The dying shaman, Wa-Tan-Peh, gave young Lakota Russell Red Horse, nicknamed Ozark (because he was raised in the Ozark Mountains), a magic amulet that enabled him to summon Mustang, the sacred horse who is the mystic embodiment of his people. Ozark then shared his life with the Magic-Circus, alongside whom he fought Senator Kreagan, the evil god Typho, and Dr. Kain. During a battle against Kreagan's extra-dimensional allies, the Ur, the Magic-Circus were killed and Ozark was saved thanks only to the intervention of Zembla.
That battle was a prelude to the search for the seven gems known as the Hand of Shivar. Ozark, now a master magician, met the young French mystic Doc Zarbi, fought Wa-Tan-Peh's own grand-son, Dark Wing, and finally the evil sorcerer Maleficus who coveted the Hand. Ozark was confirmed in his powers and mission by the goddess Shakti.