Real Name: Zunna

Identity/Class: Human;
    citizen of unidentified African tribe;
16th to 17th century

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: Unidentified tribe (Kran, mother)

Affiliations: Solomon Kane, Kran (lover), N'Longa

Enemies: Vampire creatures of "Engazi"; unidentified lion (deceased)

Known Relatives: Unidentified mother

Aliases: "Child" (from Solomon Kane)

Base of Operations: Unidentified village of her tribe, in Africa's "Slave Coast," an unspecified distance south of the "Silent City of Stone"/"Engazi";
    her spirit briefly

First Appearance: "The Hills of the Dead," Weird Tales (August, 1930);
     (Marvel) Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (July, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Zunna was experienced living in the jungles of Africa, although she did not demonstrate any particular skills. She was brave enough to wander the veldt/jungle.

    She revered Solomon Kane for his abilities and courage, considering him to be a god despite his repeated denial.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'8"; she didn't seem that much shorter than Kane, who we've approximated at 6')
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 130 lbs.; she was pretty lithe, but with well-toned musculature)
Eyes: Unrevealed (likely brown)
Hair: Black


(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS/Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (fb) - BTS/(Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - The undead creatures dwelled in the hills around "Engazi" and preyed on the tribe that included Zunna and Kran.

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - Zunna learned from her tribe's people of the undead creatures numbers, nature, and history with the ancestors of her tribe.

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (fb) - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) <Sometime after 1591 AD> - Whipped by her mother for breaking a cooking kettle, Zunna angrily ran away, heading north.

(The Hills of the Dead (fb) - BTS /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (fb) - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (fb) - BTS) - In the high grass, Zunna was pursued by a lion.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Zunna's screams drew the Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane, who was on a quest to discover the power/nature of his magical staff. As she rushed out of the tall grass and saw Kane, she collapsed at his feet, which she embraced before screaming again as the lion emerged.

    Pushing Zunna aside and dropping his voodoo stave, Kane raised his musket to his shoulder, coolly sighted the onrushing felid, and slew the creature with a single shot.

    Speaking to Zunna in a river dialect he had learned in earlier wanderings, Kane told Zunna not to bow. She asked him if he was not a god, and he assured her he was only a man before asking her name. Zunna introduced herself and told Kane how she ended up where she was, noting that now she was afraid and wanted to go back. Kane agreed to take her back if she showed him the way, but he considered that open country was no place to be caught after dark, and when Zunna confirmed that they could not reach her village before nightfall, he resolved that they would pass their night in the cave in a nearby mountain.

    Terrified, Zunna tried to convince Kane that it was better to face lions than to go to the hills, but he countered that if they stayed there, they would be vulture pickings by morning; refusing to listen to her "native superstition," Kane told her to put her trust in the lord and to follow him.

    Arguing no further, Zunna accompanied Kane up a short slope to the mouth of a small cavern. Considering that they would be safe if they had a fire, Kane told Zunna to gather some dry grass, but not to go too far and to keep an ear cocked for lions. zunna-16thafrica-kane-calvesup

    When Zunna returned with the grass she had gathered, she cried out upon seeing the two vampire creatures that had entered the cave, warning Kane to watch out as they leapt at him. Zunna watched fearfully as Kane eventually destroyed the two creatures with his voodoo stave.

    As Kane cursed the creatures as vampires, Zunna told him that they were walking dead-men who feared only fire. She further told him that there were many of the creatures in these hills and that they preyed on her people. Kane showed her that he held that which would destroy them, his voodoo stave.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Zunna told Kane of the undead creatures' numbers, nature, and history. Noting that he was a god (as no man could overcome two of the "walking dead men"), she asked if he could not lift the curse from her tribe and otherwise begged him to save them: "Death is on this land, and we die helpless." At Kane's instruction, Zunna built a fire and they ate (at least in part the dried meat Kane carried in his pouch); she was subsequently awakened from her sleep by Kane, who told her to tend to the fire -- and wake him if anything untoward occurred -- while he slept and used the voodoo stave to commune with N'Longa.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS / Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) - Communicating with Kane in his dreams, N'Longa told Kane to have the girl bring her lover to the cave and to make him lie down as if to slumber holding the voodoo stave, and then he would see.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Awakening at daylight, Kane instructed Zunna to go her village alone at once and to return with her lover. She asked if he meant Kran, but Kane, knowing not the name, merely told her to hurry. Noting the way to be long, Zunna nonetheless vowed to return before the sun set and the dead men walked again.

((Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Kane accompanied Zunna to the edge of the jungle before leaving her to return to her village.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS / Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) - Zunna traveled to her village, retrieved Kran, and returned to the cavern in which Kane waited. En route, she told Kran of Kane's seemingly godly nature.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Zunna announced their arrival to Kane, and when Kran reverently called him master, Kane noted that Zunna hadn't minimized her new god's glory in the telling.

    Kane had Kran lay down and hold N'Longa's voodoo stave on his chest, and when Kran gasped and stiffened, Zunna wailed that Kane had killed him. However, just as Kran sat up -- having been possessed by N'Longa -- Zunna seemingly fainted.

    When N'Longa explained his presence, Kane asked if the two youths were dead, but N'Longa assured him that he had sent Kran's ghost to "shadowland" and that the girl's ghost was keeping him company; "by and by," they come back.

(The Hills of the Dead - BTS / Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 - BTS / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 - BTS) - Kane and N'Longa destroyed the undead creatures en masse, driving them back into their city and then burning them.

((Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Zunna continued to lie lifelessly as Kane and N'Longa/Kran returned to the cave. Bidding Kane farewell, N'Longa/Kran lied down next to Zunna.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - After N'Longa relinquished Kran's form back in the cave, both Zunna and Kran's spirits returned to their bodies and they awakened.

((Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Zunna asked what had happened to them and to the walking dead men. Kane told them that the "vampires" were all slain and their city destroyed, and that Zunna and Kran's people may walk freely now.

(The Hills of the Dead /  Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 / (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - Kran apologized to Kane, noting that they must have slumbered.

((Sword of) Solomon Kane#5) - As Kane departed without another word, Zunna asked why he did not stay with them: As he had done what no other ever could, he could rule if he wished.

    Kane continued to walk away silently as she begged him to come back, as he was a god.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard.
    Adapted to the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, Alan Weiss, and Neal Adams.zunna-16thafrica-kane-sk5-bodyzunna-16thafrica-kane-sk5-face

    The precise location of the city of the vampires is not given, but "Hills of the Dead" places it "many weeks" travel by foot inland from the Slave Coast of Africa.
    The map made by Keith Curtis from The Savage World of Solomon Kane placed it in east Africa near the Great Rift Valley, but the map made by Tim Kirk from the anthologies Solomon Kane: Skulls in the Stars (1978) and Solomon Kane:
    The Hills of the Dead (1979) placed it in western Africa immediately to the east of the Slave Coast.

    I was reluctant to even mention this, but the docile and superstitious Zunna, who saw Kane as a god-like figure despite his denial, called him "master" right off the bat and then consistently thereafter.


Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Slave Coast is a historical name formerly used for that part of coastal West Africa along the Bight of Benin that is located between the Volta River and the Lagos Lagoon.

The name is derived from the region's history as a major source of Africans that were taken into slavery during the
Atlantic slave trade from the early 16th century to the late 19th century.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Kull and the Barbarians#2/2, story pg. 3, panel 4 (face; surprised);
       pg.  5, panel 2 (full, distant);
    #3/3, story pg. 1 (close-up, calves up);
       pg. 2, panel (face, close, oblique)
(Sword of) Solomon Kane#5, pg. 6, panel 2 (in-color, alternate appearance, mostly full);
       pg. 12, panel 5 (in-color; alternate appearance; face)

"The Hills of the Dead," Weird Tales (August, 1930) - Robert E. Howard (writer)
Kull and the Barbarians#2/2 (July, 1975) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Roy Thomas (adaptation), Alan Weiss (pencils), Neal Adams (pencils, inks)
Kull and the Barbarians#3/3 (September, 1975) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Roy Thomas (adaptation), Alan Weiss (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
(Sword of) (Sword of) Solomon Kane#5 (May, 1986) - Robert E. Howard (original story), Ralph Macchio (adaptation), Jon Bogdanove (pencils), Al Williamson (inks)

First posted: 07/11/2020
Last updated: 09/17/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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