> X-Men Masterworks Volume 1
 
 

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"We've seen this sort of thing many times on the late show...but to actually encounter such a world in real life...it staggers the senses!

-- Cyclops, at first gazing upon the Savage Land, pg. 7


Much like the Swamp Men, I, too, would run screaming like a little girl when faced with the coming of a sabre-tooth tiger. Which is yet another thing Jean Grey and I don't have in common.

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X-Men #10
March 1965 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Jack Kirby Inks: Chic Stone


Title: "The Coming Of....Ka-Zar!"

First Appearance: Ka-Zar & Zabu; Savage Land (not yet named); The Swamp Men; Maa-Gor, the Killer

Villain: The Swamp Men; Maa-Gor, the Killer

Letters Page: Page One Page Two


Synopsis: The story begins in the Danger Room, with Marvel Girl reconstructing a rifle from several dozen pieces floating in the air through the powers of her telekenesis. Yet more uncomfortable tension simmers between her and Scott as they reflect on their unrequited love privately in their own thoughts. Seeking to switch from the awkward moment created by all this lovelorn pondering, Scott wonders aloud where Warren is, and he and the rest of the X-Men go charging off in search of their winged teammate. They find him watching a news bulletin that shows a group of Antarctic explorers being approached by a man "clad only in a loin cloth" and what appears to be a sabre-tooth tiger. The world watches on amazed at the scene of the nearly naked man returning a lost explorer, but unfortunately a melee ensues, caused by the approach of a tiger in the midst of the fearing humans. The X-Men assume this strange man must be a mutant, and they take their concerns to Professor X.

The professor calms them, telling them he is not a mutant, otherwise Cerebro would have located his powers, but that if the X-Men want to eagerly pursue his location, they have earned the right through their hard work. He allows them to take off to Antarctica to solve the mystery of this man and his tiger!

The X-Men, sans Prof. X, land in Antarctica and set off in an armored vehicle, treading through the snow of the tundra. They head to the location of the news bulletin, and find an impossibly deep crevasse which the mystery man and his feline friend were last seen. Cyclops fires his optic beam down into the hole, which stirs up a huge explosion of snow that uncovers a hidden tunnel. They follow the icy tunnel for "what seems like hours of descending," when they feel the sensation of warmth and the Angel flies ahead to scout their destination.

The Angel is immediately attacked by pterodactyls, but he is able to ever-so-carefully elude them with his inimitable flying powers. The team chases the flying dinosaurs away, and they begin to realize the wonderment of their surroundings. They wander through this strange land underneath the Arctic tundra, a tropical wilderness full of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures! Before they have a chance to come to grips with their surroundings, they are attacked by primitive warriors riding on the backs of large birds slinging gas bombs which land at the feet of the X-Men, putting them all to sleep except for the Beast. Hank does his best to fight off the pack of wildmen, but they manage to fell with Marvel Girl as their hostage.

What caused them to flee was the bellowing cry of the man of mystery the mutants were after. He and his sabretooth tiger come upon the scene, and he greets the X-Men, saying "I am Ka-Zar!" They thank him for their help, and in a curious move the Beast feels up Ka-Zar's amazing biceps, which causes his tiger, Zabu, to attack! An awkward melee begins, which is interrupted by the entrance of Maa-Gor, The Killer, last of the Man-Ape tribe. Ka_zar gives Maa-Gor his total attention, and the X-Men stand back to witness his dominance over the Man-Ape foe. Eventually, Maa-Gor gives up and runs away, with the mutants covering their ears to the piercing screams of the victorious Ka-Zar and Zabu. The X-Men sway Ka-Zar to help them locate their kidnapped comrade, Jean Grey, and Ka-Zar readily agrees to fight with them against his enemies the Swamp Men.

The team plows ahead behind Ka-Zar and Zabu, and the Angel flies in recon when he is captured by a net. He is now a hostage of the Swamp Men and is carried to a walled-in village where he reunited as a captive along with Jean Grey. They are led up to the top of a pyramid where they are to be sacrificed. Their hands are bound with rope, which Jean is unable to rend free since they are gummed up with pitch. Then, from a hidden recess, comes a Tyrannousaurus Rex, which is to eat them as sacrifices of the Swamp Men! Warren yells at Jean to undo his bonds, which aren't gummed up, but she is frozen in fear.

Racing to the rescue are Ka-Zar and the X-Men, and they finally make it to the Swamp Men compound. Angel and Jean are trying to ward off the approach of the T. Rex. Jean righted herself and threw large boulders at the dino, and undercut its balance with her mind control. With precious moments gained, she turns her attention to Warren's bonds and manages to release him, and he carries her away from danger in flight. He isn't able to gain enough altitude, however, and is snatched from the sky by a Swamp Man.

The Beast races up the side of the compound to gain entry, and gets into a scrum with the sentries guarding the heights. Cyclops blasts a hole in the front door and Ka-Zar takes the chance to roar a command to a herd of mastodons, who come tromping through the swamp and crash through the compound. Ka-Zar and Iceman corral several Swamp Men as Zabu chases many others away from Jean and Angel. Cyclops notices the two, but seems to show the most concern for Jean...and she notices! And so does Warren, who wonders aloud "I'm okay, too, Cyke. Or hadn't you noticed?"

The X-Men begin to take their leave from this subterranean land, and Cyclops extends the hand of friendship to Ka-Zar. The Lord of the Jungle shakes hands with Cyclops, but is happy to see the mutants leave, telling them they belong above and he belongs below! They hurry out to the Antarctic, and a herd of mastodons pushes boulders down into the tunnel, seemingly blocking the entrance forevermore.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

-- scanned letters page provided by Karl Mattson


Issues Reprinted
X-Men #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

 
XMEN #1 XMEN #2 XMEN #3 XMEN #4 XMEN #5
XMEN #6 XMEN #7 XMEN #8 XMEN #9 XMEN #10

 

All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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