Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human enhanced by chemical substances
Occupation: Chief of the Urganas
Affiliations: Urganas (adopted tribe)
Enemies: Abdul the Arab; Queen Loha; Pierre LeBrun; Leopard Men; Hordes of Shem
Known Relatives: Kate Goodwill (wife); Professor Goodwill (father in-law), unidentifed father (deceased), Ta-Lo (foster father)
Aliases: the Giant Man; "God-Son"
Base of Operations: African jungle
First Appearance: Zip Comics #1 (MLJ, February 1940)
Powers/Abilities: Kalthar possesses magic red and green grains. The red gain, when swallowed, allows Kalthar to grow to 15 feet. The green grain returns him to normal. In his giant size, Kalthar has shown to be invulnerable to bullets and has even survived the smothering of exploding dynamite with his body. Able to communicate with animals.
History: (Zip Comics #1) When a white child is orphaned in Africa when his father losses his life freeing an African tribe, the Urganas, from Arab slave traders, Ta-Lo, the Urganas medicine man, raises the infant and gives him the name of Kalthar. Kalthar, in the Urganas tongue it means God-Son. Kalthar grows strong and learns the language of the beasts, whom he befriends. As he becomes of age, Ta-Lo makes Kalthar the chief of the Urganas and gives him magic gains. A red gain, when swallowed, allows Kalthar to grow to 15 feet. The green grain returns him to normal. Adding this power to his already formidable strength and abilities, Kalthar becomes a jungle legend "not even Mano, the elephant when mad dares to fight" him.
Shortly after a wounded Uraganas warrior gasps out a story at the feet of Kalthor. A band of Arab slavers are raiding villages in the jungle. Kalthar decides to go after the slavers. Meanwhile on the outskirts of Urganas land the Arab chieftain is warned by one of his men that the land of the Urganas is protected by the giant white man, Kalthar. The chief is arrogant: "Let him come. I've had enough of meddling. I'll finish him quickly enough."
Kalthar hurries to the slavers walled encampment at giant size (15 feet), but nearing it surmises that he might be easily seen at this size and the slavers may kill the the slaves. So, he swallows a green grain to which reduces him to normal height so that he can sneak into the slavers hideout. However, a hidden Arab sees the change and rushes back to tell his chief. When Kalthar leaps the wall he is quickly beset upon by the Arabs who were prepared for his coming. He fights desperately, but the odds are too great and he is captured. The Arab chieftain mocks him telling Kalthar that the Ugarnas is the next tribe he will capture and send to the slave market. Kalthar answers the chieftain in his own language. The chief threatens to tear out Kalthar's tongue and imprsions him, to be executed later that night.
Later, the chieftain approaches Kalthar and tells him he will spare his life if Kalthar tells him the secret of his growth. Kalthar refuses. He is tied to a tree where natives are forced by the slavers to throw spears in his direction in order to frighten him into telling his secret. Kalthar lets out a mighty yell: "Kai..a-a-a,Kai..a-a-a, Kai..a-a-a P-i-i!" His friends, the apes, hear his call and rush to his aid. Mano the elephant also hears and responds. The Chief orders his men to shoot Kalthar. The jungle man speaks to the natives in there own tongue, telling them who he is and that if they let the Arabs shoot him they will be sold at the slave market. Just then Butah, the monkey arrives. Kalthar instructs Butah in the monkey's language, and the monkey removes a grain from Kalthar's hair, dropping it into his master's mouth, as Mano crashes through the village wall. Kalthar instantly grows to his fifteen foot height, and escapes his bonds. The Arabs fire upon him, but the bullets bounce off. Then he wades into the Arabs. Finally, he grabs the chief, who begs for mercy. Kalthar tells him to leave the jungle and never return, and threatens his life should he ever come back. Shortly, the natives bow before Kalthar and he tells them that though they are not warriors like his Ugarnas, they must learn to fight for themselves. Kalthar returns to the Ugarnas village where he informs Ta-Lo that the slavers have been driven out.
(Zip Comics #2) Kalthar's second adventure begins with a blast--literally. Kalthar is at his 15 foot height and wrestling playfully with Mano, the Elephant amidst a heard of elephants when there is a sudden explosion near them. The elephants scatter, being picked off by white hunters and native bearers alike. On of the native bearers makes mention that the "white god" has been killed in the blast. The leader of the raiders is gratified about that. But, Kalthar was only stunned. Upon awaking, after the hunters have left, Kalthar finds only one survivor of the deadly raid, the herd leader. Kalthar swears that he will avenge his elephant friends.
Kalthar sends forth Ugarnas warriors to find the location of the raiders camp, and soon, after shrinking back to normal size he sets out for the camp, swinging through the trees. He finds the raiders already on the move toward their next raid. Waylaying one of the bearers, Kalthar learns that the raiders are headed for a popular elephant watering hole. Racing ahead through the trees, Kalthar reaches the water hole before the raiders and warns the elephants. He tells them that he is there to protect them, then retreats to a tree limb to wait in ambush for the raiders. The raiders arrive, and using the same plan as before hurl sticks of dynamite into the heard in order to scatter them. Kalthar leaps from the tree, grabs the dynamite before it explodes, and hurls it back at the elephant hunters. It explodes in the midst of them. Kalthar, about to consume a red grain to grow to his 15-foot size, is stunned when a bullet grazes his head.
Hurling another stick of dynamite into the midst of the herd the hunters begin firing their weapons causing the elephants to stampede in the direction of the fallen Kalthar. But Kalthar regains consciousness, takes red grain and flings himself on the dynamite, successfully smothering the blast. With the help of the elephants, Kalthar defeats the hunters. He decides not to kill them, and allows the elephants to carry the raiders out of the forest wrapped in their trunks.
(Zip Comics #3) Next Kalthar meets the woman who will eventually become his wife. While playing in the trees with Butah, the monkey, Kalthar hears a woman's voice shouting for help. Investigating, he sees in the river an overturned canoe with a white woman clinging to it and three natives swimming away as a group of Mago, crocodiles, hurry toward the woman. Kalthar swallows his red grain and dives into the midst of the crocs, battling them until they tire, unaffected by their razor-sharp teeth. He then takes the half-drowned woman onto shore. He's never seen a white woman before and is amazed. He grabs one of the woman's bearers, threatening him for deserting her, and questioning him as to where the woman came from. The native agrees to take Kalthar to her camp. Meanwhile Kalthar consumes a green grain and reverts to his normal size.
When Kalthar nears the camp carrying the unconscious girl one of the men at the camp fires at him, grazing his head.. During the coming weeks, Kalthar, near death, is nursed back to health by the woman, Kate. As he improves, Kate teaches Kalthar English. Finally well, Kate's father, Professor Goodwill, tells Kalthar he is seeking the golden tablets in the lost land of Kybys. Kalthar agrees to lead the expedition. However, Kathar's attending does not sit well with Professor Goodwill's two assistants who plot to get rid of him. Along the trail, as they near their destination, two lions appear out of the brush, threatening them. Kalthar lunges at the male to engage him. As Kalthar battles the lion, Professor Goodwill's assistant, John, who was the one who shot Kalthar earlier, readies to shoot him. Kate steps up and deflects the rifle, causing John's shot to kill the other lion. Kalthar kills the lion he'd been fighting.
Days later they come upon the lost city. As some of the party dig for the tablets, Kate urges Kalthar to return with them abroad. Kalthar tells her that his home is in the jungle, and urges her to stay with him. John and the other assistant uncover the tablets of pure gold. Their greed gets the better of them and John knocks out Kalthar from behind with the butt of his rifle. The two assistants tie up Kalthar, Kate and the Professor, and attempt to tip a dome that is resting precariously atop a ruined tower. In the meantime, Kalthar awakes. He urges Kate who his near him to wriggle herself into position to remove a red grain from his hair. She manages to do this with her mouth and drops the grain from her mouth into Kalthar's mouth. The grain takes effect immediately, shooting Kalthar to fifteen feet, enabling him to easily break his bonds. Just as the two men succeed in rolling the dome off of the tower, Kathar catches it and heaves it into the fragile tower, sending it crumbling, burying the two traitors. Kalthar leads Professor Goodwill and Kate back to the outskirts of civilization. There Kalthar tells Kate that he is sorry to see her go. Kate tells him: "Sometime, somewhere we shall meet again."
(Zip Comics #4) The Urganas return from a hunt deep in the forest. Kalthar praises them for their prowess and hunting skills, but one of the tribe, Bwonga, is apprehensive. The tribe has ventured further into the forest than ever before and he believes they may be in the Land of Shem. Kalthar tells him that Shem is a fairy tale of their fathers, and even if the story of Shem is true, Kalthar does not fear them. No sooner are the words spoken than men with bows and arrows appear, dressed in Egyptian apparel. Kalthar has no time to take a red grain before the hordes are upon them. The hunting party is slain, except for Kalthar who is bound, and Bwonga who manages to escape to get help. As, one of the men of Shem prepares to slay Kalthar, he is stopped by another who tells him that Kalthar would make a good sacrifice for the sun-god, Shem.
Kalthar is loaded onto a stretcher and borne for hours deeper into the forest. Along the way the leader of the band taunts Kalthar about Shem soon drinking his blood. To which Kalthar responds that he "fears not." Soon they enter the village march to a stately building, and present Kalthar before their Pharaoh. The Pharaoh knows of Kalthar. He wants Kalthar killed so that the jungle will belong to Shem; so that their will be more blood to sacrifice to him. Kalthar is ordered to bow before the Pharaoh, but refuses. This enrages the Pharaoh who orders him whipped. Even with his hands tied behind his back Kalthar is able to subdue his attacker. Then he swiftly attacks the Pharaoh. Holding the Pharaoh in a neck lock with his legs, Kalthar demands to be untied while threatening the king's life. He is untied, but just as quickly hit over the head and knocked unconscious. Then he is dragged away and secured to an upright altar as the sacrificial rites begin.
Regaining consciousness, Kalthar lets out a jungle call. The call falls on the lone ears of Bogdu, the ape, who rushes to the city of Shem. Dodging a hail of arrows the ape reaches the altar before the sacrificial blow is struck. The priest stands in dismay as Bogdu rips apart Kalthar's bonds, just an arrow pierces the beast's side. Kalthar hastily swallows a red grain and immediately grows to 15 feet. He lifts the altar to hurl at the priests as soldiers of Shem, riding elephants race to subdue him. Kalthar wades into them lifting and toppling the elephants. But even his great strength is no match for the entire army of Shem, and they soon overpower him. Then, just in time, Bwonga and the Urganas warriors arrive to aid Kalthar and rout the hordes of Shem. Soon, back in the village, Ta-lo ministers herbs to Bogdu. Kalthar is glad to know that the ape will live.
(Zip #5) Urganas returning for a hunt are set upon by "strange creatures, half-black, half-leopard" who rend and tear at the Urganas with their claws. Those who are not killed are taken prisoner. One of the hunters, though, manages to escape, and at the village tells Kalthar of the attack. Kalthar instructs the warriors to send out a rescue party. He will follow in the trees. Soon, the rescue party is attacked by the leopard men. Kalthar dives from the trees to aid the tribesman. Spurred on by their chief's ferocity the men conquer their fears and defeat the leopard men. Questioning one of the leopard men, Kalthar learns the whereabouts of the village. Donning one of the leopard men's leopard skins and instructing the Urganas not to follow, Kalthar heads for the village in disguise. He slips into the village undetected and waits until dark to carry out his plan. While waiting, he recognizes Abdul the Arab, who is now high priest to the leopard men tribe.
That night under the shade of darkness when the moon slips behind a cloud, Kalthar insinuates himself into the ceremonies. Abdul plans to kill all the Urganas, and then take care of Kalthar. As the leopard men offer the Urganas as sacrifice to the sacred leopards, Kalthar strikes. Leaping through the flames, he kills one of the leopards, but, at the urging of Abdul, is immediately set upon by the leopard men. Before Kalthar can swallow his magic grain he is overcome. Bound and facing Abdul, Kalthar vows that this time he will not spare the Arab's life. Abdul laughs in his face. It is Kalthar that is to die. Abdul holds the leopard men in his thrall by giving them trinkets and liquor. They obey his commands. Abdul plans to sacrifice Kalthar to the leopards. Then the the jungle and its slave trade shall belong to him. Kalthar is thrown, bound, into the leopard pit.
He lands on his feet, and before the leopards have a chance to strike, Kalthar tells them in their language who he is, and orders them to free him. If they do, he will set them free, also. The leopards hesitate. Then, as the leopard men look down in amazement, the leopards docilely gnaw at Kalthar's bonds. Unbound, Kalthar quickly consumes a red grain and grows to fifteen feet, just as a hail of spears glance off his inpenetrable skin. Kalthar frees the hunger-maddened leopards who proceed to attack the leopard men. Kalthar and the Urganas aid the leopards in battling the leopard men. Abdul flees in the confusion. The leopard men surrender. Kalthar forgives them upon their vow to live in peace with the Urganas. Later, in the Urganas village, the leopard man doctor and Ta-Lo become blood brothers.
(Zip #6) Kate Goodwill parachutes from a burning plane over Africa. From two different areas of the jungle Kalthar and his enemy Abdul the Arab witness her descent. Kate's landing arouses the attention of two gorillas who start to make off with her. Kalthar attacks from the trees. While he battles one of the gorillas, the other runs off with Kate. But, Abdul arrives and shoots it. Victorious over his foe, Kalthar decides to track the gorilla who fled with Kate. In the meantime, Abdul has taken an unconscious Kate to his camp. He plans to hold her for ransom. Knowing that Kalthar will be searching for Kate, Abdul also plots his revenge against the jungle man.
On the trail, Kalthar realizes that the gorilla's spoor is replaced by a man's. As he races toward the direction of Abdul's camp, the Arab lies in wait to ambush him. As the jungle man nears, Abdul shoots toward him before Kalthar realizes the danger. The jungle man falls and Abdul closes in to make sure that he is dead. But, a terrific thrashing in the branches above him scares him off. Butah, the monkey has chased away the assailant. Kalthar soon rises, having received only a scalp wound from Abdul's bullet, and takes up the trail again. Outside Abdul's camp, Kalthar bides his time until nightfall.
As night comes Kalthar devises a plan to enter the camp. Taking a red grain to increase his height, Kalthar bends back a sapling. The sapling bent double and taut as a bow, Kalthar straps it to a tree. Then, regaining his normal height, Kalthar mounts the sapling and cuts the bonds. It snaps upward launching him like an arrow shot from a bow. He flys into a group of natives in Abdul's employ. Abdul, inside the tent with the bound Kate, hears the ruckus outside and rushes to investigate. While Kalthar battles Abdul's Arab cohorts and the natives, Abdul brings Kate from the tent. Threatening her life, Abdul commands, Kalthar to surrender. To save Kate's life, Kalthar does. He is quickly bound on logs set up as a spit. A fire is lit near him in an attempt to burn him alive. But Kalthar lets out a mighty yell, which attracts the attention of Karna, the leopard. As the leopard calls back, the natives flee, terrified at the beast's cry. Karna arrives and dives into the natives. Meanwhile Kate unties Kalthar, who, after swallowing a red grain, joins the leopard in the battle. During the fray, Abdul is thrown into the fire, by Kalthar. Afterwards, Kalthar asks Kate why she is in the jungle. She tells the jungle man that her father is in trouble and only Kalthar can help him.
(Zip #7) Kate explains to Kalthar that her father is being held prisoner by some white men who are torturing him to find the secret to a diamond vein he discovered in an ancient city. Upon consulting with Ta-Lo, Kalthar finds out that Urganas who had been thought killed in a hunt are actually enslaved to these whites who are using them to dig mines. Kalthar leaves with Kate to free the Urganas and her father. Warning about the white men's guns he tells the others of the tribe not to follow him. After Kalthar leaves some Urganas warrior try to convince Ta-Lo to let them follow. Ta-lo refuses their request.
After several hours, Kalthar picks up the white men's spoor. He is attacked by a boa constrictor, however, before he can proceed any further. Kate, of course is powerless to help. Struggling, Kalthar manages to free one arm from the reptile's grasp, and somehow frees his knife, which he stabs the snake with repeatedly until it is dead. After resting from the ordeal, Kalthar and Kate continue their journey and soon reach their destination. Kalthar leaves Kate on the outskirts of the city while he hunts for food. Meanwhile, inside the city French explorer Pierre LeBrun and a compatriot decide to leave the city to get more slaves to work the mines. Kate leaves her hiding place and is captured by LeBrun and his henchman. She calls out for Kalthar to no avail. However, LeBrun recognizes Kalthar's name from the tales he's heard, and decides to hold Kate hostage to capture Kalthar.
Returning from his hunt and finding Kate missing, Kalthar follows the trail into the city. When he arrives he sees Kate tied to a stake about to be whipped by one of LeBrun's men. Kalthar rushes forward, knife in hand to attack the man. Kate warns him it is a trap, but too late. LeBrun attacks Kalthar from behind with the butt of a rifle. LeBrun and his men tie the unconscious Kalthar down to the ground with stakes. They throw a dead Urganas warrior down on top of him and leave them for the buzzards. As the vultures gather at the scent of the dead warrior one of LeBran's men rushes excitedly to him shouting about a tribe about to attack them. The Urganas decided to follow Kalthar after all. They are no match, however, for LeBrun's machine guns and many of them are cut down.
While the Urganas are being slaughtered the buzzards descend. As one prepares to peck at Kalthar, the jungle lord turns his head, causing the vulture's beak to rip the panther hair, which binds the magic grain to Kalthar's hair. Turning his head further, Kalthar manages to scoop up the grain from the ground into his mouth. He instantly grows to giant size, bursting his bonds. He races towards LeBrun's men, who shoot at him with no affect. He hurls the hoods at the Urganas who finish them off. However, LeBrun escapes in the melee. After freeing Kate's father and the other Urganas, Kalthar resumes his normal size. Professor Goodwill tells Kate that they will leave the jungle for civilization immediately. Kate tells him that her place is there, in the jungle, with Kalthar.
(Zip #8) A tribal council convenes. They are there to rule on Kathar's taking of Kate as his mate. Kalthar is told that tribal law forbids the "God-son" to take a mate. They tell him that Kate must go. Kalthar relays the message to Kate, and says that he will go with her. Kate tells him to stay because the Urganas need him more. So, Kalthar has Mano, the elephant transport Kate out of the jungle. Later, as Kalthar watches the sun set, his heart longing for Kate, he sees Mano, but alone. Kalthar races to him. The elephant informs Kalthar that when he reached the shining mountain he was attacked by little brown men (this is what the text says, but the men as pictured look about the size of Kalthar at his normal height) who stole the girl from him. Kalthar mounts Mano who leads him to the place where he lost Kate. Kalthar tells Mano that the Urganas tell legends of the shining mountains that are inhabited by a strange tribe.
Leaving Mano, Kalthar proceeds across a wooden bridge spanning a gorge. Light shining from the mountains blind him and sap his strength. On the other side, nearly exhausted, he is attacked. He fights hard, but is overcome, his strength having been sapped by the blinding light. The men take him to a strange city and present him to their white Queen Loha. The tribe speaks a language Kalthar understands and he commands the queen to let him go. Of course she takes umbrage at Kalthar's daring to command her. She tells him that he will never be set free. Kalthar defies her again and demands she tell him where Kate is. Because of his defiance, Queen Loha has Kalthar secured to a stake overlooking an arena. There below, on the ground is a bound Kate. A gate slides open and two roaring lions emerge. Kalthar easily breaks his bonds and dives into the pit, knife in had. He kills one lion, but breaks his knife in the process. The second lion springs. Kalthar nimbly dodges, then leaps upon the creature's back. Wrapping an arm around the lion's throat, he squeezes until the lion is dead. Kalthar consumes a red grain and spurts to 15 feet. He grabs Kate and leaps out of the pit with her. The brown men attack, their spears glancing off his impenetrable skin. With Kate in his arms, Kalthar decides to flee instead of fight, swearing the brown men will pay for what they've done. Crossing to the other side of the bridge Kalthar stops. The brown men are pursuing him. As they are crossing the bridge, Kalthar unlooses it from its moorings, sending the bridge and the brown men into the chasm. Resuming normal size Kalthar returns to the land of the Urganas with Kate. On the outskirts, he tells Kate that his people must accept Kate and let Kalthar take her as his mate or Kalthar will leave them. Kate pleads with him not to do so.
(Zip #9) Encountering a river, Kalthar tells Kate that they will save much time by crossing instead of going around. He swallows a red grain, and with Kate clinging to his back, he traverses the river at giant size. Nearby, LeBrun and his safari march toward the Urganas village. LeBrun tells a henchman that there is much ivory and slaves to be had if they can only get rid of Kalthar and the Urganas. They are met on the road by one of their scouts who reports to LeBrun that he's spotted Kalthar and a white woman. The scout leads the way to them.
Kalthar and Kate emerge from the river and Kalthar resumes his normal size. Unknown to them LeBrun watches from the underbrush. He gives an order, and suddenly a tribe of warriors is upon them. Kalthar meets the attack with Herculean strength. In the confusion, Kate escapes. Kalthar succumbs to the overwhelming odds, and is bound in a net. Realizing that Kate has escaped, LeBrun shows little concern, figuring she'll die in the jungle. He has his real prize. He plans to use Kalthar as bait for the Urganas. When they come to rescue him, LeBurn plans on dynamiting the ground beneath them. Kate, who is hiding in the brush, overhears. She must warn the Urganas.
Later in the Urganas village a warrior meets his death via a spear in the back. Another tribesman notices a note attached to the spear. It is written the Urganas language and tells of Kalthar's capture. He takes the note to Ta-Lo. The witch doctor realizes that the note is intended to draw them into trap, but decides they must take the risk in order to rescue Kalthar. Meanwhile, LeBrun has his bearers lay dynamite along the trail that the Urganas have to travel. Further along the same trail Kate races to head off the Urganas. When she spots them she shouts a warning. Some of the warriors refuse to listen to her deciding that she has already caused too much trouble. But as she tells Ta-Lo about LeBrun's plan, the witch doctor takes heed. She has a plan, and tells the Urganas to wait until nightfall to carry it out. That night, under cover of darkness the Urgansas dig up the explosives that LeBrun's men planted on the trail. They smuggle them into LeBrun's camp, burying them there.
At dawn, the Urganas and Kate begin their march toward LeBrun's camp. Nearby, LeBrun waits for the guard's signal letting him know when the tribe is close enough for him to set off the dynamite. When the signal comes, LeBrun hits the plunger, wreaking havoc in his camp as the dynamite explodes around them. The repercussion from the blasts sends Kalthar, bound in a net, into the rapids of the river. The force of the water loosens his bonds. He's able to burst loose, but is being carried along toward a waterfall. Struggling against the current, he finally manages to make his way onto a boulder. From his spot on the river, Kalthar sees the Urganas who are not faring well against the guns of LeBrun's remaing forces. Kalthar searches for his grains, but discovers they had been washed out of his hair by the strong current. So he lets out a mighty jungle call for help.
Soon a tribe of Butah (apes) arrive. Kaltar orders them to form a chain from a branch of a tree that overhangs the river. Grabbing hold of the closest apes hands, Kalthar holds on tight as the apes swing back and forth like a pendulum, swinging Kalthar to the shore. Once on land, Kalthar exacts vengeance, wading into LeBrun's men. Frightened, LeBrun makes a desperate leap into the river rapids. He is overcome, however, and carried over the waterfall where he is dashed to death against the rocks. LeBrun's safari is soon vanquished. Kate is glad to see Kalthar alive; and, Kalthar likewise. Kalthar tells Ta-Lo that Kate is to be his mate even if it means that he must leave the Urganas forever. But, Ta-lo, sees no need for that. Since Kate saved the tribe she proved that she was a fitting mate for Kalthar. Later in the Urganas village, Ta-lo performs the sacred marriage ceremony, and Kalthar takes a mate.
Comments: Created by Harry Shorten and Lin Streeter.
Profile provided by John Packer.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other jungle lord
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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