Astonishing Tales #11
Issue(s): Astonishing Tales #11
But in this issue, Roy Thomas raises his importance by giving him an origin that ties into Ka-Zar's.
The story is that Ka-Zar's father fled to the Savage Land with his son Kevin, on the run from criminals who wanted the "anti-metal" he found on a previous expedition there. The father is soon killed by a tribe of Man-Apes...
...but Kevin is rescued by Zabu.
Zabu and Kevin flee to the "Place of Mists" where the Man-Apes would not follow, and it turns out that the Mists give both Ka-Zar and Zabu great strength, and also prevent Zabu (at least) from aging.
Eventually they leave the Place of Mists and encounter the Man-Apes again. Ka-Zar and Zabu flee, but Zabu is injured and Ka-Zar triggers an avalanche that kills all of the Man-Apes except Maa-Gor. In the battle that follows, Ka-Zar says that Maa-Gor is responsible for the deaths of Zabu's loved ones as well as Ka-Zar.
That's all flashback. The only part of the issue that takes place in the present is just Ka-Zar accompanying Barbara Morse and her fiancee Paul Allen out of the Savage Land while he reflects on his past (the MCP lists both Maa-Gor and Kevin's brother the Plunderer as appearing in the non-flashback part of the story, but it's a mistake).
We still haven't learned anything about Barbara Morse or why she needs Ka-Zar's help. It's such a Roy Thomas move to introduce that plotline in issues #6-7 and then drop in the "World War II continued" story and this origin flashback before moving that forward at all.
Gil Kane's art works pretty well in the Savage Land setting if you can look past the Crazy Faces and nostril upshots.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The "anti-metal" was later revealed to be an isotope of vibranium. Ka-Zar's increased strength due to the Place of Mists also got reversed in an early Marvel Universe Handbook.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 1, 2013 4:44 PM
All that intro and then you forgot to list Maa-Gor as a character appearing
Posted by: S | September 1, 2013 5:18 PM
As i wrote, the Maa-Gor portion of the story is flashback, and i don't list the appearance in that case.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 1, 2013 7:08 PM
Oh, really? Wow, I never realized that.
Posted by: S | September 1, 2013 7:29 PM
Yeah, because the idea is you should be able to click on any character name and get a chronological list of the issues they appeared in. And since i'm placing the entire issue and not individual scenes, listing appearances in flashbacks cause them to appear out of order. Flashbacks are often from someone's memory or some other source that may not be reliable, too.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 2, 2013 11:34 AM
With all the examples of Gil Kane's nostril shots out there, he really missed an opportunity for a second career illustrating medical textbooks for students seeking to be ENT doctors (ear, nose and throat, of course). I suppose I could have said for med students who wished to specialize in otorhinolaryngology, but that word is best left for contestants in the National Spelling Bee.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | July 14, 2017 11:26 PM
On the first page, Kane looks to have drawn Paul Allen to resemble Clark Gable, right down to the pencil-thin mustache and large ears. Considering the setting and that he had a blonde female companion with him, this may have been inspired by Gable in John Ford's "Mogambo", though Bobbi Morse doesn't resemble Grace Kelly. Also, due to a coloring error on the cover (or perhaps an error in the transfer in my Marvel Masterworks edition of this story), unless you look closely it could appear that Ka-Zar is nude while swinging his left leg to give Maa-Gor a roundhouse kick.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 22, 2017 8:28 PM
At the climax of the fight with Maa-Gor, when Ka-Zar uses his legs to push a boulder onto his adversary, the Jungle Lord lets loose once again with that remnant from when Stan Lee wrote him: That awful, immodest "stronger than giant boar" catchphrase. This time "stronger than the mastadon" is replaced with the "thunder lizard". Even with a change in the wording, the battlecry reveals a level of suck so unbecoming a master of his domain. Ben Grimm or Wolverine couldn't possibly say anything like that with a straight face. Thankfully, later scribes would ditch this silly bit of braggadocio and more or less let his actions speak for him, and Lord Kevin was all the better for it.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 22, 2017 11:05 PM
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