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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Ross Andru takes over interior art. In addition to the Silver Surfer’s board, Professor Xavier’s X-Men and Sarek’s wife, this cover adds leopards to the list of “Toomies.” 

I don't understand this reference.

The Silver Surfer always said, "To me, my board!" In the latest iteration of the Silver Surfer series, the Surfer's companion, Dawn Green Wood, thought it was the board's name, and began referring to it as "Toomie."

"Toomie, my wife."

"Toomie, my X-Men."

"Toomie, my leopards."


Nothing to be sorry about. The next time I see this word I'll understand it.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

The Silver Surfer always said, "To me, my board!" In the latest iteration of the Silver Surfer series, the Surfer's companion, Dawn Green Wood, thought it was the board's name, and began referring to it as "Toomie."

"Toomie, my wife."

"Toomie, my X-Men."

"Toomie, my leopards."



This story is Carole Seuling’s personal favorite, although it strikes me as a bit clichéd. It involves a lost Cretan civilization (as in Mary Renault’s The King Must Die), and Seuling likes it because of a few lines of dialogue from the obscure lost language Minoan Linear B.

"The Hour of the Bull"

That hour seems to come around at least once a day.


“The next time I see this word I'll understand it.”

That’s good, because here’s another “Toomie” cover. :)

Carole Seuling plotted #4, but left to teach English as a Second Language full time soon after. Steve Gerber provided the script, as well as “far more than additional dialogue” (according to Seuling), which I take to mean, in context, that he introduced the Mandrill. One of the Mandrill’s men is Shanna’s father, who she has not seen face-to-face in 16 years.

This is the issue contains the cameo of Professor X, from between X-Men #66 and Giant-Size #1, that virtually no one remembers. The story opens with Patrick McShane challenging Shanna to an arm wrestling match. When he inevitably loses, he concocts a lame excuse. I don’t think I’ve mentioned series regular Jakuna Sigh, agent of SHILED yet, but he takes Shanna and McShane to an aircraft carrier for a message from Charles Xavier and infrequently seen FBI agent Fred Duncan. Xavier warns them about two mutants he’s been tracking. One of them we already know is the Mandrill; the other is this issue’s villain, Nekkra.

For another POV, here’s what my favorite backissue guide, the Fantaco Chronicles Annual, has to say about the Shanna series: “Despite being another of Marvel’s ill-fated attempts at producing “Women’s Lib” comics written by women, this series is better than its counterparts (though this isn’t saying much). Shanna O’Hara was a normal American woman who became so disillusioned with man’s cruelty to both man and beast alike that she divorced herself from civilization (with the exception of lipstick) and decided to become a female Tarzan imitation in the African jungle. After a distinctly stereotyped first three issues by Carole Seuling, Steve Gerber came to the rescue in issue 4 by launching the Mandrill/Nekra storyline which blossomed into its full glory in Daredevil 108-112.”
KA-ZAR #1:

Like it says on the cover this issue marks Ka-Zar’s ”Return to the Savage Land!” The story opens with Ka-Zar and Zabu parachuting in from Astonishing Tales #20. The villains this issue are Malgato (this cat is evil!) the Red Wizard and Maa-Gor, who is under Malgato’s mental control. This issue also provides the origin of the Savage Land, or rather an origin of the Savage Land, as it would later be supplanted by one that makes more sense. Suffice it to say that this origin is tied to the time of King Kull and the land of Valusia. It flashes forward through the Fall People, Garokk, Zaladane and all of the Astonishing Tales run.

Malgato believes that the spell which sustains the Savage Land must be renewed every 1000 years, and guess what time it is? It requires the sacrifice of a man and a woman. The Red Wizard increases Maa-Gor’s strength so that he is able to defeat Ka-Zar. When Ka-Zar awakens, his is tied to a stake next to…

I wonder if Marvel was pushing Ka-Zar through Astonishing Tales into his own title because DC had the rights to Tarzan?

“When Ka-Zar awakens, he is tied to a stake next to…”

Aw, you guessed!

KA-ZAR #2:

This issue is a further example in my assertion that Jack Abel is the most underrated inker of all time. I have said that Abel’s inks improve the work of any penciler whose work he embellishes, in this case Don Heck.

Zabu bursts in and frees Ka-Zar. Rather than freeing Shanna, Ka-Zar resumes his battles with Maaa-Gor, whose magically enhanced strength has now worm off. Malgato chants a spell to subdue Ka-zar: “Hey-na Hom-na Thoom-na! Hey-na Hom-na ZAM!” It works, but the Red Wizard tells Ka-Zar and shanna that the heroic couple must be willing sacrifices. Neither believes him, and he “magically” disappears down a trap door.

After that, Shanna summarizes the events of her now cancelled series for Ka-Zar and describes how she came to the Savage Land. (Basically, she was “kidnapped” by pterodactyls.) They return to the village of the Fall People, who have rebuilt their city since it was decimated by battle in Astonishing Tales. Suddenly, a triceratops tears through the village and eats a little girl’s pet horse. Ka-zar and Zabu drive it off, but the Fall People, even Tongah, see this as a sign that the Sun God is angry that Ka-zar and Shanna refused to sacrifice themselves. They attack and Zabu is wounded by a spear.

Shanna rescues Ka-Zar and Zabu, then, surprisingly, suggest that they return to the red Wizard’s lair and become willing sacrifices. They return to the castle and Ka-Zar beup Maa-Gor. At the last minute, they tip over the “flame bowl” they are to leap into, destroying the sacrificial chamber. Shanna finds and damages some hidden controls and a robot pterodactyl crashes to the ground. She explains to Malgato she was clued in that not all was as it seemed when the triceratops, an herbivore, ate a horse. Malgato cops that his whole plan was a power-grab to get Ka-Zar out of the way so that he could rule the Savage Land. The legend was real, but he took advantage of it and manipulated the Fall People. He escapes, but leaves behind his red robes and a face mask. Who was the Red Wizard really?

Back in the village, the Fall People resolve to use only non-human sacrifices going forward. Ka-Zar invites Shanna to stay, but she still needs to find her missing father.

Shanna next appears on the last page of Daredevil #109, in which the Black Widow has already been defeated by Nekra and placed under the control of the Mandrill. From there, the action moves to Marvel Two-in-One #3, in which Daredevil teams up with the Thing to defeat the Mandrill and Nekra’s organization, Black Spectre, which has recently tried to kill NYC DA Foggy Nelson. By this time, Shanna has already learned that her father is dead. After she returned to Africa from the Savage Land, Patrick McShane delivered a telegram that her father’s body had been found in Capetown. His will stipulated that his diamond mine goes to Hensley Fargas (the Mandrill) who is using it to finance Black Spectre, but she needs proof.

Daredevil and the Thing track Nekra to Mandrill’s aircraft HQ (looks like a dirigible but it’s jet-powered). With the Black Widow under Mandrill’s control, she brings about DD and Thing’s defeat. The Mandrill puts them in the Fantasticar and sets it to crash, but the rushing air revives them and they fly off back into Daredevil, issue #110.

Whew! I thought I was going to be able to knock Shanna’s Daredevil appearances off in a single entry, but this is already getting too long. I’ll finish them off tomorrow.

....Nekra’s organization, Black Spectre, which has recently tried to kill NYC DA Foggy Nelson. 

Does the story (and the Daredevil run) really refer to Foggy as District Attorney of New York City? 

As anyone who has watched Law & Order probably knows, NYC is made up of five different counties,* each of which has its own District Attorney.

*  New York County (Manhattan), Kings County (Brooklyn), Bronx County (the Bronx), Richmond County (Staten Island) and Queens County (Queens). They are often referred to as boroughs but they are actually counties. 

"Does the story (and the Daredevil run) really refer to Foggy as District Attorney of New York City?"

Now that you raise the question, I'm not certain. It may be for Manhattan, but in any case, it's not just this story. Foggy served as DA for... I don't know... a long time. After that, the job went to Blake Tower who served for a long time as well. Thanks for setting the record straight.

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