X-MEN #10 (1965): 1st Ka-Zar!

Right in the splash page, Stan tells you how to pronounce the name of his newest creation, a Tarzan-with-dinosaurs gentleman named Ka-Zar (Kay-sar).

After Scott crushes on Jean, the story starts with Angel watching the news on TV and seeing footage from Antarctica of Zabu and Ka-Zar killing some explorers…

…OK, the reporter says “no fatalities,” but that’s a bit hard to believe.

Ka-Zar is initially known as the “antarctic wild man,” and the government asks Professor X’s students to investigate.

And so the X-Men go to investigate and meet the wild creatures of the Savage Land.

They find a deep cavern, pass through giant bones and monster carcasses, and wind up in a world of dinosaurs and mastodons.

When they arrive in the Savage Land, Jack Kirby gets to draw some fantastic beasts and where to find them.

There’s also the first appearance of Maa-Gor, who is called the last of the Man-Ape tribe, but we don’t know yet that Maa-Gor is the man who killed both Ka-Zar and Zabu’s parents. We’ll learn that in 1971’s Savage Tales Magazine. For now, he’s just a caveman-looking dude.

This is billed as Ka-Zar’s debut, but the character actually appeared in several pre-Marvel comics under the Timely banner. Apparently, Marvel’s publisher, Martin Goodwin, wanted to bring the character back so that the rights didn’t lapse. 

They didn’t really know what to do with him yet, and basically just made him a Tarzan copy–down to the yell…

Also in this issue: Jean and Scott’s romance is beginning to bud.

It’s also worth noting that most of these early issues have some fun danger room sequences, like this one:

Here’s a map of the Savage Land, from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1989).

Chic Stone is the inker, and he seems to be doing most of Kirby’s work in 1965.  He’s probably best Kirby inker around, by the way.

First appearances: The Savage Land, Ka-Zar (first Marvel Universe appearance), and all that comes with it.

Let’s give this one a B+.  It’s a B- comic—better than many 1965 Marvel issues, and better than just about every other issue of X-Men so far–but it’s the first appearance of Ka-Zar which makes it that much more important.

Leave a Comment