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John Clayton is the son of the British nobleman Lord Clayton. Prior to his birth, the Claytons set sail from England to North Africa. Their ship was over-run by pirates and a mutiny erupted. Lord Clayton and his wife, Lady Alice, were taken prisoner and abandoned on the shores of the Congo.

By building a tree-house far away from the jungle animals, Lord Clayton did his best to eke out a life for his pregnant wife and himself. While living in the jungle, Lady Alice gave birth to their son, John Jr. Soon after, Alice contracted a rare jungle virus and became delusional. The virus would prove fatal and she passed away.

Tarzan Vol 1 23

fighting Abdul Alhazred

A gorilla named Kerchak began to investigate the new invaders tree-house. Kerchak would kill Lord Clayton and another gorilla named Kala, who lost her own child, would adopt the orphaned human infant.

Kala continued to raise baby John Clayton, who grows up to become more famously known under his jungle name - Tarzan.


Although John Clayton may not have what are strictly considered superhuman powers-he is as strong, fast, durable, and agile as a human being can be without being considered strictly superhuman. He is also highly intelligent having taught himself how to read and write early on and with no outside instruction.

Strength level

Peakhuman: Tarzan is in peak physical condition due to his harsh jungle upbringing. In his prime, he possessed the strength level of a man his age, size and weight who engaged in intensive regular exercise. By the age of thirteen, he possessed a strength level equal to that of a thirty-year-old man. He has demonstrated strength sufficient enough to overpower a large bull ape (Terkoz) and a lioness with the full nelson maneuver. He is strong to the extent that his strength could be considered superhuman.[citation needed]


Tarzan possesses all of the weaknesses of other adult human males, although he can resist these to a greater degree because he is physically and mentally at the pinnacle of human ability.


Tarzan typically carries around his father's knife as well as a makeshift lariat made from jungle grass.


Brachiation through the trees, and vine-swinging.


His father's knife (originally given to him by the pirate Black Michael)

  • Tarzan was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in "Tarzan of the Apes".
    • Tarzan comics have been published by several publishing houses, including DC Comics, Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics, Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics.
    • This version of Tarzan is not to be confused with the character licensed by Dark Horse Comics who appeared in the DC/Dark Horse crossover projects, Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Cat-Woman and Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle.
  • Though Tarzan was born in Africa, he is actually of British descent.

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