rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-fromspacerock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-mainThe ROCK

Official Name: Tortorelzor

Nature: Alternate Reality (Reality-8116) extraterrestrial planet, unidentified star system, Empirical Galaxy;
    active 1 million years in the future from the 20th century A.D.;

Environment: Life-sustaining biosphere

Gravity: Unrevealed (but presumably possessed a gravitational field in which it was comfortable for human-like beings to function)

Atmosphere: An unspecified combination of gases (presumably a combination of nitrogen and oxygen since it can be breathed by human-like beings);
    some beings appeared to wear some sort of gas mask that may have filtered the air and/or provided a different gas mixture for them to breath

Natural Satellites: Apparently at least one moon

Artificial Satellites: None known

Natives: None known

Population: Unrevealed

Capital City: Inapplicable

Government: Instrumentality-ruled mining colony

Languages: Unrevealed

Monetary Unit: Unrevealed

National Defense: Unrevealed

Major Resources: Catorlite;
    also copper, gold, iron, silver, other minerals;
    communication equipment, hydro-atomic jack, mining equipment, space trawlers;
    formerly
Ship #Delta457

Planetary Defense: Deacons of Deltor

Places of Interest: Mines, notably Hangar Deck #51, Sub-Level #9, and Security Central

Prominent Residents: Deacons of Deltor, Miners of Tortorelzor (notably Work Crew #7);
    formerly an unidentified woman (presumably Willow 327 (see comments))

Visitors: Vanth Dreadstar, Oedi;

First Appearance: Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (December, 1982)

History:
rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-boulder-2(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - A bleak and barren world, Tortorelzor became a possession of the Instrumentality who established a mining colony there. Tortorelzor was slowly stripped of its mineral riches, including conventional metals. Tortorelzor's greatest treasure was the lightweight metal Catorlite, which -- for some reason known only to the Instrumentality elite -- was valued above any substance in the galaxy.

    The Deacons of Deltor were set up as the overseers of the mines as well as the security force for the planet.

    As mining work was dirty, dangerous, and difficult (with 12-hour shifts running from 6:00 to 18:00 hours), only the poorest of the empire sought this employment. Most workers were pressed into service. Morale was forever low and tempers were always short. Only the power and brutality of the Deacons kept order.

    Space trawlers periodically departed Tortorelzor, heavily laden with mineral cargo.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - With the Instrumentality gaining the edge in the war against the Monarchy, Vanth Dreadstar and Syzygy Darklock resolved to institute Plan M, the first step of which involved their acquiring a massive cargo ship. Syzygy noted that they could steal one from the Instrumentality Mining Company on Tortorelzor. Vanth and their ally Oedi traveled to Tortorelzor to acquire the ship.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Their heads covered with full masks, Oedi and Vanth infiltrated Work Crew #7.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Work Crew #7 (including the disguised Oedi and Vanth) began their shift, its workers listlessly heading toward their day's labor and staring blankly ahead, careful to avoid any eye contact that might provoke a beating from the ill-tempered Deacons.

    From the secret maps, Oedi and Vanth confirmed familiar landmarks and passageways, closely scrutinized the planet's highly efficient mining operation, wondered at and about the strange giant battery of communication beamers and receivers, and focused on the massive space trawlers periodically taking off as well as the army of security guards peppering the landscape.

    Identifying fewer deacons in the mine's lower levels, Oedi and Vanth slipped away from Work Crew #7 on Sub-Level #9, heading down a tunnel that would lead them to a ladder to the hangar deck. Glimpsing a woman resembling his deceased wife, Delilah, Vanth briefly paused, after which the pair abandoned their tool packages to hasten their journey. However, they then encountered a quintet of Deacons who told them that they did not belong at that work station and asked what they were up to. Oedi told them that they had gotten lost and denied accusations of malingering, but when the Deacons noted that they would have to take them to Security Central to check them out, Vanth removed his mask and drew his sword. The pair made short work of the Deacons, but a stray shot from one of their batons hit a support beam and caused a massive cave-in.

    Both Oedi and Vanth avoided injury, and Oedi advised they take advantage of the confusion to get to the hangar deck; however, calls for help from a number of miners led them to the previously-observed woman who was trapped under a massive boulder (she must have been pinned under it, but it's weight mostly supported by surrounding structures to prevent her having been crushed). A hydro-atomic jack was placed in hopes of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out, but it instead exploded, leading to another minor cave-in; the two miners and the deacon present fled.

    Fearing that his lack of fine control over the sword's energies could cause the entire cavern to collapse, Vanth physically lifted the boulder. His first effort broke off a large chunk of rock, but the second time he lifted the entire boulder into the air, and Oedi moved the woman to safety. They headed to the tunnel as Vanth threw the boulder back down, narrowly escaping the collapsing chamber. Figuring someone would be along to help the woman, Vanth and Oedi left her behind.rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-cargoescape

    In the tunnel leading to the hangar deck, Vanth and Oedi encountered a trio of deacons, who they swiftly incapacitated and continued on their way, unaware that the woman had followed them?

    As they took off in Ship #Delta457 (or something like the delta symbol, with a small break in the center of the bottom/horizontal portion of the triangle) from Hangar Deck #57, they were instructed to return to the hangar twice and given a final warning...but nothing happened?

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar - BTS) - Aboard Ship #Delta457, renamed "Big Bundle," Vanth and Oedi allowed Syzygy to dock the Lightcutter II within the cargo ship, and they began making steps for the next step in Plan M.

Comments: Created by Jim Starlin.

Dreadstar / Reality-8116 primer

    I am working my way through Dreadstar storyline from start to finish. If Tortorelzor or any of its sub-profiles appear or are referenced again, I will add that information as I encounter it.

   The narrative refers to Tortorelzor as both a planet and a satellite.
    Presumably it is the larger planetary body shown in the main image and it is a planet.

    Interestingly, while the narrative states that few people call the planet Tortorelzor and that it is known to most as the Rock, it is mostly called Tortorelzor in-story.

    The story is split it three parts throughout Epic Illustrated#15, but they are not divided or titled as chapters, it just says "continues on..." and "continued from..."
    Numbered pages 36-41; 60-65; and 76-87.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Rock (aka Tortorelzor) has no known connections to

Deacons of Deltor have no known connections to:

Miners of Tortorelzor have no known connections to:

Deacons of Deltor

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-deacons-fullrock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-deacons-gray    Agents of the Instrumentality, the Deacons of Deltor were set up as the overseers of the mines as well as the security force for the planet Tortorelzor, more commonly known as "The Rock."

    With a smaller number of employees, and most workers pressed into service, morale was forever low and tempers were always short. Only the power and brutality of the Deacons kept order.

    They wielded batons that fired powerful energy blasts.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to steal a cargo ship, Vanth Dreadstar and Oedi -- their heads covered with full masks -- infiltrated Work Crew #7.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Work Crew #7 (including the disguised Oedi and Vanth) began their shift, its workers careful to avoid any eye contact that might provoke a beating from the ill-tempered Deacons.

    Identifying fewer deacons in the mine's lower levels, Oedi and Vanth slipped away from Work Crew #7 on Sub-Level #9, heading down a tunnel that would lead them to a ladder to the hangar deck.

    However, they then encountered a quintet of Deacons who told them that they did not belong at that work station and asked what they were up to. Oedi told them that they had gotten lost, but a deacon asked if they were sure they were not malingering. "We don't like goof-offs around here." rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-deacon-face

    Despite Oedi re-iterating that they were lost, one of the Deacons noted that they would have to take them to Security Central to check them out.

    Vanth informed "your holiness" that they neither had the time nor the desire to accompany them, and when the deacon asked what made him think that they had any choice in the matter, Vanth removed his mask and drew his sword; indicating the latter, he replied, "This!"

    A blast to the face from Vanth's sword apparently slew one of the deacons as Vanth punched out another, while Oedi kicked down a third. Vanth absorbed the deacon's baton-blasts with his sword, but as Oedi kicked down the last of the deacons, a stray shot from his baton hit a support beam and caused a massive cave-in.

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-deacons-vs-v&o    Both Oedi and Vanth avoided injury, but calls for help from a number of miners led them a woman who was trapped under a massive boulder.
    It appeared as if there were two minors and a Deacon (see note) trying to help her.

    A hydro-atomic jack was placed in hopes of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out, but it instead exploded, leading to another minor cave-in; the two miners and the Deacon present all fled.rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-deacons-baton-blast

    After Vanth freed the woman, he and Oedi continued on their mission. In the tunnel leading to the hangar deck, Vanth and Oedi encountered a trio of Deacons armed with pistols.

    One of them was in mid-story, "So I says to the chief, 'a disaster like a cave-in is no place for a man of the cloth,' and he..."

    As Oedi mockingly apologized that they had no time to chat, Vanth took out two of the deacons with his fists as Oedi punched out the third.

    As the three deacons lied unconscious, Oedi and Vanth were apparently followed by...someone (the woman they had rescued)?

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar - BTS) - As Oedi and Vanth took off in Ship #Delta457 (or something like the delta symbol, with a small break in the center of the bottom/horizontal portion of the triangle) from Hangar Deck #57, they were instructed to return to the hangar twice and given a final warning...but nothing happened?

--Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar

Note: I am pretty certain the Deacons appear in some of the Dreadstar series issues, and so I will most likely split this sub-profile into its own profile at some point.

     It seems off to have one of the deacons trying to help the trapped woman and not objecting to the presence of Vanth and Oedi (even though the latter was still masked), but he certainly had the appearance of a deacon.

     Deacons are shown in the main image and the Miners sub-profile.


Miners of Tortorelzor

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-boulder-1The Instrumentality set up a mining colony on the barren world Tortorelzor, aka the Rock, which was slowly stripped of its mineral riches, including conventional metals. Tortorelzor's greatest treasure was the lightweight metal Catorlite, which -- for some reason known only to the Instrumentality elite -- was valued above any substance in the galaxy.

    The Deacons of Deltor were set up as the overseers of the mines as well as the security force for the planet.

    As mining work was dirty, dangerous, and difficult (with 12-hour shifts running from 6:00 to 18:00 hours), only the poorest of the empire sought this employment. Most workers were pressed into service. Morale was forever low and tempers were always short. Only the power and brutality of the deacons kept order.

    Space trawlers periodically departed Tortorelzor, heavily laden with mineral cargo.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Vanth and their ally Oedi traveled to Tortorelzor to steal a large cargo ship.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Their heads covered with full masks, Oedi and Vanth infiltrated Work Crew #7.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Work Crew #7 (including the disguised Oedi and Vanth) began their shift, its workers listlessly heading toward their day's labor and staring blankly ahead, careful to avoid any eye contact that might provoke a beating from the ill-tempered Deacons.

    Identifying fewer deacons in the mine's lower levels, Oedi and Vanth slipped away from Work Crew #7 on Sub-Level #9, where they encountered a quintet of deacons. In the subsequent struggle, a stray shot from one of the deacons' batons hit a support beam and caused a massive cave-in.

    Both Oedi and Vanth avoided injury, but calls for help from a number of miners led them to a woman who was trapped under a massive boulder; a pair of miners and apparently a Deacon were trying to help her.. A hydro-atomic jack was placed in hopes of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out, but it instead exploded, leading to another minor cave-in; the two miners and the deacon present all fled.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar - BTS) - After freeing the woman, Oedi and Vanth stole the cargo ship and departed Tortorelzor.

--Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar

Note: Miners are shown in the main image, and in the Work Crew #7 and Sub-Level #9 sub-profiles.



Work Crew #7

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-workcrew7rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-workcrew7-v&oOne of the divisions of the Miners of Tortorelzor

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Their heads covered with full masks, Oedi and Vanth infiltrated Work Crew #7.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Work Crew #7 (including the disguised Oedi and Vanth) began their shift, its workers listlessly heading toward their day's labor and staring blankly ahead, careful to avoid any eye contact that might provoke a beating from the ill-tempered Deacons of Deltor.

    Identifying fewer deacons in the mine's lower levels, Oedi and Vanth slipped away from Work Crew #7 on Sub-Level #9, where they encountered a quintet of deacons.

    In the subsequent struggle, a stray shot from one of the deacons' batons hit a support beam and caused a massive cave-in.

    Both Oedi and Vanth avoided injury, but calls for help from a number of miners led them to a woman who was trapped under a massive boulder; a pair of miners and apparently a deacon were trying to help her.

    A hydro-atomic jack was placed in hopes of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out, but it instead exploded, leading to another minor cave-in; the two miners and the deacon present all fled.rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-workcrew7-vanthmask

--Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar

Note
The being at the front of the long picture at the top is not Oedi. This character has a longer and more narrow muzzle than Oedi and looks a bit more like perhaps a jackal or fox-like.
     Oedi was wearing a full face mask at the time of that image.

        In the image at the top-right in this sub-profile, Oedi is the character on the viewer's right; plain mask with one-way eye-coverings and carrying the object in his hand.
     The character with the atmospheric mask and the sack slung over his shoulder is Vanth; who atmospheric mask  is shown more clearly to the left here.

    





communications equipment

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-communicationsquip     Having infiltrated Work Crew #7, Vanth and Oedi observed their surroundings, and they wondered at and about the strange giant battery of communication beamers and receivers

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar





Hangar Deck #51

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-hangar51Hangar Deck #51 contained the Ship #Delta457.

     Taking out a trio of deacons just outside the hangar, Oedi and Vanth stole the cargo ship.
They were instructed by unidentified security forces (perhaps deacons) to return to the hangar twice and given a final warning...but nothing happened?

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar




hydro-atomic jack

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-jack-exploderock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-jackPresumably either empowered by a combination of hydraulics and atomic power, or just atomic power (with "hydro" referring to the hydrogen atom).

When a cave-in led to a woman being pinned beneath a massive boulder,
the miners used a hydro-atomic jack was placed in hopes of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out.

However, the jack exploded, leading to another minor cave-in, and the two miners and the deacon present fled.


--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar





mining equipment

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-minequipmentHaving infiltrated Work Crew #7, Vanth and Oedi scrutinized the planet's highly efficient mining  operation.

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar




Security Central

     Presumably run by the Deacon of Deltor (as they security force for the planet), this was presumably the central location from which security issues were dealt with.

     Discovering a pair of workers (a costumed Oedi and Vanth) out of place in Sub-Level-9, Deacons noted that they would have to take them to Security Central to check them out. The two refused and subdued the Deacons.

     Later, taking out a trio of deacons just outside the hangar, Oedi and Vanth stole the cargo ship.
They were instructed by unidentified security forces (perhaps deacons/security) to return to the hangar twice and given a final warning...but nothing happened?

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar





space trawlers

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-spacetrawlersHaving infiltrated Work Crew #7, Vanth and Oedi observed massive space trawlers periodically taking off, heavily laden with the spoils of the Rock, notably Catorlite but also copper, gold, iron, silver, other minerals.

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar



Sub-Level #9

rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-sublev9-1rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-sublev9-2Sub-Level #9, as the name would imply, would most likely nine levels down from the surface.

     Noticing there were fewer deacons in the lower levels, Oedi and Vanth broke from Work Crew #7 at this level and headed for the hangar.

     However, they encountered some deacons and,
in the subsequent struggle, a stray shot from one of the deacons' batons hit a support beam and caused a massive cave-in.

     Vanth and Oedi rescued a woman trapped under a boulder and then made their way to the hangar and fled with the stolen cargo ship #delta457.

--
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar




unidentified (for now) woman


rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-woman-tabletrock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-woman-face(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Employed in something beyond manual labor, the woman was working on her tablet in Sub-Level #9, and she passed by the incognito Vanth and Oedi without a second glance. Vanth paused upon seeing her, as she resembled his murdered wife, Delilah, and Oedi had to get Vanth to focus on the mission again.

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar - BTS) - A conflict between Vanth and Oedi and the Deacons of Deltor resulted in a cave-in, and a massive boulder pinned the woman's lower body to the ground (she must have been pinned under it, but it's weight mostly supported by surrounding structures to prevent her having been crushed).

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar) - Calls for help from a pair of miners (either alongside a deacon or with a third miner strongly resembling a deacon in appearance/outfit) led Vanth and Oedi to the woman -- whom they recognized as the woman they had seen before.

    The miners placed a hydro-atomic jack in the hope of lifting the stone enough so they could get the woman out, but it instead exploded, leading to another minor cave-in; the two miners and the deacon(?) present fled.

    Fearing that his lack of fine control over the sword's energies could cause the entire cavern to collapse, Vanth prepared to physically lift the boulder.

    The woman was first shocked when Oedi removed his mask and revealed his nature as a cat-man; when the woman called him a cat, Vanth corrected her that Oedi was a man, the last of his race, and a friend. rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-woman-trapped

    When he told the woman he was going to lift the boulder off of her, she asked if he was mad, noting that the rock must weigh 10 tons. Vanth corrected her that it was probably closer to 15 tons but that she should not worry as he was stronger than he looked.

    His first effort broke off a large chunk of rock, but -- determined to save the woman as he had to be able to save one person if he was to save the entire galaxy -- the second time Vanth lifted the entire boulder into the air, and Oedi moved the woman to safety.

    They rushed to the tunnel as Vanth threw the boulder back down, narrowly escaping the collapsing chamber.

    Figuring someone would be along to help the woman, Vanth and Oedi left her behind and bade her farewell.

    She replied, "'bye...?"

    In the tunnel leading to the hangar deck, Vanth and Oedi encountered a trio of deacons, who they swiftly incapacitated and continued on their way, unaware that the woman had followed them?rock-tortorelzor-8116-ei15-willowmaybe

    As they took off in Ship #Delta457 (or something like the delta symbol, with a small break in the center of the bottom/horizontal portion of the triangle) from Hangar Deck #57, they were instructed to return to the hangar twice and given a final warning...but nothing happened?

(Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar - BTS) - Aboard Ship #Delta457, renamed "Big Bundle," Vanth and Oedi allowed Syzygy to dock the Lightcutter II within the cargo ship, and they began making steps for the next step in Plan M.

--Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar

Note:
I would not have thought the woman trapped under the rock from this story to have been Dreadstar's soon-to-be-teammate Willow (way before the Buffy the Vampire-Slayer character, and unrelated to the movie Willow).
  • Willow is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters. I named a pet dog after her (scroll down to "in memoriam" on this page).
  • She was not identified in-story.
  • The character did not seem to be blind.
    • She walked unaided through the low-levels.
    • She was writing on some sort of tablet.
    • She only recognized Oedi as a cat-man when he took off his mask).
    • Willow was unique as being a cybernetic telepath, and she could see through computer systems, cameras, etc. She could also see through the eyes of animals (and possibly other people, but not Dreadstar and not Syzygy (although she could see through his cybernetic eye, I believe).
  • Dreadstar and Oedi left her behind, but THERE IS the appearance of the arm of a person following them does make me think that she followed and stowed away.
  • Dreadstar#1 notes that Willow joined the group "around the time we liberated this cargo ship from the Instrumentality."
    • "Around the time" is very vague.
    • After the story in Epic Illustrated and before the story in Dreadstar#1, for sure.
  • I will start a profile on Willow with this story, and I believe it is confirmed that it is Willow in Dreadstar#1-2...but until then, I'm just reporting the story information as I review each story.

Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar, story pg. 4, panel 3 (writing on tablet);
          panel 4 (face);
     pg. 11, panel 3 (trapped under boulder);
     pg. 14 (3rd part, pg. 2), panel 8 (face, full);
     pg. 23, panel 5 (arm and leg of figure following Vanth and Oedi seen)
  




images: (without ads) - black and white images are scanned from Dreadstar: The Beginning; gray scale images are from the original story (in a few cases, the newer images were so dark that detail was lost)
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar, story pg. 2, panel 1 (Tortorelzor from space);
          panel 2 (city overlooking the mining colony - main image);
       pg. 3, panel 1 & 2 (Work Crew #7, plus Vanth and Oedi);
          panel 5 (mining equipment);
          panel 6 (communications equipment);
          panel 7 (space trawlers);
       pg. 4, panel 1-2 (Sub-Level #9);
       pg. 5, panel 2 (deacon face);
          panel 4 (Vanth & Oedi vs. deacons);
          panel 5 (deacon's baton firing blasts that Dreadstar stops);
       pg. 7 (2nd part, pg. 1), panel 3-4 (miners and deacon?);
       pg. 9, panel 8 (hydro-atomic jack);
       pg. 10, panel 5 (jack exploding);
       pg. 22 (3rd part, pg. 10), panel 7 (deacon full);
       pg. 23, panel 7 (cargo ship departing city)


Appearances:
Epic Illustrated#15/4: Dreadstar (December, 1982) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor), Jo Duffy (associate editor)


First posted: 03/03/2024
Last updated: 03/16/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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