Lord Robert Plunder, the Englishmarker nobleman who discovered the Savage Land. After his mother had died and his father was killed by the barbaric Man-Ape natives of the Savage Land, Plunder was found and raised by the sabertooth tiger Zabu, who possesses near-human intelligence thanks to a mutation caused by radioactive mists. "Ka-Zar" means "Son of the Tiger" in the language of the Man-Apes. Ka-Zar and Zabu are constant partners. Ka-Zar became an expert hunter, trapper, and fisherman, living off the wild land.

In the Savage Land, some territories are populated by several human or humanoid tribes, and while most of them are on friendly terms with Ka-Zar, some of them consider him an outlander and an enemy. He acts more like an unofficial general protector, preventing outside commercial exploitation, such as poaching and mining, as well as enforcing peace between tribes and serving as goodwill ambassador to friendly visitors.

The original X-Men discovered the Savage Land, and Ka-Zar encountered them, battling Maa-Gor for the first time. He then encountered Daredevil for the first time, and battled his brother Parnival, who had become the supervillain called the Plunderer. He then encountered the Hulk for the first time, and battled Umbu the Unliving. He was once 'tricked' into confronting Spider-Man after J. Jonah Jameson convinced him that Spider-Man was a menace when the wall-crawler's memory was erased and he was tricked into working with Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man's memory was restored during the fight, with Ka-Zar subsequently apologizing for the mistake and proclaiming Spider-Man as the most valiant opponent he had ever fought. Ka-Zar then battled Kraven the Hunter for the first time.

After the Savage Land became known to outsiders after the visit by the X-Men, many people began traveling to the territory. Ka-Zar has also become romantically involved with female visitors, the first being S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Barbara Morse (who later became the Avenger named Mockingbird). He first battled AIM, and met the Man-Thing. He then met Spider-Man once again, and battled the extraterrestrial Gog. He next met the adventurer Shanna O'Hara, and began a romance with her. He has battled Klaw, and visited other dimensions. Later, he first battled Magneto's Savage Land Mutates. and then teamed with the X-Men to battle Zaladane and Garokk.

Ka-Zar later discovered that the Savage Land is a part of Pangaea. He then battles Belasco for the first time. He later marries Shanna, who has taken the name Shanna the She-Devil. His brother Parnival was apparently killed during one of his schemes (though much later turned up alive).

Ka-Zar has teamed up with several of Marvel heroes. The X-Men are recurrent visitors to the Savage Land and Ka-Zar has been a frequent ally, helping the mutant team defeat both inside and outside menaces such as Sauron and Magneto. He has met Spider-Man on several occasions, one of which involved stopping Stegron the Dinosaur Man from invading New York City with Savage Land dinosaurs. Ka-Zar has also assisted the Avengers in their attempt to repel the space conqueror Terminus, but while they rescued many natives, they were unable to prevent the destruction of the Savage Land. Ka-Zar was rescued by the Avengers, but left the Savage Land for the civilized world. Together, he and Shanna had a son named Matthew. The territory was later reconstructed by the High Evolutionary using Garokk, and Ka-Zar and Shanna returned with their newborn and resumed their previous roles.

Ka-Zar and Shanna separated for a time, but got back together before long. Ka-Zar fought and defeated Thanos in one of his many attempts to end life, and later sought the help of investigator Jessica Jones for assistance locating Zabu.

Shanna and Ka-Zar find Skrulls mining the rare metal vibranium in the Savage Land. Soon afterward, as part of the "Secret Invasion" storyline, a Skrull ship crashes in the Savage Land releasing earlier versions of modern superheroes (who claim to be the originals replaced by Skrulls for some time), and who have escaped. Shanna and Ka-Zar soon learn, however, that these are simply more Skrulls in disguise. Spider-Man soon encounters Ka-Zar, Shanna, Zabu, and some of the natives accusing them of being Skrulls. Just then, the Captain America from the ship attacked thinking the same for Spider-Man. Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu help Spider-Man fight the Captain America from the ship until it is hit by a dart that causes it to regress to a Skrull named Pit'o Nilli. He then later goes with the rest of the Avengers to New York City to help them fight off the Skrull invasion while Shanna stays behind with Zabu to fight off anymore Skrulls left in the Savage Land.

Ka-Zar later meets Reptil when he and Tigra have rescued Moon-Boy. After reuniting Moon-Boy with Devil Dinosaur, Ka-Zar tells Reptil that he will help him find his parents.

Powers and abilities

Kevin Plunder is an athletic man with no superhuman powers. He utilizes a unique style of hand-to-hand combat shaped by years of surviving in the Savage Land. He has developed great skills in hunting, trapping, fishing, foraging, and general survival in the wild. He carries a Bowie knife, and occasionally uses a slingshot, bow and arrow, and other primitive weapons.

Other versions

Earth-8413

A version of Kevin Plunder, named Kavin Plundarr, is Gotowar Konanegg a Captain Britain Corps member who featured in Mighty World Of Marvel vol. 2 #13 (1984).

Earth X

In the Earth X series, Ka-Zar (as well as Shanna) have been mutated by Plague X into humanoid saber-toothed tigers. They play an integral part in Universe X- leading Captain America and the reborn Mar-Vell to the gateway to Limbo, and helping the X-Men and Wakandan refugees escape the cannibalistic hordes of Wendigo.

What If?

He appears in a What If story, where the Savage Land terraforming has taken over New York. He has a son, Matthew, but it is obvious that Zabu has been killed as his skull is seen on Ka-Zar's head. Both he and Parnival sacrifice themselves to return New York to normal, with Shanna the only survivor of his "family."

House of M

Kevin Plunder appears in a short article in The Pulse: House of M Special Edition. The article explains that he has been granted asylum in the US and feature a picture of him alongside his faithful companion Zabu.

Marvel Zombies

It is briefly noted in Marvel Zombies that a zombified Quicksilver managed to spread the virus to the Savage Land, infecting Ka-Zar and Zabu.

Ultimate

Ka-Zar appears in his Ultimate form on the final page of issue #3 of Ultimates, along with Ultimate Shanna.

In other media

Television

  • Ka-Zar appears in the 1981 Spider-Man cartoon "The Hunter and the Hunted". He arrives in New York to rescue Zabu from Kraven the Hunter.


  • Ka-Zar appeared in both X-Men episodes "Reunion" parts 1 and 2, and "Savage Land, Strange Heart" parts 1 and 2.




Video Games



Bibliography

  • Marvel Super-Heroes #19 (March 1969)
  • Ka-Zar vol.1 #1-3 (August 1970 - March 1971; reprints early Ka-Zar's appearances)
  • Astonishing Tales #1-20 (August 1970 - Oct. 1973)
  • Savage Tales #1, 6-11 (May 1971, Sept. 1974 - July 1975)
  • Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle' '#1-20 (Jan. 1974 - Feb. 1977)
  • Ka-Zar the Savage #1-34 (April 1981 - Oct. 1984)
  • Ka-Zar: Guns of the Savage Land (1990 graphic novel)
  • Ka-Zar of the Savage Land (Feb. 1997 one-shot)
  • Ka-Zar vol.2 #1-20 (May 1997 - Dec. 1998)
  • Ka-Zar '97 Annual (1997)
  • Ka-Zar # -1 (July 1997)


    • Guest appearances
  • Uncanny X-Men #10, 61-63, 115-116, 250, 274-275, 457-459, 495, Annual #7, 12
  • Daredevil #12-14, Annual #1
  • Incredible Hulk #109-111, 454
  • Amazing Spider-Man #58-#59, 103-104
  • Avengers #118, 256-258
  • Alias #24
  • Captain America Vol.1 #415-417, Vol.3 #31
  • Marvel Comics Presents Vol. 1 #16, Vol. 2 #5-7
  • Marvel Fanfare Vol. 1 #2-4
  • Marvel Team-up Vol. 1 #19-20
  • Marvel Two-in-one #16-17, 43
  • Namor the Submariner #14, 17-18, 21
  • Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1


Notes

  1. Ka-Zar (David Rand) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  2. Ka-Zar, 1997, Pipeline, Comic Book Resources, April 7, 2009
  3. X-Men #10
  4. Daredevil #12-14
  5. Incredible Hulk #109-111
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #58-#59
  7. Astonishing Tales #1-2
  8. Astonishing Tales #8
  9. Astonishing Tales #12-13
  10. Amazing Spider-Man #103-104
  11. Ka-Zar #1
  12. Ka-Zar #14-20
  13. X-Men #61-63
  14. Uncanny X-Men #115-116
  15. Ka-Zar the Savage #1
  16. Ka-Zar the Savage #12
  17. Ka-Zar the Savage #29
  18. Ka-Zar the Savage #33
  19. Avengers #256-258
  20. Uncanny X-Men Annual #12
  21. Ka-Zar Graphic Novel
  22. Alias #24 (September 2003)
  23. New Avengers #42
  24. Secret Invasion #7
  25. Avengers: The Initiative Featuring Reptil
  26. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z vol. #2 (May 2008)
  27. What If? v2 #112 (September 1998)
  28. Comics Continuum


References



External links




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