Real Name: Zemu
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Fifth Dimension) Warlord/Technology user
Occupation: Warlord, former ruler of the Fifth Dimension, Would-be ruler of Earth
Group Membership: His armies
Affiliations: Leader of a loyal army, former leader of entire army of Fifth Dimension;
Enemies: Fantastic Four (especially the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) ), and the "good people" of the Fifth Dimension, such as Phineas and Valeria
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Xemu the Merciless, Master of the Fifth Dimension
Base of Operations: "The Fifth Dimension", an extradimensional realm
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#103 (December, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: Zemu had no superhuman abilities. However, he did have the backing of the army of the Fifth Dimension, which was armed with an array of advanced weaponry. Among these were energy rays able to liquefy solid ground and extinguish flames, stun beams capable of dropping even the Thing, and many others.
The Thunder Horn was described as a S.A.S.E.R. (Sound Amplification through Stimulated Emission of Radiation), a variation on a LASER, using sound as its power source and output. While the explanation doesn't make much sense, it could amplify the sound produced by a normal human voice to destroy an entire mountaintop.
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 190 lbs.
History: Little is known about the past history of Zemu. He is a native of the extra-dimensional realm known only as the "Fifth Dimension." He rose to a position of power and established a tyrannical leadership with the support of the army. Not content with ruling the Fifth Dimension, Zemu sought to invade and takeover the planet Earth. Zemu's forces either created or discovered an inter-dimensional portal to Earth, located in a swampy area in what was left of the wilds of Long Island, New York City.
(Strange Tales I#103)- A house-building firm under the ownership of Mr. Bentley sought to establish a lot in the very region of the portal. To prevent population of this area and subsequent discovery, an agent of Zemu, posing as an elderly human farmer, used an energy ray to soften the ground, causing the houses to sink into the ground. Under the advice of Reed Richards, the Human Torch investigated the unnatural sinkings and discovered Zemu's agent in action. The Torch confronted the agent but had his powers sapped by another energy ray. The Torch was taken to the Fifth Dimension, where he was imprisoned in a water-filled tank to prevent him from attempting to stop Zemu's plot.
An underground resistance, led by the scientist Phineas, opposed the rule of Zemu. Seeing the Torch as their chance to overthrow him, Phineas sent his daughter, Valeria, to free the Human Torch. The Torch destroyed many of Zemu's army's weapons and successfully organized a revolt against Zemu. The Torch captured Zemu himself, and Phineas replaced him as a benevolent ruler of the "Fifth Dimension."
(Fantastic Four I #158 [fb], 158, 159)- Eventually, Zemu escaped imprisonment, rallied his troops to overthrow Phineas' rule, and retook the position for himself. Renewing his plans to take over Earth, Zemu led a contingent of his army into Attilan, the home of the Inhumans, and succeeded in overpowering and capturing the Royal Family, thus taking control of the entire city. Zemu wished to force Black Bolt to power his Thunder Horn in order to use its devastating power to facilitate the surrender of Earth's governments to him. Black Bolt, of course, refused, but Zemu, using Crystal as a hostage, sent Quicksilver to bring back Medusa, Black Bolt's lover, from New York, where she was serving as a member of the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four arrived in Attilan at Quicksilver's request and succeeded in overpowering Zemu's troops. Zemu himself fled back to the Fifth Dimension only to be captured by the Human Torch, who had returned there alongside Phineas and Valeria.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby.
One source claims the Fifth Dimension to be an alternate Earth, but that doesn't seem too likely, given their appearance, technology, and society. I'll call it an Earth-like (meaning laws of physics, matter, energy, etc.) planet.
Ironically, it was Zemu's powerful army that prevented Arkon and the Roxxon Oil Company from pulling the Fifth Dimension into a plot to pit three worlds of three dimensions against each other. Once Zemu was again overthrown, Arkon and Roxxon duped Phineas into allowing them access to his equipment, nearly destroying their planet in an inter-dimensional nuclear war.
This character's name was originally spelled "Zemu" in Strange Tales I#103, but the spelling was later changed to "Xemu" in Fantastic Four I#158.
Perhaps the "Fifth Dimension" was actually an alternate Earth that was colonized by the blue-skinned Kree of its universe (which would help to explain the advanced technology).
Zemu (Xemu) has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.
Clarifications: Zemu is not to be confused with:
Strange Tales I#103 (December, 1962) - Stan Lee & Larry Lieber (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayer (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four I#158-159 (May-June, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Rich Buckler (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
First Posted: 09/09/2001
Last updated: 10/16/2005
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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