NAZA, STONE AGE WARRIORMedium: Comic books
Published by: Dell Comics
First Appeared: 1964
Creators: unknown writer and Jack Sparling, artist
Please contribute to its necessary financial support.
Amazon.com or PayPal
Naza, Stone Age Warrior, was part of an explosion of creativity that hit Dell Comics in the early 1960s — if "explosion of creativity" can be defined to include a
manic spewing forth of mostly short-lived new titles, in a desperate attempt to replenish a line depleted by the sudden loss of everything it had been publishing. During the year or two before and after Western Printing, which owned or licensed everything Dell had previously published, switched to its own imprint, Gold Key, Dell acted frantically to make some properties of its own.
With a cover date of January, 1964, Naza #1 was a relative latecomer to a line that already included Thirteen Going on Eighteen, Ghost Stories and fellow loincloth-wearer Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle. In fact, Millie the Lovable Monster; Linda Lark, Registered Nurse; and even the well-remembered Brain Boy had already come and gone. Naza's script writer has never been identified, but the artist was Jack Sparling. His other '60s credits include DC's Eclipso and Harvey's Pirana.
The setting of the series was similar to that of Alley Oop or Tor, but mostly without dinosaurs. It opened with the Gairns tribe, whose name meant they were the peaceful people, bedding down for the night. Most weren't much worried about posible aggression, except Naza, so-called because he was the "Lonesome One". His parents had been killed by a warlike tribe calling itself Borg, but probably not related to Star Trek's Borg. Naza advocated a stronger guard, but was ridiculed as a coward by everyone but the lovely Keena, whose name wasn't defined but probably meant "Love Interest".
Naturally, the Borg attacked that night and wiped them out. Naza, who was off sulking and therefore missed the main battle, set off to rescue the few remaining, who'd been carted off as slaves. Fortunately they included Keena. Unfortunately, they also included Vang, Naza's rival for her and now a full-fledged villain — his goal was to be accepted as a Borg in return for betraying his own people. Along the way, Naza forged the first friendship between a man and a dog.
But that plot served mostly as an excuse for one battle after another with gigantic creatures. The identifiable creative personnel, i.e., Sparling, stayed with the title from betinning to end. The latter came with the ninth issue of the mostly-quarterly title, dated March, 1966.