Real Name: Zartros

Identity/Class: Extradimensional humanoid (Quarlian Gnome)

Occupation: Adventurer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ka-Zar, army of the Kramen

Enemies: Gnome-Stalkers, the Quarlians, Tandy Snow (in her persona of "Queen Tandylla")

Known Relatives: Unidentified wife

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Quarlian dimension

First Appearance: Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17 (September, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Well, he was "the toughest Gnome between here and Rybols," whatever that means. Zartros was skilled with a sword and resourceful enough to survive long journeys across the dangerous landscape of his home dimension. He also claimed to have killed seventeen Gnome-Stalkers without breaking a sweat. Zartros didn't fare very well in a fight against Ka-Zar, which may indicate his strength level is about the same as a human child of his size.

History: (Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18 (fb)) - Zartros struggled in a world where nobody took him seriously, and where people of his species were prey for "Gnome-Stalkers." The transgression that got Zartros tossed in the dungeon was his marriage to a Quarlian woman, a person who loved him despite their differences in height and species.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17) - Ka-Zar first encountered Zartros after being captured by a group of Quarlians in their home dimension. Tossed into a dungeon with the Gnome, Zartros told Ka-Zar that the both of them would probably be made to fight dragons to the death. Zartros also made it very clear that he had issues about his (lack of) height.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18) - After telling Ka-Zar of his travails, both of the prisoners were tossed into the arena and told to fight to the death by the brainwashed Tandy Snow (who was operating as the cruel queen of the Quarlians, Tandylla). Ka-Zar refused to fight the Gnome, who took the jungle lord's reluctance to battle a smaller opponent as an insult to his honor. The waist-high warrior attacked the jungle savage, only to get knocked onto this face in the dust. When Ka-Zar refused to kill the defeated Gnome, Tandylla sent in a Quarlian named Makrum, a true bad-ass gladiator. Makrum fared far worse than the Gnome (um, Ka-Zar killed him). Ka-Zar then grabbed Queen Tandylla from her perch in the stadium, and he and the Gnome made a break for it. They were then confronted outside of the city by Raknor, Makrum's father and a legendary dragon-hunter.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#19) - Already hostile, Raknor's rage grew to psychotic proportions after hearing that Ka-Zar had slain his son Makrum. Not wanting to be around to face Raknor's legendary wrath, Zartros fled the scene. Ka-Zar was defeated by Raknor and taken back to the city. Recovering his courage, Zartros rushed to rescue Ka-Zar. Zartros leapt into the fray just when Queen Tandylla was starting to overcome her brainwashing, startling the Quarlians enough that the injured Ka-Zar was able to get the better of them. Once again, Ka-Zar and the Gnome made off with Tandylla.

(Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#20) - Flying away from the city on a stolen Sky-Shark, the trio came across an army of Kramen, an ancient people who once inhabited the Quarlian dimension. Zartros pointed out that the Kramen were supposed to have died out generations ago. The Kramen told Ka-Zar that they were marching on the city of Sheenars, a high-tech enclave which had been tapping the life-force of captured Kramen. Having issues with the Sheenarians himself, Ka-Zar agreed to join the Kramen. Zartros warned him about what a devious lot the Kramen were alleged to have been. Still, both of the warriors joined the Kramen, and snuck inside the city, and then...

Comments: Created by Doug Moech and Val Mayerik.

...and then the series was cancelled. The blurb on the last page of issue #20 assured us the story is "to be continued-somewhere!" But aside from a few panels wrapping up the Quarlian saga in X-Men I#115, we never did find out what happened to Zartros. Presumably Zartros is still wandering his homeworld, slaying Gnome-Stalkers and having conniption fits whenever somebody refers to him as "little one."

by Reddie

Zartros should not be confused with:

Zartros' wife

Zartros fell in love with and married a female of the Quarlian race, who are much more humanoid-looking than the males. The local male Quarlians were offended by the union, however, and tossed Zartros into a dungeon to await his death. Zartros' wife may have been punished as well, since she was seen being led away in chains.

--Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18


These were large, werewolf-like humanoids who preyed upon Gnomes. It is not know if their predation was of an ecological sort or if they had political/ethnic issues with the Gnomes. Despite their powerful-looking toothy jaws, Gnome-Stalkers seemed to rely on medieval-style weaponry. Zartros boasted that he killed seventeen Gnome-stalkers without breaking a sweat; we don't know if he did this all at once or one at a time.

--Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18

Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#17 (August, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#18 (October, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#19 (December, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils & inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)

Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle#20 (February, 1977) - Doug Moench (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)

Last updated: 10/03/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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