X-Men #10 (1965, March)
I skipped posting yesterday, but I’m back today. By Lee, Kirby, Stone and Rosen, “The Coming of . . . Ka-Zar!”
It starts off with Marvel Girl telekinetically disassembling and reassembling a rifle, and she and Scott both pining for each other.
Oh, those crazy kids. Will they ever confess their love? We then see Warren watching a news report on a loin-cloth-clad man and a sabretooth tiger showing up in the Antarctic. Xavier tells them the guy’s not a mutant, but since they’ve been getting bored, he tells them to check it out anyway. He’s responsible that way.
They head down and find themselves in a tropical jungle full of prehistorical life, where Angel immediately has to be rescued from pterodactyls.
They’ve been here for less than 5 minutes, and Angel’s already had to be rescued. Actually, it’s 5 panels. It took five panels for Angel to need rescuing. Angel is useless. Anyway, he flies off to scout, and the others are attacked by primitive warriors, who have some weapons I’m sceptical about.
The savages are chased off by Ka-Zar, but not before they capture Marvel Girl. Ka-Zar and the X-Men fight a little bit until Maa-Gor, last of the man-ape tribe shows up, and is beaten by Ka-Zar, who then agrees to help the X-Men find Marvel Girl. Angel, still off by himself, gets himself captured, proving what a great asset he is.
He and Marvel Girl are brought to the top of a pyramid, and a pair of stone doors open up. Marvel Girl, in her fear, accidentally calls Angel ‘Scott’. Warren lets it slide. A T-Rex comes out of the doors, and Marvel Girl becomes terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
The other X-Men assault a base with Ka-Zar. We go back to the captives, where Marvel Girl proves she’s a badass.
After she dumps the T-Rex on its ass, she unties Angel’s bonds. He grabs her and gets away from the T-Rex, though he’s too weak to get them very far. Ka-Zar calls out for a stampede of mastodons, and the day is saved, though not without Angel being a little petulant.
No one cares that you’re OK, Angel. You suck. You’re useless and nobody likes you. So the X-Men leave, and Ka-Za seals the entrance behind them.
In addition to the first appearance of Ka-Zar and Zabu, this is also the first appearance of the Savage Land, though it’s not called such in this issue. The Savage Land will appear in all sorts of comics, but it’s most closely associated with the X-Men. Ka-Zar himself, of course, becomes a popular character in his own right, and starting in 1970, he starts getting his own stories in various double-feature titles, like Astonishing Tales and Savage Tales, as well as a couple attempts at ongoings in his own name. In this issue, he speaks broken English, but he does eventually learn better English.
Beyond that, though, this is actually kind of a silly issue. Stan and Jack were really stretching to come up with an excuse to get them down there, and once they do, the events are fairly formulaic and the stakes are low. It’s pure filler, really. Though that’s fine, once in a while. Also, Marvel Girl gets to throw boulders at a T-Rex, and then dump it on its ass. Angel gets to do nothing, because he really is useless. Cyclops should’ve left him to the pterodactyls.