ZETORA

Real Name: Zetora

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Martian (see comments)) (Pre-Modern era)

Occupation: Criminal, would-be world conqueror

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Kid Kaiju (Kei Kawade);
temporarily Abominable Snowman, Blip, Bruttu, Crawling Creature, Creature from Krogarr, Creature from the Black Bog, Fin Fan Foom, Googam, Goom, Gorgilla, Green Thing, Insect Man, It the Living Colossus, Klagg, Kraa, Metallo, Monsteroso, Monstro, Monstrom, Moomba, Oog, Orrgo, Pildorr, Quogg, Rommbu, Sporr, Thing that Crawled by Night, Tim Boo Ba, Ulvar, Vandoom's Monster, Zzutak

Enemies: Humanity, Leviathons, Martian police, Spot, John Warren

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "John Warren"

Base of Operations: New York City;
   formerly Mars

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#57/4 (March, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Possibly reptilian, the giant orange-skinned Zetora possessed great strength (perhaps Class 25 or greater). Having a tough armor-plated hide that was resistant to injury, he easily shrugged off attacks by machine guns and bazookas.

   Zetora could switch minds and bodies with another person--he only used this ability on a human, and it is unrevealed if he could perform this feat with other forms of life.  It was unrevealed if he possessed any additional paranormal abilities (see comments).

   Zetora utilized various items of his race's technology, including a spaceship, a disintegrator gun, and a radio.

   Despite his great strength and seeming invulnerability, Zetora had no resistance to common Earth bacteria, and he was apparently killed by these micro-organisms (see comments).

Height: 30' (by approximation) (see comments)
Weight: 40 tons (by approximation)
Eyes: White
Hair: Inapplicable

History:
(Journey into Mystery I#57/4 (fb) - BTS) - Zetora's past is largely unrevealed, but after committing an unspecified crime on Mars, he was forced to flee to Earth in a spaceship to escape the Martian police.

(Journey into Mystery I#57/4 (fb) ) - After landing in a wooded area, Zetora destroyed his spaceship in an effort to leave no evidence of his arrival on Earth.

(Journey into Mystery I#57/4) - To make his escape from the Martian police complete, Zetora sought out the perfect disguise--an Earthling, with whom he could exchange bodies. He came upon John Warren, who was in the woods searching for his runaway dog Spot. Zetora commanded Warren to look into his eyes, and moments later, the two had transposed bodies. As Zetora (in Warren's body) ran off, Warren (trapped in Zetora's form) went back to his neighborhood to get help to regain his own body.

   When Warren returned to his neighborhood, he tried to convince Sam Harris and the other residents that a Martian had assumed his identity; but it was a futile effort, for no one believed him, and his alien form only caused a panic--worst of all, "John Warren" (actually Zetora) scoffed at him and called him a liar. The police and militia were called, and when they arrived, they were prepared to shoot the giant "Martian".

   But tense seconds later, the runaway Spot returned--the dog happily ran to the "Martian" and gave him a friendly slobbering lick, yet he growled and attacked his master "John Warren". Seeing this as enough proof that the Martian had indeed switched bodies with Warren, a police officer held "Warren" at gunpoint and ordered him to reverse the body-swap; fearfully aware that the human body he possessed could not withstand a bullet, Zetora complied and returned himself and Warren to their own respective bodies. Zetora was then taken away by the authorities.

(Journey into Mystery I#58/1) - But moments after being locked in a jail cell, Zetora realized he had been foolish to transpose bodies with an Earthling, because his own bones and muscles were more powerful than any others on the planet, and he decided he needed no disguise. As he tore through the bars of his cell and fought past prison guards, Zetora thought that although he had to flee the police on Mars, he had nothing to fear on this planet; he planned to conquer the inferior life-forms of Earth and claim their world for Mars, then he would surely be given a pardon by his people and be allowed to return to his own planet. Zetora smashed through the wall of the prison courtyard and made his escape, then he walked toward New York City.

   By the time Zetora reached the metropolis, he found a battalion of battle-hardened troops awaiting him. But the soldiers were no match for the giant Martian, who easily withstood their artillery fire and crushed their tanks, and they were forced to retreat--to military leaders, it appeared that the Martian was invincible, and nothing short of an atomic bomb would stop him.

   Like a colossus on a rampage, Zetora strode through the streets of New York, scattering all who stood before him, until he reached his destination: The United Nations Building. Within the main assembly chamber of the UN, Zetora ordered the delegates to tell their governments to surrender, or else his attack would continue in their countries. Seeing that they had no alternative, the delegates handed over control of the planet to Zetora.

   After complimenting the delegates for their wise decision, Zetora pulled out his radio to contact Mars. But suddenly, the giant Martian felt ill--he was cold and weak, and he couldn't understand what was happening to him; with a heavy thud, Zetora slumped to the floor, and fifteen minutes later, he was dead.

   An autopsy later revealed that Zetora had been killed by Earth's bacteria, to which he had no resistance--ironically, the smallest things on the planet had destroyed the "Goliath from Mars," and Earth was free again.

SECRET WARS III HAPPENED

(Monsters Unleashed II#2) - The Inhuman Kid Kaiju summoned Zetora along with numerous other monsters to an area outside San Diego, California in defense against the Leviathons.

(Monsters Unleashed II#3) - Zetora joined the fight against the Leviathons. Earth's heroes watched the monsters summoned by Kid Kaiju defeat the Leviathons. After the battle Zetora and the other monsters were teleported back from where they came.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

The Martian Masters entry in the Marvel Legacy 1970s Handbook confirmed that this story did in fact take place in Reality-616 (mainstream Marvel Universe).
--David A. Zuckerman

Considering all of the extraterrestrial visitors/invaders claiming to be "Martians" (e.g. these, or this one, or this one, etc.), Zetora and his people were probably not natives of the red planet, but were only using it as a base.

Maybe Zetora learned that mind/body-swapping trick from the Ovoids (@ Fantastic Four I#10).

Zetora's height seemed to vary throughout his appearances in these stories--he was depicted as being taller than a two-story house, and he picked up an automobile with one hand, yet when he was taken away by the authorities, he only looked to be about 10 feet tall, and he seemed to be confined in a regulation-sized prison cell.  Maybe he was also able to somehow utilize size-altering "Pym Particles" to change his height, which would also explain how he hid his radio when he was imprisoned (i.e. he shrank it to microscopic size and concealed it in his clothing).--Ron Fredricks

Zetora's death was an homage/swipe of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, a novel in which invading Martians die in the same manner.

Perhaps before he died at the UN, Zetora managed to switch his mind into an onlooker's body (much like Doctor Doom did with Norman McArthur).--Ron Fredricks

Journey into Mystery I#57/4: This 6-page story--The Martian Who Stole My Body!--was reprinted in Fear#7 (May, 1972), and again in Monsters: The Marvel Monsterbus#1 (2017)

Journey into Mystery I#58/1: This 6-page story--Return of the Martian!--was reprinted in Monsters: The Marvel Monsterbus#1 (2017).

Original profile by FUTURE

Updated by Markus Raymond (Monsters Unleashed).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Zetora has known connection to:

Spot has no known connection to:

John Warren has no known connection to:


Sam Harris

He was John Warren's next-door neighbor. He called for help when he (understandably) didn't recognize Warren, because Warren's mind had been transferred into Zetora the Martian's body.

--Journey into Mystery I#57/4


Spot

Probably a Dalmatian, Spot was John Warren's dog. He was a loving pet, but Warren was annoyed by Spot's constant need for attention--besides his barking at the neighbor's cat and giving Warren slobbering licks, Spot always had to go out for a walk no matter how bad the weather; Warren was so aggravated that he considered selling Spot.

One day, Spot ran off into the woods, and when Warren went to look for the dog, he encountered Zetora, a Martian criminal; the giant Zetora transposed his mind with Warren's and assumed his identity.

When Warren (in Zetora's body) went back to his neighborhood for help, none of his neighbors believed his claim that a Martian had stolen his body, and "John Warren" (actually Zetora) called him a liar.

The police and militia arrived, but just as they were about to fire upon the giant, Spot came running back.  The dog still recognized his true master, despite his alien form, and gave the "Martian" a friendly slobbering lick; then Spot growled and attacked "John Warren".  When a policeman saw the dog's reaction, it was enough to prove to him the validity of (the real) Warren's claim; at gunpoint, the policeman forced Zetora to reverse the body-swap.  Afterward, Spot greeted his real master with his usual slobbering affection, and Zetora was taken into custody.

Afterward, Warren would never complain about anything Spot did again, and the man would be his dog's best friend.

--Journey into Mystery I#57/4


John Warren

Possibly a writer, Warren lived in a suburban house at 225 Elm Street with his dog Spot. He considered his dog to be a pest, because Spot always needed attention, and he thought about selling him ("...but no one else would be batty enough to buy him!")

One day, Spot ran off into the woods, and when Warren went to look for him, he encountered Zetora the Martian. The giant extraterrestrial criminal exchanged bodies with Warren. With his mind trapped inside Zetora's body, Warren went back to his neighborhood for help, but his alien appearance frightened his neighbors. Warren tried to convince the residents that his mind had been transferred into the alien's body, but no one believed him--worst of all, he saw his own body, now inhabited by the mind of the Martian criminal!

The militia and police were called, and they were about to shoot the giant creature. But when all seemed lost, the runaway Spot came running up and gave the "Martian" a friendly slobbering lick; then Spot growled and attacked his master "John Warren". Seeing the dog's reaction convinced the police that the incredible claim was true, and at gunpoint, they forced Zetora to reverse the body-swap.

After the incident, Zetora was taken into custody, and Warren would never complain about Spot again.

--Journey into Mystery I#57/4 (Journey into Mystery I#57/4, Journey into Mystery I#58/1 (fb)


Zetora's spaceship, disintegrator gun, and radio

The Martian criminal Zetora employed various devices of his people's technology, including:

Cosmic X-32 Spaceship: Used by Zetora to flee from the Martian police, it carried him to Earth. After he landed in a wooded area, Zetora wanted to erase all evidence of his arrival on the planet, so he used his Auto-Disintegrator to completely destroy the spaceship.

Auto-Disintegrator: A hand-held weapon, it fired a beam that completely disintegrated matter.  It was only used by Zetora once, when he destroyed his spaceship (Since Zetora was never seen using it again, perhaps the weapon's entire charge was expended on the spaceship?).

Cosmic Radio: Apparently hidden upon Zetora's person while he was confined in an Earth prison (see comments), it was a hand-held communications device. After he took over the United Nations Building and forced the delegates to surrender control of their countries, Zetora used the radio to attempt to contact Mars, but he collapsed and died before he could complete his transmission.

--Journey into Mystery I#57/4 ((fb) Cosmic X-32 Spaceship, Auto-Disintegrator); Journey into Mystery I#58/1 (Cosmic Radio)


images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Zetora (although here, John Warren's mind inhabits his body))
Journey into Mystery I#58/4, p4, pan4 (Headshot - Zetora challenges Earthlings)
Journey into Mystery I#58/1, p3, pan1 (Zetora fights his way through guards after breaking out of prison cell)
Journey into Mystery I#58/1, p6, pan6 (Zetora dies in United Nations Building)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p5, pan5 (Sam Harris)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p2, pan2 (Spot affectionately licks John Warren)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p6, pan4 (Spot growls at "John Warren" (actually Zetora in possession of Warren's body))
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p6, pan7 (Spot affectionately licks (the real) John Warren)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p2, pan5 (John Warren, searching for Spot in woods)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p5, pan7 (John Warren (in Zetora's body) confronts Zetora (in John Warren's body))
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p6, pan6 (before onlookers, the minds of John Warren and Zetora switch back to their own bodies)
Journey into Mystery I#57/4, p3, pan7 (Zetora narrates flashback as he destroys his spaceship with disintegrator gun)
Journey into Mystery I#58/4, p6, pan3 (in United Nations Building, Zetora attempts to use his radio to contact Mars)


Appearances:
Journey into Mystery I#57/4 (March, 1960) - unidentified writer, Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Journey into Mystery I#58/1 (May, 1960) - unidentified writer, Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Monsters Unleashed II#2 (April, 2017) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Greg Land (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Monsters Unleashed II#3 (April, 2017) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan & Michael Jason Paz (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


First Posted: 10/21/2004
Last updated: 03/05/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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