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Tabu

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Tabu
Tabu 001

Real Name

Tabu

First Appearance

Jungle Comics #1 (1940)

Original Publisher

Fiction House

Created by

Fletcher Hanks

Golden Age Origin

There are two versions of Tabu's origin - the one from the first issue and the one introduced several years later.

First Origin (Jungle Comics #1)

Tabu
Tabu was a white man who, while wandering the jungle, wound up saving the life of a powerful shaman. The shaman gave him the power of the "extra sense." Somehow, this translated into heightened strength, speed and agility, as well as enhanced senses and, in a true Fletcher Hanks fashion, unlimited magical powers. Tabu used those powers to stop the slaves and punish them in over-the-top, gruesome fashion. The shaman was pleased with Tabu's actions and gave him the "seventh sense," which gave him an ability to communicate with the "invisible spirits of the jungle."

Tabu continued to mete out justice in over-the-top manner for the entire duration of Hanks' run. When other writers took over, Tabu's methods became less extreme, and his powers were gradually toned down. Then, after Jungle Comics #70, the powers started increasing again, though not quite to Hanks-style levels.

Second Origin (Jungle Comics #79)

Tabu was a son of a pair of Western explorers who ventured deep into the African jungle. When he was just a baby, the boat he and his parents were traveling on was tipped over by a passing hippo. A young shaman named N'Mogi saw this happen in his visions, and he arrived in time to render aid. And while he wasn't able to save the explorers, he saved Tabu. He took the young boy with him and raised him as his son. N'Mogi taught Tabu some of him his magic, but, fearing that Tabu would want want to leave the jungle and rejoin the Western world.

When N'Mogi learned that he was fated to die soon, he summoned Tabu. When Tabu assured that he had no intention to forsake his adopted home, the aged shaman gave Tabu his magic cape. By donning the cape, Tabu gained all of N'Mogi's power. The shaman expired shortly thereafter.

Tabu used his magical abilities to protect the local tribes and innocent explorers from the malevolent forces that threatened them. After N'Mogi died, Tabu made a point of visiting his adopted father's tomb every year as a way of honoring his memory.

Powers and Abilities

As originally depicted by Hanks, Tabu had heightened strength, speed and agility, enhanced senses and that magical ability to manipulate his environment in any way he saw fit. After Hanks, Tabu had more rudimentary magical abilities that were significantly boosted by the magic in N'Mogi's cape. Among other things, they allowed him to change shape, transform creatures and objects, predict the future, project his spirit form over vast distances, create convincing illusions and control the forces of nature. Without the cape, he had to rely on more low-key magic and his physical abilities. Fortunately, Tabu was a physically strong and resourceful fighter.

Golden Age Appearances

  • Jungle Comics #1-56, 58-115

Notes

Zaro was in fact a re-colored version of Tabu from Jungle Comics.

See Also

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