Astonishing Tales #1 [1970] – The Power of Ka-Zar


Just before Kirby left Marvel, they launched a new pair of books giving solo features to some supporting characters, with Kirby doing a feature in each. ASTONISHING TALES featured Kirby drawing Ka-Zar. Sam Grainger inks the 10-page story, I think the only time he inked Kirby. Interesting look, very smooth and dark, I liked it.

Anyway, Kraven is brought in from Spider-Man as a villain for Ka-Zar, which is appropriate (and Kirby wasn’t creating too many new characters for Marvel at the time). Kraven decides that his most challenging hunt would be Ka-Zar’s pal, Zabu the sabretooth tiger. So he heads down to the Savage Land, manages to trap Ka-Zar in a pit and takes off with Zabu. Ka-Zar pursues and battles Kraven on his ship.


Despite his best efforts, Ka-Zar is defeated by a tranquilizer spray and tossed overboard. He quickly finds his way up to New York to rescue Zabu.

While a bit weak, especially compared to some of the work he’d soon be doing for DC, this was an interesting start, even though Kirby only lasted two half-issues on this feature. I thought his drawing of the Ditko designed Kraven worked surprisingly well, and I liked the various beasts and backgrounds he drew in the Savage Land in this issue.

Published 1970

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