Korak and friend in search of the jungle's bounty. Artist: Russ Manning.


Original Medium: Prose fiction
Published in: All-Story Cavalier magazine
First Appeared: 1914
Creator: Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Tarzan's son appeared in several movies, but only as a supporting character named "Boy" (probably because it made Tarzan himself seem more primitive and ignorant), never as the hero. He was made a hero by creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, but only in one novel, The Son of Tarzan (1915) — in The Beasts of Tarzan (1914), he was nothing but a very young …

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… family member who needed rescuing. When Burroughs made him the real star of a story, the name he used was far from the namby-pamby "Boy", or even the equally non-threatening "Jack Clayton," as he was called at the time of his birth. He was "Korak," because that means "Killer" in the language of the apes who had first taught Tarzan to speak. Only in comic books was Korak developed along lines originally suggested by what Burroughs had done with him, back when Tarzan was nothing but a pulp magazine character, not yet the cross-media phenomenon we know him as today.

The movie version of Tarzan was the one Dell Comics had originally based their characterization of the Ape Man on, so of course, his son was nothing but a boy named Boy — at least for the first decade and a half. In Tarzan #139 (December, 1963), "Boy" asserted his adulthood by insisting he no longer be called by such a baby name, but by the name he'd earned in the Burroughs novel where he'd originally grown up. The following month, Gold Key (where Western Printing, Tarzan's licensor, had moved actual publication of its properties 1962) spun him off into a title of his own. Korak, Son of Tarzan #1 (January, 1964) showed him leaving the family nest in the company of Pahkut, one of the apes, seeking adventure on his own.

Jesse Marsh was still the regular artist on Tarzan then, so the new title was drawn by Russ Manning (Magnus, Robot Fighter), who had been associated with the title by having drawn its back-up feature, Brothers of the Spear, for years. Manning stayed on the title until Marsh's retirement in 1965, when he took over the main Tarzan title. Korak first dropped to quarterly publication (it had been bimonthly), then replaced Manning with Warren Tufts (Casey Ruggles), who later worked for Gold Key on its Pink Panther and Amazing Chan titles, among others. The switch came with #12 (March, 1966).

Korak switched back to bimonthly, and continued as long as Gold Key retained the license to do Burroughs's characters in comic books. Gaylord DuBois, who had scripted the main Tarzan title since the beginning, wrote the stories, while the artwork was handled by a succession of creators, settling on Dan Spiegle (Space Family Robinson) as of the 24th issue (August, 1968).

When the Burroughs license passed to DC Comics, so did the Korak title. The first issue published by DC was #46 (June, 1972). DC replaced DuBois and Spiegle with writer Len Wein (Brother Voodoo) and artist Frank Thorne (Mighty Samson) and added Burroughs series Pellucidar and Carson of Venus to the back pages. The title continued at DC until #59 (October, 1975), with shifting creative personnel, including Robert Kanigher (The War That Time Forgot), Murphy Anderson (Atomic Knights) and Joe Kubert (Viking Prince), The back-up series were eventually dropped in favor of Tarzan reprints by Manning.

With its 60th issue (December, 1975), DC replaced Korak with Tarzan Family, a 68-page anthology title that continued the former title character's series, restored Carson of Venus, and reprinted Tarzan comics from the Sunday newspapers. Collecting Burroughs material of various types, this title continued until #66 (November, 1976). A few months after that, the Burroughs license went to Marvel.

Marvel didn't publish a series about Korak. The Tarzan characters have since been licensed by Dark Horse Comics (Hellboy, The Mask), but they didn't either. Korak never did get back into his own series.


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