Born in South Africa circa 1918, three-year old David Rand accompanied his British parents, John and Constance, on a flight to Cairo to visit his grandfather, but their plane crashed in the Belgian Congo. Injured, Constance died shortly thereafter, driving John slightly mad. Living in the jungle with his father, isolated from the local tribes, David grew under the jungle’s hardships into an unusually powerful youth and developed strong empathy with wildlife, notably rescuing the lion Zar from quicksand. When criminal Paul de Kraft discovered emeralds in the Congo, John Rand died opposing him, but Zar drove de Kraft off. With Zar’s support, David became the jungle’s leading warrior within a few years, challenging Bardak the ape, N’Jaga the Leopard, and others. Considered godlike by the natives, he became known as “Ka-Zar” or “brother of the lion”. When de Kraft returned to seize the emerald deposits, the vengeful Ka-Zar killed him.
Aided by animal allies, Ka-Zar appointed himself guardian of the jungle, meeting out harsh retribution to any intruder seeking to exploit his resources-but he frequently aided more benign explorers, such as when he protected Prof. Rice and his daughter Mara from the criminal pilot “Red” Skelton, rescued Rita Grey from the Wabi tribe, and helped two Scotland Yard detectives capture murderer London Jack. When Zar was captured by first the vicious Rajah Sarput and then big game hunter Bradley, who shipped him to the U.S., Ka-Zar stowed away on the ship. He freed Zar when the ship docked in New York but was arrested for trying to free zoo animals as well. Fortunately, Ruth Wilson, another woman whom Ka-Zar had rescued during an African expedition, vouched for him, and he and Zar were granted passage back to Africa on a British ship. Surviving attacks by entrenched Nazi forces, they confronted Sarput, who was ultimately slain by their elephant ally Trajah. Soon after, Ka-Zar learned he had inherited his father’s Transvaal diamond mines and, after preventing his inheritance’s theft by John Rand’s law partner Alec Wright, donated the wealth to war relief in England.
On an expedition to the mysterious Black River Region, Ka-Zar encountered giants and subterranean lizard-people, befriending the giant Bogat. Later, he waged a series of campaigns against Axis forces in Ethiopia, Somaliland, and elsewhere, killing them with their own artillery both on his own and with cooperation with British and French forces. Following one such encounter, Ka-Zar was restored to health by an aged witch doctor, who gave him a brew used centuries before to grant his tribe superhuman strength, Ka-Zar’s exploits earned him such fame that he was invited to attend a meeting of superhuman champions in mid-194, and he protected his region’s wildlife when Africa was threatened by monstrous tidal waves from Atlantean warfare. Ka-Zar’s activities were last reported later that year; his subsequent life remains unchronicled.
* NOTE - Ka-Zar (David Rand) is not to be confused with Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder) the ruler of the Savage Land.