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TUK THE CAVEBOY

Real Name: Tuk (name given by adoptive father);
    birth name unrevealed

Identity/Class: Possible Inhuman (see comments); pre-Cataclysmic era (circa 50,000 BC)

Occupation: Adventurer

Group Membership: Partner of Tanir

Affiliations: King Amir, Atlanteans, Cave People, Cretans, Princess Eve

Enemies: Acidal, Bonzo and his men, Gholla, Goreks, Hairy Ones, Kag, Witches of Endor

Known Relatives: Rhaya (presumed mother, deceased), Phadion (presumed father, deceased), Ak (foster father, deceased)

Aliases: Avenger, "Boy," "Cub"

Base of Operations: Prehistoric wilds of 50,000 BC
      formerly Attilan of 50,000 BC

First Appearance: Captain America Comics#1/6 (March, 1941)

Powers/Abilities: Tuk was an exceptionally fit youth, possessing above average strength and agility, as well as some skill in guiding and taming wild beasts. He was also able to mimic the mating calls of animals, including that off the saber-toothed tiger. He usually carried a bow and arrows as weapon of choice, though he was also proficient in the use of clubs and spears, wielding either of them on occasion.

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 129 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Reddish-blond

History:
(Captain America Comics#1/6 (fb) - BTS) - The boy who would one day be known as Tuk the Caveboy was born on Attilan, the so called "Island of the Gods," to Rhaya and Phadion. While he was little more than an infant, his parents were cast out of Attilan by Kadir, who sentenced them to survive in the wilds surrounding Attilan.

(Captain America Comics#1/6 (fb)) - Mere minutes after arriving on the shore of their new home, the woolly rhinoceros Gholla attacked Tuk and his parents. His father, Phadion, sacrificed his life to make sure Tuk and his mother were safe. However, the scent of blood attracted Kag the lion-wolf who attacked Tuk and his grieving mother. The two of them were saved by Ak, last of the shaggy ones. He hid them in a cave and obediently worshipped Rhaya, viewing her as a goddess.

    Tuk and his mother enjoyed the relative safety of Ak's cave for some time. However, when the Shaggy One was away on a food run, the lion called Gru attacked and killed Rhaya. Gru left Tuk alive, and when Ak returned to discover the corpse of his goddess, he grew so infuriated he mustered all his strength to kill the murderous lion by crushing him under a boulder he pushed off a ledge. Ak then took Tuk in, raising the child as his own and, in honor of his late parents, named him "Tuk" which meant "avenger" in his language.

(Captain America Comics#1/6) - By the time Tuk came of age, his foster parent, Ak, had grown old. Feeling his end was nigh, Ak revealed Tuk's true origin story to the boy only to die shortly afterwards. As a result, Tuk decided to find the fabled island of Attilan and set out on his quest.
    It didn't take long for him to run into trouble. He was attacked by the Goreks, a prehistoric tribe of cannibals, but was rescued by the Cro-Magnon bowman Tanir. Forging a fast friendship with Tanir, Tuk later that night, shared his origin and mission to find Attilan. Tanir, feeling such a quest was the envy of any fighting man, wished to join Tuk.

(Captain America Comics#2/4) - The search for Attilan led Tuk and Tanir to the city of Crete. The duo hoped to get the counsel of the wise king Amir. Crete, however, had been overrun by the apish Hairy Ones who held King Amir and other surviving inhabitants of Crete hostage in the city's court yard. Together, Tuk and Tanir managed to kill all the Hairy Ones. An overjoyed Amir more than happily provided the duo with the route that would lead them to Attilan.
    Amir's route, however, forced the duo to cross the Valley of Mist, infamously known for being covered in an anesthetic gas. Tuk and his companion were overcome as well and found themselves the captives of the valley's native inhabitants, the Witches of Endor. Trapped in the Witches' lair, they heard the screams of another prisoner, Princess Eve of Atlantis. As part of their regular recruitment routine for captives, the Witches of Endor tried to burn her face with an acidic liquid, figuring the scarring would force a victim to remain with the Witches. Tuk and Tanir intervened, rescuing Eve from the Endorian witches and escaping the valley by using their special vapor masks that blocked the effects of the gas. Tuk and Tanir decided to see the princess home, but when Eve revealed her mad uncle Acidal had usurped her throne, Tuk vowed to restore the beautiful princess to her rightful place as ruler of her kingdom.

(Captain America Comics#3/4) - Covering up Eve's features with a simple disguise, Tuk and Tanir attempted to take the princess to Atlantis. However, her uncle and his court magician spotted their approach courtesy of the mage's all seeing crystal ball. Before they could enter, the false king Acidal ordered the city gates closed. Eve, however, knew of a hidden passageway that led them through a secret system of tunnels, eventually delivering them beyond the city walls. Reaching the castle, Tuk and Eve confronted Acidal, who pulled his dagger, ready to kill the princess as he feared the people of Atlantis would see that their rightful heir was still alive. Combining their efforts, Tuk and Tanir defeated Acidal. When Princess Eve revealed her true identity to the Atlantean guard, Acidal was taken captive and locked up in the dungeon for his treachery. Princess Eve, newly restored to the throne, offered the wealth of Atlantis to Tuk and Tanir for their help. Tuk declined, however, preferring to continue on his quest to find Attilan.

(Captain America Comics#4/5) - While on their journey, Tuk and Tanir stumbled upon the Cave People who fled from their settlement as the tyrant Bonzo was on his way to murder and plunder the place. Always eager to help, the duo stayed and watched as Bonzo and his men arrived. When the invaders killed one of the Cave People whose only crime was to stay behind in order to protect his weak wife and newborn baby, Tanir intervened by using his bow and arrows to kill one of Bonzo's men. Having never seen such a weapon, Bonzo deemed the bow to be "MAGIC!" He ordered his men to catch Tanir. While the Cro-Magnon was captured, Tuk managed to rescue the woman and her baby. Bonzo wanted the secret of the bow and threatened to kill Tanir if he wouldn't join his warriors. Tanir agreed to join, though secretly deciding to wait around until he could find a way to dispose of Bonzo. To prove his loyalty, Tanir was ordered to kill his partner Tuk. Forced to shoot one of his "magic sticks," Tanir purposefully caused the arrow to miss, allowing Tuk to get away. Later, he tracked down his friend, unaware Bonzo had sent one of his men to spy on him. Tanir and Tuk had a secret meeting in which they discussed how they could dispose of Bonzo in the best way. When he noticed Bonzo's spy, Tanir killed the man by throwing him of a cliff, later returning to Bonzo's side, acting as if nothing had happened.

 

(Captain America Comics#5/6) - To start their secret plan, Tuk impersonated the mating call of a saber-toothed tiger, thereby summoning the beast, making sure it was on a direct path to meet Bonzo and Tanir. When the animal attacked Bonzo, he was saved by Tanir, which only helped to gain the savage leader's trust even more. After the tiger's death, Tuk showed himself, and Tanir was once again ordered to kill his best friend. Lighting one of his arrows on fire, Tanir once again missed his target, instead hitting the highly flammable, dry woods Tuk was hiding in. The fire instantly grew into a massive blaze, which caused a stampede of giant mammoths who came crashing out of the flaming jungle in a desperate attempt to find safety. Tuk, riding one of these enormous beasts, saved Tanir from getting trampled. Tanir then used his own bow and arrow to kill Bonzo, ridding the prehistoric time of perhaps it most persistent tyrant. In the aftermath, Tuk and Tanir wondered where their next adventure would take them.

 

 

Comments: Created by Jack Kirby & Joe Simon.

    The introduction of Tuk in his first appearance stated "he was destined to roam the prehistoric wilds of 50,000 BC in search of Attilan, Island of the Gods, to reclaim a lost throne" suggesting he might have held a royal position in Attilan.

    Interestingly enough, during the events that became known as "The Crossing", Immortus secretly had a number of Space Phantoms assume various alternate reality personas to confuse the Avengers. One of them was called "Tuc", a blonde haired, blue eyed boy dressed in animal skins who alluded to being the child of the Inhuman princess Crystal and Quicksilver. If anything, this might point to a conclusive link between the Inhumans, Tuk the Cave Boy and the inhabitants of the pre-cataclysmic Attilan.

    Before MARVEL UNIVERSE (short lived, seven issue marvel series from 1998) was canceled, I had plans to reintroduce Tuk the Caveboy. -- Roger Stern.

    The reference to Attilan as the place from which Tuk, Phadion and Rhaya had been banished has led to speculation that they were Inhumans. The big problem is that the Inhumans were first developed by the Kree roughly 25,000 years ago, or 23,000 BC ...which would be 25,000-27,000 after the time of Tuk's adventures. Maybe they were banished backward in time? -- Snood.

    Atlantis, even in the Marvel Universe, has an established history of 20,000 BC, and possibly even 30,000 BC in modern chronology. An Atlantis in 50,000 BC might either be an unrelated Atlantis or may indicate that Atlantis was a pre-existing nation/land tens of millennia before it came into prominence shortly before the Great Cataclysm. Personally, it makes perfect sense to me that the reason Atlantis was so advanced was that the people had access to the technology of one of the Elder Races; the problem with that would be that Atlantis was considered a land of barbarians as late as 18,500...but perhaps there had been a violent revolution that had caused the people to shun their technology for a period of years, decades, centuries, etc.; and then they reclaimed it again well before the Great Cataclysm.
    The same holds true for Attilan, as the Inhumans were specifically shown to have been created approximately 23,000 BC.
    Further, there's the Lost Lemuria associated with Thongor, stories of which allegedly took place in 500,000 BC! If there was an elder Lemuria, why not elder Atlantis and/or Attilan.
--Snood

A few further comments courtesy of Wolfram Bane:

Here's how the Golden Age Captain America Omnibus HC credits the Tuk stories in Cap Comics #1-5 (information courtesy of Jeph York):

#1 - by Jack Kirby
#2 - art by Al Gabriele* & unknown
#3 - art by Mac Raboy*
#4 - art by unknown with Al Gabriele*
#5 - title page pencils by Jack Kirby, title page inks by Joe Simon, pencils by Al Avison*, inks by Al Gabriele* 

* It was not industry standard in the Golden Age of comics to provide detailed credits for each strip. The artists worked with an ever-changing studio of assistants and secondary artists, while writers often did not sign their name to their work. The stories in this volume were produced by the Simon & Kirby studio and may have included varying levels of work by the creators cited as well as others:

Al Avison, Fred Bell, Martin Burstein, Reed Crandall, Howard Ferguson, Harry Fisk, Al Gabriele, Fred Guardineer, Ernie Hart, Chu Hing, William Clayton King, Bernard Klein, Mort Meskin, George Roussos, Gustav Schrotter, Syd Shores & C.A. Winter

Profile by MarvellousLuke

CLARIFICATIONS:
Tuk should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Captain America Comics#5, p50, pan2 (main image)
Captain America Comics#1, p59, pan3 (as an infant)
Captain America Comics#2, p47, pan1 (battling the Hairy Ones)
Captain America Comics#5, p54, pan7 (onwards to new adventures)


Appearances (see comments regarding creator credits):
Captain America Comics#1/6 (March, 1941) - Jack Kirby & Joe Simon (co-writers), Jack Kirby (pencils)
Captain America Comics#2/4 (April, 1941) - Jack Kirby & Joe Simon (co-writers), Pierce Rice (pencils), Arthur Cazeneuve (inks)
Captain America Comics#3/4 (May, 1941) - Jack Kirby & Joe Simon (co-writers), Mac Raboy (pencils)
Captain America Comics#4/5 (June, 1941) - Jim Mooney (pencils), Chu Hing (inks)
Captain America Comics#5/6 (August, 1941) - creative team remains unknown, this was clearly a different creative team than issue 4.


Last updated: 06/23/14

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