Mystery Men & Women:

The Z's

  Zaan of the Jungle: 1944, Captain Flight #3 (Fiction). Something suspicious about Zaan. The one story I read, struck me as being very similar to another story and character. Of course I no longer have that story, but Zaan appears to be just Oran of the Jungle with a new name. In which case, Zaan's backstory is this: Lost in the African jungles as a child, he grew up strong. So strong, that he attracted attention from slavers and unscrupulous boxing promotors. He travels to America to fight as a boxer and find his parents. Reunited with his father, he travels back to the jungles where he continues adventures as a boxing Tarzan.
Zago: 1948, Zago, Jungle Prince #1 (Fox). Zago is one of those Tarzan-esque jungle heroes with his jungle gal Shara. Zago talks fairly intelligently, but Shara's talk is the more stilted talk reserved for natives and those raised in the jungles. While he seems recognized to be leader of a village/kingdom, he seems to also respect the village's elders.
Zanzibar: 1939, Mystery Men #1 (Fox Features). Zanzibar has devoted to using his real magical and mental powers to aid the police and fight crime. He's also good with his fists when the situation demands it. He's on good terms with the police who often call him in on bizarre crimes. You can tell him apart from all the others in that he doesn't wear a top hat nor a turban but a fez. Art was by George Tuska who had a long career in comics.
  Zardi: see "Prince Zardi"

Zaro: 1946, Sparkling Stars #10 (Holyoke). Zaro dresses in a loin cloth but with a blue cape and ankle boots to differentiate him from the more traditional jungle lords because in addition to his honed reflexes and physical prowess, Zaro has magical abilities. His abilities range from hypnosis rays to transforming objects and creating objects and creatures out of thin air.

  Zarro: 1941, Great Comics #1 (Great Comics Publications/Dell). At one point life was good, Zarro travelled with the circus as an aerialist billed as the "Eagle Man". He was in love with the owner's daughter and she him. A gypsy gave him magic herbs and told his fortune: that life would change, he was destined for great things, to fight crime, but first would come tragedy. Shortly after, racketeers who were threatening the circus set several fires and Zarro's girlfriend and her father died. With her orphaned kid brother Rags, the two vowed to stamp out crime. To that end, he took the herbs and discovered they granted him the power of flight.
  Zator: 1936, The Comics Magazine #1 (Centaur). Fellow sorcerer and helper to Doctor Mystic.
zebrazebra Zebra: 1941-47 Pocket Comics 1-4; Green Hornet Comics 7-24,26,28, 32-34; All New Comics 7, 10 (Harvey). Criminal lawyer John Doyle is framed for murder by the mob and crooked politicians. He escapes from jail and uses his prison uniform as the basis for a mystery-man costume and identity. He captures the bad guys, clears his name and decides to continue with both careers of bringing the crooked to justice. Some of hiis foes would give the Hangman shivers.
Zegra: 1948, Zegra, Jungle Empress #1 (Fox). Zegra is another Sheena type. She is apparently just Tegra, only blonde and a dyed red bikini.
  Zingara the Great: 1941, Green Hornet Comics #6 (Helnit). Archaeologist Lance Powell is on a dig in Egypt at a recently discovered buried city in the desert.  Deciphering strange  hieroglyphics on a wall, he discovers an ancient scientist had uncovered and recorded the secret of hypnosis and mental suggestion. Powell decides to use those powers to fight crime and names himself after that ancient scientist, Zingara.
  Zippo: 1943, Clue Comics #1 (Hillman). Private detective Joe Blair has mechanized wheels attached to the boots of his costume that give him limited super-speed. The metal of the wheels are of a grade that he can cut through a safe. Have to admit, while he struck me as charmingly ludicrous when I first saw him, though a very effective hero against some bizarre threats, seeing kids with wheels in their tennis shoes these days make me think he was just a bit ahead of his time.
  Zomba (I): 1940, Fantoman #3 (Centaur). Zomba is a large black gorilla, and is worshipped as leader of the fierce Jetto tribe in Africa. When a plane carrying Don Douglas, his black valet Johnson, stewardess Judy Brown, pilot Dick Vance and a little girl called Nina goes down in a storm, they are dependent on their wits as well as befriending Zomba and his protection to save them from harm by the Jettos and their witch doctor Viga.

Zomba (II): 1941, Choice Comics #1 (Great Comics Publications). Zomba (also called Jungle Fighter) and his three small monkey friends fight for justice in the jungles. Originally, Zomba and his friend Dr. Henderson introduce boxing as a way to settle disputes between two warring tribes vs outright war. However, the Wazis cheat and kill the fighter for the Hudas, Zomba steps in to fight for them. During this time Zomba hasn't quite given up wearing regular clothes other than when in the ring.

Zongar the Miracle Man: 1941, Silver Streak Comics #7 (Lev Gleason). Zongar uses a magic amulet with which he can call forth the aid of the spirit Abaraxx who can do all sorts of things from following a trail, transforming men into kittens, and busting down a wall. Doesn't prevent Zongar taking an active hand when possible. His girlfriend is Ruth West.
ZX-5: 1938, Jumbo Comics #1 (Fiction House). ZX-5 is top US spy. His superior is Major Jason. After the war he goes into business for himself as a private detective. He is usually very debonair and carries a trick cane that has many buttons such as one for tear gas.

Zudo: 1944, Complete Book of Comics and Funnies #1 (Better). Another blonde lad orphaned and growing up in the jungle. His deceased parents are Professor and Mrs. Knight. He's helped by Lao the lion.