Public Domain Super Heroes

Tars Tarkas

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Tars Tarkas

Real Name

Tars Tarkas

First appearance

Under the Moons of Mars (in All Story Magazine, 1912)

Original publisher

Frank Munsey

Created by

Edgar Rice Burroughs


Tars Tarkas was a fierce warrior of the Thark clan of Green Martians on the world of Barsoom. When he was a young warrior, he developed a romantic relationship with a female of his clan named Gozava, and the two of them had a daughter named Sola. Such attachments were forbidden in Thark society, and unlike most members of his race, he has developed a sense of love and sentimentality.

Tars Tarkas and his daughter both developed a strong friendship with John Carter, Warlord of Mars when he came to Barsoom, and with his help Tarkas became the Jeddak of the Thark tribe. Under his leadership, the Tharks became allies with the Red Martians in the city state of Helium, and helped them to defeat their enemies in Zodanga.

Like other Green Martians, Tars Tarkas stands around 15 feet tall, and has four arms, the lower arms being low enough and long enough to act as a second pair of legs when needed. They also wear no clothing, except metal rings on their arms signifying rank. However, they are often depicted as being only slightly taller than humans, having more proportional arms and being somewhat clothed.

PD Literary Appearances

  • Under the Moons of Mars (1912)
  • A Princess of Mars (1917)
  • The Gods of Mars (1918)
  • The Warlord of Mars (1919)

Golden Age Comics Appearances

  • The Funnies #48
  • Four Color #375, 437, 488


Although the first five John Carter novels are in the public domain in the United States, they remain under copyright in the UK and most of the nations of Europe.

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