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zabu 240x300 Zabu
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men #10 (Mar 1965)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Zabu Plunder
Species Sabre-tooth cat
Team affiliations Friend of the X-Men, Member of Ka-Zar’s family
Pet Avengers
Notable aliases None
Abilities natural smilodon abilities, such as razor sharp claws and teeth, two sabre-teeth, near-human intellect

Zabu is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe. He is the last known living sabretooth tiger and is a companion and ally of Ka-Zar.


  • 1 Fictional character biography
  • 2 Other versions
  • 3 In other media
  • 4 References

[edit] Fictional character biography

Zabu was born in the Savage Land. While still a cub, his mother and siblings were killed by human hunters. He wandered the Savage Land on his own, teaching himself how to survive as he grew to adulthood. Zabu encounters a young boy named Kevin Plunder as he was about to be attacked by a group of human Savage Land natives. Zabu saves Kevin, and the two become companions. Zabu protects the boy as he grows to adulthood, and eventually took on the name Ka-Zar, which means “son of the tiger.” Zabu was brought to near human intelligence due to exposure of radioactive mists.

Zabu helps Ka-Zar battle many enemies. For example, in Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle #3 they confront ‘El Tigre’ and ‘Man-God’. This particular battle results in El Tigre mentally controlling Zabu for a time, causing him to attack Ka-Zar. El Tigre loses control before any serious injuries happen.[volume & issue needed]

Zabu’s family grows by two when Ka-Zar marries Shanna the She Devil and they later have a son named Matthew.[volume & issue needed]

Zabu has left the Savage Land, in at least one instance, venturing to New York City with Ka-Zar during marital difficulties; his master was having difficulty controlling an addiction to outside technology. Zabu has many adventures in New York City, as he assists Ka-Zar and Shanna against Parnival Plunder, who wishes to kill them all.[volume & issue needed]

In a Spider-Man family one shot in issue six, the secondary story is about Zabu having emotional troubles, knowing he has no family left. Ka-Zar asks Peter to watch Zabu while he attends a world summit on global warming. Later Peter’s Aunt May (completely unaware Zabu is hiding in the garage, because after Uncle Ben was killed she tries to stay away from there) told Peter this is how she feels knowing she’s outlived her friends, husband, and relatives. Peter uses this to bond with Zabu. Peter takes Zabu to a museum to interact with the fake sabretooth tigers on display and they are almost caught by a guard. Peter tells Zabu to pull a “Calvin and Hobbes” maneuver, to which he plays like he’s a stuffed animal, leaving Peter stunned at Zabu’s intelligence. Afterword Zabu is feeling better and Ka-Zar picks him up from Spider-Man and Zabu and Ka-Zar return apparentally months later, team up with Spidey and catch a Pterydactyl energy vampire. Zabu jumps on Peter/Spider-Man and seems to be hugging him; Ka-Zar says this is a sign that he is part of Zabu’s family, and that he hasn’t seen Zabu do this for quite some time.[volume & issue needed] During the Secret Invasion, Zabu was present when the Skrull ship landed in the Savage Land. He helped Shanna and Ka-Zar battle the Skrulls, killing the Skrull pretending to be Jessica Jones.[1]

[edit] Other versions

  • Ultimate Universe: In Ultimates 3 #3, there is an appearance of a sabre-tooth tiger, who is apparently Zabu. In this reality, Zabu actually is a tiger with sabre-teeth, rather than looking like a traditional smilodon as he looks in the main Marvel universe.
  • House of M: Zabu appeared as a picture in a Daily Bugle article about Ka-Zar and his seeking of asylum in the United States.

[edit] In other media

Zabu appeared in the 1981 Spider-Man TV series, as being captured by Kraven and having to be saved by Spider-Man and Ka-Zar.

Zabu also appeared in the 1990s X-Men Animated Series. He fought alongside Ka-Zar against Sauron and for the safe return of Shanna the She-Devil, of whom Sauron captured.

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