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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The Land of Cancelled Heroes bit is wonderfully witty. I'm sure that's Devil Dinosaur at the door.

The cover is a Steranko Nick Fury homage, of course. It's a good cover idea in itself, but I think the image is also an intentional joke on the blurb.

Yes, I’m sure that was Devil Dinosaur, too. (He appeared in the shadows.) I was naming them from a full page panel inside the Hall, but I guess DD wasn’t housebroken and had to remain outside.

AVENGERS #256-257:

I started collecting Avengers (new) with issue #211. Roger Stern took over in #227 and it got better. John Buscema and Tom Palmer joined him in #255 and it got better still. I appreciated it from their very first issue. I thought it was too good to last, but it did a good long time. Ka-Zar is guiding a research team through the Savage Land when suddenly, the giant alien scavenger Terminus appears. The Avengers are close behind, but by the time they arrive they find the research team dead and Ka-Zar unconscious.

Shanna is pregnant. Starfox saves her from Terminus on his way to Pangea. As team leader, the Wasp won’t let either Ka-Zar or Shanna come along. Perhaps she should have, because the Avengers are unable to prevent Terminus from destroying Pangea’s environmental controls which hold the frigid Antarctic environment at bay. Hercules alone discovers Terminus’ secret, and he alone makes the decision to allow him to freeze to death. In #258, Ka-Zar and Shanna leave the Savage Land as it is destroyed. At Hercules’ request, the helicopter diverts over Terminus’ frozen remains.

IRON MAN #202:

After the destruction of the Savage Land, the Avengers put Ka-zar and Shanna up in their East Coast mansion. Dealing with survivor’s guilt, Ka-Zar is restless and leaves his pregnant wife behind to drive cross country to “find himself.” He gets into a brawl in a diner. Iron Man is there to meet him at the Avengers’ West Coast compound. Iron Man tells him he’s a fool to have left Shanna by herself at this point. The fixer attacks and Ka-Zar helps Iron Man defeat him. Then he returns to Shanna.

X-MEN ANNUAL #12:

This annual is the seventh installment in 1988’s crossover of annuals “Evolutionary War” but is more-or-less standalone. It is also the last part of the Terminus “trilogy” which began in Fantastic Four and continued in Avengers. The Savage Land’s Sun-God, Garokk, also (re-)appears. Writer chris Claremont ties the story in heavily to recent back-up stories in Classic X-Men, specifically those dealing with Storm’s other-dimensional adventure and Colossus’ son. The Fall People, thought destroyed with the Savage Land, are revealed to have escaped into M’rin’s dimension. The High Evolutionary and Garrokk restore the Savage Land (and Pangea) to its former state.

Ka-zar and Shanna (with a new-born baby boy in tow) show up in the story’s last four or five panels. This is where I draw the line for the last of Ka-Zar’s “classic” adventures. He doesn’t even appear of the cover of X-Men Annual #12, but it does set the stage for future Ka-Zar/Savage Land stories such as this one:

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