As Zabu fans, our favorite part of this comic is Zabu kicking major alligator ass. He needs no help from any human brother! But listen, this comic is also important for being the second appearance of Man-Thing.
Manny first appeared in Savage Tales #1 in 1971. Len Wein and Neal Adams created a second Man-Thing story that didn’t make it into Savage Tales. That story is integrated in its entirety right into the middle of this two-part Ka-zar story by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. It’s fitting, because Thomas wrote that very first Man-Thing story.
Len Wein went on to write the first issues of Swamp Thing for DC Comics with Berni Wrightson. The star-studded “Terror Stalks the Everglades!” also features inker Dan Adkins and John Romita, Sr., who provided retouches to the original black-and-white Neal Adams artwork.
The Coming of Ka-Zar! Here it is: the first silver age appearance of Ka-zar, lord of the savage land! And don’t forget Zabu!
Even though Ka-zar is not a mutant, Xavier allows the X-Men to travel to Antarctica and enter the Savage Land to investigate this noble savage. They end up having to save Jean and Warren from being sacrificed by the Swamp Men.
Collector’s Guide: – From Uncanny X-Men #10; Marvel, 1964. – Reprinted in Marvel Masterworks X-Men HC #1. – Reprinted in Marvel Masterworks New Edition X-Men HC #1. – Reprinted in Marvel Masterworks X-Men TPB #1.
Last year, we shared a page from Ka-zar that empowered you — with the miracle of primitive, analog technology — to Make Your Own Sabretooth Tiger. But you know, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to cut up our only copy of Ka-zar #18. Not until we found another copy for 33 cents in the bargain bin, that is! Now Zabu can hang out on our desk, making every day a day in the Savage Land.
Spider-man jumps without a parachute into the Savage Land, where he and Ka-zar take on the evil Stegron and a herd of stampeding dinos! Later, the dinosaurs fly to New York to bring chaos to the streets. And who should drop in but the Black Panther?! With art by Gil Kane and a guest appearance by Dr. Curtis “The Lizard” Connors, this two-part dino extrvaganza has been one of our very favorites for as long as we can remember! Do you want Part Two of the story?
Remember when the Savage Land was totally destroyed by a giant alien in space armor? Dinosaurs on the run, Terminus looking mighty creepy, and the Avengers flexing in the jungle. Not to mention Hercules making friends with a sabretooth tiger, a little Kirby Krackle, and Shanna trying on her new leopard bikini. It’s all part of one of our favorite runs on the Avengers. We posted two excerpts: Part One.
Collector’s Guide: From Avengers #256-257: “Holocaust in a Hidden Land.”
Roger Stern plotting and scripting, John Buscema handling layouts and breakdowns, and Tom Palmer’s finishes bringing it all together! This team rocked the Avengers for thirty issues in #255-285, from 1985-1987.
Remember when the Savage Land was totally destroyed by a giant alien in space armor? Dinosaurs on the run, Terminus looking mighty creepy, and the Avengers flexing in the jungle. Not to mention Hercules making friends with a sabretooth tiger, a little Kirby Krackle, and Shanna trying on her new leopard bikini. It’s all part of one of our favorite runs on the Avengers. We posted two excerpts: Part Two.
Collector’s Guide: From Avengers #256-257: “Holocaust in a Hidden Land”
The 1980s were not kind to our dinosaur-riding, smilodon-loving jungle hero Ka-zar. But, we did get a few good stories about Zabu, who was always the one we liked more anyway. Artists like Gil Kane and Val Mayerik contributed to the back up stories “Tales of Zabu” that traced the tiger’s life from a cub to his first mate to his first encounters with the future lord of the Savage Land.
Plus, we got this totally awesome page you could cut out and fold to make your own Zabu! Print it out and send us a pic of your own sabretooth! (Yes, I did it.)
Uncanny X-Men #275 featured an awesome three-page fold-out wrap-around cover. Today’s post features that cover — and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy, what with my scanner only being big enough for one page at a time. So take advantage of my hard work, click on the image, blow it up to relish the detail, and set it as your desktop background.
Uncanny X-Men #275 sets the artistic high water mark for the team of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. Very soon, their take on Marvel’s mutants would earn X-Men #1 the record of highest sales for any one comic book, ever. The records still stands.
Rock the black & white artwork by John Byrne and Terry Austin in one of our favorite comic book scenes of all time: Wolverine having a chat with Zabu the sabretooth tiger, a constant companion of Ka-Zar. Dig the full–color version with bonus material!
Wolverine having a chat with Zabu the sabretooth tiger, a constant companion of Ka-Zar. Art by John Byrne and Terry Austin. Note the “additional footage” inserted into John Byrne original artwork here. You can compare it to the unedited black and white version of the original story.
More black and white artwork from Essential X-Men. Witness John Byrne and Terry Austin’s original artwork from the first time Wolverine meets Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land – and his awesome sabretooth tiger, Zabu!
More dinosaur action in the Savage Land— and the coolest Zabu (Ka-Zar’s sabretooth tiger) ever! Feast your eyes on Joe Madureira’s artwork. Through this entire series, he provides an overwhelming visual feast. Great fun!
2022 Update: This was the first post here at Mars Will Send No More, way back in January 2011. Since then, the scans I painstakingly made for it somehow became FUBAR; so, eleven years later, I pilfered some pirate scans from the web to restore this post to its former glory. Along the way, I re-discovered that the letters page contains the Mole Man Value Stamp, which later became the avatar for our blogging buddy Paul at Longbox Graveyard — a truly historic comics coincidence!
That being said, Russ Heath‘s dinosaur artwork in Wizard of Forgotten Flesh speaks for itself. Dig his splash panel for page one.
Here is a the five-page sequence where Ka-zar and his buddies harness a Triceratops. They ride it into a river where they wage battle against the evil cult of serpent people.
Gotta admit: I love Zabu, the sabre-tooth tiger. One of my favorite scenes in any superhero book is Zabu and Wolverine having a conversation in animal language. That was Uncanny X-Men #116, when Chris Claremont and John Byrne took the X-men to Ka-zar’s home, the Savage Land.
Anyway, these serpent cultists are up to no good and using some ancient skull to give them power to enslave the tattooed guy’s people. The good guys free the prisoners, but the serpent priestess invokes skull power. With that power, she raises the dead to life to be her unholy soldiers.
This is a fun issue. It transplants some of the best 1970s Conan and Kull cliches and male-bonding adventures into a world of dinosaurs, and the artwork makes the script come to life. Unfortunately, it was only a fill-in from Russ Heath, and he would not again grace the pages of this series.
Collector’s Guide: From Ka-Zar #12, Marvel Comics, 1974.