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Ka-Zar Reading Order, Adventures in Marvel’s Savage Land

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in The X-Men #10 (1965), Kevin Plunder is Ka-Zar. The New Ka-Zar to be precise as he used the same hero name as David Rand, a character from a pulp magazine created by Bob Byrd in 1936–published by one of the many companies owned by Martin Goodman. When Goodman began publishing comics with Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, writer-artist Ben Thompson adapted one of Byrd’s stories.

Since then, this Ka-Zar appeared in multiple Marvel comics like Marvel Mystery Comics or Human Torch. Then, during the Silver Age, Marvel reintroduced some of his Golden Age characters. Most of them have updated origins. However, Ka-Zar became a new character. He is now clearly a Tarzan-like hero but he is stuck in a Jules Verne setting–David Rand was lost in the jungles of the Congo, not in the dinosaur-populated Savage Land. But he quickly found his place in the Marvel continuity.

The new Ka-Zar, Kevin Plunder, comes from a noble background. His dad, Robert Plunder, was on the hunt for anti-metal, also known as Antarctic Vibranium, but sadly got taken out by the Savage Land’s Man-Apes. Kevin had a stroke of luck when the saber-toothed tiger named Zabu saved him. Kevin became Ka-Zar and spent his childhood in the Land of Mists, learning survival skills from his companion Zabu. Together, they navigated the challenges of the Savage Land.

Ka-Zar introduced in The X-Men #10

In The X-Men #10, Charles Xavier’s mutants found the Savage Land and quickly teamed up with Ka-Zar to save two of their own after some criminals captured them. But it was in the pages of Daredevil (1964) #12-14 that his back story was introduced with his ill-intentioned brother, Parnival Plunder (aka the Plunderer), who needs him to access their father’s discovery that would eventually help him become an even more dangerous criminal.

For a time after that, and with the help of Darevil, Ka-Zard went back to his parent’s home, living like a nobleman, but this didn’t last. His place was in the Savage Land where, through the years, he teamed up with a lot of heroes. And then, one day, Ka-Zar encountered an adventurer lost in the jungle named Shanna O’Hara, later known as Shanna the She-Devil. Ka-Zar and Shanna developed a romantic connection and eventually got married. They later welcomed a son, naming him Mathew.

Follow the Ka-Zar Comics Reading Order

Ka-Zar’s first years

For now, Marvel doesn’t have a book collecting all of Ka-Zar’s adventures taking place before he got his own series. Here is an essential reading:

The Savage Tales of Ka-Zar

Marvel started collecting all of the Silver Age Ka-Zar adventures in the Marvel Masterworks collection, but it is still incomplete for now.

That’s mostly all for the 1970s. After a few years away, Ka-Zar came back in Marvel Team-Up #104, appeared in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #6, and in the anthology Marvel Fanfare #2, but he also got a new ongoing series:

After that, Ka-Zar got a graphic novel titled Ka-Zar: Guns of the Savage Land, but mostly went on to guest-starring in multiple titles for a good decade. Among them (this is not an exhaustive list):

At the end of the 1990s, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Zabu got a new title from writer Mark Waid and artist Andy Kubert.

Then, once again, Ka-Zar’s place in the Marvel Universe was reduced to occasional co-starring adventures in other series, because every other hero ends up on the Savage Lands once in a while.

In 2011, writer Paul Jenkins and artist Pascal Alixe gave us a new Ka-Zar miniseries…

…then the character pretty much disappeared until the end of the decade. He made short one-issue appearances in a few series like Lockjaw, Old Man Logan, Avengers, Thor, Avengers, and Fantastic Four. He also appeared in a few issues of the War of the Realms events, then in Empyre: Avengers. And more recently, Marvel gave him another miniseries, a decade after the last one, this time written by Zac Thompson with art by Germán García.

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