David Rand was better known as Ka-Zar and adventured mostly in the jungles of Africa at the early 1940s. He was a prominent opponent of the Axis powers in the region during World War II. His closest ally was Zar the lion, but he also had other loyal animal companions like Trajah the elephant and Nono the Monkey.
David Rand was the son of British parents, John and Constance Rand, born to them in 1918 in South Africa. When he was three-year-old his family went a trip from Johannesburg to Cairo to visit David's grandfather however they crash landed in the Belgian Congo. The Rands were not found and as John fruitlessly attempted to flag planes, David developed a bond to many of the jungle's native animals, befriending some such as Nono the Monkey. His family was watched by Zar the lion. One day, young David learned the dangers of the jungle when he was almost mauled by N'Jaga the Leopard but was rescued by his father. Soon after, his mother died of jungle fever and was laid to rest. David grew up into adolescence with his father, learning how to survive in the jungle, as well as how to read and write. He met many animals such as Trajah the elephant, Quog the warthog, Kru the vulture, Wal-Lah the hippo, and Pindar the eagle. He developed a rocky relationship with the ape known as Chaka and became bitter enemy of N'Jaga.
During this time, David earned the friendship of Zar the lion after rescuing it from quicksand. David's life changed forever the day that Paul de Kraft, a jewel hunter entered the region searching for jewels along the river. Paul murdered John Rand, and would have done the same to David if it had not been for the intervention of Zar who slew two of de Kraft's minions. De Kraft escaped thinking that the lion would surely attack David next. Orphaned, David was adopted as Zar's brother and rechristened Ka-Zar.
Taken to Zar's cave, Ka-Zar was not easily accepted by Zar's mate Sha, partially because unaware to both Zar and Ka-Zar, Sha was pregnant with Zar's cubs. Left to his own devices, Ka-Zar returned to Paul de Kraft's camp where he clashed with an ape named Bardak over a mirror. When Ka-Zar won the mirror, Bardak captured Sha's recently birthed cub Zoro. Ka-Zar slew Bardak and rescued the cub, earning Sha's acceptance. Ka-Zar was next enlisted by Trajah to help to rescue Tuta and other animals captured by big-game hunter Steve Hardy. Ka-Zar rescued the animals and forced Hardy to flee empty handed. Later that day, Ka-Zar survived an attempt on his life by N'Jaga.
Soon, Ka-Zar's old foe Paul de Kraft along with fellow jewel hunter Ed Kivlin returned to search the river for jewels. He quelled an animal uprising convincing the local animals to allow him to deal with the trespassers. First, Ka-Zar used his reputation as the "white jungle god" to spook the local natives, giving them an ultimatum: leave or die. He then turned de Kraft and Kivlin against each other, which led to Kivlin being murdered. Ka-Zar was captured by de Kraft and the remaining natives who tortured him. Ka-Zar was freed by Nono the monkey, and after besting the native warrior Aorangi in the battle, Ka-Zar stabbed de Kraft to death, finally avenging his father's murder years earlier.
Ka-Zar stopped the poacher named Fenton, sending him to his death under the feet of trampling elephants with the aid of his friends Zar, Nono, and Trajah. He rescued Mara Rice from killer "Red" Skelton and saved enslaved natives from engineer Lester Drake and slave trader Abwama.
Ka-Zar continued to encounter other humans who stumbled into his domain when he rescued Rita Grey from N'Jaga and the Wabi tribe and helped two Scotland Yard detectives to capture escaped killer London Jack. When Indian hunter Rajah Sarput bought a tract of land of the Congo he became an enemy of Ka-Zar due to his ruthless hunting ethics that was not above hunting even the local native tribes for sport. During his initial attack against Sarput, Ka-Zar was wounded and Zar was captured to be hunted down later. When Ka-Zar was revived by Trajah, he learned that Zar was stolen by big game hunter Bradley, who wanted to put the lion into an American zoo. Ka-Zar stowed away aboard the ship.
Aboard the ship, Ka-Zar freed Zar and the two were eventually discovered and recaptured. Breaking free just as the ship was pulling to port in the New York, Ka-Zar and Zar fled into the city. The duo were drawn to the cries of animals at the nearby zoo and attempted to free them. When police confronted the two, Ka-Zar surrendered to them out of fear that they would shoot Zar. Ka-Zar was placed in a jail and Zar locked up in the zoo. Ka-Zar's plight became known to Ruth Wilson, who was previously rescued from the jungles along with her father in some previously unrecorded encounter with Ka-Zar. Meanwhile, Ka-Zar broke out of jail and forced a police officer to take him to a local circus so he could free animals. Ka-Zar was easily recaptured and turned over to the Wilson's custody so that she could teach him about civilization. Given a hair-cut and a set of clothes, Ka-Zar found civilization not to his liking and that night snuck out of the Wilson home and sought to free Zar. Despite opposition from the authorities, the jungle man succeeded in freeing Zar and the Wilsons helped to smuggle the pair aboard a ship that was heading back to Africa, however the ship was sunk by a U-boat of the Nazis.
World War II
Surviving the ship's sinking, Ka-Zar and Zar was brought aboard the U-boat, the first of his many encounters with Axis forces. The German soldiers on board clashed with Ka-Zar when they attempted to shoot Zar, and instead decided to leave the two out at sea. Before that happened, the U-boat was sunk by a British destroyer. Being brought aboard, the captain of the British ship agreed to bring Ka-Zar and Zar back to Africa. Finally returning home, Ka-Zar learned that in his absence Sarput was slaughtering animals. Ka-Zar led a counter attack of animals against Sarput's home, leading them to victory as Trajah slew Sarput.
Ka-Zar's past soon came looking for him when both his father's colleague Winston and family lawyer Alec Wright came to investigate the possibility that Ka-Zar was David Rand. While Winston sought to find Ka-Zar to help him claim ownership of his father's diamond mines in Transvaal, Wright sought to murder Ka-Zar and claim the mine for himself. Ultimately, Wright's plot failed and he blithely ran off a cliff. Ka-Zar sent Winston back to Britain to make sure that all profit earned from his mine would go toward the British war relief fund. Ka-Zar then began exploring the jungles around Africa, first going to the mysterious Black River Region where he encountered a race of giants and subterranean lizard-people. Befriending a giant named Bogat he helped to fight off an invasion of the underground dwelling Limbos until he was rescued by a plane that happened to be forced to land in the region.
Ka-Zar became a staunch enemy of the Nazi regime and when he learned that Nazi forces were landing in Italian controlled Ethiopia, he led an army of animals and destroyed a Nazi airport, ruining the plot to bomb British settlements off the Suez Canal. He and his animal army next attacked a train controlled by the Italian Fascists. Finding an Italian military camp outside of Kenya, Ka-Zar learned that they plotted to attack a British outpost and with the aid of his animal army flooded the camp by destroying the dam.
The war caused other threats to Ka-Zar's home, namely those of the Sub-Mariner and an alliance of undersea races launching a global attack on the surface world. Warned of potential flooding by the Human Torch, Ka-Zar built a giant ark to protect as many animals as possible. Upon completion of this ark, Ka-Zar's home flooded, and thanks to the ark he and many of the animals were saved from drowning until the Sub-Mariner's campaign against the surface world was ended.
Ka-Zar continued to oppose the combined forces of German and Italian soldiers invading his land. When Nazi forces dumped chemicals on the jungle to strip all life for their Italian allies to build bases for them, Ka-Zar infiltrated an Italian camp and stole a tank. Storming a Nazi base, Ka-Zar stole a Nazi fighter plane and used the very chemical they used on the jungles to slay the Nazis. Spotting a Nazi banner fluttering on the home of Arabian Prince Ali Hamud, Ka-Zar investigated. Ka-Zar was mistaken for German military official Captain Ollendorff, and learned that Hamud was aiding the Nazis by allowing them to land on his property to refuel before attacking Britain's African colonies. Ka-Zar's true identity was discovered when the real Ollendorff contacted Hamud with radio and he was tossed into a gladiator pit to fight for his life. Ka-Zar was rescued by Ali's brother Saba, who sacrificed his life destroying Ali's home after Ka-Zar slew Ali and fled the property in Ollendorff's bomber.
The force of the explosion caused Ka-Zar's plane to crash and he was seriously injured. He was recovered by a witch doctor who healed Ka-Zar and restored him to health by giving a brew which had been used centuries before by witch doctor's tribe to gain superhuman strength. Ka-Zar continued his explorations of the jungle coming across the home of notorious ivory hunter Kirk Hendrick. Hendrick attempted to convince Ka-Zar to help him hunt for elephants. Horrified, Ka-Zar led an army of elephants to attack Hendrick's home. The outcome of the battle is unknown, however it's unlikely that Hendrick and his aides survived the attack.
Ka-Zar's last recorded adventure in late 1941 found him travelling to French Equatorial Africa to lend his aid to the war effort. He aided the French ship against a Nazi U-boat, destroying it. Ka-Zar was last seen vowing to destroy Nazi forces that attempted to invade his home.
Ka-Zar's fate remains unknown.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength Ka-Zar was an incredibly strong athlete, able to bend iron bars with extreme effort.
- Superhuman Agility: Ka-Zar had gained superhuman agility by taking mystic potion although he was very strong athlete and hand-to-hand combatant even before.
After years of living in the jungle, Ka-Zar had developed a very strong bond and mutual understanding with many of its animal inhabitants, like they were talking to him. He also had a keen understanding of the types of flora in the area.
He was fluent in English and various African dialects and had learned how to fly aircraft and drive tanks.
He customarily carried two knives and used a spear or a bow and arrows as necessary.
- Ka-Zar's first appearance was in the pulp magazine series written by Bob Byrd and published by Martin Goodman in 1936. The first story is titled King of Fang and Claw and it was adapted by Ben Thompson in Marvel Comics #1 and from Marvel Mystery Comics #2 to Marvel Mystery Comics #5. The original story can be found online .
- David Rand should not be confused with the modern day Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder), the ruler of the Savage Land.
- 31 appearance(s) of David Rand (Earth-616)
- 19 image(s) of David Rand (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about David Rand (Earth-616)
Links and References
- David Rand (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- Ka-Zar at Marvel Universe Wiki
- Ka-Zar at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Ka-Zar at The Comic Book Database