Classification: Semi-humanoid extraterrestrial race
Location/Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
mobile throughout the Milky Way galaxy, Reality-8116;
formerly the planet Zygotea; (aka Delta-7);
bases on various planets, including the encampment on Byfrexia;
Known Members: None to this point
Affiliations: A-Team mercenaries (Bazkar, cyborg assassin, a trio of Nultorian iron men, Xam, among others (approximately 19 in total)), Zygotean Landing Party A7 (Captain Guolabou and unidentified warrior);
numerous mercenaries, thralls, and warriors;
like most humanoid life forms throughout the Milky Way galaxy, the Zygoteans were descended from the Orsirosians
Enemies: Aknaton, Juliet, Kalloombrians, Orsirosians, Joenis Soule, Vanth (later Dreadstar), Whis'par, Za;
numerous races (hundreds, at least) they slaughtered, enslaved and/or exterminated (including the Byfrexians, Orsirosians, Terrans/humanity)
First Appearance: Epic Illustrated#1 (Spring, 1980)
Powers/Abilities: The Zygoteans did not demonstrate superhuman abilities.
They possessed an immense military
fleet, composed largely of beings specially conditioned to lose their
wills and existing only as unquestioning slaves.
They possessed advanced technology incorporating everything they took from the races they conquered and enslaved.
Among their ships were their Cruisers, Dreadnoughts, and landing party ship(s) (it is unrevealed whether this type ship was used on multiple worlds).
They possessed conditioning centers to strip their captives' wills and make them unquestioning servants.
Traits: While once an idealistic race living a
peaceful, utopian life, the Zygoteans developed into an Imperialistic
society, invading every world they encountered, slaughtering and
enslaving its people, stripmining each world, and moving on to the next
Over time, they developed more
alien appearances and tastes. Their towering self-loathing fueled their
destruction of other societies, as they crushed anything that reminded
them of their past lives.
Type: Bilaterally symmetric (see note) semi-humanoid bipeds
Eyes: Two (on head; solid red color seen)
Fingers: Four (including opposing thumb)
Skin color: Possibly light green (may have been the lighting)
Average height: Unrevealed (We have not yet seen a Zygotean
Other distinguishing features: Zygoteans have long, pointed noses. They appear to be virtually hairless, and they ritually ampuated their left arm.
Note: The Zygoteans were originally virtually identical to humans in form; they mutated into more alien extreme forms over time.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - The ancient and powerful Orsirosians were the root of all humanoid life throughout the Milky Way galaxy, including the Zygoteans.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - Zygotea was once a utopia, rich in beauty, promise, and reality, with seemingly endless bounty and the freedom of mind and body that all shared.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb)) - Eventually the dreamers died a slow and unnoticed death, while the workers traded reason and responsibility for numbing contentment.
The true leaders' words fell on barren ground.
Greedy, insensitive, incompetent, profit-worshipping politicians took power.
Noble families were fashioned to rule, but the future potential was ignored.
resources were depleted and cities and technology overran the world,
and only a select had any wealth.
The people turned toward exploiting
limited aspects of their live, sure as drugs and other hedonistic
activities; abruptly, their resources ran out, and only the rulers and
the ruled were left, and all cries for social justice were ignored.
The only resource left was the people themselves.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - In seeking the
stars, the many -- persuaded by the military's might and blessed by the
church -- set out to save the few: Their sweat and muscle built the
fleet's ship, their lives were sacrificed to test space weapons, and
their bodies were used as fuel.
The planet died out and those left
behind perished as the remaining Zygoteans took to space.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - On uncounted new planets, Zygotean history repeated itself as they
depleted worlds' resources and moved on, all the while adding new
technology and gathering a vast mercenary force; the Zygoteans became
akin to a dark force of nature.
Barely able to remember their past, they developed more alien appearances and tastes, as well as a towering self-hatred that fueled their odyssey of destruction, as they crushed anything that reminded them of their own lives.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - Legends stated that from where the Zygoteans came remained an enigma to most of the universe; some said they hailed from the second sister of the Pleiades. Others claimed the Zygoteans were creations of the darker side of our own soul. Many more were sure the Zygoteans could only be demons from Hell."
Those who were slain by the Zygoteans upon meeting them were considered fortunate.
Those who survived conquest by the Zygoteans found
themselves herded into special conditioning centers by the Zygoteans'
As life disappeared from these survivors, their bodies
lived on to form an unquestioning army of slaves.
The Zygoteans then
methodically and patiently stripped away every treasure, benefit, or
beauty of the vanquished world; with 2-3 generations, their labors were
complete, and they moved on.
The enslaved population was rewarded for their hard work and loyalty with their freedom, although they did not survive long on their barren worlds.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) -BTS) - The proud and powerful Orsirosians watched in horror from a distance as the Zygoteans enslaved and destroyed hundreds of such worlds thusly.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - Realizing that eventually the Zygoteans would come for them, the Orsirosians watched and learned of death and killing, and they prepared.
Illustrated#8/6 (fb) - BTS) - When Zygoteans attacked the Kalloombrians
on Dreamsend, the Kalloombrians moved to another sector of space.
(Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - The Zygoteans saw the Orsirians, their forgotten parents, as the ultimate symbol of everything they had lost on their journey to what they had become. They resolved that the Orsirosians had to die that the Zygoteans could live on.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb)) - When the Zygoteans finally approached Orsiros, the Orsirosians flew out in their silver death bird ships to confront them.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - In a battle lasting nearly 500 years and killing hundreds of thousands, the Orsirosians drove off the Zygoteans.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - The Orsirosian elders realized they had only succeeded due to the Zygoteans' centuries of unchallenged supremacy, and that the enemy would return someday, prepared to deal harshly with any resistance they might encounter; and that on that day, Orsiros would fall.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - The Orsirosian elders plotted hundreds of new strategies, but all were found to be lacking; and a thousand new power sources were tested and failed to be enough.
Eventually death (extinction) became an accepted part of the Orsirosians' plans, but they refused to die alone.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - The Orsirosians combined every iota of their world's mystical and technological power to create the Infinity Horn, which would prove the undoing of the Zygoteans and the final hope for the universe.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) - BTS) - Aknaton was appointed the Horn's guardian, and he received the elders' collective might.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb)) - Aknaton now foresaw the Zygoteans' triumph, the destruction of Orsiros, the release of the Horn's vengeance, and his own death.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb)) - Armed with this knowledge, Aknaton escaped the Zygotean blockade.
(Epic Illustrated#4/2 (fb) - BTS) - Aknaton constructed an artificial immortal being, Joenis Soule, to hide the Infinity Horn on a far-off world and not reveal its location until a certain verse was recited to him by an Orsirian. Soule put the hidden location on a key, which he defended from pirates, demons, thieves, magicians, and Zygoteans.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb)) <100, 000 years ago> - Aknaton returned to Orsiros and calmly waited for the end.(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) / Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS / Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - 100, 000 year later, as the Zygoteans returned and assaulted Orsiros, the Orsirosians tried to match firepower for firepower against the Zygotean dreadnoughts. All-consuming destruction proved stronger than virtue and spirit.
(Epic Illustrated#1/14) - Aknaton recruited Za of Tyjor to help destroy the Zygoteans.
(Epic Illustrated#1/15 (fb) - BTS) - In 1980, the Zygotean armada assaulted Earth. Almost every major country --except Great Britain -- was attacked, and Earth's most powerful technological weaponry proved itself useless against the aliens.
(Epic Illustrated#1/15) - In Covert, Kansas, a Zygotean mercenary ship delivered Zygotean landing party 017, who considered the location an excellent landing depot. However, Aknaton instead slew the mercenaries and recruited Juliet to help destroy the Zygoteans, after which he destroyed Earth as they departed to spare humanity from Zygotean subjugation and a slow, torturous death.
(Epic Illustrated#2/6) - On the World of the Woods, Aknaton recruited Whis'par.
Illustrated#3/3) - On Vega (aka Byfrexia) Aknaton
recruited Vanth, holder of the Sword, who saved him from
a Zygotean A-Team mercenary squad. Aknaton and Vanth (mostly Vanth) slew the A-Team.
(Epic Illustrated#4/2) - On Delloran, Aknaton recovered the key to the location of the Infinity Horn from Joenis Soule.
(Epic Illustrated#5/9) - Aknaton brought Vanth to Lartorez (see comments) where Juliet, Za, and Whis'par awaited them, after which he departed to decipher the secrets of Soule's amulet in solitude on another plane.
(Epic Illustrated#6/6) - Aknaton communed with the Orsiosians' god, Ra, who granted him knowledge of the Infinity Horn's location on the world Dreamsend.
Illustrated#7/6) - Aknaton shared with his agents the history of the
Zygoteans, including the destruction of the Orsirosians, after which he
told them how their job was to fulfull the death wish of the galaxy and
to pray that in doing so, they could create a new and better
As Aknaton finished his story, a group of Zygotean cruisers detected Aknaton and his group and received orders to terminate them.
Illustrated#7/7) - Vanth led Aknaton's group to destroy the Zygotean
cruisers as well as the nearby dreadnought that had brought them
(Epic Illustrated#8/6 (fb) - BTS) - Zygoteans arrived at Dreamsend in advance of Aknaton's group.
Illustrated#8/6 (fb) - BTS) - The Zygoteans at Dreamsend signaled more warships and warriors to come to Dreamsend.
(Epic Illustrated#8/6 (fb) - BTS) - In the Light Cutter, Vanth took out at least two Zygotean warships as they approached Dreamsend, acknowledging that they'd still have to deal with some Zygotean ground troops.
(Epic Illustrated#8/6 - BTS) - Aknaton worried as he had not seen Zygoteans on Dreamsend in any of his visions of the future. Vanth wondered if the Zygoteans might have captured the Infinity Horn, but Aknaton considered this unlikely due it being cleverly concealed within the nearly indestructible Kalloombrian Temple. He further doubted the Zygoteans were even aware of the Horn's existence, noting that they probably figured this was another of Orsiros' holy shrines that were located throughout the galaxy.
Illustrated#8/6) - The Zygoteans on
Dreamsend's surface were slain by Vanth and Aknaton and their group
as they approached the Kalloombrian Temple to access Aknaton's portal to his
Hall of Death and Mercy; more Zygotean fighter ships soon arrived.
Illustrated#8/6 - BTS) - Not having foreseen anyone pursuing them in
his visions, Aknaton had not established a means to close the portal to
the Hall of Death and Mercy behind them.
The arriving Zygoteans pursued
them down the steps to the Hall. As Aknaton's group approached the Hall,
which contained the Infinity Horn, Vanth heard the approaching Zygotean
Illustrated#8/6) - As the Zygoteans rushed out en masse from the steps
into the realm containing the Hall, Vanth and Aknaton stood ready to
Illustrated#9) - Realizing what was happening, the Zygotean mercenaries drove Aknaton back and blew off Aknaton's right arm at the elbow. Nonetheless, Aknaton and Vanth held off the Zygoteans long enough for the trio to blow the
The energies released destroyed
everything and everyone within the Milky Way (first all those on
Dreamsend and in the Hall of Death and Mercy before expanding
outwardly), with the exception of Juliet, Whis'par and Za, who were
converted into pure thought and energy and departed for parts
unrevealed; and Aknaton and Vanth who were protected by Aknaton's
mystic force sphere that placed them into suspended animation and
eventually carried them to the Empirical galaxy.
...but this is not
the end of this profile...I'm publishing it now because it will be many
moons before I cover the final aspect.
Comments: Created by Jim Starlin.
The timeline of the Zygoteans has
been described in order, if not in extent. We know that the Zygoteans
had slaughtered hundreds of races before the Orsirosians even started preparing for them. Conquering
Earth would have taken days at the zenith of their power, but earlier
conquests may have taken significantly longer. Stripmining a world took
generations, so maybe 60 years more or less. When the Zygoteans finally
came to Orsiros; it took 500 years for the Orsirosians to drive them
off initially, and then the Zygoteans returned 100,000 years later to
exterminate the Orsirosians. And then Vanth started seeking out his
crew to activate the Infinity Horn, which took days to weeks in Earth's
Dreadstar was a licensed
character/title created by Jim Starlin starting way back with the
Metamorphosis Odyssey in Epic Illustrated#1 in the Spring of 1980. The
Metamorphosis Odyssey started around the modern era and affected Earth,
but then swiftly destroyed the entire Milky Way galaxy and then moved
on like a million years in the future. Dreadstar eventually got his own
series under the Epic imprint, but Starlin later took the whole shebang
over to First Comics. And in 1994, it was published under the imprint
of Bravura, a creator-owned division of Malibu comics. He appeared
sometime later in issues #5-7 of the Breed III series. And, there was
talk of a Dreadstar television show.
Still that earlier Marvel connection allows me to place this reality in the fringes of the Marvel Megaverse.
Peter David took over the writing around issue#31 or so, but Starlin remained the owner. At any rate, from start to finish, it is the best series I've ever read, period! I'd love to see it continued, by Starlin, David, and/or someone else who understands and appreciates the characters and series.
The "mineral poor planet the Zygoteans had already passed" on which Aknaton left Juliet, Whis'par, and Za, and later Vanth until they were ready to go after the Infinity Horn was not named in the story (though I could have missed it), but the title for the issue in which Vanth met the others on the planet (Epic Illustrated#5, Chapter VIII) was called "Sunrise of Lartorez." (and it's called "Lartoprez" in the index page). I'm not familiar with Lartorez (or Lartoprez) meaning anything else, nor does a Google search come up with anything, so maybe that's the name of that world.
The name Zygoteans is presumably derived from the word "zygote," which
is the medical term for a fertilized egg, the union of the components
of egg and sperm, prior to its first cell division. Not sure there is
any reason for the name, other than it sounded cool?
Profile by Snood.
The Zygoteans have no known connections to
(Epic Illustrated#7/6) - As Aknaton related the history of the Zygoteans, Zygotean mercenaries having detected Aknaton's mystical transports, located and targeted them.
(Epic Illustrated#7/7) - After Aknaton detected the landing and approach of Zygotean cruisers, the group followed Vanth's instruction to get to the Light Cutter.
Though pursued by a pair of Zygotean cruisers, Vanth noted that while
they were atomic and therefore powerful, they were clumsy compared to
the Light Cutter's abilities.
Not wishing to have the Cruisers on his
tail while he was confronting the powerful Dreadnought just above
Lartorez's stratosphere, Vanth allowed the cruisers to catch up to him
just above the surface.
As Aknaton pointed out that the cruisers were coming in for the kill at point 5.73 and 6.57, Vanth "turned on the juice," executing a quick overhead loop with a point 3.5 turn, followed by a point 5.25 rollback, allowing him to come up behind both cruisers and to send the Zygoteans aboard to Hell.As Vanth flew the Light Cutter out and approached the dreadnought, he correctly predicted that the Zygoteans would see them as a lightweight threat.
(Epic Illustrated#1/7 (fb) / Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS / Epic Illustrated#7/6 (fb) - BTS) - As the Zygoteans returned and assaulted Orsiros, the Orsirosians tried to match firepower for firepower against the
All-consuming destruction proved stronger than virtue and spirit.
Illustrated#7/7 (fb) - BTS) - Aknaton mystically warped Vanth, himself,
and the Light Cutter across space to Lartorez to save time and get them back from
The Zyogteans apparently detected his sorcerous energies and
followed them back to that planet.
A Zygotean dreadnought flew into
Lartorez's upper stratosphere and then launched a pair of cruisers to
locate their targets.
(Epic Illustrated#7/7) - After Aknaton detected the landing and approach of Zygotean cruisers, the group followed Vanth's instruction to get to the Light Cutter.
Not wishing to have the Cruisers on his tail while he was confronting the powerful Dreadnought just above the stratosphere, Vanth outmaneuvered and destroyed the cruisers.As Vanth flew the Light Cutter out and approached the dreadnought, he correctly predicted that the Zygoteans would see them as a lightweight threat.
images: (without ads)
Epic Illustrated#1: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapters I: Aknaton, pg. 3 (Zygotean onslaught/slaugher of other races);
pg. 5 (first Orsirosian war);
#7: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter X: Requiem, pg. 2, upper panel (strip-mined land);
second panel (city and factories on barren land; close-up of more human form);
fourth panel (people weeping over devastated city);
pg. 3, second panel (rulers - generals and priests);
third panel (spectre of death over city);
pg. 4, first panel (slaves building ships);
second panel (people departing in ships);
pg. 6 (main image, most recent form of Zygoteans);
chapter XI: Nightfire, pg. 1 (cruisers, Light Cutter, and Aknaton's crew);
pg. 3, panel 4-6 (Light Cutter outmaneuvering and blasting cruisers);
pg. 5, panel 1 (dreadnought);
pg. 6, panel 4-5 (Light Cutter traveling through dreadnought);
pg. 7, panel 1 (dreadnought exploding);
#8: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapters XII: Dreamsend, pg. 8, panel 5 (Zygoteans rushing towards the Hall via bridge)
Epic Illustrated#1: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapters I: Aknaton, II: Za!, and III: Juliet (Spring, 1980) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Epic Illustrated#2: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter IV: Whis'par (Summer, 1980) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#3: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter V: Vanth & VI: The Meeting (Fall, 1980) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#4: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter VII: Delloran Revisited (Winter, 1980) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#5: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter VIII: Sunrise on Lartoprez (April, 1981) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#6: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapter IX: Absolution (June, 1981) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#7: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapters X: Requiem & XI: Nightfire (August, 1981) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#8: Metamorphosis Odyssey chapters XII: Dreamsend (October, 1981) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)
Epic Illustrated#9: Metamorphosis Odyssey, Chapter XIII: Doomsday & XIV: Aftermath (December, 1981) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist), Stan Lee (editor/publisher), Archie Goodwin (editorial director), James Shooter (consulting editor)there
To be continued...there's a bit more to the story, but as it will take me at least a year or three to get through, I'll post this profile as is for now...
First posted: 08/02/2019
Last updated: 05/02/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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