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Quote1 So! They dare to break the law of Ka-Zar! For that, they must pay the price! The time is come for them to face... the wrath of Ka-Zar! For none may break the jungle law! Quote2
-- Ka-Zar src
 

Early Life

Kevin Plunder was the eldest son of the British nobleman and scientist, Lord Robert Plunder. He was born at Plunder Castle, Kentish Town, London in the United Kingdom.[1] His father Lord Plunder, while searching for an undiscovered element he believed existed in nature, discovered the hidden jungle in Antarctica that became known as the Savage Land. There, he confirmed his theories by discovering the Anti-Metal (later determined to be an isotope of Vibranium), a substance that can destroy the molecular bonds of any known metal. Lord Plunder returned to his native England to find his wife had passed away in his absence. Realizing his own mortality, he locked away a sizable sample of the Anti-Metal he had brought back, and fashioned a small fragment of it into a medallion that could be used as a "key" to unleash its power. He then split the key in two, giving half to each of his two sons, Kevin and Parnival, as their inheritance.[1]

Savage Land

When word of Lord Plunder's discovery leaked out, agents of an unscrupulous power tried to wrestle from him the Anti-Metal's location. Saved from the agents by the arrival of his armed butler Willis, Lord Plunder decided to see to his sons' safety. While Parnival was sent into hiding with Willis, he and Kevin sought refuge in the Savage Land. There Lord Plunder took his son to the mound of Anti-Metal, unaware they were being stalked by the native Maa-Gor and his tribe of barbaric Man-Apes. The Man-Apes slew Lord Plunder but, as they grabbed Kevin, they were attacked by Zabu, the last of a species of saber-toothed tiger the Man-Apes had hunted to virtual extinction. Immediately forming an empathic bond, Zabu and the boy fled to the Land of Mists, a region where the Man-Apes refused to set foot. The incident soon passed into the Man-Apes' legends, and the boy was given the name "Ka-Zar," which means "son of the tiger." In the Land of Mists, the boy grew to manhood, with his saber-toothed companion protecting him from all dangers. From Zabu, Ka-Zar learned the ways of the flora and fauna of the entire Savage Land. Upon reaching maturity, Ka-Zar failed in his attempts to make peace with the Man-Apes and was drawn into battle. At the battle's end, the whole tribe of Man-Apes had been killed with the exception of their leader Maa-Gor.[2]

Ka-Zar

Ka-zar remained as the protector of the Savage Land. Ka-Zar encountered the X-Men who traveled to Antarctica to investigate the Savage Land believing Ka-Zar to be a mutant. They were attacked by the Swamp Men who easily got the drop on them, knocking most of their numbers out with swamp gas and kidnapped Jean Grey. Witnessing the battle, Ka-Zar went to the X-Men's rescue with the aid of his tiger Zabu, where he agreed to help them free their friend from the Swamp Men. The Swamp People also captured Angel who was scouting the land from the air and brought back to their village.The Swamp People then brought them to the top of a hill where they were to be sacrificed to a deadly Tyrannosaurus Rex. The X-Men and Ka-Zar broke into the village, and Jean managed to compose herself to use her telekinetic powers to trip up the T-Rex and free herself and Angel. Now able to fly away, Warren grabbed Jean and the two of them joined their comrades in battle. Smashing through the defenses, Ka-Zar helped the X-Men dodge the Swamp Men's death traps and called a herd of Wooly Mammoths to smash through the wooden fence that surrounded the village. Ka-Zar and the X-Men made short work of the Swamp Men, sending them fleeing into the jungle in defeat.[2]

He had since been an ally to many heroes, including Spider-Man[3], Daredevil[4] and many others. He soon met his future wife, Shanna the She-Devil, when they were both captured by the red sorcerer Malgato, who wanted to sacrifice them to the Sun Gods.[5] Ka-Zar also became romantically involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Barbara Morse.[6]

Investigating a surge of madness caused by the Vibranium deposits that had befallen his friend Tongah, Ka-Zar returned to London to find a scientist who could help cure the effects of the metal. He gave a press conference that was attacked by Klaw. During the attack, one of the journalists, Tandy Snow, was injured.[7] After a battle with one of Klaw's creatures, he visited Snow in the hospital. She introduced him to Kirk Marston, a scientist who offered to accompany him to the Savage Land to inspect the Vibranium. There, they were confronted with an alien invasion by the Sheenarians.[8] After defeating Klaw and the Sheenarian's initial invasion force, he traveled to their home dimension to prevent further incursions.[9] There, he was captured by the Quarlians who had brainwashed Tandy and made her their queen. Tandy wanted Ka-Zar to become her king, and when he refused,[10] she sentenced him to death in the arena. Ka-Zar defeated his opponents and managed to escape along with fellow prisoner Zartros, a Quarlian gnome.[11] They were captured once more by Quarlian warrior Raknor, but managed to free themselves and escape with Tandy.[12]

Ka-Zar and Shanna began to gradually fall in love and eventually married. Soon after, while they were prisoners of the Nuwali, Shanna found out that she was pregnant.[13] 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. Ka-Zar was rescued by the Avengers, but left the Savage Land for the civilized world.[14] Together, he and Shanna had a son named Matthew. Soon the Savage Land was reconstructed by the High Evolutionary and Ka-Zar and Shanna returned with their newborn and resumed their previous roles.[15]

At one point, Ka-Zar and Shanna separated but soon got back together. Ka-Zar believed he had seen Parnival die only to learn years later that it was one of Parnival's flunkies[16] and that Parnival had survived, albeit with cybernetic prosthetics to combat his frostbite, and returned to New York City to begin building an empire which included purchasing large amounts of Manhattan real estate.[17] Parnival tricked Ka-Zar into believing he had learned more about their father's inheritance and lured his brother to New York by hiring Kraven the Hunter's teacher Gregor to torment and attack Ka-Zar and his family.[18]

This would then lead Ka-Zar and Shanna to seek him out in New York and confront him for his actions, leading Parnival to send the Rhino after them to keep them busy.[19] After dealing with the Rhino and convincing him to turn against Parnival, they were again attacked by Parnival's men to keep them busy and in New York to cover his theft of the terraformer technology from the Savage Land.[20] While in New York Ka-Zar and Shanna would also meet Matt Murdock.[21] who would then reveal that Parnival had lied about their being a further inheritance.[22]

During this time Ka-Zar had become more enamored with technology and the outside world which drove a wedge between him and Shanna for awhile. Ka-Zar would eventually figure out that his returned interests were because he was worried that he wasn't ready to become a father and was trying to return to his own childhood to recapture what he had missed.[23] When Ka-Zar and Shanna came to confront Parnival about his actions and to learn more about their medallion keys, Parnival had the terraformers activated and turned Manhattan into a jungle similar to the Savage Land.[22]

While Ka-Zar went to take on Parnival and the man he was working for, Thanos, Shanna worked to reverse the effects of the terraformer and learned that Thanos was trapped in a dimension within it where had been absorbing its power.[24] Ka-Zar baited and bluffed this empowered Thanos into chasing after him, to allow Shanna and Zabu to escape. This chase would eventually lead them through the terraformer which had been returned to the Savage Land by S.H.I.E.L.D.[25]

Thanos began to loose his new power now that he was no longer connected to the terraformer, Ka-Zar destroyed the medallion which featured a map of how to traverse its maze, so that Thanos couldn't return and empower himself again. Thanos entered the terraformer to try and regain his power and S.H.I.E.L.D. atomised it with him inside, returning the Savage Land to it's usual jungle paradise but also passing its power into Shanna.[26] The people of the Savage Land lost faith in Ka-Zar and Shanna took over as Queen with her new powers over the earth and animals, which left Ka-Zar feeling out of place and jealous. Ka-Zar worried what it would mean to have the power contained in a single person and how that would skew her perspectives, he also worried that if Shanna died then the Savage Land most likely would as well. The High Evolutionary had come to the Savage Land and Ka-Zar approached him to build a new terraformer.[27]

The High Evolutionary wasn't quite in his right mind though, affected by new isotopes he had created, and ended up fascinated by Shanna who he viewed as a goddess and pupil. The Evolutionary helped to expand upon Shanna's powers much to Ka-Zars chagrin and fear. Distance grew between them as Shanna neglected Ka-Zar and their son to her new responsibilities, only for Shanna to come to the realisation that she was using her powers to pervert the natural order but be tempted by offers from the Evolutionary to create a new Counter-Earth.

Ka-Zar was similarly tempted to use Isotope E to evolve himself to Shanna's level[28] but instead convinced the peoples of the Savage Land to aid him against the Evolutionary by telling them he was going to take Shanna from them. Leading a revolution of all the tribes of the Savage Land against the Evolutionary which resulted in him being injured. Seeing this convinced Shanna that her power had been affecting her mind and as she nursed Ka-Zar back to health she had her power removed and given over to a newly built terraformer.[29]

Shanna felt the loss of her power deeply, and while she went to find herself Ka-Zar returned to New York City to settle their debts with the Plaza Hotel. While travelling the subway a gun went off right next to his head and he was accidentally sprayed with mace, the combination temporarily deafened and blinded him and in the ensuing commotion when he attempted to disarm the gunmen, he mistakenly attacked a NYPD officer, resulting in a manhunt seeking his arrest.[29] Ka-Zar went to Matt Murdock for help but he was out of town, his partner Foggy Nelson agreed to help him sort out his problems with the authorities and let him stay at Matt Murdock's Apartment.[30]

An amnesiac Punisher had heard about Ka-Zar's alleged crimes and witnessed what seemed to be him escaping police with a hostage and began targeting him. After a long battle across rooftops and through the streets, Ka-Zar told the Punisher he wasn't responsible for what the police were blaming him for and the Punisher believed him and let him go.[31] Everett Ross cleared Ka-Zar's name but Ka-Zar then tried to apprehend one of the men involved in the shooting, who was planning on catching him believing there to be reward money, and the police again assumed Ka-Zar was the aggressor, leading him to once again have to escape them. Ka-Zar made his way to Avengers Mansion where the Black Panther told him Shanna had sent a message calling him home and offered his help. When they went to retrieve Zabu they were met with the subway shooter once again who the Black Panther helped him deal with before giving him a prototype jet so he could return with Zabu to the Savage Land.[32]

Ka-Zar found the Savage Land in turmoil, the land behaving unnaturally and the people having turned against him and Shanna whom they blamed and who he was quickly reunited with. They then split up with Ka-Zar going after Gregor who had returned and fought with Shanna, while Shanna sought out who or what was behind the turmoil in the Savage Land. Ka-Zar and Gregor fought with Gregor getting the upper hand and almost drowning Ka-Zar until a taunt about his family drove Ka-Zar mad with bloodlust, leading him to savagely beat Gregor. The Bhadwuans believed Ka-Zar to be the problem and Shanna and the rest of the Savage Land united against them to stop them from killing him but Ka-Zar and his family agreed to leave the Savage Land alongside their nanny Zira and leave Zabu behind.[6]

Some time later when Captain America later travelled to the Savage Land he encountered fast aging clones of the Plunder family and then rescued the originals who had at some point returned to living in the Savage Land.[33]

At the office of Nelson and Murdock , Matt Murdock introduced Ka-Zar to Jessica Jones, who he wanted to hire Jessica to find Zabu, who had gone missing. However, Jessica declined.[34]

Hercules would later subdue Zabu as part of a reality television show, causing Ka-Zar and Shanna to follow after him and found Zabu, whom Hercules had hog-tied after defeating him.[35] They then had him returned to them after a party celebrating the success of Hercules' TV show, which they traveled to New York City for.[36]

Secret Invasion

Savage Land from New Avengers Vol 1 41 001

During the Secret Invasion, Ka-Zar brought together the many tribes of the Savage Land to fight the Skrulls, such as the Tree People, Swamp Men, Zebra People, Sun-People, Pterons and the Man-Apes.[37]

Abilities

Near-Superhuman Condition: Although Ka-Zar once claimed he was endowed with superhuman strength by the vapors in the Land of Mists, this is not true. Ka-Zar possesses no superhuman physical powers, but his near-superhuman athletic, hunting, foraging, and combative abilities have been honed to superb athletic conditioning, due to spending two-thirds of his life surviving in the wilds of the Savage Land.[38] He has been stated to be a superior fighter to Kraven the Hunter by the man who trained Kraven.[39]

  • Near-Superhuman Strength:[40]
  • Near-Superhuman Endurance:[40]

Strength level

Ka-Zar has near-superhuman human strength. While the exact amount of weight he can ultimately lift isn't known, Ka-zar is strong enough to lift at least 430 lbs, which is twice his body weight.



Equipment

Vibranium Belt Buckle of unknown variation.[7]

Transportation

Naturally occuring vines which he swings upon.

Weapons

While Ka-Zar has a general familiarity with a wide variety of basic weapons, the only one he uses regularly is the large knife he made from native materials. He generally straps the knife to his waist when not in use. He sometimes uses a slingshot, and has at times wielded a bow and arrow.

Kevin Plunder is not to be confused with the Golden Age hero of the same name, Ka-Zar (David Rand).

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Daredevil #13
  2. 2.0 2.1 X-Men #10
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #57-58
  4. Daredevil #12-14
  5. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #1-2
  6. 6.0 6.1 Astonishing Tales 19-Astonishing Tales 19
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ka-Zar Vol 2 #14
  8. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #15
  9. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #16
  10. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #17
  11. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #18
  12. Ka-Zar Vol 2 #19
  13. Ka-Zar the Savage #34
  14. Avengers Vol #256 #256-258
  15. Uncanny X-Men Annual #12
  16. Ka-Zar the Savage #33
  17. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #4
  18. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #1-3
  19. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #4-6
  20. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #6-7
  21. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #5
  22. 22.0 22.1 Ka-Zar Vol 3 #8
  23. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #1-8
  24. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #9-10
  25. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #10
  26. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #11
  27. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #12
  28. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #13
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ka-Zar Vol 3 #14
  30. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #15
  31. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #15-16
  32. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #17
  33. Captain America Vol 3 #28-31
  34. Alias #24
  35. Hercules Vol 3 #3
  36. Hercules Vol 3 #5
  37. New Avengers #41
  38. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-A #6
  39. Ka-Zar Vol 3 #2
  40. 40.0 40.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6
  41. Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #2
  42. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6



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