Real Name: Zoroaster

Identity/Class: Magically enhanced terrestrial spider

Occupation: Enforcer/pet of Diabolique

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Diabolique (creator, mistress), Playmate (fellow servant of Diabolique)

Enemies: Vengeance (Michael Badilino)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Zoro"

Base of Operations: Mobile; active in Brooklyn, New York

First Appearance: Darkhold#10 (June, 1993)

Powers: Zoroaster could grow to enormous size and strength. It could regenerate lost limbs, and was immune to hellfire. Its strength and ability was presumably directly related to the amount of power Diabolique had amassed. In its encounter with Vengeance it appeared to have Class 25-50 strength.

Height: (normal size) 5";
    (grown, to "shoulder") 6'5";
    (grown, length) 7'6" (all by approximation)
Weight: (normal size) 2 oz.;
    (grown) 465 lbs. (both by approximation)
Eyes: Black  
Hair: Black

(Darkhold#10) - Zoroaster was apparently an ordinary spider mutated by the witch-child, Diabolique.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#160) - Diabolique took Zoroaster with her when she took her latest "parents" to the subway, where they committed suicide by jumping in front of an arriving train to escape from her. Taken to the police station, Diabolique chose former cop Michael Badilino as a suitable new father, and followed him when he went to the subway to investigate the suicides, alerted to their suspicious nature by witnesses who had heard the couple call out Diabolique's name as they jumped. She observed him find the remains of a victim of her other servant, Playmate, and transforming into Vengeance to battle her creature. As he grappled with it, Diabolique dropped her facade of innocence and, sinisterly petting Zoroaster, she introduced herself.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#161) - Watching Vengeance battle Playmate, Diabolique informed him that "Zoro" thought he'd be nicer once he "joined" with Playmate, and was amazed with how hard he was fighting to avoid this fate. Angry, Vengeance hurled hellfire towards them, pronouncing that "Zoro could fry," but Diabolique caught the fire with ease and bound it in an energy sphere. Realizing Playmate was composed of the flesh and souls of unfortunates targeted by Diabolique, still alive and aware of their nightmarish state, Vengeance leapt for her, and she flinched, dropping Zoroaster, but Playmate blocked the attack and carried Diabolique down the tracks. Informing her creation that it was time to visit the person they had actually come to New York to meet, the demon sorceress Salomé, she announced that she would let Zoroaster have some fun with Vengeance in their absence. Her opponent glanced at the approaching spider incredulously, thinking she had to be joking...until it suddenly became a giant and reared up to attack. He swiftly found that while hellfire seemed to inflict pain, it didn't slow the arachnid down, so he ripped off one of its legs, only to see it grow a replacement in seconds. As it encircled him with its limbs, bringing its massive fangs uncomfortably close to his face, Vengeance realized he had no way of stopping the creature.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#162) - Pinned to the ground with both arms and one leg fastened to the subway station floor by sticky spiderweb, Vengeance managed to kick Zoroaster off of him with his remaining leg, then hurriedly ripped away the webbing binding him. He rammed one arm into Zoroaster's thorax, then blasted hellfire directly into the wound before it could close, and while it was still stunned kicked it off the platform directly into the path of an oncoming subway train. Even this failed to kill it, but it was sufficiently weakened after this impact that it reverted to its natural size, allowing Vengeance to beat it to death. Vengeance jumped down onto the tracks, and was about to squash it underfoot when he had a better idea. Taking Zoroaster's corpse with him, Vengeance tracked Diabolique down, interrupting her meeting with Salomé by dropped Zoroaster's body in front of her, shocking her. For a moment she cradled her pet in her arms, then as he attacked she reacted with rage and set Playmate on him.

(Marvel Tarot#1 - BTS) - Sorcerer Ian McNee was in possession of a book about the Zoroaster.

Comments: Created by Chris Cooper and Rurik Tyler.

I'm sure Diabolique can create another Zoroaster any time she feels the urge.

Background information on the name Zoroaster, courtesy of Per Degaton:
"Zoroaster was a historical Iranian religious leader.
Zoroastrianism is a small religion with about 140,000 members. Yet its importance to humanity is much greater than its current numbers might suggest, because: Their theology has had a great impact on Judaism, Christianity and other later religions, in the beliefs surrounding God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, savior, resurrection, final judgment, etc.
It is one of the oldest religions still in existence, It may have been the first monotheistic religion.
      Thus, the Zoroaster story influenced the Jesus story.  The story of Jesus eventually decimated Zoroastorianism; in the seventh century AD, Arabs who were Muslims (and thus believed in the virgin birth of Jesus) invaded Persia, and that spelled more or less the end of Zoroastorianism.
Indeed, much of what later became known as Muslim culture, architecture, writing and other skills, were taken from the Persians into the rest of the Semitic speaking world
Persia is today a fanatical Muslim nation called Iran.
The Persians built vast and very good roads for the efficient administration of their huge empire, but are probably best remembered for their religion called Zoroastrianism. Founded by a prophet named Zarathustra, the basic religious concept of a never ending battle between good and evil supernatural powers, was later plagiarized by the early Christians (AND BY MARVEL COMICS, FOR THAT MATTER!) and worked into the biblical New Testament (the concepts of heaven and hell are not mentioned at all in the Christian Old Testament)."

In addition, according to Rahf Tzeenj, Zarathustra is the topic of the same-titled book by Neitszche or the classical musical piece {the famous theme music from "2001:A Space Odyssey"} "Also Sprach Zarathustra."
Further, Zoroastrianism (itself sharing a common origin with Hinduism) also features a deity that Conan fans may have familiarity with: Mitra (aka Mithra and Mithras), whose worship originated in Hinduism, spread to the Zoroastrians and eventually made its way in to ancient Rome, eventually becoming the main rival of Christianity during the Holy Roman Empire days.  Later Mitra myths even show him succeeding Zeus/Jupiter as head of the Roman pantheon.

Zoroaster is pictured in Diabolique's entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

Profile by Snood. Expanded by Loki.

No known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Marvel Comics Presents I#161, p6, pan4-5 (Zoroaster as small and large spider)
Darkhold#10, p21, pan5 (as tiny spider, with red-hair Diabolique)
Marvel Comics Presents I#160, p8, pan2 (as tiny spider, being stroked by blonde-haired Diabolique)
Marvel Comics Presents I#161, p8, pan6 (Zoroaster grabbing Vengeance)
Marvel Comics Presents I#162, p4, pan3 (Zoroaster catches the subway)
Marvel Comics Presents I#162, p7, pan1-2 (Vengeance returns Zoroaster to Diabolique)

Darkhold#10 (July, 1993) - Chris Cooper (writer), Rurik Tyler (pencils), Bob Downs (inks), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#160-162 (early August-early September, 1994) - Chris Cooper (writer), Reggie Jones (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Marvel Tarot#1 (2007) - David Sexton (writer, pencils, inks) Jeff Youngquist (editor)

First Posted: 12/06/2001 (?)
Last updated: 03/21/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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