Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Parasitic/symbiotic magical creature using/mutating human hosts

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: None

Andrew "Thug" Thatcher, Brad Wolfe (hosts)

Enemies: Jane Foster-Kincaid, Justice Peace, Dr. Shawna Lynde, Thor, Time Variance Authority, Marcus Kellen, Ruby Mortensen

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Jack the Ripper (possibly)

Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois, USA;
    formerly Skraggmore Penitentiary, outside Chicago

Appearances: Thor I#319 (May, 1982)

Powers: The Zaniac possessed vast superhuman strength (at least Class 50) and durability. It could create and project knives composed of radioactive energy. It possessed a pathological hatred for women, especially the attractive ones. It would seek to slay any "pretty-pretties" it could get its knife on. It preserved to save the "Knife of Love" for women, and attack men with the "brute force of hate."













When killed, the Zaniac would release a number of small, vermin-like creatures that would scatter until they found someone to bite. Their victim then became the next Zaniac, and the remaining vermin disintegrate, so that only one Zaniac exists at a time. Some of the victim's memories and personality traits would stay with then when they became the Zaniac, mixed in with its pathological misogynistic hatred.

Height: (Zaniac and Wolfe) 6'2" (variable)
Weight: (Zaniac and Wolfe) 190 lbs. (variable)
Eyes: (Zaniac and Wolfe) Black (variable)
Hair: (Zaniac) Green (variable); (Wolfe) Brown

(Thor I#372(fb)) <possible> - In an alternate future (Earth-869371), the Zaniac, in the form of a foreign diplomat, had slain the mayor of Brooklyopolis, which sparked off a world war. The government tracked down evidence of the Zaniac into the past, possibly even back into the nineteenth century, where they suspected him of being the man known as Jack the Ripper. They managed to establish a specific temporal fix on the Zaniac in the modern era, and they sent back Federal Police officer Justice Peace to stop him, in order to prevent their world war.

(Thor I#319) - The Zaniac was originally the name for a character in a horror movie directed by Mr.Kroenking. The character in the movie was supposed to be an escaped lunatic who had been in an asylum for the mass murder of fourteen cheerleaders. When the Zaniac character was a child, its mother mistreated it, locking it in a closet, among other abuses. As it grew older, the character transferred its hatred to all women.

Brad Wolfe was the actor slated to play the role of the Zaniac. He sought the role in the slasher movie to use as a stepping stone to bigger roles and better parts. However, he identified with the character in some fashion as he had a similar childhood himself. One scene of the movie was filmed over the location of the Manhattan Project, which involved nuclear in the late 1940s. Some explosives for a future scene had been stored underneath a set of bleachers, and they caught on fire when a man watching the filming unwittingly discarded his cigar into them.

During the movie scene, Wolfe, as the Zaniac, chased the actress playing his victim into the bleachers, just as the explosives went off. The explosion released some of the radiation that had been stored in the ground below it since the testing. The radiation mutated Wolfe, twisting his mind and body so that he seemed to become the Zaniac character he had been playing.

Don Blake and his friend and colleague, Dr. Shawna Linde had been watching the film as well, and they were stunned by the explosion even at some distance. The Zaniac mistook Shawna, in her torn dress, for the "luscious coed" he had been chasing and made off with her. Blake changed into Thor, pursued the Zaniac, and succeeded in stopping him from killing Shawna. However, the Zaniac's unexpected superhuman strength surprised Thor, and he managed to escape. Following the plot to the movie, the Zaniac then headed for a home for women, planning on slaughtering them all. Kroenking recommended that Thor check out that location, and Thor again prevented his massacre. The two struggled for a short-time, until the Zaniac began creating and throwing a series of energy knives at Thor. Thor deflected the knives by whirling his hammer, and they struck the Zaniac, incapacitating him. The Zaniac was taken away by an ambulance under police custody.

(Thor371) - Seeking vengeance on Thor, but wishing to remain free of suspicion, "Thug" Thatcher had the Zaniac broken out of from Skraggmore Penitentiary. Thatcher's plan was to have the Zaniac kill Jane Foster, and have him take the full blame due to his history. However, upon being freed from his energy-nullifying manacles, the Zaniac slew Thatcher's old girlfriend, Ruby, who walked in on them. Thatcher's agent, Kellen, responded by shooting and killing the Zaniac. However, the Zaniac's form began to convulse, and dozens of creatures burst forth, lunging for Thatcher and Kellen. The two fled, and Kellen tried to fight them off, but one of them bit Thatcher, transforming him into the next Zaniac, who continued to seek the death of Jane Foster.

(Thor372) - The Zaniac killed Kellen, and then tracked down and killed Jane Foster as well. However, Justice Peace, a law-officer from an alternate future had been sent back in time by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) to stop the Zaniac.

Justice Peace initially clashed with Thor due to a misunderstanding (as is the law in comics), but they eventually joined forces. Peace's Hopsikle, his means of transport, still maintained a weak temporal charge. Thor combined the last remnants of chronal energy remaining in his hammer, Mjolnir, to enhance this charge, so they could go back in time and save Jane Foster. The charge was sufficient to bring them back to seconds after the death of Brad Wolfe, and they killed all of the Zaniac vermin before they could infect anyone else. Thatcher, however, had a heart attack from the stress of nearly being bitten by one of the vermin, and he died.





Clarifications: Several different beings have been credited as being Jack the Ripper, who was active in August 1888. See his entry for those.

    There is a probable scenario to account for all these added accounts of Jack The Ripper.  It is likely that Thomas Malverne was the employee of Fu Manchu.  Malverne wanted to be a vampire, but he was prevented from drinking the blood of his victims because Dormammu forced the fragment of Zaniac into him.  After his death by the vampires, the released Zaniac fragment possessed another body that went on to the United States and was collected by the Predator.  Malverne’s physical body was buried under the tombstone marked just “Jack the Ripper”.  However, it may be only a matter of time before someone at Marvel adds another twist.  (It’s actually a shame the Ripper wasn’t borrowed by Mephisto or Satannish during their attacks on the Avengers West Coast [AWC #98-100].  It sure would have been a good place for him to show up and for Marvel to close their many contradictions.)--Will Ucthman.
--Or perhaps Dormammu brought the Zaniac fragment to Earth and placed it into Malverne first. This stimulated his interest and bloodthirsty behavior, which caused him to be recruited by Fu Manchu. The fragment also drew him to the vampires, but though he carried out the acts, his human spirit stopped him from consuming his victims' blood. Malverne's corpse was buried in said grave, but by the time it was unearthed in the modern era, Malverne's spirit had been twisted by decades in Hell. Malverne's brain had been taken by Fu Manchu, who distilled only the killer impulses of Jack the Ripper from his mind. Many Zaniac fragments are spawned with the death of the host, and while one stayed in the version collected by the Predator, another went on to possess Brad Wolfe, the Zaniac.
    --To clarify, this would mean that the Zaniac fragments are/were the true Ripper, and Malverne and others were just hosts, though they did become twisted by their exposure to the essence of the Zaniac.
    In addition, the Vampire Tales story can be fit in thusly: Either it was the "original" Ripper (possibly Malverne) who was pulled forward in time, and then was returned to his own time somehow, OR it was one of the Ripper's successors, another host for a Zaniac fragment. This successor could either have stayed in that time period, or might have returned to his own time and gone on to travel to the Holy Ghost Church and meet his death.
    I personally like the idea of the Zaniac fragments, as it allows many beings to meet many fates, and allows pretty much any Ripper story to be fit into continuity. The way the Ripper used the wooden stake on St. Francis, rather than dirtying his knife on a woman reminds me of the way the Zaniac only wanted to use his knife (representing his twisted love) on women, and the brutal fists of hate on men. He compromised on Thor, because his long hair made him look like a pretty-pretty.
    Possibly, Earth-Interface might be the same timeline as the world shown by Justice Peace in Thor I#372. The once peaceful future may have needed to adopt an advanced security system to stop the Ripper's (and perhaps his further spawns') killings. Perhaps they generated this on their own, and this is the world of Justice Peace's origin (as would appear from Thor#372) or they might have enlisted aid from the Time Variance Authority and gotten Justice Peace that way.

Zaniac has a full entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1980s Handbook.

Comments: Created by Doug Moench and Keith Pollard, revised by Walt Simonson and Sal Buscema.

It makes an interesting story, but I could use a little more explanation into how Wolfe became the host to the Zaniac vermin if he gained his abilities from the radioactive explosion.

Of course, one of the vermin must have escaped to bite another victim.

Thanks to John McDonagh for supplementary Jack the Ripper information.
    He also pointed out that Justice Peace is an obvious Judge Dredd spoof. We'll call it homage.

The Zaniac is a direct homage to the William Lustig film Maniac (and possibly to Michael Myers from the Halloween films, since he escaped from the asylum). Mr.Kroenking = William Lustig
--John McDonagh

Ruby's kids will receive their own entry at some point.

Ruby's last name, Kellen's first name and Thatcher's first name were revealed in Zaniac's profile in OHotMU A-Z HC#13.

If someone really wanted to make things interesting, he or she might somehow tie the Zaniac creatures into any of the following:

Andrew "Thug" Thatcher

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

(Journey into Mystery I#89) - He was originally a New York based mob boss. He was shot in the shoulder during a gunfight with the police. Thatcher's men found the office of Dr. Don Blake and his nurse, Jane Foster, and forced them at gunpoint to treat Thug. Blake was more than happy to treat Thatcher, and he removed the bullet and stabilized him. However, Thatcher then directed his men to "take care of him" so he couldn't squeal to the cops. Blake managed to retrieve his walking stick, and he transformed into Thor. Thor captured Thatcher's gang, but Thug himself escaped and took Jane Foster hostage again. Thor rescued Jane and pursued Thatcher, eventually catching him in an old construction site. Thatcher was sent to prison.

(Thor I#368) - Thatcher was released from Ryker's Island and promptly took a plane to Chicago (or Illinois).

(Thor I#372 (fb) ) - When he was released, he sought vengeance on Thor, but knew he couldn't harm him, and had no wish to return to prison. He came upon the idea of freeing the Zaniac and having him kill Jane Foster.

(Thor I#369) - Thugh came upon Ruby as she was telling her sons to clean up, thinking of what their daddy would want. Thug reintroduced himself to Ruby, whose mind Thor had wiped.

(Thor I#371-372) - He hired another criminal named Kellen to assist him. He tracked down his old girlfriend, Ruby, who now lived in Chicago, and forced her to let him stay at her house, and to assist in his plan to free the Zaniac.

The remainder of his fate is detailed above.

--Journey into Mystery I#89 (Journey into Mystery I#89, Thor I#368, 372 (fb), 369, 371-372




Ruby Mortensen was the girlfriend of Thug Thatcher before his arrest. She was worried about him when he was injured, and she pleaded with not to harm Dr. Blake or Jane Foster. When he was cornered by Thor, she begged him to surrender and take his medicine. She promised him that if he went to jail, she'd wait for him. However, he turned on her, telling her that he never loved her and she was nothing but a millstone around his neck. Thug fired at Thor, and Ruby was nearly hit by one of bullets.

After Thug went to prison, Ruby moved on. She moved to Chicago, and had two kids, Ricky and Micky. The father of these kids was not named: it may have been Thug, or another man. Nonetheless, Ruby was living alone years later when Thug was released from prison. He threatened her kids to force her to cooperate with him. She allowed him to stay at her house, and then snuck a nose filter Skraggmore Penitentiary, where it was eventually delivered to the Zaniac. This allowed him to escape during a gas attack by Kellen, who flew him out with a helicopter. However, Ruby wandered in as the Zaniac was being released from his manacles, and he slew her. Her children were taken to Asgard, and became part of the large family of Volstagg and Gudrun.

--Journey into Mystery I#89 (Journey into Mystery I#89, Thor I#369, 371








Marcus Kellen was a criminal hired by Thatcher to assist in his plot to use the Zaniac to kill Jane Foster. He flew the helicopter and launched the tear gas which broke the Zaniac out of jail. He panicked after the Zaniac killed Ruby, and shot him dead. After Thatcher became the next Zaniac, he snapped Kellen's neck. However, in the timeline created/remade by Thor and Justice Peace, Thatcher never became the Zaniac, and so he was still alive, although his exact fate is unknown.

Thor I#371 (Thor I#371-372





Journey into Mystery I#89 (February, 1963) - Stan Lee & Larry Lieber (writers), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#368-369 (June-July, 1986) - Walt Simonson (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Sal Buscema (#368) & Geoff Isherwood (#369) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor I#371-372 (September-October, 1986) - Walt Simsonson (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bret Blevins (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Last updated: 07/28/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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