Ka-Zar is Finally Accepting His Place as a Marvel God

Ka-Zar, Marvel’s version of Tarzan, is evolving beyond his role as protector of the Savage Land to become a God of balance and natural harmony.

Warning: contains spoilers for Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land # 5

Ka-Zar, Marvel‘s Protector of the Savage Land, is finally accepting his role as a God of nature. The role endows him with a variety of new abilities that make him much more powerful than he was before. It also opens up exciting new directions for the future of the character.

Kevin Plunder is actually the second character named Ka-Zar to appear in Marvel Comics, but he is the more iconic version by far. He is a hero operating out of the Savage Land, a prehistoric jungle habitat located in Antarctica. After being stranded there as a child, he was raised by the Smilodon Zabu and grew to become a protector of the Savage Land. While historically not having any superpowers possesses slightly enhanced physical abilities, after dying and coming back to life in the events of Empyre, Ka-Zar gained a supernatural connection to the Savage Land. This connection allows him to share sensations with the Savage Land itself and lets him take on the properties of any animals native to the habitat. It also causes him to resurrect whenever he dies in the Savage Land. Ka-Zar’s journey to come to grip with these powers is at the heart of Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Landa mini-series written by Zac Thompson with stunning art by Germán García, Álvaro López, and Matheus Lopes.


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In the fifth and final issue of this series, Ka-Zar finally accepts what his new powers actually mean after being killed in a fight with the primordial bacteria Domovoy the Flesh Weaver. As his body is being reconstituted by the Savage Land, he realizes that his human identity as Kevin Plunder is what has truly died. His role as Ka-Zar, protector and ambassador of the land can never die. This realization enables him to assume the mantle of the Savage Land’s God of Balance, a title that he had adamantly rejected in Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land # 4. By finally accepting his proper role, he is given the inspiration he needs to finally defeat Domovoy, not by fighting him directly, but by accepting Domovoy’s twisted creations into the Savage Land with open arms. This kindness causes them to turn on their creator, devouring him and accepting their place as denizens of the Savage Land.

Ka-Zar Savage Land Domovoy

Ka-Zar’s new role represents a major change in the character going forward. While the hero has always protected the Savage Land from outside threats, he has done so without any major supernatural abilities. In his new position as a God, he has a myriad of abilities that make him essentially unbeatable while he is in the Savage Land. Despite his massive increase in power, the larger change may come from his decision to cast aside his identity as Kevin Plunder. In the past, Ka-Zar has gotten involved in affairs outside of the Savage Land, including joining the Agents of Wakanda. However, now that he is officially a God of Balance for the Savage Land he may decide to focus his attention solely on the prehistoric territory.

Whatever path the character follows from here, it is guaranteed to be interesting. The threats that he faces as an Avatar of the Savage Land are sure to be on a different magnitude than those he is used to dealing with. But whatever challenges his new role brings, Ka-Zar‘s acceptance of his new role as a God shows that he is determined to face them head-on.

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