The X-Men #10, Mar. 1965
Stan Lee, writer and Jack Kirby, artist have triumphed again!!
Magnificently supported by: Chic Stone, inker
S. Rosen, letterer
I’ve never really understood how Ka-Zar fits into the whole Marvel universe, what with him being basically Tarzan except instead of growing up in the African jungle, he grew up in the insane prehistoric land that apparently exists beneath Antarctica. I guess back in the 60’s “jungle adventure” was still a relevant genre, and it just hasn’t been for so long that it seems foreign to me.
The X-Men are spending their day as they always do, practicing incessantly in the Danger Room, when Warren Worthington III notices a report on TV about a primitive man and his pet sabertooth tiger attacking people in the Antarctic. Cerebro says he’s not a mutant, but they’re bored and decide to check it out anyway. They find a path down beneath the surface where an impossible lost world appears to exist, and are immediately attacked by cavemen riding chocobos. They knock everyone but the Beast out and kidnap Marvel Girl just because that’s the kind of thing primitive bad guys do.
The remaining X-Men find Ka-Zar and his kitty Zabu, and struggle to communicate with the savage. Besides mentioning that his name is Ka-Zar and that he’s “lord of jungle,” it’s pretty tough to get anything across to him, but they eventually get him to lead them to the swamp people who are holding Jean Gray hostage. With the help of their mutant powers and a stampede of woolly mammoths, they rescue their captured comrade. Once the battle is over, Ka-Zar insists that they get the fuck out so he can go back to grunting and being amazed at shiny things.
Seriously, Ka-Zar is retarded. Even Tarzan is a quick learner and he’s curious about the world and language and other people and things like that. Ka-Zar is amazed by Cyclops’ “magic eyes” minutes after being attacked by that exact same thing himself. I guess if I grew up in a subantarctic land where dinosaurs are everywhere, and those are the things that are less insane as monsters than some of the other shit, I’d place a higher emphasis on learning how to summon mammoths by screaming than understanding simple concepts.