JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Pillar Men Leader Kars and The Cars


The primary antagonist of Part Two of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the leader of the Pillar Men is none other than Kars. Kars’ name is the localized version of the name of the American rock group The Cars.

So how did this Boston rock group get their name?

When the members of the band got together in 1976 to form The Cars, it came to their attention that most of their names and surnames had automobile connotations. This, along with their shared interest in automobiles, led drummer David Robinson to suggest that they call themselves The Cars. It was a name that conveyed the band’s image and sound- sleek, fast-paced, a fusion of new wave rock and synth-pop.  

Don’t let nothin’ get in the way

Dance all night keep the beat

Don’t you worry ’bout two left feet

JJBA’s Kars belonged to the ancient race of Pillar Men. This superhuman race lived underground in relative harmony as they couldn’t survive in sunlight. With their advanced intelligence and nearly immortal lifespan, they were worshipped as gods by humans well before the events of the story. This vampire-like race was content to consume humans in the vicinity for sustenance and retreat into the shadows when the light shone brightly.

The noise electric, never stops

And all you need is what you got

And there’s a place for everyone

Under Heartbeat City’s golden sun

Kars however did not subscribe to this school of thought. As a virtually invincible species, why should they fear the sun and be forced to live underground? If they could somehow get rid of their most lethal weakness, they could get to the surface and rule over the Earth. Driven by this desire to conquer his weakness, Kars set about a plan to bring his ambition to fruition. In the process, he created the Stone Mask which not only enhanced his abilities but also increased his hunger.

(Think it over, think it over)

There’s nothin’ you can do to make me wanna stop

Fearing Kars’ newfound power and ambition, the rest of the Pillar Men grew wary. With the Stone Mask’s power came the cost of tipping the balance of the system they had established. Seeing no other way, the Pillar Men decided that it was in their best interest to kill Kars before he became truly unstoppable. Kars then decided that if the Pillar Men were going to oppose him, the best course of action would be to slaughter them all.

Sparing only his supporters Esidisi, Wamuu and Santana, Kars along with them set off to find the answer to their problem,

She’s a frozen fire

She’s my one desire

Kars’ search for invincibility leads him to discover the Red Stone of Aja. He realized that combining the Stone Mask with the Super Aja eliminates any and all weaknesses that were holding him back. Not only would his abilities become even more enhanced, he would become the ultimate lifeform, and the Super Aja would also allow him to walk in the sun.

The Pillar Men’s pursuit of the Aja leads them to Rome, where they clash with the Ripple Clan for possession of the Super Aja. The Pillar Men soon realized that their weakness to the Ripple and the Sun put them in a disadvantageous position, causing them to retreat. Slumbering in the stone pillars underneath the Colosseum the Pillar Men waited for a better time to strike.  

You get the diplomatic treatment

You get the force fed future

You get the funk after death

You get the wisenheimer brainstorm

I’m in touch with your world

“I’m in Touch with Your World” was the fourth track on The Cars’ self-titled debut album. The Cars’ keyboardist Greg Hawkes pushed the limits of technology and sequencing that were available at the time to produce the synth-pop sound that The Cars is so well known for.

On “I’m in Touch with Your World,” Hawkes had this to say: “That was always one of my favorite ones to play live. Plus, I figured it’d be fun for people to watch visually.”

When the three remaining Pillar Men awaken from their state of hibernation, they are greeted with the sight of Joseph, Caesar and Speedwagon.

Unlike his compatriots Kars doesn’t show any interest in fighting Joseph; instead, he is content to watch from the sidelines. After Wamuu and Esidisi strike the wager with Joseph, the Pillar Men set off to explore the world they’ve woken up to.

Kars in disguiseKars in disguise
Kars in disguise in a panel from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Kars isn’t particularly impressed at the advancements in technology that mankind has made in the time he was sleeping.  He believes them to be weak and inferior to the superhuman powers his race possesses. He is power-hungry but focused on bringing his kind to their full untapped potential without the aid of manmade external influences.

Kars’ disdain also extends to the vampire minions he creates, who he considers expendable pawns. However, he is quite protective towards his comrades, going so far as to vow to kill Joseph to avenge the fallen Esidisi.

Could be you’re crossing the fine line

A silly driver, kinda off the wall

If there is one thing to be said of animals, particularly dogs in the JJBA series, it is that man’s best friend more often than not meets an unfortunate end. Be it Jonathan’s pet dog or Iggy from Part Three, suffice to say canine companions have it tough. There is one exception though and perhaps one of Kars’ redeeming qualities — he saves a little dog.

While he does save the dog from being run over, he does end up ensuring that the man nearly responsible for the puppy’s death died.

I see you under the midnight, all shackles and bows

The high shoes with the cleats a-clicking, a temperamental glow

The battle for the Red Stone of Aja happens in two rounds under the cover of darkness. The first match is the completion of the wager between Joseph and Wamuu. The second is a match between Kars and Lisa Lisa.

Kars lies about having a fair fight and instead steals the Super Aja from her while grievously injuring her in the process. Joseph intervenes just before he’s about to deliver the killing blow. Kars on the other hand transforms into the Ultimate Lifeform gaining immunity to the sun by donning the Stone Mask in conjunction with Super Aja.

I guess you’re just what I needed

(Just what I needed)

I needed someone to bleed

With Kars’ attention now focused on Joseph, the latter decides to draw the former away from civilization. Joseph decides to fly a plane and trick Kars into falling down a volcano, thinking if the sunlight cannot destroy him, at least the heat from lava can.

Kars, adept at manipulating his body at a subatomic level, continually evolves his skin to form an inorganic rock-like exterior to combat the heat from the magma. Making his way out of the volcano, he manages to slice Joseph’s arm off. Kars uses his newfound powers to direct an energy beam similar to annihilate Joesph.

You left the scene

Without a trace

One hand on the ground

One hand in space

Unfortunately for Kars, Joseph uses the Super Aja to redirect the energy back to Kars blasting him off to outer space instead.

trapped in spacetrapped in space
Kars trapped in space in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

The volcanic debris knocks him out of the Earth’s orbit and his vital organs freeze when he attempts to try and return. And now Kars the ultimate being is trapped in a state of limbo, unable to move, unable to feel, unable to die. He remains up there for all eternity earning the title of the only JoJo character who truly cannot die.

Kars’ discography

“Shake It Up” (Album: Shake It Up, 1981)

“Heartbeat City” (Album: Heartbeat City, 1984)

“Think It Over” (Album: Shake It Up, 1981)

“Let’s Go” (Album: Candy-O, 1979)

“I’m in Touch with Your World” (Album: The Cars, 1978)

“Night Spots” (Album: Candy-O, 1979)

“Magic” (Album: Heartbeat City, 1984)

“Just What I Needed” (Album: The Cars, 1978)

“Hello Again” (Album: Heartbeat City, 1984)

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