Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Back with no skaars: The Return of Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land




Having apparently survived life with the Son of Hulk as its ruler, the Savage Land – with all its lush tropical beauty, dangerous prehistoric beasts and ne’er-seen-by-humans mystery – is now under siege and only its true king, Ka-Zar, can save the hidden world.

From the minds of scribe Paul Jenkins (Inhumans, Origin) and artist Pascal Alixe (Electric Ant) comes, Ka-Zar, a thrilling five-issue mini-series, starring the Lord of the Hidden Jungle, Ka-Zar, his wife Shanna and Zabu too!

Full of action, suspense and intrigue, this $2.99 mini is set to showcase an invasion of the jungle paradise by unknown outsiders planning to reduce the hidden jungle to a cinder. But the Savage Land has its own line of defense when a mythical tribe from within launches brutal raids on the outsider encampments. It will be up to Ka-Zar and Shanna to defend their home before these two fuming foes turn the Savage Land into scorched earth.

For the uninitiated, Ka-Zar is in fact Lord Kevin Reginald Plunder, born in Castle Plunder, Kentish Town, London, England. He is the eldest son of Lord Robert Plunder, the English 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 cat 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 were the first of Marvel’s heroes to visit the Savage Land, battling Maa-Gor with Ka-Zar for the first time. Ka-Zar then encountered Daredevil for the first time and battled his brother Parnival, who had become the villain 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 Doc Ock. (Oh, that J.J.!) Spidey's memory was restored during a fight, with Ka-Zar subsequently apologizing for the mistake and proclaiming Spider-Man as the most valiant opponent he had ever fought.

Ka-Zar 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 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 as a whole. 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 Secret Invasion, 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. The Lord of the Hidden Jungle then 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 has a long and glorious history, and he is always at his best when in the hidden world of the Savage Land. It will be interesting to see how this battle goes for this King of Kings!

Ka-Zar #1 (of 5)hits stores June 16!