The first character called "Ka-Zar" came from the pulps, but when Martin Goodman decided to publish comic books, he moved that character over to his very first, Marvel Comics #1. The first Ka-zar was a boy whose parents' plane crashed in the African jungle when the boy, David Rand, was only three years old. His mother, Constance, died shortly after of the fever, but his father, John, lived until he was killed by hostile natives when David was about 12 or 13. He learned to communicate with the animals and blah, blah, blah... When Lee and Kirby revived the character in 1965 it was a complete reboot, but it was the pulp adventures of Ka-Zar which inspired young Kevin Plumber to... but wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.

There has been talk on this board, from time to time, of someone starting a Ka-Zar discussion for as long as I have been a member. The 80th anniversary of the first appearance of the comic book version of the first Ka-Zar seems as good of a time as any to finally do so. Some of the earliest comics I acquired as backissues were the "King-Size" Ka-Zar reprint series and the issues of Marvel Tales reprinting the issues of Spider-Man in which Spidey met Ka-zar. when I was in high school I read Ka-Zar the Savage, and when I was in college I began collecting his early appearances, previous series and reprints via backissues. One of the latest of the early appearances I acquired was his very first from X-Men #10. Up until that time I had been pronouncing his name as I had since I was a child: Kuh-ZAR.

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X-MEN #10:

SUMMARY: The Angel catches a special news bulletin on TV about a man in a loin cloth and a sabre toothed tiger who appeared near a research facility in Antarctica. Suspecting he might be a mutant, Angel and the others approach Professor X only to discover he has already been notified of the situation by his contacts in Washington, DC. Xavier has already determined that the wild man is not a mutant, but decides to send the X-Man to investigate anyway to give them something to do.

The researchers lead them to the crevasse into which the man and tiger disappeared, and the X-Men follow, emerging into a tropical world filled with prehistoric creatures. They are soon attacked by a group of "Swamp Men" riding upon the backs of large, flightless birds. The X-Men drive them off with the help of the jungle man, who suddenly appears, but not before the Swamp Men abducts Marvel Girl. In broken English, the savage introduces himself as Ka-zar, but there is a misunderstanding and get into a brief fight.

Their tussle is interrupted by Maa-Gor, "the last of the man-ape tribe." After driving him off, they join forces to rescue Marvel Girl. Angel scouts ahead and is himself captured. Just as they are about to be sacrificed to a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the X-Men arrive and Ka-Zar directs a herd of Mastodons to charge the Swamp Men's compound. After Angel and Marvel Girl are rescued, Ka-Zar leads them back to their point of entry. After they depart, he has the Mastodons close the entry with tons of boulders. 

"Thus, we leave the jungle lord with is victory cry reverberating across the plains of the world that time forgot! But, many questions still remain unanswered... and we suspect that this may not be the last we will see of Ka-Zar and Zabu... for the future holds many mysteries, which which we shall unravel one by one in the months to come!"

I'm not trying to be a smarty-pants, but I'm honestly wondering this. Are you saying that the beginning of the second syllable should be pronounced with the softer "s" sound instead of the slightly harder "z" sound?

The title of this discussion is taken from a blurb on the splash page of X-Men #10 (that's why I put it in quotatation marks), so I'm not saying that; Stan Lee is. Frankly, I don't say "KAY-sar" myself; I say "KAY-zar." My point was that for a long time I (very) incorrectly said "kuh-ZAR." I don't think you're being a smartypants; best to deal with this right at the top of the discussion.

Sorry, but I'm still going to pronounce it "kuh-ZAR."

I'll just add this to the ridiculously long list of words that I'm being told, here in my dotage, that I have mispronounced since childhood.

I'm so confused on "Hippolyta" that I just don't say it any more.

It's only a matter of time until we're told the leader of the Fantastic Four is pronounced "Ritt Ree-SHARDS."

I always pronounced it Kay-Zar. If Stan was saying it should be an S sound, this may be to distance the pronunciation from Tarzan, for lawyer-y reasons. 

Also, the Ka-Zar story is an example of Angel using his most prominent super-power in the early days of X-Men: Getting captured. Here's one where it was cover featured:

"I always pronounced it Kay-Zar. If Stan was saying it should be an S sound, this may be to distance the pronunciation from Tarzan, for lawyer-y reasons."

Ironically, I think Stan was trying to avoid the exact discussion we're having now.


"Sorry, but I'm still going to pronounce it "kuh-ZAR.""

You would.

Like Bob, I'm too old and/or too stubborn to change my ways now. (I very grudgingly gave in on Mjolnir.) Bet you wouldn't like how I pronounce Namor, either.
And -- as I always say in conversations of this sort -- its called a BRONTOSAURUS and it lives in a SWAMP!

The Golden Age Ka-Zar seems to have been entirely forgotten, somewhat uniquely.  I don't think that we even have any indication that he existed in Earth-616.

Actually, Luis, in one of the re-tellings of the Silver age Ka-Zar's origin story, it was being stranded in the Savage Land with only those pulps to read that inspired the young Kevin Plunder to more-or-less pretend he was half-savage, so the Golden Age Ka-Zar does "exist" in the Marvel Universe... after a fashion.

But I don't want to get ahead of myself...

DAREDEVIL #12:

NOTE: I changed the subject line to avoid further "controversy."

It hasn't been all that long since I last posted about this issue, but now I'm doing so from Ka-Zar's POV rather than Daredevil's.

The story begins with Matt Murdock preparing to take a sea cruise so as to give Foggy and Karen the opportunity to hook up. (Huh?) He boards the ship amidst rumors of a pirate who calls himself "The Plunderer" who has been sacking sea-going vessels. Sure enough, the pirates attack within a page of Matt boarding the ship. The Plunderer and his men are dressed as 18th century buccaneers, but they are armed with futuristic ray guns. their ship, too, appears to be a schooner, but is equipped with heavy artillery. 

Meanwhile, in the Savage Land, Ka-Zar is trying to tame a "half-grown" Tyrannosaurus Rex. He makes a noble effort, but soon gives up. Then he sees the Swamp Men floating down the river towards Skull Island, Ka-Zar's home, which Ka-Zar has forbidden. 

Back on the cruise ship, Daredevil is forced to stop fighting when the Plunderer threatens to have the already captured crew walk the plank. The Plunderer plunders no booty, explaining that he is "a nobleman with rank, and title, and landed estates" (whose name is actually Parnival Plunder, appropriately enough), but he does take Daredevil hostage with the intention of making him part of his crew. He reveals that his "schooner" is actually a computer driven powered vehicle which has the capability to transform into a subnarine. He then sets course through an underground channel for (you guessed it) Skull Island, which he once discovered while searching for Atlantis.

By the time they arrive, the Swamp Men's "battle" (they simply attacked while Ka-Zar watched from shore) is over, but Ka-Zar is still there. He attacks Daredevil and the Plunderers men, then confronts the ray gun-weilding Plunderer himself with a rock. Ka-Zar's throw beats the Plunderer's shot, causing it to go wild and explode a crate of explosives. Daredevil is injured in the blast, but is saved by Ka-Zar, who takes him back to his cave, then leaves for a restorative "jungle herb, the juice of the ju-ju plant."

CLIFFHANGER #1: Ka-Zar is caught in the vines of a giant man-eating plant and is being drawn towards its maw.

CLIFFHANGER #2: The unconscious Daredevil is menaced by Maa-Gor, the last of the Man-Ape tribe, who has wandered into the cave.

NEXT: ""The Secret of Ka-zar's Origin!"

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