Coinciding with this weekend’s release of the prehistoric comedy movie Year One starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, Blog@ has dug through the mists of prehistory to pull out our top five cavemen of comics. From unsophisticated paleolithic predecessors to refined gentlemen, these are top five comic characters who crawled out of the caves to make an impact over the years.
B.C.: The titular character of cartoonist Johnny Hart’s famous newspaper strip B.C., he and his friends depicted in the long running strip are a group of cavemen and creatures living in a prehistoric world. Blending contemporary humor in a fantasy setting, B.C. is an eclectic mix of pre-historic elements such as cavemen and dinosaurs mixed with modern accoutrements like dictionaries and eyeglasses.
Anthro: Recently appearing as a “bookend” character in Final Crisis, Anthro debuted way back in 1968′s Showcase #74 as the first modern boy in the Stone Age. Born of Neanderthal parents, he goes on to be the originator of the modern human race. After his debut, Anthro had a short-lived solo series and later appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 and 2006′s Tales of the Unexpected. In Final Crisis, Anthro worked as the “first boy”, working hand-in-hand with the “last boy” Kamandi, and later appeared as an old man passing the proverbial torch to an recently-deceased-but-seemingly-alive Bruce Wayne.
Tor: Joe Kubert’s prehistoric protagonist was a thinking man’s caveman, more than just a bash ‘em over the head club-wielder, putting him at odds with the other neanderthals of the time. Originated created as part of a failed newspaper strip, Tor leapt on the comic page in 1953 with a short-lived series. After several appearances over the resulting 50+ years, Kubert returned to the character in 2008 with a six-issue miniseries.
Vandal Savage: Although he may not look it, DC Comics’ Vandal Savage is arguably the world’s oldest villains. Born in 50,000 BC as the caveman Vandar Adg, a run-in with a radioactive meteorite gave him the gift of of immortality and intellect. Fast forward thousands of years and he’s carved a swath of blood on the human race, claiming to rules in the guises of Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Vlad the Impaler amongst others. In a caveman high school yearbook, he’d be “Most Likely To Succeed”.
Moon-Boy: This Jack Kirby creation, with his ever-present partner Devil Dinosaur, is an oddity in the larger Marvel Universe. The descendant of an ape-like species called “Small-Folk”, he was initially dubbed as the “first human” but later retconned at different times to be a mutant or an alien. Currently he and Devil Dinosaur call the Savage Land home, and appeared in the out-of-continuity series Nextwave.