Real Name: Montgomery Ford
Identity/Class: Normal human
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Ghor-Ha-Klan (see comments), Sandratha; (loose) his subjects (Frita, Gorno, Kamil, Mando, Ro, Tul, Yiri, others)
Enemies: Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder), Zabu
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: High Priest
Base of Operations:
Gondora, Savage Land;
formerly Allied territory (possibly UK)
First Appearance: Ka-Zar II#8 (March, 1975)
Powers/Abilities: Montgomery Ford had no superpowers, but wielded a prototype hand-held lasar through which he ruled by fear. Overweight and lacking exercise, he was morally corrupt and ruthless.
(Ka-Zar II#8 (fb) - BTS) - Montgomery Ford was a scientist working on weaponry for the Allies during a war. The war's end 30 years ago (see comments) meant he lost his job, but he stole a prototype lasar mounted in a wand-like structure that he had developed. Through unknown means, he then made his way to the Savage Land in Antarctica.
(Ka-Zar II#8 (fb)) - Ford eventually made his way to the land at the foot of the base of a dormant volcano named Gondor. By now, he had already adopted priestly robes and mask. He attacked the local farmers, killing one with the lasar wand; the others then bowed to him in fear and awe. Declaring himself the High Priest, he then ordered them to start construction on a small stone city that would be called Gondora, including a temple around a pool of lava to worship his god, Ghor-Ha-Klan. Construction left no one to gather food, so local caravans were raided for supplies. Ford then began monthly sacrifices, initially of animals, then young adults. Each new sin brought greater depravity and the people sought evil acts without prompting from the High Priest.
(Ka-Zar II#8) - Zabu was captured by a brutal local priest, Sandratha, and brought before Ford to be used as a sacrifice, but Zabu broke free, killing Sandratha on the steps before Ford. However, Zabu was recaptured and consigned to sacrifice at midnight. Ka-Zar, intending to fight and free Zabu, was instead stopped and befriended by an aged local called Tul. Later that night, Ka-Zar made his way into the inner temple, where he was confronted by Ford, whose men then herded him toward the lava pit, but Ka-Zar broke free and fought, shoving Ford aside after he fired his lasar wand. Ford fell into the lava pool, his wand shooting wildly and igniting the lava that would lead to the destruction of the city.
Comments: Created by Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema & Alfredo Alcala (art).
The war he was involved in is topical. He stated that the war ended 30 years ago and the term "Allies" suggests it to be World War II.
So why Ford's devotion to an unusually named god? It may be that Ford became possessed by a demon or deity named Ghor-Ha-Klan that resided in the volcano. Alternatively, it could also have been a local deity worshiped by the first people Ford encountered in the Savage Land (but I like the first idea better, especially given the distinct Conan flavor to this adventure - "Crom!" is a sound effect during a brawl).
The tale of Tul and his petrified wife has obvious parallels with the Biblical character Lot, whose wife was turned into a pillar of salt after turning to look back at a decadent city's destruction. Both Tul and Lot had two daughters.
Profile by Grendel Prime.
Montgomery Ford has no known connections to:
Gondora was a new city that Ford commanded to be built, starting with a temple surrounding a pool of lava. It lay hidden in a section of land near the volcano dubbed Gondor and was protected by guards. Supplies were sometimes gained from raids on passing caravans. Ford's lax and corrupt leadership led to a decadent and brutal way of life in the city that would later spread as a whispered legend as a town of depravity and sin. A common weapon by the local soldiers was a two-pronged spear and very few people could escape its natural borders. Much later, Ka-Zar chanced upon the city and killed two of its guards, one called Mando. Later, a wayward blast from Ford's lasar wand ignited the pool of lava that led to the destruction of Gondora, with all of the inhabitants either dying or fleeing.
Kamil was the wife of Tul with two daughters, Yiri and Ro, and she sought to escape the brutal nature of Gondora fostered by Montgomery Ford. She forsook her family to encourage Ka-Zar to flee and take her with him, but he refused. She tried to leave with her family following the lava eruption, but paused to look back and was caught in the explosion, leaving her as a dead and ashen statue.
Sandratha was a brutal priest of Ghor-Ha-Klan under Ford's command. He and his men captured the weakened Zabu and presented the beast to Ford so that Zabu could be used as a sacrifice. However, Zabu broke free and killed the priest in front of Ford.
Tul was an elderly man who had seen the building and increasing depravity of Gondora across its 20-year span. He lived there with his wife, Kamil, and two daughters, Yiri and Ro. He stopped Ka-Zar from rushing into a fight and certain defeat, and gave him food while telling him of Gondora's history. Ka-Zar defended Tul and his family from Frita, Gorno and two other aggressive home invaders, Ka-Zar intended to free Tul and his family with the later lava-filled explosion giving them the opportunity; however, Kamil paused and was killed. Tul was horrified at her ashen remains.
Ka-Zar II#8, p15, pan1 (main image)
p7, pan2 (headshot with mask)
p4, pan1 (Gondora)
p9, pan6 (Kamil headshot)
p18, pan4 (Kamil baked)
p11, pan5 (Tul headshot)
p9, pan3 (Tul turning)
Ka-Zar II#8 (March, 1975) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema & Alfredo Alcala (art), Len Wein (editor)
Last updated: 12/29/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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