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Kaliman is a popular Mexican comic book superhero created by Rafael Cutberto Navarro and Modesto Vázquez González. He is very famous across Latin America. The Kaliman comic depicts the adventures of Kaliman and his young companion Solín, an Egyptian boy who is descended from Pharaohs. Their adventures generally take place in exotic locations. Kaliman started as a radio show in 1963, from which the comic book series was born. The comic was printed weekly for twenty-six years, reaching its highest popularity in 1965.

Kaliman, el Hombre Increíble.
Kaliman, el Hombre Increíble promotional.
Art by Jose Luis Gutierrez,
Publication information
Publisher Promotora K (Mexico)
Editora Cinco (Colombia)
First appearance Los Profanadores de Tumbas (The Tomb Raiders), 1963
Created by Rafael Cutberto Navarro
Modesto Vázquez González
In-story information
Alter ego unknown
Team affiliations none
Abilities Martial Arts
Esoteric and Scientific knowledge
Fast Healing
Actus Mortis
Almost Superhuman Strength
Limited Shapeshifting

Origins and powers[edit]

Kaliman's origin is unknown, which adds to the sense of mystery that surrounds the character. What we know is that he is an Indian orphan adopted by prince Abul Pasha from one of the kingdoms in the valley of Kalimantan,[1] that he is the fifth man in a dynasty of men dedicated to preserving justice in the world, and that he is the seventh man of the goddess Kali's dynasty. He swore an oath to Kali to wander the world fighting for justice, and must return to India in order to renew the oath every seven years.

Kaliman wears an all-white outfit with one mark: the jeweled-encased "K" he wears in his turban.[2] He does not use weapons, except a blowgun with tranquilizer darts and a ceremonial dagger that complements his costume. He is a master of martial arts, science and arts. He also possesses extraordinary mental powers: levitation, telepathy, remote viewing, telekinesis, astral projection, control of the involuntary functions of the body (which allows him to feign being dead: what he calls "actus mortis"), hypnosis, and self-healing, among others. He makes clear that he does nothing that any other men would not be able to do through self-discipline, study and hard work.

The radio play[edit]

The radio drama of Kalimán started in 1963.[3] It was transmitted by Radio Cadena Nacional (1110 AM in Mexico City, currently known as Radio Red), a station that dedicated most of its time to radio dramas. In the morning they broadcast soap operas and in the afternoon adventure plays. Kalimán was a hit, and soon it was picked up throughout the Mexican Republic. Later the radio play was redone in Colombia, broadcast by Todelar with Colombian actors.

The voice of the Mexican version of the Kalimán radio play was done by actor Luis Manuel Pelayo, although the credit for Pelayo's work always went to Kalimán himself. In Colombia, Kalimán was played by Gaspar Ospina.

Two years later it was decided to publish the story in comic book format.

As October 21, 2008 Kalimán is/was regularly played in XERL Radio Colima www.radiolevy.com at 3:00pm and 7:30pm.

In October 2015, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first published cartoon, last recorded adventure "The Nefertti Necklace" never aired before in radio, began airing in MVS 102.5 FM in Mexico City, with a mix of modern production from the original recording (which presents more modern technology than the first adventures, recorded over 20 years earlier), along with most modern radio production technology of the time (2015).

Comic book[edit]

The first issue of Kaliman was published on December 4, 1965 with the first to ten parts of the story "Los Profanadores de Tumbas", ("The Tomb Raiders"). 100,000 copies were sold out within that week, so the issue had to be reprinted. The original series ran until 1991–1,348 weekly issues.

The comic book were printed in sepia tones, like most of the Mexican comics of the time. Only the cover was done in color. Later special editions were done "Kalicolor" and "Kaliman de lujo" that were done in color, but they were less popular than the original magazine.

The Kaliman comic-book was published in Colombia as well, but starting with the eleventh issue of the Mexican run, the beginning of the second story, "El Valle de los Vampiros" ("The Valley of the Vampires"). In Colombia, Kaliman was also very successful, and the Colombian run of the comic-book lasted for more than 1206 issues.


Poster from the first movie.

Besides the radio show, two movies made in Mexico about the blue-eyed hero, with Canadian actor Jeff Cooper as Kalimán, his voice was dubbed by Luis Manuel Pelayo, who was in charge of the voice in the Radio Play.

The first movie, done in 1972,"Kalimán el hombre increible" (Kalimán the incredible Man) was filmed entirely on location in Egypt. It had an international cast, from US, México, Spain, Italy and Egypt. The movie is loosely based on the first story "Los profanadores de Tumbas" (Tomb raiders), but adding a science fiction theme. For almost twenty years it held the title of the most expensive Méxican movie ever filmed. It was a huge success, being in theaters for more than a year.[4]

The original running time was up to 180 minutes, but was cut up to 109 for TV release.

The second film was Kalimán en el Siniestro Mundo de Humanón (Kalimán in the Sinister World of Humanón) (1976), based on the adventures from radio and comic of the same title, and was filmed on location in Brazil and México. It was less successful than the first.[5]

As of 2011, there have been projects for a third movie, with the working title of "Kalimán Regresa" (Kalimán Returns).

Qualities and philosophy[edit]

Kalimán has no superhuman powers, he is a human at the peak of his abilities, thanks to the mistic knowledge he has. It is assumed that Solín, a common boy, will eventually take his place as he learns from Kalimán.

Only in two adventures "El Extraño Doctor Muerte" (The Strange Doctor Death) and "El Dragón Rojo" (The Red Dragon) he gets momentary superhuman powers, thanks to the third eye, opened by the lama masters.

Kalimán never kills. He even puts his life in danger to prevent any kind of killing.

In popular culture[edit]

Kalimán was one of the most popular comics in Mexico and Latin America around 1970. His phrases were often quoted by his countless fans, and the name Kalimán became a frequent nickname.

Kalimán's comic-book adventures[edit]

1. "Los Profanadores de Tumbas" ("The Tomb Raiders"), issues 1-10, main villain: Eric von Kraufen
2. "El Valle de los Vampiros" ("The Valley of the Vampires"), issues 11-32, main villain: Conde Bártok (Count Bartok)
3. "Los Misterios de Bonampak" ("The Mysteries of Bonampak"), issues 33-47, main villain: Capitán Scott (Captain Scott)
4. "El Misterio de los Astronautas" ("The Mystery of the Astronauts"), issues 47-64, main villain: Van Zeland
5. "El Tigre de Hong-Kong" ("The Tiger of Hong-Kong"), issues 64-77, main villain: el Tigre de Hong-Kong (the Tiger of Hong-Kong)
6. "Las Momias de Machu-Pichu" ("The Mummies of Machu-Pichu"), issues 77-90, main villain: Comahué
7. "El Insepulto" ("The Unburied One"), issues 90-103, main villain: Sacha Moster
8. "El Extraño Doctor Muerte" ("The Strange Doctor Death", issues 103-124, main villain: Doctor Muerte (Doctor Death)
9. "La Mano Negra" ("The Black Hand"), issues 124-150, main villain: la Araña Negra (the Black Spider)
10. "Los Samurais, Mensajeros de la Muerte" ("Samurais, Messengers of Death"), issues 147-180, main villain: Doctor Kiro
11. "Los Magos del Crimen" (The Magicians of Crime"), issues 175-212, main villain: Professor Satanyk (Professor Satanyk)
12. "El Terror Blanco" ("The White Terror"), issues 201-244, main villain: Cerebro (Brain)
13. "Los Mensajeros de la Muerte" ("The Messengers of Death"), issues 231-259, main villain: el Pulpo (the Octopus)
14. "Muñecos Infernales" ("Puppets of Hell"), issues 256-287, main villain: Bengala
15. "El Regreso de la Araña Negra" ("The Return of the Black Spider"), issues 280-315, main villain: la Araña Negra (the Black Spider)
16. "El Viaje Fantástico" ("The Fantastic Journey"), issues 310-351, main villain: Poseidon
17. "Cerebros Infernales" ("Brains of Hell"), issues 344-387, main villain: Humanon
18. "Los Jinetes del Terror" ("The Horsemen of Terror"), issues 378-416, main villain: Zulma
19. "Los Misterios de la Muralla China" ("The Mysteries of the Chinese Wall"), issues 411-452, main villain: el Caballero Negro (the Black Knight)
20. "El Asesino Invisible" ("The Invisible Assassin"), issues 447-485, main villain: Barón de Kruger (Baron of Kruger)
21. "El Faraón Sagrado" ("The Sacred Pharaoh"), issues 478-522, main villain: Nefris
22. "El Dragón Rojo" ("The Red Dragon"), issues 513-572, main villain: Karma
23. "La Bruja Blanca del Kilimanjaro" ("The White Witch of Kilimanjaro"), issues 563-633, main villain: Tac-Tac
24. "El Triángulo de la Muerte" ("The Triangle of Death"), issues 622-698, main villain: la Araña Negra (the Black Spider)
25. "El Ojo de Satán" ("The Eye of Satan"), issues 685-752, main villain: Kardo
26. "La Venganza de Karma" ("The Revenge of Karma"), issues 742-817, main villain: Karma
27. "La Sombra del Terror" ("The Shadow of Terror"), issues 806-887, main villain: Conde Bártok (Count Bartok)
28. "La Séptima Muerte" ("The Seventh Death"), issues 880-944, main villain: Namilak
29. "Magia Negra" ("Black Magic"), issues 935-989, main villain: la Araña Negra (the Black Spider)
30. "Las Panteras de Estambul" ("The Panthers of Istanbul"), issues 978-1018, main villain: Príncipe Sakiri (Prince Sakiri)
31. "El Buda Negro" ("The Black Buddha"), issues 1009–1070, main villain: Ramar
32. "Las Máscaras de la Muerte" ("The Masks of Death"), issues 1061–1101, main villain: Lukas Hunt
33. "El Terror Chino" ("The Chinese Terror"), issues 1092–1153, main villain: Lin-Poo
34. "La Ciudad de los Muertos" ("The City of the Dead"), issues 1144–1194, main villain: Doctor Hill
35. "Terror bajo Tierra" ("Terror Underground"), issues 1186–1236, main villain: Isis
36. "Los Guerreros Rojos" ("The Red Warriors"), issues 1227–1273, main villain: Katana
37. "El Hombre que cayó de la Luna" ("The Man who fell from the Moon"), issues 1264–1308, main villain: Cosman

After this, stories started to be repeated.

Mexican Radio Adventures[edit]

1. "Profanadores de Tumbas" ("The Tomb Raiders")
2. "El Misterio de los Astronautas" ("The Mystery of the Astronauts")
3. "El Tigre de Hong Kong" ("The Tiger of Hong-Kong")
4. "Los Misterios de Bonampak" ("The Mysteries of Bonampak")
5. "El Valle de los Vampiros" ("The Valley of the Vampires")
6. "Las Momias de Machu Pichu" ("The Mummies of Machu Pichu")
7. "La Reina de los Gorilas" ("The Queen of the Gorillas")
8. "El Extraño Doctor Muerte" ("The Strange Doctor Death")
9. "Atlántida, la Ciudad Perdida" ("Atlantis, the Lost City")
10. "Los Brujos Diabólicos" ("The Diabolical Warlocks")
11. "La Araña Negra" ("The Black Spider")
12. "Los Cadáveres Vivientes" ("The Living Corpses")
13. "El Terror Invisible" ("The Invisible Terror")
14. "Las Panteras Negras de Estambul" ("The Black Panthers of Istanbul")
15. "Los Asesinos de la Máscara Roja" ("The Assassins of the Red Mask")
16. "El Genio de Ultratumba" ("The Genius from beyond the Grave")
17. "El Juego de la Muerte" ("The Game of Death")
18. "Los Lobos Humanos" ("Werewolves" [Literal translation: "The Human Wolves"] )
19. "Los Hijos del Sol" ("The Sons of the Sun")
20. "La Venganza de los Ídolos" ("The Vengeance of the Idols")
21. "La Bruja Blanca del Kilimanjaro" ("The White Witch of Kilimanjaro")
22. "Los Hijos de Satán" ("The Sons of Satan")
23. "Los Piratas del Espacio" ("The Space Pirates")
24. "Los Samurais, Mensajeros de la Muerte" ("Samurais, Messengers of Death")
25. "El Terror del Planeta Gris" (Terror from the Grey Planet")
26. "Mas allá del mas allá" ("Beyond the Beyond")
27. "El Castillo de los Monstruos" ("The Castle of the Monsters")
28. "La Invasión de los Satánicos" ("The Invasion of the Satanics")
29. "El Pulpo de los Tentáculos Dorados" ("The Octopus of the Golden Tentacles")
30. "Muerte en la Cuarta Dimensión" ("Death in the Fourth Dimension")
31. "Los Magos del Crimen" ("The Magicians of Crime")
32. "El Terrible Miklos" ("The Terrible Miklos")
33. "El Demonio del Tíbet" ("The Demon of Tibet")
34. "El Sinestro Mundo de Humanón" ("The Sinister World of Humanon")
35. "El Poder Maligno" ("The Malevolent Power")


  1. ^ Gravett, Paul, "1001 Comics You Should Read Before You Die", Universe, 2011, page 267.
  2. ^ Gravett, Paul, "1001 Comics You Should Read Before You Die", Universe, 2011, page 267.
  3. ^ Gravett, Paul, "1001 Comics You Should Read Before You Die", Universe, 2011, page 267.
  4. ^ "Kalimán, el hombre increíble (1972) (IMDB)". Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  5. ^ "Kalimán en el siniestro mundo de Humanón (1976) (IMDB)". Retrieved 2011-02-19. 

External links[edit]