Real Name: Kanu (male); Bala (female)

Identity/Class: Unrevealed

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: King Ku

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: (Kanu) Unidentified parents; (Bala) unidentified parents)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Their undersea home somewhere in the North Atlantic (see comments)

First Appearance: Adventure Into Mystery#1/5 (May, 1956)

Powers/Abilities: Like the rest of their race, Kanu and Bala's bodies were adapted to life in the deep undersea environment. They had greater than normal-human level strength. They were amphibious to some extent and could survive out of water, however they could not breathe properly on the surface world for more than two hours. Also, they possibly had some degree of telepathy (see comments).

History: (Adventure Into Mystery #1/5) - One day, while they were swimming playfully below the waves, Kanu proposed marriage to Bala, whom he had loved since the day he first saw her swim by his coral house.

  Following the young lovers' wedding ceremony, the newlyweds swam to the south and warmer waters, to spend many happy days on their honeymoon. But even their honeymoon was forgotten the day they swam to the surface and saw a sight that left them awestruck -- a civilization above the waves! Bala thought the coastal city looked far more beautiful than the drab underwater world they lived in, but Kanu cautioned her that they could not breathe out of the water for more than two hours.

  Excited by their discovery, the young couple swam back home to tell their parents their tale of the surface city that gleamed with beauty and color. Wishing to explore the land-world, Kanu and Bala were granted permission by their parents and King Ku, but were also reminded of the time-limit.

  Kanu and Bala returned to the surface and were walking down the main street of a large seaside city. Their unusual appearance caused quite a commotion among the citizens walking along the sidewalks, who thought the two were some sort of advertising gimmick.

  The young couple was chased and cornered by a crowd of the curious, and Bala begged them to leave her and her mate alone, telling them that they lived deep in the sea and that they wouldn't be able to breathe much longer. As they began to choke, Kanu grabbed Bala and they bolted from the crowd, with only minutes left before the two-hour time-limit expired.

  Running to the docks, Kanu and Bala leaped over the heads of some astonished longshoremen and into the waters of the sea -- the longshoremen could only wonder why the strange pair failed to return to the surface...

  But the subaquatic sweethearts were home again, back where they belonged. Below the surface of the sea, Bala was grateful to be able to breathe again, and she told Kanu that they should never have left home; Kanu agreed, telling Bala he wouldn't ever be envious or curious about other people and other worlds again.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Tony Mortellaro.

I say that Kanu and Bala's home was the North Atlantic because the surface city they discovered had palm trees, so I'm assuming it was perhaps in Florida. And I say that they possibly had telepathy because they were able to understand what the surface people were saying, despite the fact that this was their first contact with the surface world.

In regards to this undersea civilization, it is unknown how large it was -- including Kanu and Bala, their parents, and King Ku, I only counted a total of fourteen individuals, but I suppose there could have been more who just weren't shown.

The origins of these people are unknown -- one could speculate that they are a divergent strain of the blue-skinned Homo-mermani, or perhaps they were one of Vyrra's experiments. Maybe they've got some connection to the mysterious Subbie (@ Kid Komics#1-2).

The Sub-Mariner's "last" appearance was in Sub-Mariner I#42 (October, 1955) (about 7 months prior to the publication of Kanu & Bala's story), after which his series was cancelled; Namor wouldn't be seen again until his reintroduction into modern Marvel continuity in Fantastic Four I#4 (May, 1962).

And a BIG Thank You to Brian Hirsch for getting me the scans of this story!

Profile by John Kaminski

Kanu has no known connection to:

Bala has no known connections to:

King Ku has no known connections to:

King Ku

The ruler of an undersea kingdom, he granted permission to Kanu and Bala to explore the surface world.

--Adventure Into Mystery#1/5



Adventure Into Mystery#1/5, p1, pan1 (main)

p2, pan4 (headshots on surface of ocean)
p3, pan5 (King Ku)

Adventure Into Mystery#1/5 (May, 1956) - Tony Mortellaro (artist)

Last updated: 09/18/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters