Real Name: Zarek
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Kree)
Citizen of the Kree Empire, though officially considered a traitor
former Imperial Minister of the Kree Empire
Group Membership: Formerly the Lunatic Legion (Fer-Por, Sro-Himm, three others unidentified), the ruling class of the Kree Empire
Affiliations: Alpha Primitives, Doctor Vere, Maximus (unknown even to him), unidentified Kree separatists;
formerly a Living Laser robot, Nimrod, Nitro, Ronan the Accuser, Uatu the Watcher, Yon-Rogg;
duped into false alliance with the Supreme Intelligence
Enemies: Ant-Man (Hank Pym), Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), Inhumans, Rick Jones, Kree, Ronan the Accuser, Super-Sentry, the Supreme Intelligence, Wasp, worshippers of Tam-Bor, Kree interbred with other races
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Lord Zarek, Zo
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
last seen on planet Kree-Lar;
formerly the ancient Kree city in the "Blue Area of the Moon ," on Earth's moon
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes II#12 (December, 1967)
Powers/Abilities: As a blue Kree, Zarek has enhanced strength, stamina, and durability. He has some training in the Kree militia, with extensive knowledge of the political intricacies of the Kree Empire. He has access to various Kree technologies, including faster-than-light starships. Zarek used an illusion chamber, combined with technology that enhanced Mar-Vell's power, while posing as Zo.Height: 6'2"
(Captain Marvel I#16 (fb) - BTS) - A pureblood blue Kree, now in the minority due to millennia of intermixing with alien races as a result of the Supreme Intelligence's liberal policies, Imperial Prime Minister Zarek saw his race being corrupted. He sought to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence and place himself as leader of the Kree Empire.
(Untold Legend of Captain Marvel#1) - Zarek projected a holographic image to the war-deck of the Imperial cruiser Pama, speaking before Commander Zen-Pram and his crew (including Yon-Rogg, Mar-Vell, and Una), and a projection of the Supreme Intelligence. After the Supremor stressed the secrecy of the mission, he told them all that they had been hand-selected for this mission, which involved locating and either rescuing or destroying the missing ship and crew of Admiral Devros; the ship had ceased contact two cycles before in the Absolom sector, and Devros himself held enough sensitive information--deployments, troop movements, perimeter defenses--in his head to cripple the Kree's military endeavors.
(Captain Marvel I#41 (fb) - BTS) - The Supremor manipulated Zarek and his plots in order to turn Mar-Vell into a powerful champion
(Captain Marvel I#16 (fb) - BTS) - Zarek created a powerful magnetic weapon within the "living idol" Tam-Bor, pagan god of Kree-Lar's frozen wastelands.
(Captain Marvel I#16 (fb) - BTS) - Zarek found a willing ally
in Ronan, who--following his defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four--wished
to see Earth annihilated and was enraged when it was determined to merely keep
Earth under observation. Ronan and Zarek decided to take a hero of the Kree
Empire and have the mission to Earth turn him traitor. They would then
manipulate the traitor through the ruse of Zo into returning to Hala to be slain
by Ronan and named responsible for the menace of Tam-Bor.
Further, the lax policies of the Supreme Intelligence would be blamed, while Zarek and Ronan would be acclaimed for discovering what their ruler had not; and that acclaim would carry them in, and the Supreme Intelligence out.
(Marvel Super-Heroes II#12) - Zarek contacted Captain Mar-Vell on his new assignment aboard the Helion, telling him that both Sentry#459 and Ronan the Accuser had failed in their missions on Earth. Zarek told Mar-Vell the task (investigating Earth?) now fell to him and he must not fail.
(Captain Marvel I#1) - Zarek stood behind Ronan as he communicated with Mar-Vell's superior, Yon-Rogg, voicing their displeasure at his having jeopardized their vastly important mission by pursuing a personal vendetta. Ronan said that Mar-Vell himself was of no concern, but that if Yon-Rogg jeopardized the mission again, he would face Ronan the Accuser.
(Captain Marvel I#11 - BTS) - After Yon-Rogg set Mar-Vell on
an uncontrollable faster-than-light trip across space aboard an
Earth rocket too weak to stop its momentum, Mar-Vell traveled for 112 days
before coming to a small planet. Lacking the power to slow his flight, Mar-Vell's
rocket would have burnt up in re-entry until some sort of inertial-dampening ray
brought him to land harmlessly. Mar-Vell collapsed from exhaustion, but was
swiftly recovered by a number of beautiful female nurses, who then vanished.
Beyond an enormous gate, Mar-Vell encountered Zo, a towering obelisk that spoke
like a thing alive, who told him that he had brought him there via infinite
wisdom and planning. Zo claimed to be beyond Mar-Vell's understanding, but
encouraged him to act on the last motivation within him: revenge. Zo offered
Mar-Vell the power to destroy Yon-Rogg, and Mar-Vell agreed to serve Zo's will
in exchange. Zo bathed Mar-Vell in energy that granted him great power: the
power to release energy able to destroy the Daxilium (the strongest alloy known
to Kree science) monitor bracelet through which Yon-Rogg could observe and
deliver pain to Mar-Vell. Zo stripped Mar-Vell of his Uni-Beam as he would have
no further use for it, and then told him of his power of teleporting at faster
than the speed of light (he really appeared to be flying fast, not
teleporting), enhanced strength (able to smash boulders with a single blow),
and the ability of projecting illusions.
Zo told Mar-Vell to destroy Yon-Rogg, after which he would become Zo's slave forever, and Mar-Vell accepted his terms.
(Captain Marvel I#12 - BTS) - Zo sent Mar-Vell on his way, though he told him he could instantly return at will to access any of the knowledge of the universe that rested within Zo. Mar-Vell returned to Earth at the speed of thought, but decided to bide his time to savor his revenge on Yon-Rogg.
(Captain Marvel I#13 - BTS) - Mar-Vell confronted Yon-Rogg, but was forced to leave before killing him in order to rescue Carol Danvers from the Man-Slayer.
(Captain Marvel I#14 - BTS) - Mar-Vell transported himself back to Zo, who appeared as a globule of energy, telling Mar-Vell that he had squandered his new powers foolishly and that Zo's patience was at an end. Zo instructed him to return to his home planet in the Kree Galaxy, where he would have a short period of time in which to do as he wished. When Zo was ready, Mar-Vell must perform the duties he designated.
(Captain Marvel I#16 (fb) - BTS) - Despite Zarek's elaborate mind-shields, the Supreme Intelligence discovered his and Ronan's plots.
(Captain Marvel I#15 - BTS) - As Mar-Vell approached his
homeworld, Zo showed him the past and possible future destruction of Earth (via
nuclear war). Zo further showed Mar-Vell his own future, which involved planting
a bomb on Kree-Lar. Zo told him that this was his irrevocable destiny, as Zo had
willed it to be thus; Zo then claimed to be the power that controlled the
universe, expanding into a massive energy form which dwarfed all else in space.
Zo then pulled (or seemed to pull) Mar-Vell through a "terrifying vortex without
time or dimension," which ended with a beautiful enchanted galaxy that was too
much for Mar-Vell to ponder. The dazed Mar-Vell accepted that Zo was some
supremely powerful being, but then wondered what sort of force could be at work
on Kree-Lar that would be beyond Zo's ken, forcing him to send Mar-Vell against
it. Zo then brought Mar-Vell through an apparent Heaven and then Hell. With Mar-Vell
thoroughly convinced of his power, Zo told him that Kree-Lar, his home planet
and the capital of the Kree galaxy, must now be destroyed. Zo refused to explain
its reasons, instead showing Mar-Vell an image of an idol of Tam-Bor, the pagan
god of Kree-Lar's frozen wastelands, telling him that the idol housed the
greatest magnetic storehouse ever devised, which would ultimately exert pressure
on the magnetic poles of other worlds, pulling them out of orbit, and "bringing
about the end of all that is!" Zo also told Mar-Vell that the source of the
magnetic power was the heart of the planet itself, and then Zo sent Mar-Vell to
Kree-Lar, telling him the fate of the universe was in his hands.
Mar-Vell was swiftly recognized as a fugitive and pursued by the Accuser Corps, but both Mar-Vell and the head Accuser were then captured by a warship of the followers of Tam-Bor.
(Captain Marvel I#16) - Mar-Vell was brought before Tam-Bor
and hurled towards him, intending that he be destroyed by its magnetic force.
Mar-Vell successfully entered Tam-Bor and found it containing machinery of
recent Kree design. Ronan appeared and sentenced him to death, but Mar-Vell survived
long enough to activate his helmet's self-destruct mechanism and hurl it into
Tam-Bor's controls. The fiery blast set off a chain reaction that went from
generator to generator, destroying Tam-Bor. Mar-Vell was ironically protected by
the energy field from Ronan's Universal Weapon, and then the Super-Sentry
appeared and transported them both to the Hall of Judgment on planet Hala. The
Supreme Intelligence named Mar-Vell as a mere pawn, and revealed the true
criminal to have been Zarek, who had created the illusion of Zo and used it to
condition Mar-Vell, and who had been in alliance with Ronan.
After confessing his crimes and revealing his motivations, Zarek was transported away by Ronan, who sent a Negatron Sphere to destroy Mar-Vell and the Supreme Intelligence. However, the Supreme Intelligence's equipment neutralized the attack, and Zarek and Ronan were apprehended by the Supremor's guardsmen.
(Captain Marvel I#38 (fb) - BTS) - Zarek gathered a group of like-minded blue Kree who wished to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence, stop the interbreeding between the Kree and other races, and restore the Blue dominance of the Kree Empire. Making their base in the ancient city built by the Kree many millennia before, they took the name Lunatic Legion as a play on the old terran term for the moon, luna.
(Captain Marvel I#38 (fb) - BTS / (Captain Marvel I#39 (fb) - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion feared Uatu the Watcher, whose home was within that same city, would oppose them. However, Uatu, having become intoxicated by his recent direct involvement in the adventures of Earth heroes, had actually become jealous of Mar-Vell for having become the Protector of the Universe, the life he wished. Uatu welcomed the Legion, agreeing to help defeat Mar-Vell
(Captain Marvel I#34 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#8: Nitro / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#9: Nitro) - The Lunatic Legion detected the broadcasts of eccentric ham radio operator Robert Hunter and chose him as their agent. They converted him (the most difficult of their converts) to their cause, promising him great power in exchange for his services in their criminals activities. They took Hunter to a hidden orbiting genetics laboratory where they genetically and atomically re-engineered his body, giving him the power to explode and re-form at will and named him Nitro the Exploding Man.
(Captain Marvel I#34 - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion contacted Nitro, sending him to acquire the dangerous nerve gas, Compound Thirteen. Captain Mar-Vell defeated Nitro by temporarily dispersing his atoms, but was exposed to the nerve gas. Initially recovering, he would eventually develop cancer from this exposure, which would prove to be fatal.
(Captain Marvel I#37 (fb) - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion created the robot Nirmod.
(Captain Marvel I#35 (fb) - BTS / Captain Marvel I#37 (fb) - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion created a robot duplicate of the Living Laser, using a processed and ground moon rock as part of its laser weapon. The robot posed as the original and served as one of their field agents.
(Captain Marvel I#35 - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion sent the Living Laser robot to kill Rick Jones, but it was destroyed by the Wasp and Ant-Man (Hank Pym).
(Captain Marvel I#36 - BTS) - Uatu the Watcher revealed that his own home served as the base of the Lunatic Legion. Uatu further claimed that when Mar-Vell came there to defend himself from the Lunatic Legion, he would see that it was actually Uatu himself that desired his demise, and that he would be forced to murder Mar-Vell.
(Captain Marvel I#37) - Ant-Man and the Wasp told Mar-Vell
that the Living Laser had referenced serving the Lunatic Legion, and further
explained to Mar-Vell that the word Lunatic was derived from "Luna," the moon,
before showing him a ruby from the Living Laser's weapon that was actually a
processed chunk of moon rock like that brought back by astronauts.
Mar-Vell departed for the moon soon after, and was assaulted by Nimrod as soon as entered orbit. Mar-Vell's cosmic awareness told him that Nimrod was a robot, and Mar-Vell swiftly destroyed it. However, as he arrived on the moon, his senses were thrown off by Rick, who had semi-unwittingly taken a psychoactive drug a friend had given him as "Vitamin C." Uatu then confronted and attacked Mar-Vell, easily incapacitating his off-balance form. Uatu brought Mar-Vell to a table, and the Lunatic Legion approached from the shadows.
(Captain Marvel I#38) - Zarek and his allies strapped the
disoriented Mar-Vell into a Protonic Disintegrator, designed to destroy mind and
body alike, but Mar-Vell exchanged places with Rick Jones, and his "opposite
mental polarity" proved immune to its effects. Wishing to slay Mar-Vell via the
traditional Protonic Disintegration method, the Legion chose not to kill Rick
Jones, but rather to figure out how to retrieve Mar-Vell from the Negative Zone.
Meanwhile, Mar-Vell purged himself of his delirium and then changed places with
Rick again, catching the Legion by surprise. Deciding that killing Mar-Vell
would be even more enjoyable than an execution, the Legion attacked him. Though
initially still off-balance, Mar-Vell soon found that Rick's mind was actually
merged with his own, further increasing his speed and strength, and he took out
four of the Legion members. Waiting until Mar-Vell was distracted, Zarek and
Sro-Himm ambushed him, clanging his Nega-Bands together and forcing him to
change places with Rick again. Rick was held helpless, but he and Mar-Vell then
joined their wills and forced the exchange without the Nega-Bands. Mar-Vell
broke free and ducked Zarek's punch, which knocked out Sro-Himm, and he then
decked Zarek. Zarek begged Uatu for aid, but Uatu stood passively as Mar-Vell
knocked out Zarek.
Uatu apologized for his actions and summoned other Watchers, who brought him back to Watcherworld for a trial over his breaking the Oath of Non-Interference.
(Captain Marvel I#41 (fb) - BTS) - The Lunatic Legion departed the moon, returning to Hala. There the Supreme Intelligence summoned them, pretending to agree to an alliance to defeat Mar-Vell, when it really knew Mar-Vell could easily defeat them. Its true motive was to bring Mar-Vell and Rick Jones to its presence, that it might assimilate the human Rick Jones via his connection to Mar-Vell in order to kickstart its own dead-end evolution.
(Captain Marvel I#41) - Mar-Vell traveled to Hala, met with the Supreme Intelligence, and told him of the Lunatic Legion's plot, but he revealed that he had known it all along as the Lunatic Legion stepped from the shadows. However, with his powers amplified by directly merging with Rick, Mar-Vell made short work of the Lunatic Legion. The Supreme Intelligence revealed its motives, but Rick and Mar-Vell thwarted its efforts and he transported them away.
(Annihilation: Ronan#3) - Zarek was one of a number of beings who traveled to the planet Godthab Omega, presumably drawn there by Glorian. The newly arrived group witnessed the arrival of the Annihilation Wave/Swarm.
(Annihilation: Ronan#4 - BTS) - The new arrivals' fates are unrevealed, though Glorian eventually wiped out the Annihilation Wave.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#2 (fb) - BTS) - Zarek survived and returned to Hala. During the Inhumans' reign over the Kree Empire Zarek allied with Doctor Vere, secretly a robot created by the Inhuman Maximus, and several unidentified Kree separatists to restore the noble houses of the Kree and drive out the Inhuman usurpers.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#1 - BTS) - Doctor Vere tested the effect of an Omni-Wave Generator to control Alpha Primitives and sent some of them into a blind rage in the Terrigen Chamber. The enraged Alpha Primitives encountered the visiting Crystal and Ronan.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#2 - BTS) - The enraged Alpha Primitives were defeated by Ronan and Crystal.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#2) - In their base in Hala City's Northern Radius Suburbs Doctor Vere informed Zarek of the successful test to control Alpha Primitives with his Omni-Wave Generator. He promised Zarek that within a week the Alpha Primitives would rise in mass and revolt against the Inhumans, ending their reign over the Kree Empire and aiding the noble houses of the Kree to return to power.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#3 (fb) - BTS) - Trusted by the people of Hala Crystal learned of separatists active in the Northern Radius Suburbs and led her husband Ronan and his soldiers to Zarek's hideout.
(Realm of Kings: Inhumans#3) - Although they were surprised by the raid Zarek and the separatists fought back. Zarek questioned Ronan's patriotism and called Crystal a mere lab animal and was beaten to a pulp by Ronan for this affront. Zarek barely survived and was arrested along with the other separatists after Crystal, Ronan and the Kree soldiers defeated more Alpha Primitives sent against them by Doctor Vere, who, to their surprise, turned out to be a robot created by Maximus (he was following Medusa's orders, who needed the Kree to know that they needed the Inhumans to protect them, even against threats from within).
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, Gene "The Dean" Colan, and Frank Giacoia.
Most Kree have hyphenated names...except Zarek, Ronan, and a few others
Zarek has a profile in the OHotMU Master Edition. It lists his first appearance as Marvel Super-Heroes II#18, but it is actually Marvel Super-Heroes II#12. MSH#18 is the Guardians of the Galaxy story.
Couldn't come up with any alliterative or rhyming names for Frank Giacoia. Drank, stank, bank, plank, Hoobastank (when that one came to me, it was clear that I needed to stop).
Changing writer syndrome...who knows what was really intended?
Stan Lee created the Imperial Minister, then handed the series over to Roy
Thomas, who showed him in alliance with Ronan...Zarek was not even named until
Captain Marvel I#16, IIRC.
Meanwhile Zo was created by Arnold Drake, then handed off to Gary Friedrich, and it was Archie Goodwin who turned Zo into a ruse of Zarek's. I wonder if Arnold Drake is still around to comment on his intent for Zo!
For what it's worth I once discussed Zo and what Arnold Drake intended to do with him/it with Roy Thomas, and if my memory serves, I recall Roy told me that it was always intended for Zo to be an illusion manipulating Mar-Vell, hence the name Zo, being Oz backwards. The small man behind the curtain, etc.
I can't vouch that Zo was intended to be Zarek specifically, but it certainly was meant to be a "Wizard of Oz" figure.
I don't see any reference to Nitro's origins in Captain Marvel I#34, but the OHotMU: Deluxe Edition lists that as his origin. I think it was extrapolated in the OHotMU, but I could have just missed it.
In Captain Marvel I#35-36, it seemed as if it were the real Living Laser who had been made into a cyborg by the Lunatic Legion (specifically mentioning that he was still partly human, but the Laser's OHotMU Master Edition entry confirmed that to have been merely a robot. You'd think an ol' roboticist like Hank Pym would know the difference, but I guess the advanced Kree technology could have fooled him.
Six members of the Lunatic Legion are seen in Captain Marvel I#37-38, but only three are ever identified.
The Supremor's motivations in Captain Marvel I#41 seem really questionable...I think I've included what's relevant here.
Profile by Snood. Realm of Kings update by Markus Raymond.
No KNOWN connections to
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Master Edition#9: Zarek entry
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#7: Kree (Zarek face)
Captain Marvel I#11, p17, panel 1 (Zo obelisk)
#15, p7 (Zo energy globule)
Realm of Kings: Inhumans#2, p19, pan2 (separatist Lord Zarek)
Marvel Super-Heroes II#12 (December, 1967) - Stan "The Man" Lee (writer & editor), Gene "The Dean" Colan (penciler), Frank Giacoia (inker)
Captain Marvel I#1 (May, 1968) - a classic of cataphonic conflagration by Roy Thomas (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), incendiary inking by Vince Colletta, luminary lettering by Artie Simek, fire extinguishers by Honest Irving Forbush, meritoriously mulled over by Stan Lee
Cataphonic - That branch of acoustics which treats of reflected sounds; catacoustics...not sure what Stan was thinking here...
Captain Marvel I#11 (March, 1969) - paved by Arnold Drake (writer), graded by Dick Ayers (penciler), smoothed by Vince Colletta (inker), littered by Jean Izzo (letterer), engineered by Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Marvel I#12 (April, 1969) - Arnold Drake (writer), Dick Ayers (penciler), Syd Shores (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Marvel I#13-14 (May-June, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Frank Springer (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Marvel I#15 (August, 1969) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (penciler), Dan Adkins (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Marvel I#16 (September, 1969) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Syd Shores (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Captain Marvel I#34 (September, 1974) - Jim Starlin (script and pencils), Steve Englehart (dialogue), Jack Abel (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain Marvel I#35 (November, 1974) - Steve Englehart (plot), Mike Friedrich (script), Alfredo Alcala (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain Marvel I#35 (November, 1974) - Steve Englehart (plot), Mike Friedrich (script), Alfredo Alcala (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain Marvel I#36 (January, 1975) - Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin, T. Orzechowski, Bill Mantlo, Roy Thomas;
most of the issue is a reprint of Marvel Super-Heroes II#12
Captain Marvel I#37-38 (March-May (bi-monthly), 1975) - Steve Englehart (author, co-plotter), Al Milgrom (artist, co-plotter), Klaus Janson (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Captain Marvel I#41 (November, 1975) - Steve Englehart (author, co-plotter), Al Milgrom (artist, co-plotter), Bernie Wrightson, Russell, Bob McLedo, Al Milgrom (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Untold Legend of Captain Marvel#1 (April, 1997) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writers), Scott Kolins (pencils), John Lowe (inks), Mark Bernardo (editor)
Annihilation: Ronan#3-4 (August-September 2006) - Simon Furman (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Realm of Kings: Inhumans#2 (February, 2010) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Pablo Raimondi (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Realm of Kings: Inhumans#3 (March, 2010) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Wellington Alves (pencils), Nelson Pereira (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Last updated: 04/01/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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