Real Name: Zaffer

Identity/Class: po (Wasteland) warrior (race unrevealed)

Occupation: Multiple (surviving/existing)

Group Membership: None

AffiliationsDefenders (Hellcat/Patsy Walker, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Son of Satan/Daimon Hellstrom, Valkyrie/Brunnhilde), Rose of Purity

Enemies: Enchantress (Amora);
    formerly the
Defenders (Hellcat, Hulk, Namor, Son of Satan)

Known Relatives: Damask (mate and lover)

Aliases: None;
    he was described only by terms such as
"thing," "being," and "hulking creature"

Base of OperationsWasteland planetoid in the Wasteland dimension

First Appearance Defenders I#108 (August, 1982)zaffer-rop-def108-dance

Powers/Abilities: Zaffer is approximately 10' tall, immensely strong (Class 100) and durable, able to fight the Hulk, a freshly-hydrated Namor, and the Son of Satan simultaneously, though they eventually gained the advantage over him. 

He also possesses a tentacle under each arm, which apparently were of comparable strength to his normal limbs; these tentacles can change in length from perhaps 8' to closer to 15'. 

    He possesses four clawed fingers and a thumb on each hand, but four clawed toes on each foot. He also possesses four eyes, one pair inferior to (below) a pair in a humanoid position. He also possesses sharp, fanged teeth.

    He speaks telepathically, enabling him to communicate with beings from other worlds or dimensions without a language barrier. 

    An experienced warrior, Zaffer has long forsaken his violent ways, and he is friendly and kind, willing to share anything he has with anyone who visits his world. He enjoys dancing and singing to his lover's music. zaffer-rop-def108-punch-hulk

    However, when needed, such as to protect the Rose or Damask and/or when attacked, Zaffer will revert to savage combat, succumbing to brutality and rage.
    Such violent actions and emotions pained the Rose, causing it to revert the Wasteland planetoid to its true, barren state.

    His dancing has been described as awkward but "not without a certain innocent grace."

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 10' tall)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 1800 lbs.)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blue (including full beard)
Skin: Blue

(Defenders I#108 (fb) - BTS) - Zaffer was a warrior.

(Defenders I#108 (fb) - BTS / Defenders: Strange Heroes: Rose of Purity) - 100,000 years ago, Zaffer was aboard a great ship that crashed on the barren planetoid known only as the Wasteland; the only other survivor of the crash was the small female musician Damask.

    The Rose of Purity, the last survivor (and/or sole remaining member) of the race that had previously dwelled on the planetoid, nurtured Zaffer and Damask back to health. In addition, the Rose cared for them, filled them with joy, and set free their hearts and minds. It granted them all their souls could desire, it acted as mother, father, and child to them.

    Sustained by the couple’s love and worship, the Rose altered his world to create a heavenly environment for the two, possibly granting telepathic ability to them if they did not already possess it. Zaffer and Damask lived an idyllic life as lovers, with Zaffer forsaking his former violent nature. Zaffer and Damask considered the Rose to be their Great God of Purity, and they felt that they needed the love of their god and each other.
    At some point in the succeeding millennia, others visited the Rose’s world, where Zaffer and Damask made them welcome.

(Defenders I#107 - BTS / Defenders I#108 (fb) - BTS / Defenders: Strange Heroes: Rose of Purity) - In recent years, the Asgardian sorceress Enchantress (Amora), lonely for a soul mate, drew the embodiment of love itself  to Asgard and imbued it with a physical male form. To be worthy of Love’s devotion, Enchantress felt she needed to cleanse her soul of past evil via the Rose of Purity’s power, for its petals, when brewed with magical herbs and roots, could supposedly restore lost spiritual purity. 

    Amora learned the Rose's location from fellow Asgardian sorceress Karnilla. Although willing to seek the Rose itself, Enchantress at least claimed to be unwilling to leave Love, whose created form was bound to Asgard.

    Amora  intended to entrust the quest to Asgardian warrior Valkyrie, her longtime pawn, at that time inhabiting mortal Barbara Norriss, but Norriss’ body had been slain following a recent encounter between the Defenders, the Earthly team of champions to which she belonged, and Anthony Power’s Secret Empire. Valkyrie’s soul, summoned via sťance, asked her teammates to retrieve her true body, but Amora, briefly departing Asgard, interrupted the proceedings and trapped Valkyrie’s soul. She extorted the Defenders’ cooperation under threat of destroying Valkyrie’s Asgardian body, which she promised to unite with Valkyrie’s soul if they brought her the Rose of Purity. zaffer-rop-def108-fight3def-front

    Unknown to Amora, Love, troubled by her actions, telepathically contacted Defenders leader Dr. Stephen Strange, who mentally warned three of his colleagues — Beast (Hank McCoy), Gargoyle (Isaac Christians), and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) — to refuse the Enchantress’ offer. To keep Amora distracted, Strange withheld his warning from four others — Hellcat, Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Son of Satan — whom Enchantress teleported to the Rose’s world; Hellcat also carried Valkyrie's sword, Dragonfang, which then held Valkyrie's soul.

(Defenders I#108) - Zaffer happily danced to Damask's lyre-like instrument-playing until being surprised by the presence of the Defenders. After a brief pause, Zaffer telepathically greeted the strangers, introduced them to their god, and then sang a song of their history, at the conclusion of which the Rose transformed the barren planetoid into an idyllic paradise. 

    As Hellcat noted she could feel the peace, joy, and love in the atmosphere, Zaffer told her that their god was showing her what can be when you give reign to the purity within. Zaffer then encouraged the Defenders to dance, sing, give thanks to their god, and enjoy this paradise as long as they were remained. 

    Seeing the Hulk's worried expression, Zaffer asked what was his concern, and the Hulk explained his torment, "World is nice -- and maybe Hulk would like to stay here some time. But sword-girl (the Valkyrie) is dead -- and we must have Rose to bring her back!"zaffer-rop-def108-fight3def-post

    Realizing the visitors wanted to take their god, Zaffer angrily insisted, "No!," at which point the Hulk punched him to the ground while insisting, "Yes!" Shocked and enraged at being struck, Zaffer punched the Hulk, knocking him off of his feet, while his tentacles reached out, ensnared Namor and the Son of Satan and hurled them into a tree and a rock, respectively. 

    The three male Defenders swiftly recovered and engaged the powerful and now blood-thirsty Zaffer, while Hellcat rushed forward to cut down the Rose with Dragonfang. However, the Valkyrie's spirit resisted Hellcat's sword-strike, unwilling to sacrifice the Rose and the happy lives of Zaffer and Damask for her own sake; and then Damask rushed forward and tried to convince Hellcat to stop as the conflict caused the Rose to remove its influence, reverting the planetoid to its desolate state.

    While the male Defenders eventually knocked down and gained the upper hand on Zaffer and Hellcat easily cast aside the delicate Damask, Hellcat was ultimately unable to slay the Rose.Convinced of the wrongness of their actions, Hellcat persuaded her fellow Defenders to end the battle. 

    The Son of Satan helped Zaffer back up to his feet, but Zaffer lamented that all was lost, that their god had forsaken them, and that they were alone with their own despair.zaffer-rop-def108-face-sad

    However, the Rose then restored his world’s blissful state, claiming the brief crisis had enabled them all to better appreciate paradise after having walked through the wasteland of their own hearts.

    Damask and Zaffer stood silently as the image of the Enchantress then appeared above, telling them that they would be trapped there for all eternity. Thereafter, Zaffer told his new friends that they were more than welcome to remain with them, and that he and Damask would be proud to share what was theirs. Namor considered that they may have no choice but to accept.

(Defenders I#109 - BTS) - Dr. Strange summoned the four Defenders (and Dragonfang) from the Wasteland to Asgard to oppose the Enchantress and her agents.

Defenders: Strange Heroes: Rose of Purity) - Zaffer and Damask’s peace and paradise presumably continued.

Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin, Sam Trapani, Rick Magyar, and Jack Abel.

    I always enjoyed the unique appearance and character of Zaffer, and my copy of Defenders I#108 is starting to fall apart from being read so many times.
    I would love to see him again in the right story, keeping true to history and nature. Maybe we could gain some his race native to the Wasteland dimension or did they arrive there under unrevealed circumstances?

    Zaffer and Damask's real names were confirmed in the Rose of Purity's profile in Defenders: Strange Heroes (February, 2012).
    Zaffer is a tone of blue.

    Zaffer looked a little different (quite a bit larger, ansd notably with a fifth toe added) on the cover of Defenders I#108, but it's a cool image, so I'm including it here nonetheless:zaffer-rop-def108cover.jpg

    Zaffer originally received a sub-profile under the Rose of Purity in 12/03/2003.

    This profile was completed 9/18/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

    Big thanks to Roger Ott for cleaning up the image from Defenders: Strange Heroes, and to Loki for providing digital images I couldn't figure out how to get.

Profile by Snood.

should be distinguished from:

: (without ads)

Defenders I#108 cover (vs. Defenders; by Rose);
        pg. 10, panel 5 (dancing);
        pg. 13, panel 4 (angry face);
        pg. 14, panel 1-2 (even angrier; punching Hulk);
            panel 5 (batting Hulk, Namor, Son of Satan; frontal);
        pg. 15, panel 5
(batting Hulk, Namor, Son of Satan; posterior oblique);
        pg. 19, panel 2 (face; despair);

Defenders: Strange Heroes: Rose of Purity entry (full; standing)

Defenders I#108 (August, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Sam Trapani, Rick Magyar, Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (inks/editor)
Defenders: Strange Heroes (February, 2012) - Jeff Christiansen, Mike O'Sullivan, & Stuart Vandal (head writers/coordinators)

First posted09/22/2021
Last updated: 10/31/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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