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KIRK MARSTON

Real Name: Kirk Marston

Identity/Class: Human mutate;
   citizen of United Kingdom

Occupation: Vessel of Garokk the Petrified Man; former secret intelligence agent

Group Membership: None; formerly MI6

Affiliations: Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder), Bernard Kloss, Kramen, Karl Lykos, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Tandy Snow, Tongah, Zabu

Enemies: Klaw (Ulysses Klaw), Sheenarians (Draumann, Narnia, Saxtur, Shartram, Traikar, Quann and others), Zaladane (Zala Dane)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The chosen one" (nickname used by Zaladane), "Mar-Ston" (nickname used by the Kramen)

Base of Operations: Savage Land;
     formerly London, United Kingdom

First Appearance: Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15 (April, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Prior to his transformation into Garokk, Marston possessed no known superhuman abilities. A skilled scientist with an expertise in radiology, Marston had received some MI6 training. He was immunized against the Kramen energy absorption process (see comments).

Height: 6'0" (by approximation)
Weight: 190 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown

History:

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15 (fb) - BTS) - British born radiologist Kirk Marston was working for Nayland Smith at MI6 in London.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#16 (fb) - BTS) - While in London, newspaper reporter Tandy Snow was sent to MI6 to writ a feature news article on him. They hit it off and developed a fast friendship that ultimately turned to love.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15 - BTS) - When Ka-Zar came to London seeking help in trying to cure a form of Vibranium-related dementia that was plaguing the Savage Land, Snow called on her boyfriend to lend his expertise in radiology. Because Tandy herself had been injured during a fight between Ka-Zar and his enemy Klaw at the British Museum, Marston went to the hospital where she was staying.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15) - Marston was introduced to Ka-Zar in Tandy's hospital room. He went on to theorize that Klaw might be to blame for the current crisis. According to Marston's hypothesis, Klaw could have bombarded the Vibranium motherlode with an intense sonic bombardment that resulted in a type of sonic radiation that caused temporary dementia once it permeated the inner ear or nervous system. To check out his theory, Marston accompanied Ka-Zar and Snow back to the Savage Land.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15 - BTS) - Meanwhile Klaw and his outerdimensional Sheenaran ally Shauran had arrived in the Savage Land. The Sheenarians planned to invade Earth and Klaw agreed to help them if they made him a leader in the new order. Shauran then enhanced Klaw's sonic horn with special technology that allowed Klaw to use his sonic powers to open a massive dimensional portal through which the Sheenarian invasion army marched.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15) - Marston, Snow, Ka-Zar and Zabu airdropped into the Savage Land six hours after the Sheenarian invasion had begun. Unaware of this, they made their way to Bernard Kloss' cave where chief Tongah of the Fall People was waiting for them. Moments later, their introductions were interrupted by the arrival of Khonsah who came to tell them the Fall People had been all but slaughtered by the invaders. He was then incinerated by an energy beam shot by a Sheenarian skyskimmer. A second craft carrying Traikar, commander of the Sheenarian conquest arrived. The commander came down on a green transport beam, informing Kirk and the others their lives would be spared if they surrendered peacefully. Kirk and the others watched as the incensed Tongah threw his spear at Traikar, killing him on the spot. It made little difference, because seconds later more Sheenarian forces arrived led by commander Saxtur. He announced that they would refrain from killing everyone, but that they would make an example out of Tongah.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#16) - Before Saxtur could order his subordinate Quann to kill Tongah, Ka-Zar ordered Zabu to jump the Sheenarian soldier. Making use of the distraction, Ka-Zar and Tongah attacked. Even Marston and Tandy took on the invaders, but their rebellion proved pointless when Klaw arrived and threatened to shatter their skulls with a single soundblast if they didn't surrender. However, Ka-Zar used a brief argument between Klaw and commander Saxtur to escape into the jungle. This led Marston to sarcastically comment that "the great Ka-Zar fled to save his own skin". Angered, Tongah set Marston straight, telling him to be quiet until he'd proven himself as worthy as Ka-Zar had. Kirk clammed up, but Snow felt herself lose respect for the man she loved. Tongah, Snow, Marston and Bernard were moved to Kloss' cave where Saxtur examined the many dinosaur bones collected by the paleontologist. Discussing the findings with his subordinate Draumann, he concluded that some of the dinosaurs living in the Savage Land were native to his home dimension. After several hours, Ka-Zar and Zabu staged a successful rescue attempt and wound up capturing both Klaw and commander Saxtur who told them the Sheenarians would soon be able to enter their dimension at will. Figuring they needed to destroy the dimensional machinery on the Sheenarian side, Ka-Zar and his allies (including Kirk, Tandy and Bernard) forced Klaw and Saxtur to open a portal to their native dimension.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17) - Ka-Zar and the others found themselves under attack by Sheenarian troops as soon as they arrived. They only survived because the Sheenarians were attacked by Quarlian forces riding skysharks. All this was too much for Kirk Marston who fled into the jungle, trying to save his life.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17 - BTS) - Even as Kirk fled, Ka-Zar tamed one of the skysharks and decided to ride it to wherever its home was. Tandy insisted to go with him, which forced Tongah, Zabu and Bernard Kloss to wait for them to return in five days time.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18 (fb) - BTS) - The scared Marston wandered into the city of the life draining Kramen. Fearing for his life and showing a treacherous streak, Marston struck a deal: if they'd spare him, he'd lead others to their city to take his place. Though reluctant to trust Marston, the Kramen agreed.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17) - The following morning, Marston found his way back to where Tongah, Zabu and Bernard Kloss were staying. Though they cursed him out for running off, they nevertheless decided to accompany him to the city of the Kramen where he assured them they would find safety and shelter. When they arrived at the city, Tongah, Kloss and Zabu took in the sights, while Marston had a meeting with the Kramen leader who told "Mar-Ston" that he'd earned their trust.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18) - Fearing he would suffer the same fate as Tongah, Zabu or Kloss, Marston insisted with the Kramen leader that he be immunized against whatever was about to happen to them. Though surprised by Mar-Ston's impatience, the Kramen agreed and led Marston inside the Temple of Lost Youth where the life-stone was kept. The elder urged a hesitant Marston to touch the artifact, which he did only to get zapped by its potent force. Briefly dazed, Marston demanded to know what had happened to him, but the laconic elder simply told him he asked too many questions before insisting he came and witnessed the fate of Tongah, Kloss and Zabu.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#19) - The Kramen began to slowly drain away the life energy of Tongah, Kloss and Zabu while the unaffected Marston watched in horror. He asked if the process would kill his former allies, to which the Kramen elder responded that many had to feed on their energy and that whether they live or die depended on how much life-strength they had to offer.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#20 - BTS) - Marston left the city of the Kramen while Tongah, Zabu and Kloss were still being drained. The rejuvenated Kramen elder told a subordinate that Marston had served them well (see comments).

(Uncanny X-Men I#115 (fb) - BTS) - Kirk Marston made his way back to the Savage Land proper where he eventually was noticed by Zaladane. The high priestess of the Sun God recognized the outsider Marston as the perfect vessel for Garokk's rebirth and ordered her followers to kidnap him.

(Uncanny X-Men I#115 (fb) ) - Marston was brought to the temple of the Sun God where he was chained to a sacrificial slab. Begging for his life while Zaladane began the Godbirth ceremony, she assured him and her followers that Marston was part of the ancient prophecy: a man from the outside world to be touched by the hand of God. She then daubed Marston's chest with sacred oil containing Garokk's ashes. Within moments, Marston's form began to glow and change until his form burned away and a resurrected Garokk the Petrified Man stood in his place.

Comments: Created by Doug Moench (writer) & Val Meyerik (pencils & inks).

Ka-Zar was canceled after issue 20, so the Sheenarian/Kramen conflict was never brought to a satisfying conclusion, nor did we see Marston get his rightful comeuppance. Uncanny X-Men I#115 resolved some of those danglers and retroactively established that parts of the Quarl dimension were actually overlapping with ours, thus making it plausible that the treacherous Marston simply wandered out into the Savage Land again. After his resurrection, Garokk immediately banished every refugee from Quarl from this dimension. But just how Marston wound up kidnapped by Zaladane remains conveniently unrevealed.

Though unconfirmed, it would be a bit of delicious irony if Marston's exposure to the Kramen's life stone turned out to be the reason why Zaladane picked him as Garokk's host form. A case can be made that an ordinary, mortal form could hardly contain the godlike essence and power of Garokk, but Kirk was hardly human anymore.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Kirk Marston should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men I#115, p13, pan3 (main image)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#16, p11, pan6 (first appearance)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#16, p4, pan1 (fights the Sheenarians)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17, p19, pan2 (earns Kramen trust)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18, p7, pans5,6,7 (touches the Kramen Lifestone)
Uncanny X-Men I#115, p13, pan2 (sacrificed by Zaladane)


Appearances:
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#15 (April, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#16 (June, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17 (August, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18 (October, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#19 (December, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#115 (November, 1978) - Chris Claremont (plot/script), John Byrne (plot/pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Roger Stern (editor)


Last updated: 07/06/17

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