In early 1952, Magazine Enterprises brought out a comic featuring a man from our current world trapped in a savage land where he had to learn to survive, and due to his skill and tenacity, become the lord of his domain. Now, this had been done before, and would be done again. But this version of it was notable for the artist. Long time comic book professional Gardner Fox provided the script, and the art was done by a master illustrator, Frank Frazetta. Frank had been around for a while and had done a mix of material for various companies, but with Thun'da, King Of the Congo, he was involved in the creation of the strip, and really put an effort into it to make it a fantastic as possible.
During World War Two, Roger Drum was piloting a load of supplies over the darkest part of the Dark Continent when his plane went down in a valley cut off from the outside world. He found himself in a strange land, full of prehistoric creatures. He fought to stay alive while still dazed and confused by the crash. He was captured by a tribe of big, hulking cave men who kept him as a slave. But when he finally escaped, he went off and fashioned weapons for himself and worked to bring his body into peak physical shape. But another small tribe, the valley people of the lost city of Shareen saw him and wondered who he might be. These somewhat more evolved people had been hunted by the cave men for their women and were in no shape to take to strangers. Eventually, Roger was in the area when a group of the valley people were attacked, and he came to help. His bow and arrows, something the people of the hidden valey had never seen, greatly impressed everyone, including the queen of the valley people, a drop-dead gorgeous young lady named Pha. (And nobody makes a young lady look gorgeous better than Frank Frazetta!) Pha wants to capture the stranger, but he helps the valley people during another attack by the cave men. She and Roger are separated from the rest of the valley folk, and try to draw the sub-men away from the rest of them. They find a cliffside clearing where a giant gong stand. Roger bangs on the gong, terrifying the sub-humans as an enormous snake appears and attacks. Roger's arrows do not stop it, so he pulls the revolver he still carried and pumps his last three shots into the creature, killing it. All those who witnessed the battle drop to their knees and chant praises to their deliverer, who they name Thun'da, master of the lost land.
Having become famous, Thun'da faced assorted prehistoric dangers with Pha posed seductively at his side, but the editors at ME decided to meddle. The mountains that kept the lost valley cut off from the rest of Africa were hit by earthquakes that forced Thun'da, Pha and a pet sabre-tooth tiger, Sabre, to flee the valley and settle in the most remote part of the Arican Congo. Frazetta didn't enjoy this meddling ith his creation, and when Columbia Pictures decided to release King of the Congo as a serial in 1952 starring Buster Crabbe, the artist didn't get a dime for it. After a single issue, he left the book, and the rest of the run was done by another fine artist, Bob Powell. With the setting of the adventures now in darkest Africa, the resemblence to any number of Tarzan clones was apparent. ME had another jungle character at this time, Cave Girl. Though she never met Thun'da, the pages of CAVE GIRL each had a Thun'da filler story and except for the first issue, there was a Cave Girl story in the back pages of THUN'DA. Plus, one of the troubles that both Thun'da and Cave Girl kept running into were the female inhabitants of a lost city who were called the Amazons. Cave Girl and Thun'da both had run-ins with bands of Amazons that were sent out by Queen Irana, who fell in love with Thun'da after meeting him. After their two books were both cancelled, Thun'da and Cave Girl came back for a couple of issues of AFRICA that were published by ME a little later.
As the Thun'da feature was well known and often discussed by comic art fans, in 1987 Fantagraphics put out a reprint of the Frazetta first issue. Since 1989, AC Comics, who like to use old heroes and scantily clad heroines that have fallen into public domain, have been reprinting and doing new material with Thun'da, Pha and Cave Girl.