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Real Name: Karza

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Skrull) reptilian humanoid shape-shifter

Occupation: Warlord, would-be emperor, former planetary governor

Group Membership: Skrull warlords (five in all)

Affiliations: The Silver Surfer imposter (Bartak, deceased)

Enemies: Kree Empire, Zabyk;
Gorth, Kylor (presumed deceased), S'Byll, and Yorak

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unspecified planet within the Andromeda Galaxy

First Mentioned: Silver Surfer III#14 (August, 1988)

Powers/Abilities: As a Skrull, Karza probably possessed all of the standard capabilities and weaknesses of a normal member of his species. Specifically, Karza had the ability to alter his size, shape, and color through mental concentration. Presumably the shapes that Karza could assume were limited by his original mass and volume.

   Like almost all other Skrulls, Karza lost his ability to shape-shift after exposure to the hyperwave bombardment transmitted throughout the universe by the Hyperwave Bomb. It can only be presumed that he, like many of his race, later regained those powers thanks to Empress S'Byll. However, since the details of how that restoration occurred have never been revealed, this cannot be confirmed.

Height: Unrevealed (presumably variable)
Weight: Unrevealed
(presumably variable)
Eyes: Unrevealed (presumably variable)
Hair: Unrevealed (presumably variable)
Skin: Green (presumably variable)


(The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10: Skrulls entry) - The Skrull Empire was governed by a totalitarian monarchy, with one supreme emperor or empress, and a governor for each of the 978 member-worlds in the empire.

(Fantastic Four I#257/Fantastic Four I#262 (fb) - BTS) - Galactus consumed the Skrull Throneworld, killing all seven billion Skrulls who were there at the time, including Empress R'Klll and her daughter Princess Anelle.

(Avengers I#259 (fb)) - After Throneworld's destruction and the deaths of Empress R'Klll and Princess Anelle, chaos and rebellion spread throughout the Skrull Empire. Seeking to fill the power vacuum left by these deaths, all of the planetary governors declared themselves emperors or empresses, and civil war broke out. In only a few days, more Skrulls had been killed by other Skrulls than had perished with the Throneworld.

(Skrulls!: Karza entry (fb) - BTS) - Karza was one of the many planetary governors who sought to claim power as the new emperor.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS/Avengers Annual I#14) - Several Earth-months later, the Skrull race suffered another blow when the hyperwave bombardment from the Hyperwave Bomb activated by the would-be emperor Zabyk stabilized the Deviant genetic code of (almost) all Skrulls, removing their shape-changing abilities and trapping them in whatever forms they were in when the bomb went off.

(Silver Surfer III#14 (fb) - BTS) - At some point during the Skrull civil war, Bartak, a Skrull who had undergone surgical alterations that endowed him with energy powers that enabled him to more accurately impersonate the Silver Surfer, decided that Karza was the would-be leader he chose to follow.

(Silver Surfer III#2 - BTS) - Ambassador Ptakr met with Empress Shalla-Bal of Zenn-La on behalf of his emperor. When Shalla-Bal pointed out that there were a number of claimants to that position, Ptakr insisted that Emperor Kylor was the rightful ruler of the remaining Skrull Empire.

(Silver Surfer III#6 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, there were five Skrull warlords left who sought to rebuild the Skrull Empire as its emperor, Kylor and four others. Yorak was one of the other four.

(Silver Surfer III#13 (fb) - BTS) - S'Byll from the planet Satriani was the third.

(Silver Surfer III#14 (fb) - BTS) - Karza was the fourth.

(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#9: S'Byll entry (fb) - BTS) - Gorth was the fifth.

(Silver Surfer III#14 (fb) - BTS) - After the Second Kree-Skrull War had begun, Bartak (posing as the Silver Surfer) became Karza's most effective weapon against the Kree.

(Silver Surfer III#14 - BTS) - After defeating the real Silver Surfer and capturing Nova, Bartak revealed his origin to her and stated that he planned to deliver her to Emperor Karza who would be the one to decide her fate. However, this plan was thwarted when Ronan the Supreme Accuser attacked Bartak, believing him to be the real Surfer, and executed him.

(Skrulls! (fb) - BTS) - Several years later, in preparation for the then-upcoming Secret Invasion of Earth, Queen Veranke's faithful Chancellor Kal'Du included a dossier on Karza as part of the "Warbook Files" he compiled for her. According to this dossier, Karza "had been one of the many planetary governors who (had) sought to claim power as the new emperor. Though he commanded large forces, he was a quiet and subtle leader, rarely appearing or asserting his power in person, preferring to act through intermediaries." After having been deprived of his biggest asset, the Silver Surfer imposter, early in the war, Karza had faded from view as the civil war raged on. Kal'Du suggested that Karza should be kept under advisement because he still commanded much respect in his region of Skrull space and the devotion of many significant Skrull worlds would be ensured if the faithful were to involve him in their current holy mission.

Comments: Created by Steve Engelhart.

   Since this is Donald's profile, I'll note that he strongly disagrees with Gorth being named as the fifth contender for Emperor. See the comments of the Gorth profile for my discussion of that subject.

   Although it is believed that all Skrulls eventually regained their shape-shifting abilities thanks to S'Byll, exactly how this happened has never been revealed. The only way in which S'Byll was ever depicted restoring those powers was by physically touching another Skrull. Given that there are billions of Skrulls spread out across the tri-galaxy area, it seems extremely unlikely that S'Byll could have been able to restore their powers to all of them on a one-by-one basis. Therefore, it follows that some more widespread method of restoring their powers must have been developed and implemented but whatever that method was has never been documented. So, technically, it's possible that any Skrull who has not been SEEN using his/her metamorphic abilities since the Hyper-Wave Bomb was activated has not actually had his/her powers restored. Until whatever method of widespread restoration was used is revealed, the idea that all Skrulls have their powers back is more of an assumption than a fact.
--I think an logical explanation is that the energies she imbued into one Skrull would then spread from that Skrull to any other Skrulls that restored Skrull approached or contacted. Say S'Byll restored 1000 Skrulls and sent them out into the Empire, and then everyone restored by them was sent out as makes good sense, as it would likely be easier to restore the Skrull's natural abilities than remove it...however, as noted, it's just speculation.

1. The Skrull Throneworld was consumed by Galactus in Fantastic Four I#257 (August, 1983).
2. Several months passed, as Terrans measure time, according to General Zedrao in Avengers I#259 (September, 1985).
3. The Hyper-Wave Bomb that "froze" all Skrulls (except Kl'rt) in their then-current forms was activated in Avengers Annual I#14 (1985) and the extent of its effects was confirmed in Avengers I#261 (November, 1985).
4. Emperor Kylor initiated the "Second Kree-Skrull War" in Silver Surfer III#5 (November, 1987).
5. The Silver Surfer imposter Bartak revealed that he was a follower of Emperor Karza in Silver Surfer III#14 (August, 1988).

It has never been established exactly when Karza gained Bartak as a follower. I've chosen to list it as occurring after the Hyper-Wave Bomb was activated but Bartak could have been a follower of Karza from the beginning.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

Karza has no known connections to

No known images - because he REALLY rarely appeared in person

Silver Surfer III#14 (August, 1988) - Steve Englehart (story), Joe Staton (pencils), Joe Rubinstein & José Marzan (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Skrulls! (2008) - Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, Gabriel Shechter, John Rhett Thomas, Stuart Vandal & Jeph York (writers), John Rhett Thomas (editor)

First Posted: 10/20/2019
Last updated: 10/31/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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