Classification: Extraterrestrial sub-species (Deviant), humanoid
Location/Base of Operations: Xarta, Zugano star system, Fornax galaxy
formerly, a base in the Dandesh star system, Coal Sack nebula
Known Members: Lord Ugarth, Lord Zano
Affiliations: Vuk of the D'Bari race
Enemies: Boom-Boom, Rusty Collins, Leech, Artie Maddicks, Louise Mason, Taryn O'Connell, Ovoids, Razorback, Rictor, Rocket Raccoon, She-Hulk, Ship, Skids, Skrulls, Thor, X-Factor (Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl)
Aliases: "Carbon Copy Men"
First Appearance: Journey Into Mystery I#90 (March, 1963)
Powers/Abilities: Xartans possess the ability to shapeshift, usually to assume the appearances of others. They can also duplicate the superhuman abilities of any superhuman they are in close contact with. They have demonstrated the ability to become an ice-like creature who can generate ice, to become an "Ironion juggernaut" who possesses telepathic powers and near-invulnerability, and to become invisible. When they assume the form of an inanimate object, they temporarily lose consciousness, and remain trapped in that form for an unspecified period of time (apparently several years).
Xartans have impersonated Jane Foster, Mayor Harris, Dr. Druid, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), She-Hulk, Thor, and the D'Bari.
Xartans possess starships with warp drive that are protected with ion-magnets which can entrap anyone who comes near the vessel.
History: (Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#12 - Xartans) - Ages ago, the planet Xarta was visited by the Celestials, who performed experiments upon the population which resulted in a Deviant race who could shapeshift. Ultimately, the Deviant sub-species became the dominant race, and drove the others to extinction.
(Journey Into Mystery I#90) - Lord Ugarth led an invasion of Earth, commanding his ship's men while the rest of the invasion fleet remained in Earth's orbit, waiting for news of Ugarth's success before invading other cities. Ugarth kept his son Zano close to his side during the invasion, as he intended Zano to succeed him.
On Earth, the Xartans confused humans by assuming the form of police officers and demanding that cars be allowed to drive on the sidewalk, billboards be pasted over windows, and bridges painted with polka dots. They also captured nurse Jane Foster and Mayor Harris of New York and replaced them both. When Thor encountered the Xartans who had assumed the forms of Foster and Harris, and was accused of being a traitor, he came to realize that a deception was underfoot.
Thor discovered the Xartans' ship, but was captured in its ion magnet after setting down his hammer. When the Xartans found him, he had become Dr. Donald Blake, and they brought inside their ship as a prisoner. The aliens boasted to the captured Blake, Harris and Foster, but Harris claimed Thor would stop them. Blake offered to lead them to Thor, and journeyed outside the ship with them. As soon as he was able to, he retrieved his hammer and became Thor.
Thor engaged the Xartans, and Zano encased him in a block of ice, but Thor shattered the ice with his hammer. Zano turned himself into a gladiator and caught Thor in a net, but Thor hurled lightning at him and struck him down. Finally, Ugarth engaged Thor in battle and became invisible, but Thor found him by creating a shower of rain. He caught Ugarth in the net Zano had used and flung him into space. The rest of the invasion fleet was terrified by Ugarth's defeat and departed to reclaim his body.
The remaining Xartans were ordered by Thor to become trees. They intended to revert their forms back once Thor had left, but because trees lacked the ability to think, they were trapped in their new forms.
(X-Factor I#32 (fb)) - Zano and his men eventually awoke, escaping their imprisonment. They learned that Ugarth had been slain when Thor had flung him into space, and Zano was determined to carry out his father's final mission by conquering the Earth.
(X-Factor I#32) - The Xartans attended a public appearance by the Avengers so that they could get close enough to them to assume their forms. They prepared to assault the Avengers' headquarters at Hydrobase, but were astonished to find another extraterrestrial vessel at Earth-- Ship, the headquarters of X-Factor.
The Xartans invaded Ship in the forms of the Avengers so that they could determine who the vessel's masters were. When Cyclops, Iceman and Marvel Girl engaged them in battle, they began to study their powers. They nearly defeated X-Factor, but when the mutant protégés of X-Factor joined the battle, they were outnumbered and quickly beaten. Ship placed the Xartans into a stasis field for containment.
(Sensational She-Hulk#46 (fb) - BTS, #45 (fb)) - On the run from the Skrulls, who despised the Xartans for having similar powers, some of the Xartans encountered a survivor of the D'Bari race. The rest of the Xartans posed as D'Bari, establishing a planet in the Dandesh system. Their world was soon discovered by Razorback, Taryn O'Connell, Rocket Raccoon, and an Ovoid, and the Xartans placed all of them into confinement to keep their secret from being revealed.
(Sensational She-Hulk#44-46) - She-Hulk joined a party of Skrulls who were in search of the Xartans, and she allowed the "D'Bari people" to capture her, hoping to rescue her friends from inside the prison. Unable to escape, she attempted to transfer her mind to her friend Louise Mason aboard the Skrull ship with the aid of the Ovoid, only to transfer her power to Louise instead. Louise joined the Skrulls in attacking the exposed Xartans, and the D'Bari survivor, determined not to lose his people again, placed his petrification gun on overload. She-Hulk and her friends escaped the planet as the gun transformed the entire planet and its people into stone.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber and Al Hartley.
When the events of Journey Into Mystery I#90 were recounted in Marvel Saga#8, all-new art by Walt Simonson was used instead of the original art. I can only assume that someone just didn't like Hartley's artwork. But we got some nifty Simonson art out of the deal, so it's all good, yo.
It's bizarre that Mark Gruenwald wanted the Skrulls and the Xartans to have the same Celestial-tampering origins. What was it about shapeshifters that made him think they must have had a common origin? In any case, it just adds fuel to the Skrull-Xartan enmity.
CaryComix speculates that Contemplator Imposter and the Silver Surfer Imposter were not actually Skrulls, but Xartans.
Maybe, he really WAS a Xartan! It would be the perfect camouflage, hiding out from Skrull Deviants by pretending to be one of them. ([T]he Xartans could very well be Skrull Eternals...[h]ence, the traditional hatred of them by the Skrull Deviants. Particularly, the one impersonating the real Contemplator!) Yours truly: Carycomix@aol.com
Like the counterfeit Contemplator, I think he was really a Xartan hiding in plain sight! That is, by posing as a biotech-enhanced Skrull."
by Prime Eternal
The Xartans should not be confused with:
Lord Ugarth was the supreme warlord of Xarta, and intended for his son Zano to succeed him one day. He had engaged in over a thousand campaigns by the time he chose to invade Earth, hoping to overcome humanity through confusion. However, Ugarth did not count on Thor, and was unable to defeat him in combat. Thor hurled Ugarth's body into space, where he perished.
--Journey Into Mystery I#90
Lord Zano was the son of Ugarth, and was intended by him to one day become Xarta's supreme warlord. On his first mission, he accompanied his father to Earth to witness its invasion by their people. When Thor confronted the Xartans, Zano fought him, becoming an ice giant and a gladiator, only to fail. After Thor had slain Ugarth, Zano was forced by Thor to become a tree with his fellow Xartans. Eventually escaping this imprisonment, he led his fellow Xartans to assume the forms and powers of the Avengers as part of a scheme of revenge against Thor, but was distracted when he saw Ship, the headquarters of X-Factor. He led his men in an invasion of Ship, assuming the form of an "ironian juggernaut," but they were defeated by X-Factor and their protégés, and Ship placed Zano and his men into a stasis field.
--Journey Into Mystery I#90, X-Factor I#32 (fb), X-Factor I#32
Images taken from:
Main- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#15, page 63, panel 3
Ice giant- Marvel Saga#8, page 27, panel 6
Ironian juggernaut- X-Factor I#32, page 18, panel 4
Ugarth- Marvel Saga#8, page 27, panel 5
Zano- X-Factor I#32, page 6, panel 2
Last updated: 01/06/05
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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