Real Name: Simon William Garth
Identity/Class: Human, zombie
Occupation: Servant of those who wield
the Amulets of Damballah;
Legal Status: Citizen of the U.S.A., legally dead
Group Membership: None
Former controllers: Phillip Bliss, Calypso, Donna Garth, Glory Grant, Gene Griggs, Gyps, Dora Katz, Lilith (Daughter of Dracula), Myrna Lukaikas, Fred Miller, Mister Six, Papa Shorty, Gideon Starr, Harvey Stoller
Affiliations: Phillip Bliss, Calypso,
Anton Cartier, Damballah, Kathy, Hannibal King, Layla, Moira Mason, Papa Doc, Papa Shorty, Sagbata (possibly, see
Enemies: Andre, Calypso, Glory Grant, Gene Griggs, Gyps, Hackman, Hellspawn, Katanya, Dora Katz, Lilith (Dracula), Myrna Lukaikas, Teddy Masterson, Fred Miller, Mister Six, Narcisse, Papa Nebo, Ramon, Richard Ricard, Robert, Shotgun (Walker), Spider-Man, Gideon Starr, Harvey Stoller, a pair of hunting dogs (deceased), unidentified mugger and bargoers
Known Relatives: Donna Garth (daughter), Bruce Mason (son-in-law, see Donna's comments), Miranda Garth (ex-wife)
Aliases: Formerly the Coffee King of New Orleans
Place of Birth: Birmingham, Alabama
Base of Operations: Mobile;
First Appearance: Menace#5 (July, 1953);
Powers/Abilities: As a zombie, Garth
possesses certain supernatural abilities derived from the loa (voodoo
spirits). Unlike most zombies, for some reason (perhaps due to
the spell of Layla) his spirit never fully left his body at death.
He was aware of his surroundings; when no one held the Amulet of
Damballah, he was free to act on his own. The person holding the
Amulet of Damballah controls his actions, but has at times he has
been able to exhibit his human persona and take control of his
own actions. He has even spoken on occasion.
The Zombie possesses enhanced strength (he can lift 1200 lbs.), can quickly regenerate from even extensive injuries, does not need to breathe or eat, and cannot feel physical pain. The use of a devil-doll or voodoo doll has been shown to be able to cause him incapacitating agony. There is no evidence that Simon Garth had to consume human flesh to maintain his existence as a zombie.
The Zombie cannot smell, taste, or feel. He can see and hear, but these are magical senses, rather than a function of his nervous system.
During his human lifetime, Garth was fiercely driven and a control freak, though he possessed a violent temper.
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Distinguishing Features: The Zombie's skin is yellowish, coarse, brittle, and in a state of decay.
(Tales of the Zombie#9 (fb) - BTS) - Simon Garth was a hero in an unspecified war.
(Tales of the Zombie#9 (fb)) - Simon married Miranda.
(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb)) - <25 years before the main story> - Simon Garth and Brian Stockwood became business partners, eventually forming Garwood Industries, the largest coffee distributor in the South via Garth Manor Coffee.
(Tales of the Zombie#9 (fb)) - Simon's intense desire to succeed financially led to strife at home.
(Tales of the Zombie#2 (fb) - BTS) - Simon Garth was longtime friends with Anton Cartier in Haiti.
(Tales of the Zombie#9 (fb)) - <10-12 years before#1> - After many public displays of violence, Miranda walked out on Simon Garth. They had a quiet divorce.
(Tales of the Zombie#2 (fb)) - Simon Garth brought his daughter, Donna, to Haiti, where he had his agent, Hackman, explain how they paid musicians to play along the field workers, as it markedly improved their productivity.
(Tales of the Zombie#1 (fb)) - After forbidding Donna from hanging out with one of her friends (a hippie!), Garth chastised his gardener Gyps for his slow work, telling him to sharpen his shears. His day at work consisted of him berating his partner and staff for a reluctance to increase production as the workers were already overextended. He returned home to find Gyps harassing Donna after catching her skinny-dipping; Garth savagely attacked Gyps, beating him, firing him, and throwing him off the grounds. However, a few hours later, as Garth left for a dinner party, Gyps ambushed him, smashing a bottle over his head and taking him out into the bayou where a "red sect" of voodoo practitioners planned a human sacrifice. The priestess of the ritual was Layla, Garth's secretary, who had fallen in love with, and she promised him that he would not die by her hand.
(Tales of the Zombie#1) - Layla pretended to be performing the sacrifice, but then suddenly cut Garth's restraints, allowing him to flee into the swamp. However, Gyps caught up to him and slew him with his shears (which he had indeed sharpened). Feeling cheated nonetheless with Garth's quick death, Gyps threatened to kill Layla unless she performed the ritual to transform Garth into a zombie. Upon digging out of his fresh grave, Garth went on a rampage, until one of the cultists threw one of the Amulets of Damballah around the Zombie's neck, giving its twin to Gyps, allowing him to control Garth.
(Menace#5/Tales of the Zombie#1/2) - Gyps sent Garth into town to steal some money for him. He killed and began robbing a man, but was caught in the act by a policeman. Rather than risk captured, the Zombie fled back to Gyps who whipped him for his failure until realizing the whipping bothered Garth in the least. Gyps then sent the Zombie to scare Donna Garth, intending to pretend to rescue her, hoping to earn her favor. The Zombie approached Donna, but upon seeing her he managed to throw off Gyps control, returning to his shack and killing his former master before returning to his bayou grave.
(Tales of the Zombie#1/6) - A few weeks after Simon Garth's disappearance, Detective Sam Jagger called in Donna Garth to confirm the identity of the dead Gyps. She confirmed this, after which she convinced Jagger to give her the amulet they had found at Gyps' shack (as she sensed some connection to her father). As she concentrated on the amulet, the Zombie emerged from his grave, killing a pair of hunting dogs that attacked him and driving off their abusive master. Later, as Donna headed home, Gene Griggs, a heroin addict, stole her purse. Griggs was annoyed with the three dollars he found in her purse, but kept the amulet, hoping he could sell it. Unaware that the Zombie was heading towards him, Griggs then killed a couple walking down the street to rob them, but the wife tore open his pocket as she tried to fight him off. The amulet fell to the ground, leaving the Zombie free from his control, and the Zombie grabbed his gun and forced Griggs to shoot himself in the head.
(Dracula Lives#2/5) - The Zombie was present in downtown New Orleans, nearly encountering Dracula.
(Tales of the Zombie#2) - The Zombie attacked a pair of grave robbers, Rafe and Mitch, who had been sent by Mr. Six to steal a magic ring from the corpse of Joseph Travers. The Zombie killed Mitch, but Rafe escaped. Sensing a connection to Haiti, the Zombie stowed away on a ship, on which Donna was also traveling. In Haiti he made his way to the Port-au-Prince home of his old friend Anton Cartier.
(Tales of the Zombie#2/9) - Cartier brought the Zombie to a cavern in the forest miles from his home to keep him hidden while he sought a means to return to normal. However, as soon as Cartier left he wandered out into woods, encountering Donna who had been transformed into a monstrous Spider-Thing by the treatment of Dr. Richard Ricard. The Spider-Thing attacked the Zombie, but her bites and venom did her no harm, and after exhausting herself she returned to normal form, passing out. The Zombie wandered back to its cavern before she revived.
(Tales of the Zombie#3) - Wandering out from his cavern, the Zombie was attacked by and slew a large constrictor. Vaguely remember his prior need to eat, he consumed the snake's flesh. He was later drawn to a voodoo ceremony, where the priestess Katanya had condemned and mutilated Moira Mason for disrupting the events by filming them. When Moira's husband Bruce agreed to become Katanya's zombie in exchange for restoring Moira, the zombie intervened to prevent Bruce from sharing his fate. The Zombie fought off the cultists and then, sensing her wishes, quickly killed Moira to end her torment.
(Tales of the Zombie#4)- The Zombie fought Katanya and her cultist, who wished vengeance for the theft of their victim. Katanya used a "devil-doll" to cause him to collapse to the ground, and her cultists cast the Zombie off of a cliff. He sank to the ocean floor, remaining inert until the other Amulet of Damballah was found by Phillip Bliss, who jokingly used it to call up a Zombie, little realizing that his call would be answered, as the Zombie began its trek across the ocean floor towards him.
(Tales of the Zombie#4/8) - A week later, the Zombie climbed onto the docks of New Orleans and confronted Phillip Bliss. Though initially terrified, Bliss soon realized the power he now wielded, and he directed the Zombie to wreak havoc in a courtroom, seeing this as enabling him to gain vengeance on the lawyers who had ruined Bliss' life.
(Tales of the Zombie#5) - Phillip Bliss attempted to grant the Zombie peace by digging a grave for him outside New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, Bliss' Amulet of Damballah was abducted by agents of Mr. Six; during the struggle, Bliss tried to summon the Zombie for help. The Zombie answered the call, but could only follow the mystic trail to the Amulet-- though he DID stop off at his old office and rampage through it briefly. Following the call of the Amulet, the Zombie ran into Robert, the chauffeur of Mr. Six, who was fleeing from a blood ritual conducted by Papa Shorty. The Zombie followed the orders of Shorty, who held the Amulet, to kill Robert, who Shorty then transformed into a zombie as well. Shorty then forced the two zombies to fight, and Garth quickly overpowered Robert and hurled him into a fire. When Phillip Bliss and his allies, Steve Bergen and Gene Gretsch, arrived in an effort to rescue the Zombie, Shorty commanded him to kill them. After the Zombie slew Phillip Bliss, Shorty became so amused that he dropped the Amulet; freed from his control, the Zombie took his vengeance on Shorty, killing him.
(Tales of the Zombie#6) - Back in the swamp, the Zombie attempted to return to his original grave, but was drawn to a ritual being conducted by Layla. The Zombie attacked the ritualists, but Layla proved capable of controlling him. Promising to bring him a final death, Layla led the Zombie through the bayou, but she became lost. When they came across the cabin of Eric Masterson, Layla asked for directions, but was instead thrown in with his monstrous son, Teddy. The Zombie went after Eric, who released Teddy to attack the Zombie. However, the brutish creature exhausted itself in a futile attempt to harm the Zombie, while Layla killed Eric when he tried to hide from the Zombie in the same room he had thrown her. Layla led the Zombie back into the bayou.
(Tales of the Zombie#7) - When Layla fell and knocked herself out on a log, the Zombie wandered off, observing from a distance the mystery of the deceased Brian Collier and his relatives, many of whom fell before a plot of Collier's lawyer, Jerome Ralston. The Zombie then intervened, killing Ralston and his partner-in-crime, Collier's grandson, Jason.
(Tales of the Zombie#8 (fb) - BTS) - Firefighter Fred Miller found the Amulet within the remains of Papa Shorty's oum'phor (temple).
(Tales of the Zombie#8) - Layla brought the Zombie to her grandfather, Papa Doc/Doc Kabel, in hopes that he could help her lay Garth to rest. He performed a ceremony and then gave her a gris-gris (a type of magical charm) that she could use to end the Zombie's curse. However, when she returned, he had wandered off again. He followed the call of Fred Miller, who was using the Amulet as a gag during a swinger's party. The Zombie burst into his house, but Miller soon realized he could use the Amulet to control the Zombie. Miller then used the Zombie to assault and terrify his neighbor, Ray Jordan, who had been complaining about the noise at his parties. One of Miller's friends, Harvey Stoller, used the Zombie to frighten to death his boss, Louis Garrison. Another of Miller's friends, Dora, sent the Zombie to assault a "snooty secretary who lords it over her typing pool at Garwood." Following the orders, the Zombie entered her apartment and smashed the woman in the head. Only afterwards did he realize that the secretary was Layla, who had been mortally wounded by the punch. In a daze, Layla pulled the Amulet of Damballah off of the Zombie, freeing him from Miller's control. His mind again his own, the Zombie traveled back down to Miller's car and slew everyone in it.
(Tales of the Zombie#9) - The dying Layla took
the gris-gris and had the Zombie carry her back to Papa Doc.
There she sacrificed her remaining life force, allowing Papa Doc
to perform a ritual that returned Simon Garth to life for 24
hours. He first informed the police about the red sect voodoo
cult that had attempted to perform a ritual sacrifice on him,
leading to the deaths or arrests of most of its members.
Returning to Garth manor, he learned from Anton Cartier that
Donna was getting married to Bruce Mason that day. He attended
the wedding, where he was reunited with his former wife, Miranda.
He arranged the sellout his half of Garwood, using it as a trust
for Donna and Miranda, as well as for Teddy Masterson,
administered jointly by Joan Masterson and Anton Cartier. From
Garwood he went to Cafe Six, where he confronted and killed
Mister Six and his assistant André. Fleeing the police, Garth
returned to his manor, where he briefly made his peace with
Miranda, before turning back into the Zombie.
(Daredevil Annual#9) - Calypso summoned Papa Doc to the grave of Simon Garth, where she killed him. Drinking his blood and taking his Talisman of Damballah, she performed a ritual which raised the Zombie once more. After having the creature demonstrate its strength for her, she then resurrected Hellspawn, and commanded the Zombie to kill the "e;Redman," as a way of testing his ability against her enemy Daredevil. The two creatures fought briefly before Hellspawn escaped. Furious at her follower's failure to protect her during the melee, Calypso then attacked the Zombie, at which point it somehow realized that she had captured the spirit of Papa Doc in an ornament called the Pot-De-Tete. The Zombie crushed the pot, releasing Doc's soul, then turned around and mindlessly walked away in search of "The Redman."
(Spider-Man Annual '97 (fb, (BTS))- In The Caribbean, an elderly woman possessed by the spirit of Calypso gave a vacationing Glory Grant one of the Talismans of Damballah, knowing of her strong mixed feelings of Spider-Man, another one of Calypso's enemies.
(Spider-Man Annual '97)- Arriving in New York by walking across the ocean floor, the Zombie climbed onto a pier, where two mafia men were preparing to kill a third by sinking him with concrete. The Zombie killed the two, then knocked the third into the water as well. He made his way to the apartment of Glory Grant, where Spider-Man found him standing on the fire escape outside. Attacking the creature, the two were knocked inside Grant's home, where the government special agent known as Shotgun was questioning Grant on her dealings while on vacation. Shotgun proceeded to shoot the Zombie in the gut, and then fought with Spider-Man. Grant then shot the Zombie as well, and it escaped.
Later on, while scuba diving for a dropped stash of illegal drugs, Shotgun and Grant once again encountered the Zombie, who attempted to attack Grant, only to be pinned to the side of a sunken ship by Shotgun. At this point, Calypso's spirit fully possessed Grant, and she knocked Shotgun unconscious. She then took the Zombie and Ramon, Grant's cousin whom she put under a spell to act like a zombie, to her real body's grave. Once the body was dug up, the Zombie attempted to take the Talisman of Damballah from Grant/Calypso, only to have Ramon attack him. After the Zombie knocked him out, Spider-Man arrived on the scene, and kept the Zombie occupied while Calypso returned her spirit to her true body and escaped. Grant, now in full capacity of her mind, used the Talisman to command the Zombie to stop, and upon handing it to him, he lumbered away.
(Spider-Man Unlimited I#20 (BTS))- Lilith gained possession of one of the Talismans, and began to use the Zombie to gather victims for her.
(Spider-Man Unlimited I#20) - The Zombie attacked a group of homeless youths, in particular one boy whom Lilith desired to be brought to her. Lilith then sent Simon to Times Square to stage a rampage to draw in Spider-Man. Catching him, the Zombie brought Spider-Man back to Lilith's lair, where she used him as a test to prove Hannibal King's loyalty to her. King instead ripped the Talisman from her throat and commanded the Zombie to free Spider-Man. The three of them fought off Lilith and her vampire horde until Lilith escaped. King then returned to New Orleans and returned both Talismans and the Zombie to Simon's daughter Donna, who promised to bury him.
(Strange Tales V#1/3)- Donna Garth sent the Zombie to attack Papa Nebo and Narcisse, two men who attacked and killed her best friend, Angelina Beliard. The Zombie killed Nebo, and dragged Narcisse to Angelina's tomb, locking him inside alive, with the zombified Angelina.
(Legion of Monsters: Man-Thing#1/2) - The Zombie was found in
the wreckage after a swamp gas explosion destroyed a city block. He was taken to
Gerber Hospital, where -- after searching for the morgue attendant Kathy -- he
wandered out and killed a mugger (saving his female attacker). In the Rabbit's
Hole bar, he found a punk woman who wanted him to make her his corpse bride;
when he refused to kill her, she and her friends attacked him. He stood there as
they badly beat him until a cop stopped them.
The Zombie was taken back to the morgue where he was apparently kissed by a female corpse/zombie, and they broke out of the morgue and dug themselves a shallow grave in the wilderness.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Bill
Daredevil I#113 revealed that the shack that provided
the setting for the Zombie story in Tales of the Zombie#6 was the shack in which Ted Sallis did his research.
The cover for Tales of the Zombie#7 was
apparently used as the basis for the poster for the movie "Virgin Among the
Living Dead," by Jesus Franco:
At the end of Ka-Zar the Savage#34 (October, 1984) there is a back-up story that has Ka-Zar going to the Land of Cancelled Heroes. There is a ton of cameos from chacters whose books were cancelled including the Zombie.
Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier, Madison Carter, and Snood for the images.
by Snood, Prime Eternal, and Madison Carter
Simon Garth, the Zombie, should not be confused with:
Amulets of Damballah
--Tales of the Zombie#1
Simon's ex-wife, she was the only child of one of New Orleans' oldest families. They had a daughter, Donna, but eventually his placement of his career over her, and their public and violent confrontations led her to leave him. After a quiet divorce, 10-12 years went by without even a Christmas card. Miranda next saw Simon at Donna's wedding; she was impressed with how he had changed, as he actually cared about Donna and her happiness over his own opinions. The two made peace with each other, and might have even started anew, but Simon reverted back into Zombie form. Though he did everything possible to hide this from Miranda, she learned the truth when Det. Sam Jagger called out to the Zombie.
--Tales of the Zombie#1, (seen)#9 (9(fb), [1 - BTS], 9
Images taken from:
zombie1.jpg - OHOTMU#14, page 32
zombie 2.jpg - Curse of the Weird (reprinting Menace#5), page 1, panel 1
zombie3.jpg - Daredevil Annual#9, story 3, page 53, panel 1
zombie4.jpg - Peter Parker: Spider-Man '97, page 35, panel 4
zombie5.jpg - Spider-Man Unlimited I#20, page 2, panel 1
zombie6.jpg - Strange Tales V(?)#1, story 3, page 53, panel 8
Tales of the Zombie#1 (cover)
Bizarre Adventures#33, p5, panel 2 (Amulet)
Tales of the Zombie#2 (October, 1973)
Dracula Lives#2 (1973) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Gene Colan (pencils), Dick Giordano (inks)
Tales of the Zombie#3 (January, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#4 (March, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#5 (May, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#6 (July, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#7 (September, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#8 (November, 1974)
Tales of the Zombie#9 (January, 1975)
Bizarre Adventures#33 (December, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Dave Simons (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Daredevil Annual#9 (July 1993) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Scott De La Rosa (inks)
Spider-Man '97 Annual (1997) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Shawn McManus (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Spider-Man Unlimited I#20 (May 1998) - Christopher Golden (writer), Joe Bennett (pencils), Joe Pimentel (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Strange Tales IV#1 (September 1998)
Legion of Monsters: Man-Thing#1/2 (May, 2007) - Ted McKeever (story & art), Nicole Boose (assistant editor, Ralph Macchio (consulting editor), John Barber (editor)
Last updated: 09/29/07
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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