ZODIAK

Real Name: Norman Harrison

Identity/Class: Human, mystically-enhanced

Occupation: Drug dealer; hitman, serial killer;
    formerly occult bookstore owner

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: the Dykkors, Stig, the Seven, Tim, unnamed demon

Enemies: Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale), Rintrah, Suicide, Topaz

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Zodiac Killer, Zodiak Killer

Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York

First Appearance: Ghost Rider III#10 (February, 1991)

Powers/Abilities: The demons inhabiting Zodiak's body allow him to manifest their abilities in various ways. He can glide through air and control the flow of water. He can create "Taurus" horns upon his head that are capable of rending metal and "Leo" claws on his hands. He can fire at least two different types of electric/kinetic energy blasts, one he refers to as the "Arrows of Sagitarius" and the other "Scorpion Stings." Another of his powers is to use a "Libra" bola to create a force field between himself and others. During the "Gemini" stage of a year, Zodiak can infuse a mechanical duplicate with his personality and powers as well. Zodiak also employs a mystically-powered gun and a floating platform.

Height: 6'
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Multiple, originally brown
Hair: Brown

History:
(Ghost Rider III#20 (fb), Dr. Strange III#28 (fb) - BTS) - Norman Harrison ran an occult bookstore, where he encountered twelve demons called the Dykkors, who offered him enormous power in return for killing humans, which caused them to multiply. He accepted, and they merged with him, turning him into Zodiak.

(Ghost Rider III#10 (fb) - BTS) - Zodiak murdered Hector Sorgone and Sorgone's son. This was the fourth such murder by the then-dubbed "Zodiac Killer" in two months.

(Ghost Rider III#10) - Getting information from a drug dealer named Stig, Ghost Rider tracked down who he believed to be Zodiak. The two fought, but Zodiak revealed he was only a doppelganger, and the real Zodiak was watching the battle from afar. Ghost Rider destroyed the mechanical duplicate. The real Zodiak taunted Ghost Rider with his deeds, explaining he was just killing drug smugglers with links to their mutual employer, and then escaped.

(Ghost Rider III#11) - Zodiak arrived in a recreational yard, having been tipped by Stig that Ghost Rider would be there.

(Ghost Rider III#12) - Ghost Rider followed Zodiak's trail into a nearby building, where he discovered four children encased in a ball of mystical energy, being torn apart by its power, with a group called "The Seven" channeling the energies. Zodiak and his men caught Ghost Rider by surprise and, using guns mystically powered by Zodiak's employers, took him down. However, Dr. Strange and his companions Topaz and Rintrah entered and saved Ghost Rider. The Seven lost their focus in the ritual, and caused the energy ball to explode, releasing a demon that Dr. Strange quickly sent back to its home dimension. Ghost Rider then found one of Zodiak's doppelgangers, which taunted him before being destroyed.

(Dr. Strange III#28) - While stalking Topaz, Zodiak slashed a policeman's throat with his Leo claw. However, when he fired his Scorpio sting into Topaz's chest, he was surprised to see that he had instead wounded Rintrah, who had swapped forms with Topaz to lead Zodiak away from her. Nonetheless, wounding Rintrah drew out Topaz, and Zodiak charged her with his Taurus horns. Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider (Ketch) then arrived (exiting the realm of the Dykkors, whom they had been battling) in time to save Topaz. Ghost Rider attacked Zodiak savagely, though he suspected that this was only a mechanical doppelganger of Zodiak. This belief made him overconfident, and, revealing himself to be the real deal, Zodiak pulled out a Libra-inspired bola, smashed him down and then spun the bola, "balancing the scales" by creating an energy barrier that shielded him while he vanished. After failing to locate Zodiak, Strange and Ghost Rider parted ways, with Strange predicting a swift recovery for Rintrah.

(Ghost Rider III#19) - Some time later, Ghost Rider began his search for Zodiak again, and started attacking drug dealers in an effort to locate him or send a message to him. One of these dealers, Tim, did manage to get the message back to Zodiak, who then killed another innocent person to lure Ghost Rider to him. Once Ghost Rider arrived, Zodiak (actually Tim forced to dress and act like Zodiak) blasted him with one of the guns, and challenged him to come get him. After an impromptu fight with Suicide, Ghost Rider found Zodiak/Tim and unmasked him. As Suicide attacked Ghost Rider again, Ghost Rider forced him to watch Tim slip away and die. The real Zodiak then arrived and blasted Ghost Rider with the gun again, but it proved not to be powerful enough to kill the hero. When Ghost Rider destroyed the weapon, Zodiak took flight to escape, but was knocked into a subway station.

(Ghost Rider III#20) - Zodiak took a woman hostage in an attempt to keep Ghost Rider at bay. Suicide, wishing death, realized that as long as Ghost Rider was preoccupied with Zodiak he wouldn't bother with him, attacked Zodiak, causing him to release the woman. Zodiak tried to stave off the attack by throwing Suicide in front of a moving train, upon which he and Ghost Rider jumped and continued fighting. Zodiak tried to make his escape again, into the sewer system. When Ghost Rider managed to unmask the killer, he was shocked to see that Zodiak possessed twelve eyes. Escaping once again, Zodiak made his way to a theater, where he again took hostages and revealed his origins to Ghost Rider. Another escape attempt led Zodiak into a car with a pregnant woman, whom he took hostage. However, both Ghost Rider and Suicide caught up with him, and as Ghost Rider exclaimed he wouldn't take a life, Suicide, disgusted, lunged at Zodiak, sending them both off the bridge they were on and onto pointed spikes sticking out of the garbage of a ship below them. Suicide, due to his pact with Mephisto, revived, and he and Ghost Rider took Zodiak's body to a crematorium, where they burned it.

Comments: Created by Howard Mackie, Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira.

    I wonder if Mackie realized in creating Zodiak that the previous Ghost Rider had fought a villain possessing all the powers of the zodiac as well?

    Zodiak's powers are a little ill-defined. He's shown controlling a stream of water (Aquarius), using two different blasts (after Sagitarius and Scorpio), creating bull-like horns on his forehead (Taurus), hand-claws (Leo), a force field (Libra) and imbuing doppelgangers with his likeness (Gemini). However, unless I'm missing something, he never displays the powers of any of the other zodiac signs (I'm not sure which one would account for his flight).

    Zodiak himself is a little ill-defined as well. At one point he uses a small platform to ride in the air, but the rest of the time, he can fly/glide. He seems to have doubts that the guns provided for him are truly magic, despite his being the product of demons. He even claims to have disguised his hits as zodiac killings just to make the police think an insane serial killer was out there, even though he actually possesses the zodiac powers. And what exactly IS his occupation? He apparently deals in drugs, kills the same drug smugglers he deals with later, though they all apparently work for the demons he serves. Why? And what do drug smugglers and demons have to do with one another? How does this fit into the Dykkors' plan for him to help them multiply by killing others? Wouldn't it be easier just to be a little more random? He's using children for some sort of ritual for the Dykkors in GRIII#12, but this appears to be a new bit for him, as his exchange with Ghost Rider earlier seems to imply that the son of Hector Sorgone was killed by accident during his hit on Sorgone, and he usually only kills the drug smugglers and dealers. I tell ya, this started out as a really cool series, but in the second year, the wheels really started to fall off.

    The Dykkors can presumably be considered either BTS or even on-panel during the Inferno cross-over from years before, but since there's no way of telling them apart from the rest of the demons that came through from Limbo, detailing their appearances in such are near-impossible.

Inferno was a company-wide crossover centered around a few X-titles (X-Terminators#1-4, Uncanny X-Men#239-243, New Mutants I#71-73 and X-Factor I#36-39) with dozens of tie-in issues (Amazing Spider-Man I#311-313, Avengers I#298-300, Excalibur I#6-7, Daredevil I#262-263, 265, Power Pack I#42-44, Cloak & Dagger III#4, Fantastic Four I#322-324, Spectacular Spider-Man II#146-148, Web of Spider-Man#47-48 & a few others). Demons were seen left and right all the time and it is impossible to tell which ones were Dykkors.
--Markus Raymond

Oh, and one more thing. Zodiak's little cape was mis-colored in GRIII#19. The rest of the time it's a slightly darker green than his costume, but in this issue, it's purple.

Zodiak received an entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#2.

Profile by Madison Carter

CLARIFICATIONS:
Zodiak should not be confused with:

  • Zodiac Cartel, criminal cartel led by Scorpio (Jacob Fury), @ Avengers I#72
  • Zodiac (LMD/androids), android version of cartel created by Scorpio, @ Defenders I#49
  • Zodiac (First Sign), sought to remove astrological influence from mankind, @ Captain America I#449
  • Zodiac, agents of Ecliptic, @ Alpha Flight II#1
  • "Boardroom" Zodiac (Scorpio), @ Avengers I#57
  • Zodiacs, foot soldiers of Zodiac (First Sign), @ Captain America I#449
  • Zodiac Key, power item, created by Brotherhood of Ankh, @ Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD I#1
  • Zodiac Key , @Avengers III#57
  • Zodiac Star-Blaster, @Avengers I#12
  • Mister Zodiac (Astro), mutated by volcano 4000 years ago, @Spider-Man Zaps Mr. Zodiac
  • One-Man Zodiac, Aquarius, possessing the powers of all of the Zodiac cartel, @ Ghost Rider II#6

THE DYKKORS

    A race of demons formerly serving Dormammu, used by him in an invasion attempt of earth. They later gained entrance to Earth during the events of Inferno (thanks to N'Astirh & the Goblin Queen (Madelyne Pryor) ). Though banished soon after by various X-teams, they had developed a thirst for the bloodshed on Earth. They thus empowered Zodiak to provide the carnage they sought. Each time Zodiak shed human blood, the Dykkors increased in numbers.

--Dr. Strange I#172 (Dr. Strange I#172-173, Dr. Strange III#28 (fb), Ghost Rider III#20 (fb), Dr. Strange III#28
















THE SEVEN

A group of seven demons, presumably members of the Dykkors, who performed some sort of ritual for Zodiak which involved four children. During a battle between Zodiak, Ghost Rider and Dr. Strange, they lost concentration during the ritual, causing the energy ball they were maintaining to break, releasing an unnamed demon.

--Ghost Rider III#12
















STIG

A small-time drug dealer who Ghost Rider used his penance stare on to gain information of Zodiak's whereabouts. He was later found by Danny Ketch (Ghost Rider's alter ego) and when Ketch questioned him again on Zodiak, Stig called the killer.

--Ghost Rider III#10, 11
















TIM

A small-time drug dealer who Ghost Rider abducted to question about Zodiak. When he reported back to Zodiak, his face was mutilated and he was forced to wear one of Zodiak's costumes to confront Ghost Rider. He died soon after being unmasked..

--Ghost Rider III#19
















unnamed demon

A demon that was released when the Seven lost their focus on a ritual sacrifice. It was sent back to its dimension by Dr. Strange. .

--Ghost Rider III#12
















Images taken from:
Ghost Rider III#10, page 14, panel 3 (full body)
Ghost Rider III#20, page 18, panel 4 (normal face)
Ghost Rider III#20, page 15, panel 4 (possessed face)
Ghost Rider III#20, page 18, panel 2 (The Dykkors)
Ghost Rider III#12, page 19, panel 2 (the Seven)
Ghost Rider III#11, page 6, panel 4 (Stig)
Ghost Rider III#19, page 9, panel 1 (Tim)
Ghost Rider III#12, page 18, panel 1 (unnamed demon)


Ghost Rider III#10-12 (February-April 1991) - Howard Mackie (writer), Javier Saltares (#10, 12) & Larry Stroman (#11) (pencils), Mark Texeira & Jimmy Palmiotti (#12) (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Dr. Strange III#28 (April, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Chris Marrinan (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Ghost Rider III#19-20 (November-December 1991) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mark Texeira (#19) & Ron Wagner (#20) (pencils), Mark Texeira (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)

Last updated: 03/07/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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