Lord Robert Plunder discovered the hidden jungle in the Antarctic continent that became known as the Savage Land.
A tribe of barbaric Man-Apes killed Lord Plunder, but as they attacked his infant son, Kevin, they were driven off by Zabu, the last survivor of a species of saber-toothed tiger that the Man-Apes had hunted to near extinction.
Immediately forming an empathic bond, Zabu took Kevin to the Land of Mists, a region where the Man-Apes refused to set foot. The encounter soon passed into the Man-Apes' legends, and young Kevin was given the name Ka-Zar, which means son of the tiger.
Young Kevin had banished most of the memories of his childhood as a pampered son of nobility, and came to think and act like a "savage." Ka-Zar grew up in the Land of Mists alongside Zabu, who taught him how to survive in the Savage Land.
The first Ka-Zar, David Rand, was first published by Manvis in a pulp fiction magazine, Ka-Zar #1 (10/1936), making him one of the first Marvel Comics characters. The Golden Age Ka-Zar was created by Bob Byrd who wrote the Ka-Zar pulp fiction novels. The first comic book appearance of Ka-Zar was in Marvel Comics #1 (10/1939) adapted from Bob Byrd's story in Ka-Zar #1 (10/1936).
This Ka-Zar was the son of John and Constance Rand. His father was an American businessman active in Johannesburg, South Africa. Constance's father lived in Cairo, Egypt. The affluent family hired a light airplane to transport them there for a visit. Said plane crash landed over the Belgian Congo. All three Rands survived the landing. But Constance was injured and her wounds went untreated. She died of a fever. The loss undermined John's sanity.
He decided to cease all efforts to rejoin the rest of mankind. Proclaiming himself ruler of the jungle and raising three-year-old David as his heir. David's best friend while growing up was the lion Zar. Ten years later, John Rand was killed while trying to defend "his" jungle from treasure seekers. David Rand succeeded him as lord of the Jungle. Renaming himself Ka-Zar, "brother of Zar" in a local dialect.
Originally David Rand was a normal human being who engaged in intensive regular exercise. Later a witch-doctor's potion granted him enhanced strength and endurance. His main power though was the ability to communicate with animals and give them commands.
The second Ka-Zar, Kevin Reginald Plunder, is similar to the first one and was first published in X-Men #10 (3/1965). Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created Kevin Plunder as the Silver Age Ka-Zar and were the creative team for his debut. It was believed this was the same character with a retconned origin, but recent handbook entries confirmed they are separate characters.
When the original X-Men discovered the Savage Land, Ka-Zar encountered them and helped them in battling Maa-Gor. He also had the chance to meet Daredevil and fight his brother, the Plunderer. Together with Hulk which he met for the first time, they have fought Umbu the Unliving. As Jonah Jameson also fooled him that Spider-Man was a villain who once worked with Doctor Octopus, he fought Spidey whose memories are erased. As his memories were restored, Ka-Zar apologizes for his mistake.
After the discovery of the X-Men to Savage Land, the aforementioned spot was then known to outsiders. He also fell in love with Mockingbird as she visits the place. He also fought AIM and the Man-Thing. Another being called Gog, also appeared in his territory. Because of this, he teamed up with Spider-Man and fought him. He also fought Klaw and have been in different dimensions. He then met Shanna who became his love interest. As Magneto's Savage Land Mutates also attempts to ruin the peace of Savage Land, he had to team up with the X-Men and fight Garokk and Zaladane.
Ka-Zar has teamed-up with a dozen heroes through the years. Later revelations soon stated that Savage land was a part of Pangaea. He also met Belasco. His brother was also killed but turned up. One day Kevin came upon an adventurer who had become lost in the jungle. Her name was Shanna O'Hara, later known as Shanna the She-Devil. Ka-Zar and Shanna became romantically involved and eventually married. They would have a son and named him Mathew.
At one time a powerful alien known as Terminus destroyed the Savage Land, but the High Evolutionary reconstructed it.
During the Secret Invasion, Pitt o Nili, disguised as Captain America, attempted to fool everyone that he was Captain America. But then, its residents and Spider-Man did not believe him for they know that Steve Rogers was dead. Even if he fights like Captain America, they stood by their word that who they are seeing is not Captain America but a Skrull taking his form. During the fight, he was unexpectedly struck and his real personality was revealed. Ka-Zar and Shanna then killed him.
Ka-Zar has no Super-Human powers, but he has peak human physical conditioning and is very skilled in hunting, tracking, trapping, fishing, swimming and has great overall survival skills. He is also a skilled combatant - both unarmed and with weapons such as knives and swords, and is an excellent shot with bows and slings.
Kevin Plundarr, is known as Gotowar Konanegg who was a member of Captain Britain's Corps.
The X-Men encountered Ka-Zar with his wife Shanna.
Ka-Zar and Shanna are now members of the Ultimates following the events of Ultimatum. While out for the night with his wife, Ka-Zar and Shanna are attacked by an army of ogres sent by Loki from Asgard. Ka-Zar and Shanna do battle with the ogres, though they are unaided by the other members as they are either under the Enchantress' influence or being held captive by their aforementioned teammates.
Savage land terraformed in New York. He also wears headgear using Zabu's skull. He also has a son named Matthew. For their objective to bring New York back to normal, he and Parnival sacrificed their own lives. Shanna was the only survivor of Ka-Zar's family.
Both Ka-Zar and Zabu were converted into zombies when Quicksilver spread the virus to the Savage land.
House of M
Ka-Zar appeared in an article together with Zabu.
Ka-Zar was apparently bonded with Zabu during this reality, changed by the release of the Terrigen Mists into the atmosphere by Black Bolt. They aided Kid Marvel and Captain America in finding the gateway to Limbo, and were instrumental in finding the real Belasco, so Kurt Wagner could return to his life as Nightcrawler.
- Ka-Zar appeared in the Spider-Man episode "The Hunter and the Hunted," where he arrived in New York to save Zabu from Kraven the Hunter.
- Ka-Zar appeared in the two-part X-Men: The Animated Series episode "Reunion," voiced by Robert Bockstael. Ka-Zar partnered with the heroes to free the Savage Land from Mister Sinister, who had kidnapped Shanna and many other residents of the jungle. He returned in the two-part episode "Savage Land, Savage Heart," where he helped the X-Men deal with the threat of Zaladane and Garrokk.
- Ka-Zar appeared in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Stranger From a Savage Land," voiced by Kevin Sorbo.
- Ka-Zar appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "The Savage Spider-Man," voiced by Steven Blum.
- Ka-Zar appeared as an NPC in the video game X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse voiced by John Cygan. He and Shanna were shown at Avalon during the X-Men's mission in the Savage Land.
- Ka-Zar makes a cameo appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in Amaterasu's ending.
- Ka-Zar appeared in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Crispin Freeman.
- Ka-Zar is a playable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Ka-Zar and Zab were featured in the X-Men: Savage Land line from ToyBiz during the 1990s.
- Bowen Designs produced a bust featuring Ka-Zar and Zabu.
- Ka-Zar and Zabu were featured in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection from Eaglemoss Publications.
- Ka-Zar was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Ka-Zar, Shanna and Zabu appeared in a special Marvel Legends box set, which was produced by Hasbro as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive.