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, clearly inspired by Tarzan. 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.
Later on when Reptil, accompanied by Tigra, of the Avengers Academy come in search of his parents. The two happen across Moon Boy whom had gotten in a bit of trouble, Ka-Zar offers his assistance in rescuing and reuniting him with his partner and fellow savage resident, Devil Dinosaur. The jungle man bequeaths his new visitors his aid in finding the boys parents should they ever need it.
Time would pass and the Savage Land would know imbalance once again when some amongst the tribes attempt to trade with exploitive outsiders. Ka-Zar and Shanna are at first worried about how a fire which broke out near Rock People territories. But things take a turn when a lost tribe, the Ethereals long thought to've died off, turn up with an ultimatum of uniting all the tribes and forever banning any outsiders from their home. Torran of the Ether naturally came into conflict with Kevin and his associates because of this, but the threat of the blight and Roxxon trying to snake its way back into Pangea to profit off of their turmoil through Salicon had turned many of the other tribes against the Ether. While a contemporary of the native soil opts for putting his own voice out there for the sake of protecting the land. Ka-Zar goes into a meditative trance in order to search for his Etheral adversary, but runs afoul of the entire tribe that'd been dormant for thousands of years while the situation at the settlement takes a turn for the worse. While gloating over the seemingly easy victory, Torran fails to notice that his cornered quarry had managed to gather a great many individual tribes to his aid. The Ether are soon overwhelmed by the collective sect's onslaught and are driven out of the Savage Land for good. Later that day, ka-Zar watches over the Tubanti as they lay many of their stricken dead to rest after suffering a fatal reaction to the Salicon's antibiotics. When his son Matthew assures that while a friend amongts the tribe has passed on due to sickness. He is apart of Pangea now and therefore, will never truly be gone.
While his time as a diplomat speaking for the tribes of the territory to the United Nations council wore on him. Another crisis would peer over the horizon. His wife Shanna would later be possessed by an evil force claiming to be the creator of the Savage Land and attempt to seek total dominion of which. Kevin would end up teaming with Skaar to protect the Savage Land from said evil forces seeking to terraform the rest of the world to their liking. Coming into contact with the likes of Kid Colt and the Phantom Eagle; he would enlist their aid in battling the possessing entity currently hosting his wife known simply as the Designer, a Nuwali dissident whom was imprisoned within stasis caging upon a derelict ship. Seeing as it could not make the world its own before the chosen host died from his occupancy. The Designer opted to destroy everything it created by unsealing Umbu.
Which had grown considerably when last encountered by the Savage Land lord. Before the unliving titan's doomsday device could stop the planets rotation causing massive geological devastation. Skaar was able to jettison it's makeshift heart from its chest, causing the titan to power down. When everything was said and done, with the Designer hosting a Pangean whom rebuffed Ka-Zar for his outsider heritage being tossed off of the Unliving goliath. Ka-Zar would grant the Son of Hulk a fiefdom of his own in recognition of his ability to lead. Seeking to spend more time with his family and away from the complex politics of his home for a time.
Some time after that Ka-Zar would have other adventures protecting his home. He would team up with Thor prince of thunder and Phastos of the Eternals to deal with a mausure by the name of Maurice Poitain whom had been stealing the lands Antactic Vibranium. Later chancing upon a grizzled alt. Logan whom was having a bout with Kraven the Hunter. Whom the lord of the Savage Land personally exiled once upon a time. Afterwards he'd have visitations with a depowered Dennis Dunphy and his temporary companion Lockjaw while the latter was searching for his lost kin. One of whom being stationed within the Savage Land, and was an adversary of its ruling resident.
Sometime when after his wife; Shanna, had died and been resurrected. Kevin would go on a stint as an Agent of Wakanda having been personally selected by the hidden nations monarch, the Black Panther. He initially did this due to the unease he'd felt whilst in the newly revived She-Devil's presence. Kevin would make great strides as one of the Avenger's top infantry/spelunkers acting as the intelligence wing of Earth's Mightiest Heroes; acting as an infiltrator whom dove into the deep seas of Atlantis to gather intel upon their defenses and report back upon completion. He would surprise his overseer Okoye, by coming back alive with a gargantuan sea beast slung over his shoulder while asking where he can set up a fire for slow cooking while filing his intel to the Avengers. Ka-Zar was of critical assistance when the The War of the Realms got underway when Malekith and his Dark Council began they're onslaught of Midgard. He would be deployed by the Avenger's intelligence agency over the Antarctic Circle with an army of Vanir gods for the sake of routing a Roxxon facility responsible for jamming world wide connectivity feeds which greatly hampered global communications relays. Even rescuing fellow operatives Broo and Gorilla-Man from the corrupt corporations Elite B.E.R.S.E.R.K.E.R. Unit guarding the facility, battling the enchanted brutes with Mr. Hale while Blade administered a counter formula to negate their hulk-like superpowers.
In the meantime, after the war amongst 9 realms had concluded, Ka-Zar and his family would be visited by Marvel's First Family while looking up an extraterrestrial anomaly that'd crash-landed within the Savage Land. A xenoform by the name of Prodigal had landed in the care of the Swamp Men, long time enemies of the Plunder family. Their leader managed to convince the new arrival that a space worthy vessel was hidden within an old laboratory once belonging to the Herbert Wyndham; The High Evolutionary. But the issue was quickly resolved after a brief skirmish between said alien & his new entourage against Ka-Zar's allies in the Golden People and the Fantastic Four. When their second child offered enlightenment that Prodigal had been lied too by the Swamp Men's cheifton for the sake of procuring firepower enough to overtake the primal regions.
Ka-Zar would spend his days in mercurial flight of fancy while serving as an Agent of Wakanda. Dealing with monsters in Maui, battle the likes of Fin Fang Foom's cast offs begotten from undergoing meditative trances to expunge his darker impulses. He would even play a critical role during the Empyre War where the Cotati attempted to take Earth in a genocidal campaign to remove all animal based life from across the cosmos. Dying as a casualty of the conflict in his own home only to be resurrected by the sanguine fluids of the Man-Thing like his bride was.
Whence after the intergalactic conflict was resolved and Earth was made a charter member of the Kree/Skrull union. Ka-Zar would spend some time adjusting to his newfound state of being, having been bonded to the savage land through the fluids of Silas's monstrous form after his soul had been reaped and harvested by the Ebony Blade. Mr. Plunder had a difficult time getting used to the strange new powers his new lease on life had to offer. His expanded senses threatened to overwhelm his sanity but being with his loving wife helped mitigate the input overload he'd suffer from for a while. Just as he was moderating himself to the new normal, an ancient threat from the lands past came back to rear its ugly head. The entities name was Domovoy the Flesh Weaver, a collective entity superorganism with the ability to reshape genetic material through the use of biomechatronics with intent upon making the Savage Land a dominant power on the Earth. Ka-Zar and Shanna would later find that their son, Matthew; had been making secret liaisons with Polyscion but would regularly find themselves outmarched by the demented biotechnical entity, even with their newfound power through the Savage Land. When next they woke, the Plunder's would find themselves in the care of the Yugen. One amongst the first tribes of the Savage Land whom descend from the people of Atlantis.
They would discuss old testaments about how certain individuals would rise up and claim the mantle as protectorate of all things natural within the Savage land. With this newfound knowledge, Kevin and his wife would venture out to find Domovoy before he could enact his ultimate plan with Matthew in tow. Zira, former caretaker of their son, would show them the way to the fleshweaver's lair but warned them that they are not ready and will fare no better the the last time when they confronted him.
Despite the odds standing against them, the duo fearlessly charge into Domovoy's lair known simply as the Cradle. A subteranean place where all dead things go to be remade into Polyscions and to be reintroduced back into the land above. Husband and wife are soon beset by what they find waiting for them and are nearly overwhelmed, but Ka-Zar taps into the primal mainstream of the Savage Land's faunal selection to mimic traceless flight. Quickly scooping up his spouse before venturing towards the scent of their son. A trail which leads them to the cyborgified remains of a titanic dinosaur that went extinct some time ago. They find they're son thoroughly in the thrall of the Polyscion's that he lashes out at them for what Kevin's grandfather had done to the Smilodon's on his first trek through new territory. Ka-Zar was in the midst of calming his errant progeny but was soon struck down by Domovoy when the latter shattered his skull. Killing him once again before tossing his body, alongside Shanna, down a steep ravine. Much to the dismay of they're son. As his wife cradles his headless cadaver. Shanna begs the Savage land to restore her beloved so that they may save their shared home. In the space between moments, Ka-Zar has an epiphany while undergoing fundamental adaptational changes upon his resurrection.
Now acting as the true equilibrist for his primordial homeland. He rejects his outsiders roots and embraces his newfound semblance of life as the mediator between the wild and natural world. While Shanna goes to the Yugen tribe to prepare for the arrival of the Titanosaur, Ka-Zar resumes battle against Domovoy and has a much better go around of which due to his son weakening him.
Ka-Zar then opts to domesticate the rest of the Polyscion horde with the promise of acceptance and welcoming as was what the Savage Land was made for. Hearing tell of which they all soon turn upon their creator, returning to the mobile fortress made from the Dreadnoughtus's remains and devour him en masse. Kevin/Ka-Zar observes Domovoy's re-creations as they redistribute the mad tinkerer's essence back into their new home. Seeking to heal and repair what all was sundered both by the carelessness of settlers and the biomechanical blight said maker introduced into the environment. The newly christened Savage Family taking the sudden breadth of changes in stride upon their new mobile home.
Now having eased into his new role as a balancing act for his home away from home. Mr. Plunder would resume his work as a Wakandan Agent undergoing a mission for his commander-in-chief King T'Challa.
He would be sent into the distant past using Celestial Technology loaned to hum by the Panther in order to check-up on their prehistoric ancestors, the precursors to the Avengers millions of years hence. He was soon besieged by the arrival of a younger iteration of Thanos from when he'd just started out on his path of galactic genocide. Mysteriously popping up in the past with the intention of murdering humanities' future in it's crib. His plans were waylaid as the said same sect Ka-Zar had bee sent back to look into came to the Savage Lord's aid against the would-be tyrant. The Phoenix of the era would telepathically reassure him of the security of Earths primordial history whilst in their care.
To it, Ka-Zar opts to return to his future and is amazed by all the myriad continuum's he surveys detailing scores of heroes upon heroes on his way back. The wonder is soon disrupted by the sudden incursion of advanced technology which snares and drags the time-traveler out of history into an alt. timeline against his will.
He is soon encumbered in epic battle with an infernal agent known as the Iron Inquisitor; an extra-dimensional counterpart of Tony Starks late father Howard. Who in his native universe, enacted a Faustian deal with Mephistopheles to live long into the future of wonders by killing his only son. He would then act as the armorer/enforcer of the demonic lords will across time and space in order to enact the Council of Red's master plan of mass multiversal corruption. Hence his unprovoked attack on Ka-Zar wherein he would snatch the Jungle King out of his native timestream and attempt to leave him stranded upon a remote world where it would soon be devoured by dreaded Galactus. To prevent his escape from said alt. history planet, Stark would disable Kevin's time dagger before jumping back into the manifolds of history to parts unknown. But he gravely underestimated the Tarzanian individuals knack for survival, unbeknownst to Mephisto's stoolie; Ka-Zar would attempt to do battle with the World Devourer only to broker a deal with his future benefactor. In exchange for empowerment enough to navigate the wild waves of reality itself, he would act as the primordial predators new seeker in order to suss out viable planets to sate his hunger. Having become the point man for his cosmic benefactor; the Savage Herald would use his newfound capabilities in order to steer Galan towards helping him work his way back home.
Powers & Abilities
Ka-Zar possesses near Super-Humanoid conditioning followed by enhanced longevity due to wading through the mysterious vapors within the Land of Mists. His time as a survivalist has made Kevin very skilled in hunting, tracking, trapping, fishing, swimming and has great overall foraging skills. He also excels as a combatant - both in unarmed and weaponized melee such as knives and swords, spears as well as being an excellent shot with bows and slings.
Possessing almost above Olympic athletic ability thanks to his time growing up in the Savage Land; Ka-Zar is blessed with incredulous levels of strength, agility, reflexes and endurance either at or slightly above the very limits of human capacity. He is also an established leader & diplomat whom possesses a kind of charismatic sway over the various denizens of the primeval soil, possessing an uncanny ability to form a companionship with many animals native to the habitat. very skilled at using all sorts of primitive weapons such as spears, knives, and a bow and arrow. He's skilled in hunting and gathering, as well as first-aid. Being pretty well-trained in veterinarian practices, with the capability of being close to wild animals. He is astonishingly powerful for a man of his build and musculature stature; able to press (at minimum) around 430lbs, and bench up to 2-5 tons when pushed to do so. Easily able to uproot tree trunks and/or bend iron prison bars with his bare hands if necessary.
Having been through the same resurrection process to his wife Shanna, Kevin/Ka-Zar now possesses an inextricable link to his home domain. So long as the Savage Land exists, so too will all of the power; Ka-Zar himself included, that comes with it. As such his strength has been greatly magnified beyond his already impressive norm. Enabling him to lift and toss a full-grown and biomechanically modified T-Rex over 50mi with ease. Bash & shatter the heavily reinforced gargantuan limbs of megafauna. Project incredible dynamic energies comparable in power to an atomic blast. Even having incredulous metamorphic capabilities which enable the mimicry of many creatures indigenous to the Savage Land.
In his most recent escapades. The savage lord has undergone a cosmological enhancement by the legendary World Devourer of another plane of reality. Taking on the mighty Power Cosmic, not to mention all of its gifts, as his own while becoming a herald to his new employer. Using it in typical Herald of Galactus fashion, mainly for flight and self-sustenance in hostile regions.
Weapons & Paraphernalia
While a humble primal goer whom had long forsaken the alure of mans technology. Ka-Zar remains to this day, an adept arms expert mainly specializing in primitive utilities; such as the bowie knife, stone carved spear and/or bow & arrows. He will often make use of whatever he has on hand within his primordial domain as the Cro-Magnon men of old once did to hunt and forage for their survival.
Vibranium Buckle: Ka-Zar often makes use of a belt buckle comprised of Vibranium from the Savage Land. It is currently unknown what variety of the metal it is as the type of Vibranium was never touched upon. What is known is that the metal projects a type of sonic wave pulse that can be used to open invisible doorways leading to different planes of reality.
Bio-Wears: As of late, Kevin had taken to adorning special adaptive organic technologies provided by his wife Shanna. The modular nature of his new uniform allows the wearer to survive in just about any environment of varied climates they come across by growing and generating new special fatigues which can withstand the elements. They also have attire altering properties to accommodate this facet of their function, as well as boasting an ability to generate storage space for withholding and compartmentalization of various wears their user needs to keep stored away when on the go.
Vibranium Knife: Provided by the AoW as one of their special agents. The lord of the Savage Land was provided with a special Wakandan grade Vibranium Dagger which is tough enough & sharp enough to rend even the invulnerable hide of Fin Fang Foom's characteristic cast offs.
Time Dagger: A device comprising of Celestial technology which was manufactured by the Black Panther. It's edge is monofilament sharp and can easily slice or rend through mechanical devising's of similar make with relative ease. The skein is A.I. sentient and has the main capacity of enabling traversal through the time-stream. Given to him for the express purpose of spelunking to the distant past for the sake of observing the primordial Avengers in action.
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.