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THE TARZAN COMICS' MABU
CHECKLIST AND SUMMARY
Reportedly to meet postal subscription regulations to qualify as a magazine,
regular backup features were added to Dell’s Tarzan comics beginning with issue #10.
The initial backup feature was a text story about Henry Stanley
becoming the first white man to sail the largest lake in Africa.
The text stories of a ten-year old native boy named Mabu began in issue #11.
This feature by an unknown writer, or writers, would run for 193 issues
filled with violence, intrigue, youthful adventure, lots of laughs, and lots and lots of dancing.
Debut Mabu in Issue 11 ~ Final Mabu in Issue 203
MABU: 1949 - 1971
“The Song of the Spear”
Young Mabu saves his father from a lion.
Mabu kills his first lion.
“Mabu, the Lion-Hearted”
Mabu saves his father from both a lion and treachery.
“Mabu Sends for Help!”
Mabu fights the Black Bull!
“Mabu Hides his Trail”
Mabu and his father avoiding treachery while traveling to sell their ivory.
“Mabu and the Giant Lizard”
Mabu learns that "Only when something is alive is it beautiful," after the agama lizard he kills loses its beautiful colors.
“Mabu and the Day the Sun Went Out”
Mabu, the 10 year old lion hunter, escapes Samali slavers during a solar eclipse.
“Mabu and the Lop-Eared Leopard”
Mabu and his father hunt and kill a leopard that has been terrorizing the village.
Mabu's dream warns him that a lion is threatening their ox. He’s now a lion hunter with psychic powers.
“Mabu’s New Skill”
Mabu saves the village crops from grasshoppers, by chasing birds toward them.
“Mabu Saves a Stranger”
Mabu saves a white professor, and is rewarded with a 'thunderstick.' He gave a 10 year old kid a gun. Rough neighborhood.
Mabu uses his 'thunderstick' to chase hippos away from village crops.
“The Legend of the Sun”
Mabu is told the story of a great hunter who shot the sun with arrows ... and created night.
“The Ways of the Elephant”
Mabu is taught that tusked bull elephants are blind on their left side.
“Mabu’s Special Day”
Mabu survives a confrontation with a gorilla by yelling and beating his own chest.
“Mabu Proves a Trainer”
Mabu wins a stray dog by training it to guard against leopards.
“Mabu’s Great Idea”
Mabu learns about salt, and uses it to bait a leopard trap.
Leaving on his first trip to a trading post, Mabu kills a lioness. Take note of this story, because it’s the beginning of a journey that’s going to take twenty years of the reader’s lifetime to complete.
The smell from Mabu's trophy lioness skin diverts a hartebeast stampede.
Mabu wanders off and follows a bird to honey.
Mabu sacrifices his honey to the rain gods.
Now a firm believer in omens, Mabu sees good luck in a rainbow.
Kaino, Mabu's friend, kills his first lion.
“A Waterfall and Whydah Birds”
Mabu and Kaino marvel at the sight of a waterfall and dancing birds.
Mabu is frightened by a charging buffalo.
Stopping at a village along the trail, Mabu meets a girl named Wari, and immediately likes her -- maybe a little too much.
Mabu learns that certain behavior is considered taboo.
“Sing from the Gods”
The young girl, Wari, sees a sign in Mabu.
“The New Warrior”
Mabu watches a rite of manhood.
“The Day of Departure”
Mabu says goodbye to Wari as he travels on.
Mabu kills a panther and wins his father's old spear.
“Into the Great Plains Country”
Mabu enjoys a river swim.
Mabu and Kaino are separated from the others, and are taken for a long boat ride.
“Down the River”
Mabu learns how to eat a peanut.
“The Elephant’s Problem”
Squatting elephants slide laughably down a river bank.
“The Silent Journey”
The warriors in Mabu's boat kill a hippo.
“The River People”
Mabu and Kaino arrive at the river village. It only took 5 chapters to get there.
Mabu learns the secret of cooking with spices.
Mabu and Kaino are reunited with their parents.
Kaino binds a woman's slashed wrist.
“Mabu’s New Friend”
Ralo, the son of Chief Umolo, recruits Mabu to hunt for the mysterious Manga.
A dangerous wind harmlessly bypasses the village.
Mabu discovers the secret of Manga, and it’s not Japanese comics.
Ralo and Mabu become friends while fishing.
“Day of Departure”
Mabu leaves his new friends and continues on to the trading post.
Mabu believes he’s seen a red devil.
“More New Sights”
Mabu marvels at strange animals. When he declares his goal to see everything that Africa has to offer, his father explains that he’d be the first to do so.
“The Hyena Attacks”
After his father, Hamasai, kills a hyena, Mabu is too frightened from the experience to sleep. So his father tells him the story of the hyenas cowardice.
“Day of Days”
Mabu finally sees the trading post in the distance. In the reader’s life span, this first leg of the trip has taken NEARLY TWO YEARS! And they’re still not all the way there!
Mabu is befriended by Roy, the son of the trading post’s head man.
“The Greatest Magic”
Mabu is delighted to see a bathtub.
“Victory Over Fear”
After a bath, Mabu and Kaino are frightened by a photograph. The world becomes a smaller place when Roy realizes that the man in the picture, who gave Mabu his ‘thunderstick,’ was his uncle.
Mabu discovers doughnuts and piano music.
“Mabu’s Secret Secret”
There are secrets. And then there are secret secrets. Mabu doesn’t want anyone to know that he called home to his mother ... by drum message.
“A Gift for Memba”
Mabu learns about cloth weaving. Even though Mabu has nothing to trade, the weaver promises him a colorful cloth to take home to his mother.
“The White Man’s Way”
When Mabu is invited to sleep in Roy’s spare bed, he remembers a wise man’s words; “The act of living is the same for all people. It is in the ways in which they perform that act that they differ.” Mabu discovers he prefers to sleep on a coarse mat, and slips out the window.
“At the Hut of Chatanga”
Mabu discovers Chatanga about to be speared in the back by a madman while weaving at his loom. Up until now, Mabu has carried his short spear with him everywhere. This was the first time he ever forgot it ... and has to throw a tea gourd into the spearman’s face.
“The Story of Abubu”
Chatanga, the weaver, tells Mabu about how he once saved an elephant family from an ivory hunter. And as a result of this, the ivory hunter pledged to kill Chatanga. While regretting the Abubu’s undying anger, Chatanga says he’d do the same thing again.
Hamasai pledges to hunt a dangerous leopard for B’wana Hall, the post’s head man. Hamasai appreciates that B’wana Hall allowed Mabu to sleep under his roof. It was Mabu sneaking out because his dislike sleeping in a bed that woke Hall to discover the leopard trouble in the first place. The normally two page story is now reduced to one.
“On the Leopard’s Trail”
Hamasai tracks a dangerous leopard, and discovers it surrounded by angry baboons.
A killer leopard is attacked by a group of baboons determined to save a baby baboon.
“Farewell to Chatanga”
Chatanga gives Mabu a small loom, and teaches him how to use it.
“An Evil Spirit?”
Inside the trading post ‘s store, an evil spirit leaps out of the wall and shrieks three times at Mabu. HE flees into the street, without sticking around to find out that he’d just seen a cuckoo clock announce the time.
“A New Undertaking”
Returning to face the cuckoo clock that frightened him, Mabu decides he wants it as another present for his mother. When told that B’wana Hall would probably trade the clock for a cheetah cub to train, Mabu is off to the brush with his ‘thunderstick’ in hand.
“The Cheetah Cubs”
Easily capturing two cheetah cubs, Mabu starts to worry that he shouldn’t have come alone and fears the worst when something crashes through the nearby brush. But it turns out to be B’wana Hall, and he’s not in a talkative mood.
Returning from the leopard hunt, Hamasai and Kaino can hear an excited crowd before they see it. As the crowd marvels at Mabu’s courage to capture the cheetah cubs for B’wana Hall, he admits that he didn’t do it as a favor, but because he needed something to trade for the cuckoo clock. He expects to get paid.
“Danger in the Night”
In recognition for their recent accomplishments, Mabu and Kaino are allowed to camp at their own campfire. Hamasai is proud of Mabu’s courage after a pack of wild dogs threaten the trading post, and doesn’t see the boys sneaking back to the safety of their father’s fires.
“Not Even the Gods”
Mabu wakes up angry and determined to be “miserably unhappy.” The day has come to leave the trading post. After Mabu verbally taunts the gods, he is surprised with good news. Josh Whitfield, Roy Hall’s uncle and the man whose life Mabu once saved, is about to arrive. So they’re staying an extra day. Now Mabu is worried what the gods will do next.
“The God Speak”
Worried that he might have offended the gods, Mabu offers his treasures as a sacrifice. Asking the gods to take what they want, Mabu reads the wind and sunlight as the gods telling him to keep everything.
“Two Small Stories”
Mabu and Kaino pass the day listening to Roy Hall tell stories about wild animal encounters that happened to his uncle Josh, and which turned into snubs, like the time a couple of lions decided he was “too bony to bother about.”
“Friendship is a Treasure”
Josiah Whitfield arrives at the trading post, and greets the boys. Mabu had been worried that Whitfield would not recognize him, having heard that white men cannot tell natives apart, but Whitfield immediately remembers his “friend.”
“The Words of Tamai”
Mabu and Kaino listen to Josiah Whitfield talk with his brother-in-law B’wana Hall in a strange language. When Mabu successfully speaks english words for the first time, his accomplishment reminds him of the village’s wise man’s advice to try difficult things.
“The Lion Hunt Dance”
There is celebration around the fires at the trading post, as warriors do the Lion Hunt Dance. Mabu comments that he can either be someone who brings life to stories, or a hunter who takes life away, but not both. B’wana Whitfield hopes Mabu will consider the former option.
“Of a Feast and Devils”
The festival at the trading post continues on and on, and Mabu falls asleep. When one of the dancers tells a tale of Devils. Kaino becomes scared, fearing that talk of devils risks summoning evil.
Slumbering at a feast, Mabu suddenly wakes -- shouting a warning from his dreams. Everybody scatters when Mabu shouts the gods have told him of danger to Mrs. Hall, the wife of the trading post’s head man.
“A Strange Night”
The fever that has stricken Alice Hall is not contagious. It’s pneumonia. Mabu is bewildered that white men only thank one god. He recognizes many gods.
“The Copper Necklace Offering”
To help Mrs. Hall recover from fever, Mabu leaves his copper necklace in a clearing ... as an offering to the Gods. An hour after the doctor arrives, Mrs. Hall’s fever breaks. The local witch doctor is sure it was his incantations that helped. Mabu is certain that it was his offering, which has vanished from the clearing.
“Only Another Memory”
Hamasai orders his hunters to start the march home. Kaino overhears Josiah Whitfield make a bargain with Hamasai. In two years, Mabu can decide if he wants to attend school at the trading post. Heck, in the reader’s lifetime, this three-day visit took two and a half years. At this pace, we won’t know his decision until the Twenty-Third century!
“At the Mid-day Pause”
Mabu realizes that he did not leave his best friend behind at the trading post. While Mabu buddies with Kaino ... and you wouldn't think it possible, but ... the story slows the pace.
“Lesson for a Cub”
Mabu and Kaino watch a lioness teach her cubs to hunt a Wildebeest. The spectable lightens Mabu’s sadness from leaving the trading post.
“Help for Kaino”
Kaino is chided by his father, for talking about his mother’s anger. Now it’s Mabu’s turn to cheer up Kaino, by watching two giraffes fight. The pace has slowed to the point where the details of every hour is another story! The trip home is going to make the journey up to now look like a sprint. This is Tarzan -- not Tolkien!
“A Night for Stories”
Hamasai’s hunters sit around a campfire, telling stories to the boys about comical encounters with elephants.
“Of a Dream and the Zulus”
Up early, Mabu and Hamasai bathe in a stream. Hamasai begins educating Mabu in how to behave around Zulus, whom they will soon visit. Any guesses if they’ll even get close to the Zulu village by the end of 1957?
In the trail, Hamasai sees a vine that never grows on the ground. Tapping the vine triggers the elephant trap, and a spear shoots out of the jungle.
“More About Zulus”
During a break in their march, Hamasai tells the boys the legend of Tchaka. The yellow-skinned Bushmen were at war with the dark-skinned Hottentots and the tribes from the North who wanted both of their lands. Peace came when Tchaka formed the nation of Zulus out of all the tribes.
The boys discover an old bushman cave, filled with wall-paintings.
“The Ghost Horn”
When the hunting party is confronted by an angry bull elephant, they are saved by a mysterious horn blast. Legend tells that the extinct bushmen chased off elephants with horn blasts. Mabu, who left an offering at the bushman’s cave, thinks a ghost horn saved them as reward.
“The Elephant’s Game”
The boys watch two elephant fight by butting heads. When the elephants stop to examine each other’s head for injury, their fight is revealed as a sham battle ... a game that elephants play.
“The Crowning Thrill”
The hunting party nears the Zulu village at sunset. In the evening light, their huts look like golden beehives.
“The Zulu Welcome”
Hamasai’s hunting party finally arrives at the Zulu village. After much ceremony, they are welcomed and given a place to stay.
“A Zulu Feast”
Hamasai’s party is honored with a feast by Zulu Chief Umtosi. Mabu and Kaino aren’t particularly keen about the Zulu custom of keeping their bodies entirely oiled.
“Taromu Son of Umtosi”
Waking early, Mabu and Kaino meet Zulu Chief Umtosi’s son. As Taromu shows the boys where to bathe, they stumble across the Zulu’s “oldest magic ritual.”
“The Magic of the Water”
The boys watch a warrior spy on a young woman taking a bath. After the woman leaves, the warrior performs a love ritual in the water.
“How Strange the Gods”
After watching Zulu baskets being made, Taromu, the chief’s son, is nearly bitten by a viper. Kaino thinks fast, and grabbing a poison arrow from Taromu’s quiver, impales the serpent.
The boys watch Wazi, the Zulu Witch Doctor, mix a kettle of poison. Mabu thinks Wazi is the ugliest man he’s ever seen. Wazi predicts Mabu will walk a different path than his father, Hamasai.
A group of young Zulu warriors accuse Mabu and Kaino of being liars. To prove his courage, Mabu challenges the young warrior Zaduzu to a lion hunt.
“The Lion Hunt”
Charged by a lion, Zaduzi panics and his spear misses. Mabu stands his ground and expertly kills his third lion.
“Worry is for Weaklings”
Hamasai doesn’t want to show that he’s worried about Mabu’s disappearance. When Mabu returns with his lion’s skin trophy, Hamasai is certain that Mabu is blessed by the gods.
“Mabu’s New Desire”
At a feast, Mabu decides he wants one of the ostrich plumes worn by the festival dancers. Ten-year old Mabu is also given beer and snuff. In an earlier chapter he was watching a naked girl bathe. But since this material is text, not illustrated, Fredrick Wertham (author of Seduction of the Innocent) never noticed.
“On a Giraffe Hunt”
As Hamasia’s group and the Zulus hunt giraffes, they in turn are hunted. The lioness lurking in the bush is seen just in time, and the hunters strike.
“A Strange Way to Hunt”
The Zulus kill and skin a giraffe. They also skin the lioness killed last issue. Mabu wonders why the Zulus leave the meat behind.
“Farewell to the Zulus”
With much ceremony and the exchange of gifts, Hamasai’s hunting party prepares to leave the Zulu village. Mabu gives his lion trophy skin to Zaduzi, the boy who previously called him a liar, and has now become a friend.
“A Long Jungle Trail”
The hunting party pauses to bathe in a stream. Mabu has been gone so long, he momentarily forgets what his mother looks like.
One of his warriors tries to spear Hamasai in the back. Ever alert, Mabu trips up Dalu, who’s been secretly drinking Zulu beer.
Hamasai’s hunting party nears the village of the Kru Tribe. Mabu is frustrated that they must sit and wait to be welcomed in.
“The Pepper Bird”
While waiting for an invitation into the Kru village, Timai tells the boys the story of the Pepper Bird. According to legend, the reason the noisy Pepper Bird is the first creature to wake each morning is to free children from the embrace of Old Father Night, and return them to the light of Mr. Sun and Father Day.
“Mabu Meets the Krus”
Mabu thinks it disrespectful that the Krus did not come out to greet them, and senses danger in the grotesque images carved on the poles holding up the roof of the palaver house.
Sensing that someone was stealing his cuckoo clock, Mabu is stabbed by a mysterious assailant.
The Kru Witch Doctor chants as a fever wracks the injured Mabu. Hamasai defies the Witch Doctor, and successfully applies his own jungle medicines.
“The Sasswood Ordeal”
The Kru Zutu who’s been accused of robbing and injuring Mabu, is given a trial by the Sasswood Ordeal. When Zutu is not made ill by the juice from the Sasswood bard, he is found guilty and banished. But because he returns Mabu’s cuckoo clock, he is also granted a small pot of fire.
For the first time, Mabu is glad to leave as they depart the Kru village. Hamasai explains why the Kru seem so unhappy, even when they smile, telling of their many misfortunes.
“The Zambabwe Ruin”
Hamasai shows Mabu and Kaino the Zambabwe ruins, from a time when the land was called Havilah. Mabu finds it strange that the Havilah people worshipped only one god, and marvels at the size of the temples they built for Him.
“The Old, Old Man”
An old man appears and tells Mabu about the people of Havilah, and their God Yahwe. When Hamasai shouts at Mabu to return to the camp fires, the old man disappears. Only Mabu saw him.
“Elephants and Hippos”
Still walking along the (unending) jungle trail, Timai the hunter explains the actions of elephants and hippos. Giving up on trying to convince his father that he really talked to an invisible man last issue, Mabu wonders if men get their wisdom from watching animals.
“The Great Heat”
The boys faint as the group crosses a plain beneath a blazing sun and Hamasai delays the journey home, detouring the group to shade and water.
A night fire sweeps the plains. The hunting party takes shelter on a mountain and watch the drama of life and death below.
“A New Threat”
After last issue’s fire, the hunting party is forced to take an unknown trail. Ahead wait the savages known as The Ignorant Ones, brandishing stone axes.
Hamasai’s party meets the Ignorant Ones. Mabu has a difficult time hiding his disgust.
“Hunger Solves a Problem”
Baga escorts Hamasai’s party to the village of the Ignorant Ones. Mabu breaks some of the tension when he shares a meal with Waga, son of Baga. With names like Waga, son of Baga, I’m starting to wonder if the unknown writer wasn’t George Lucas?
“The Copper Chain”
Mabu wakes to see Waga slinging a copper chain at his head, saving him from a puff adder. Mabu decides maybe these ape-like people are not so ignorant, after all.
The hunting party meets several nomadic Somalis. Mabu shouts the alarm when he throws his spear at a lurking lion. But it’s old and toothless, and everybody laughs.
“The Somali Village”
The hunting party enters the Somali Village. The Somalis keep their women hidden, “Because they prize them above all else.”
“Sayid the Somali”
Mabu feels a Somali youth is being rude, so he starts bragging about his own accomplishments, and the Somali turns polite.
“The Mysterious Well”
Sayid shows Mabu and Kaino a well once built by a lost race of giants... ten feet high. It’s another culture shock chapter, as Mabu asks why all the women wear veils.
“Of Allah and Mohammed”
Sayid the Somali explains the worship of Allah to Mabu and Kaino. When Sayid says that Mohammed was commanded to teach his religion to all people, Kaino replies, “He never came to our village.”
“Around the Campfire”
Eating ostrich heart and potatoes by a campfire, Hamasai discusses Islam with Mabu. Mabu decides that is wrong to promote one god over others. “Who is to say that they are not one and the same?”
“Kaino Tells a Story”
When Mabu gets bored, Kaino makes up a story about brothers exploring the world, and turning into animals. More interesting to Mabu was Sayid explaining that ‘Only one who has traveled to Mecca ... is allowed to wear a green turban.”
Tarzan of the Apes #138
“The Eve of Ramadan”
The Somalis break camp in preparation for Ramadan. Mabu finds it odd that the Somalis, during their holiest month, would also be preparing to raid their neighbors camels.
Tarzan of the Apes #139
“More About Elephants”
Mabu learns how elephants can walk in mud. “An elephant’s feet swell when his weight is on them,” Hamasai explained, “and get smaller when he raises them.”
Tarzan of the Apes #140
Timai tells the story of the Lalas, who tried to capture the moon to make jewelry and weapons. The Lalas built a tower and tried using poles. Still unable to reach the moon, they foolishly started repurposing poles from the tower’s support structure.
Tarzan of the Apes #141
The hunting party visits a village where the people hear when there is no sound. Mabu meets Poto, son of Chief Kara of the Borani, who heard his father call him, telepathically.
Tarzan of the Apes #142
“Mabu Meets His Match”
Mabu’s personality clashes with that of Poto, a Borani youth. Mabu finds it odd that a mild gourd is cleaned with ashes. Poto explains, “They’re clean ashes.”
Tarzan of the Apes #143
“One For Mabu”
Mabu and Poto continue their verbal sparring match. The boys tag along with hunters leaving to kill Colobus monkeys for their fur.
Tarzan of the Apes #144
“The Monkey Hunt”
Tamai’s spear kills a monkey, but the body gets stuck in a treetop. Mabu figures out a way to get the body down, and gloats that Poto’s attempt didn’t work.
Tarzan of the Apes #145
The competition between Mabu and Poto escalates until they’re ready to fight. The intervening adults hold a skills contest, and the boys tie. They learn to accept each other as equals.
Tarzan of the Apes #146
Poto tries teaching Mabu telepathy. but the lesson doesn’t take. So Mabu shows Poto his stash of goodies collected over the long trip. Then Hamasai shows up with even more: the Colobus monkey’s tail.
Tarzan of the Apes #147
“The Silver Trees”
It’s a hot night, and the boys are out star gazing and exchanging legends. Legend has it the the white trees of South Africa were once green, until the winds caused them to anger the Gods.
Tarzan of the Apes #148
“On the Trail Again”
After Hamasai’s hunting party leaves the Borani Camp, the party stops to watch a hippo fight a female crocodile. It’s hippo meat and crocodile eggs for dinner!
Tarzan of the Apes #149
“Law of the Wild”
Mabu watches a young wildebeest defeat and exile an old leader of the herd. When Mabu comments that he’s glad his people doesn’t exile elders, his father, Hamasai, agrees.
Tarzan of the Apes #150
“The Poison Thorn”
The hunting party dodges a dozen dust devils. Hamasai must remove a poison thorn that Doma caught in his thigh.
Tarzan of the Apes #151
“A Morning Feast”
The boys join hunters gathering grasshoppers for breakfast. Grasshoppers, mealie cakes, and a handful of berries; “What a feast!”
Tarzan of the Apes #152
“The ‘Ndorobo Cave”
The group takes a break from the heat of the trail to rest an unused cave of the Ndorobo, a wandering tribe known for moving noiselessly through the jungle.
Tarzan of the Apes #153
“An Evening with Timai”
Resting around the campfire, Tamia tells of the origin of the boabab tree, which the gods uprooted and planted upside down.
Tarzan of the Apes #154
“Bawo of the Bambute”
Mabu learns how to shake your Bambute. A pygmy name Bawo invites Hamasai’s group to a dance that honors friendly spirits, and wards off the evil dead.
Tarzan of the Apes #155
“A Strange Custom”
The hunting party arrives at the Bambute village, where everyone is naked except for Chief Basu. The Chief makes an offering to the spirits by placing fresh food in an empty hut.
Tarzan of the Apes #156
“The Pygmy Dance”
Wearing only blue paint and strings of seeds, the naked Bambute women start their dance. But all Mabu can think about is how much more graceful the Zulu dancers were.
Tarzan of the Apes #157
“The Morning After”
After watching the Bambute dance all night long, the weary group pushes on at dawn.
Tarzan of the Apes #158
“Of Baboons and an Adder”
Weary from no sleep the night before, the hunting party camps early, so Mabu and Kaino head for a swim. Following a swimming monkey, they have a close encounter with a puff adder, which Mabu kills with his copper neck chain in manner he learned from Waga the Baga.
Tarzan of the Apes #159
“Why the Beasts Stampede”
Driver ants cause a stampede on the plains, so Hamasai’s hunters set the grasses on fire to clear their path.
Tarzan of the Apes #160
“In Elephant Country”
Leaving the burnt stubble of the plains behind, the group enters the jungle and barely misses being crushed by an elephant stampede. They realize that the delay caused by the driver ants actually saved them.
Tarzan of the Apes #161
Encountering another elephant herd, the group gets a laugh when all the cows chase off a lion, comparing them to a group of angry women.
Tarzan of the Apes #162
Returning to the camp with an antelope, the hunters tell about some strange stone circles that they encountered. Mabu thinks there might be a connection to his ghost friend.
Tarzan of the Apes #163
“Kalulu and the Chief”
Mabu find humor in the story of Kalulu, who wanted to marry a Chiftain’s daughter, except the chief would only accept a suitor bearing a gift of a stone lute. So Kalulu claimed to have made one, and that he only needed a pad of smoke with which to present it. Unable to create such a thing, the chief realized he had been outsmarted at his own game.
Tarzan of the Apes #164
“The Trading Post”
Now described as being aged 12, Mabu is thrilled when the hunting party comes across another trading post filled with men from the Wakamba, Kikyu, and Kavirondo tribes. But he’s warned that they don’t all get along.
Tarzan of the Apes #165
“Incident with a Masai”
A giant Masai warrior takes insult when Mabu will not trade his colobus monkey tail. A tense situation is relaxed when the other hunters explain that, because of Mabu’s accomplishments, he should be considered as a man and not a child. Out of respect, the Masai gives Mabu a coral necklace.
Tarzan of the Apes #166
The group travels with Chief Konde of the Kavirondo up a moutainside to Lake Ukerewe, where Mabu meets the Chief’s children, Kinji and Pinji. George Lucas strikes again?
Tarzan of the Apes #167
When Mabu and Kaino head off to go canoeing with Pinji, his sister Kinji offer to later take Mabu to see a cemetery, promising it will be an exciting experience. Hope Mabu remembers his earlier lesson about Taboo behavior with young girls!
Tarzan of the Apes #168
Fishing with Pinji, Kaino falls into the lake. Although he has no idea how to swim, Mabu jumps in and saves him.
Tarzan of the Apes #169
“A Fine Idea”
After eating Kavirondo corn cakes, one of Hamasai’s hunters becomes very ill. Chief Konde realizes that a piece of stone used to grind the corn must have broken off and gives him a drink that helps. Mabu suggests that the women start using fabrics to sift the ground corn, and offers to teach them how to weave cloth.
Tarzan of the Apes #170
A Kavirondo storyteller, tells the boys about Ruda, the most stupid man in the world. While crossing the oceans, Ruda accidentally lost his treasure over the side of the ship. So he marked the spot in the railing so he could find it later when he came back with divers.
Tarzan of the Apes #171
“An Unusual Morning”
Kinji finally drags Mabu off to the cemetery to meet the mummified head of her grandfather. He is not smitten.
Tarzan of the Apes #172
“The Salt Traders”
Watching a troop of salt traders pass, the boys begin telling stories. Pinji becomes upset when Mabu doubts his claims about how large a fish can be.
Tarzan of the Apes #173
“A Story of Salt”
Bettu the Bantu salt trader tells the boys fish stories and how his tribe gathers salt. Bettu the Bantu? I’m starting to recognize a rhyming theme in the names here.
Tarzan of the Apes #174
Bettu tells the boys about the Bakwa, hairy mountain-dwelling pygmies who hunt elephants.
Tarzan of the Apes #175
“Another Meeting with the Masai”
Back on the trail, the group once again encounters Kathegu, the tall Maisai warrior who had given Mabu a coral necklace. He has come to invite Mabu, the man who looks like a boy, to his village. He doesn’t like it when Hamasai tells him they have other places to visit first.
Tarzan of the Apes #176
“Why the Hawk is Always Searching”
Tamai tells a sleepless Mabu the story of Hawk, who lost the ring he needed to win the woman he loved, and has forever since flown through the skies looking for the thief.
Tarzan of the Apes #177
“The Bull Rhino”
When the group is charged by a bull rhino, Hamasai uses Mabu’s ‘firestick’ to kill it.
Tarzan of the Apes #178
While feasting on rhino meat, Mabu receives a psychic warning for the group to relocate onto the plain and away from the trees that might fall on them. He tells his father, who gives the order to move without explaining to his men why.
Tarzan of the Apes #179
“When the Earth Shook”
An earthquake destroys the camping site they had just left. Mabu feels vindicated that his father finally might believe his claim about meeting the old ghost.
Tarzan of the Apes #180
“More Trouble with Dalu”
After the earthquake, the hunter Dalu wants to flee the area. Kaino’s father, Samai, backs Hamasai’s decision to stay and harvest the rhino kill.
Tarzan of the Apes #181
“Arrival at the Kikuyu Village”
Mabu is unimpressed by what he sees when the group visits the poor village of Chief Kobero of the Kikuyus.
Tarzan of the Apes #182
“The Coral Necklace”
Shunned by the Kikuyus because Mabu’s coral necklace is Masai, Kaino starts to think Mabu has psychic power by the way he still makes them into friends.
Tarzan of the Apes #183
“Mabu Learns About Kikuyus”
Mabu feels sorry for his new Kikuyu friends, whose protective parents keep them from discovering the adventures of the world.
Tarzan of the Apes #184
“A Kikuyu Dance”
It’s dancing time again, but the rain god apparently does not appreciate the Kikuyu’s dance of thanks, and sends everyone running for cover.
Tarzan of the Apes #185
“Why the Chameleon is Accursed”
Debating if gods had been fighting in the sky during the recent storm, Mabu tells his new friends how the gods cursed chameleons for failing to deliver a message that would have save the moon from cycles of waxing and waning.
Tarzan of the Apes #186
Mabu is incredulous when a Kikuyu witch doctor successfully heals a sick man.
Tarzan of the Apes #187
“Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky”
As night falls and a new moon rises, Mabu listens to a tall tale about how the moon and sun where chased into the sky when an entity named water rose to cover the roof of their hut.
Tarzan of the Apes #188
“The Kikuyu ‘Ndorobo”
When a group of ‘Ndorobo arrive at the village to trade honey for weapons, leopard tracks are discovered nearby and Mabu joins the hunting party.
Tarzan of the Apes #189
“The Leopard Hunt”
Hamasai explains to Mabu that it would be an unfair advantage to use his ‘firestick’ to hunt the leopard, since no one else has one. During the hunt, Hamasai’s spear proves just as effective as the arrows of the famed ‘Ndorobo hunters.
Tarzan of the Apes #190
“A ‘Ndorobo Custom”
Mabu and Kaino are caught laughing at the ‘Ndorobo hunter’s habit of standing on one leg with the other bent like a stork. They’re given a pass when they explain that they wouldn’t have done it if they’d realized anyone would notice.
Tarzan of the Apes #191
It’s dance time, one more time! When chided for laughing at an old woman’s dancing, Mabu argues that he’s not laughing at her, but laughing with her. Once again he talks his way out of trouble.
Tarzan of the Apes #192
“The Driver Ants”
Hamasai starts to think his son is ill in the head when he acts on a psychic message to stop an impeding invasion by driver ants. But the old ghost’s trick of placing two crossed sticks in the path of the ants works.
Tarzan of the Apes #193
“An Exciting Prospect”
Mabu, Kaino and their Kikuyu friends join a ‘Ndorobo party leaving to collect salt.
Tarzan of the Apes #194
“On the Way to Meru”
The salt collecting party heads out through the jungle, marveling at the animals they see everywhere.
Tarzan of the Apes #195
Arriving at the Meru shamba, Mabu’s Masai necklace once again causes distrust. The village leader demands Mabu prove himself by standing night guard.
Tarzan of the Apes #196
“On Night Guard”
Standing guard with Mabu, Tamai kills a bull elephant.
Tarzan of the Apes #197
“The Crater Lake
As the villagers carve up the bull elephant, the boys are taken to see crater lake, where a group of old women live at the bottom of a pit and mine the salt.
Tarzan of the Apes #198
“Walukaga and the King”
Watching clouds take human shape, Mabu is told the story of an old iron smith, Walukaga, who was ordered by his king to make a living man out of iron. He replied that it could be done with a thousand loads of charcoal, but the king’s men could only come up with one load. Pretty much a repeat of the story about a fellow who was commanded to make a stone lute.
Tarzan of the Apes #199
“The Night of the Dance”
It’s dance time yet again! After a celebration for killing the bull elephant, Mabu experiences a psychic connection with his father who is away, in a nearby village.
Tarzan of the Apes #200
“The Third Meeting With Kathegu”
The group finally leaves the Kikuyu village and immediately runs into a group of Masai warriors that includes Kathegu, who had given Mabu his coral necklace. He has come to take them to his kraal.
Tarzan of the Apes #201
“At the Masai Kraal”
Invited to dinner, Mabu balks when he thinks that he must drink cattle blood like the Masai. He is much relieved when they instead offer him roast sheep and sweet potatoes.
Tarzan of the Apes #202
After a mock Masai fight, it’s dance time -- of course. Mabu is getting a little sick of all the dancing. He isn’t the only one!
Tarzan of the Apes #203
After 23 years and 193 issues, the feature ends. Mabu finally concludes his epic journey and is reunited with his mother. But there’s no mention of his dog. You might call this feature an odyssey, with all of the adventures happening over the span of two years for the character. Meanwhile the reader has gone from being a kid themselves to being a parent and, possibly, even to being a grandparent. In dog years, who knows?
ERBzine Editor's Note:
The Mabu stories that Michael has listed here for easy reference
may be read in their entirety in ERBzine
where we have reprinted all the Dell and Gold Key Tarzan comics:
ERB DELL and GOLD KEY COMICS ARCHIVE
Tarzan ~ Tarzan Annuals ~ John Carter ~ Brothers of the Spear ~ Ape Dictionaries
I: Tarzan Dell Nos. 1-100
II: Tarzan Dell Nos. 101-131
III: Tarzan Gold Key
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