Real Name: Unrevealed, probably Domitian

Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial religious leader

Occupation: Leader and sole remaining member of the Imperial Court

Group Membership: Imperial Court

Affiliations:Kaef (loyal cyborg servant), other undead cyborg criminal aliens, Zakaius

Enemies: Warlock and the Infinity Watch, Firelord, innocent people across the universe

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: the unnamed planet on which the Imperial Court resides

First Appearance: Warlock and the Infinity Watch#38 (March, 1995)

Powers: Zakaius first appears to us as an old, decrepit man. In this form, he is the religious leader of the Imperial Court; in fact, he appears to be the only living member of the Imperial Court. He has some skill with reanimating dead tissue, and cyborg programming, or once employed scientists who did have such skills. I would also conjecture he has low-level telepathic abilities, which may help to explain his agent Zakaius' fanatical loyalty whenever near him, and his specifc control of his cyborg's actions. There is some evidence that he possesses planetary scale teleportational abilities, though these may be through mechanical means. Otherwise, he has no powers in his true form.

Domitian has another form, powered by the life-force runes that Zakaius collects for him. He appears as a tall, extremely muscular, much younger version of himself. In this form, he has immense strength and powerful concussion blasts, strong enough to stun Drax and severly injure Moondragon, despite her Infinity Gem trying to save her. But his primary ability is a truly impenetrable force field, on the level of something Thanos would possess, able to withstand any physical or energy assault directed at him. He didn't even flinch when hit full-force by an enraged Drax the Destroyer.

He also seems to possess the ability to grant power to individuals like Zakaius, including the 'death-touch' that creates the life-force runes. It is unknown how he does this, since he does not seem to possess this power himself. Also, once granted to another, it seems he cannot take those abilities away, with the exception of retaining some control over where and when these people can use their teleportation abilities. Domitian also must possess some kind of cosmic scrying device, to locate those alien 'sinners' he wants brought to justice, and to find who would make powerful life-force runes when killed.

Weaknesses: However, every assault on his force field or expenditure of his power results in 1-4 life-force runes being permanently drained of energy. Since he has collected a few million of them, this is not a serious limitation. However, a much more serious weakness is that he depends on machinery to utilize the life-force runes to power his enhanced form, and once this siphoning machinery is destroyed, he reverts to his original, old man self. Also, he has very little defense against telepathic intrusions into his mind.

Domitian also talks to himself under his breath constantly and annoyingly. This could be considered a weakness at cocktail parties.

Domitian is a humanoid alien of an unrevealed race. His skin is grey/brown, and he has tiger-like stripes on his head, blending into his yellow hair. It is unknown how much of his appearance is common to his race. The origin of all his abilites in his regular form are of unknown, in his enhanced form they are due to the use of life-force runes.

History: (Warlock and the Infinity Watch#38 (fb) - BTS) - Domitian has been collecting life-force runes for many centuries, he is shown to have several million sealed in a vault in his palace. He also sometimes takes the bodes of the 'sinners' that Zakaius executes for him, and turns them into zombie cyborg assassins. He has them completely under his control, either by programming or mental influence, including his personal assistant Kaef.

(Warlock and the Infinity Watch#37 (fb) - BTS) - He recently sent out Zakaius to collect the lifeforce of Firelord.

(Warlock and the Infinity Watch#35 - BTS) - Domitian gave Zakaius the order to collect the lifeforce of the Infinity Watch next.

(Warlock and the Infinity Watch#38) - When confronted by the Infinity Watch and Zakaius questioning his orders of execution, he used the life-force runes to power himself up.

(Warlock and the Infinity Watch#39) - He then attacked the Watch, and almost convinced Zakaius to join him again despite his trying to kill Zakaius, possibly through mental influence. He easily defeated the Watch, severely wounding Moondragon after she read his mind, and almost killing Adam Warlock. When he shot a beam of destructive energy at Warlock, Pip teleported in front of Warlock with Domitian's loyal retainer Kaef, who was obliterated. Pip and Zakaius then teleported to the machine controlling the life-force rune energy, and destroyed it, rendering Domitian a fairly harmles old man.

As far as is known, in the Watch's haste to leave the planet of the Imperial Court, they left Domitian there with all his life-force runes, although his machine to drain them was smashed. He swore undying vengenance on the Watch as they were leaving. Only Zakaius was left behind to watch him, with a new enlightenment seeing the error of killing random people for sinning and a promise to return the life-force runes to whatever beings he could possibly restore to life. I don't think this was a good idea, since Zakaius has been shown to be very easily manipulated by Domitian, who still exercises some control over Zakaius and his teleportation abilities. So I wonder how long Zakaius could last, having to return constantly to Domitian's palace and hear the religious spiel of his old master, while trying to get more life-force runes to return to poor unfortunates. My guess is that Domitian quickly re-established his power, and is probably out there still punishing 'sinners' as we speak.

Comments: Created by John Arcudi and Pat Olliffe.

Profile by: caliban

There's a lot of unanswered questions in this story. How did Zakaius gain his powers? How did Domitian convince him he was part of a great religion, of which he was the only member? How did he locate victims with good life-forces on alien worlds light years away? How did he create cyborg assasins all by himself? How did he convince Zakaius to annihilate innocent 'sinners' in the name of good, because they weren't members of this one-man religion, (like everyone else in the universe, duh). And how could the Watch be stupid enough to leave this dangerous cosmic villain with his source of power, and a now-reformed follower who only the previous day had been devoted to serving him to the point of killing people? And what exactly was the Imperial Court like before it fell, if that's indeed what happened? Like I said, a lot of questions.

Also, the Imperial Court seemed to have had a thing for checkerboard tile on every single floor they could get their hands on. Who knew?

Clarifications: Domitian has no known connection to:

The Imperial Court has no known connection to:

  • any other galactic empire with the word "Imperial" somewhere in its title


The loyal cyborg criminal who acted as a retainer for Domitian, he first confronted Zakaius and the Watch, and was punched into orbit by Drax the Destroyer and Maxam. He was teleported back to the palace by Domitian, and then operated the machines to regulate his master's super-charged form. Pip and Zakaius teleported in, and teleported him right into the path of one of Domitian's energy blasts, reducing him to ash.





Imperial Court

Many many, years ago, it's possible the Imperial Court may have been a galactic religious empire of some renown. Domitian may very well be the last remnant of this, ruling a deserted city on a dead planet that was the capital of this once proud empire. The only structure we can clearly see still standing on this unnamed planet of the Imperial Court is Domitian's palace, the rest of the planet may now be a desert wasteland from what little we can see. Domitian gives the impression of being extremely old, and there is some hint that the life-force runes may have sustained him for many years beyond his natural life. These days, in the entire Imperial Court, there is just Domitian, and his Imperial Executioner, who is empowered to collect the life forces of whomever Domitian tells him too. Domitian seems to sincerely believe he is still lord of a great empire and high priest of its long-dead religion. He issues "edicts" for "sentencing of heretical sinners", (actually innocent aliens on other worlds) which the Imperial Executioner Zakaius carries out. It's unclear if the Imperial Court of old was involved with this collecting of life-force runes, or if Domitian began that after the fall of the old empire. In any case, they seem to have had a policy of extreme religious intolerance which Domitian carries on. It's a very strange religion/empire, and although we're not really told what kind of religious doctrine Domitian enforces, Zakaius reacts very strongly against the harming of innocents, it's probably at least on the surface a good and altruistic religion that just happens to mete out death for random alien sinners on other planets. It's also just possible that the entire religion/empire is a scam set up by Domitian to trick Zakaius into collecting life-force runes for him, the evidence is very unclear, but it'd be difficult to explain away Domitian's religious fervor when talking to himself.



Domitian's army of undead cyborg alien criminal assassins

(I've been abbreviating them as: UCACA) are exactly what they sound like. He has created at least fifty of them.





Life-Force Runes

These small runes, about the size of a finger and inscribed with a DNA helix, contain the "life-essence" of a victim whom Zakaius has executed for their sins. They do not contain the soul of the victim. Individual runes do not contain much power, though there is strong evidence that the life-forces of cosmically powered indivduals produce very powerful runes. In large quantites (on the order of millions), the life-force runes provide immense power, though one needs special machines to drain their energies. The runes themselves can provide no power without mechanical assistance.

Warlock and the Infinity Watch#38-39 (March-April, 1995) - John Arcudi (writer), Patrick Olliffe (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

Last updated: 12/19/01

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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