List of Marvel Comics characters: Z
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Zadkiel is a former archangel in the service of Heaven and an enemy of the Ghost Rider, named after the mythical angel of the same name. Created by Jason Aaron, the character debuted in Ghost Rider vol. 4 #27.
Zadkiel was in charge of overseeing the Spirits of Vengeance in God's army, and gradually developed a hatred of humanity as God favored the sinners over the angels .[volume & issue needed] This led him to decide to overpower and dethrone God, something that he would need the power of Spirits of Vengeance to do. It was revealed that he had endowed Johnny Blaze with the powers of the Ghost Rider.[volume & issue needed]
As a backup plan Zadkiel used Blaze's brother, Daniel Ketch. Danny was once the host for the Ghost Rider entity, and after he had exorcised the spirit he went into withdrawal. Falling off the wagon Danny soon found himself once again host to a new variation of the Ghost Rider. Zadkiel had tricked Danny into believing that by killing other Spirits of Vengeance he would be freeing the human hosts. What Danny did not realize was that by destroying the Spirits of Vengeance, he was fueling Zadkiel, making him all-powerful.
Danny blindly led Zadkiel's army, the Black Host, into war with Blaze and the last remaining Ghost Riders. Danny and Blaze soon came into conflict, and Danny and Zadkiel's army were able to overpower Blaze and his allies. When Danny ascends to Heaven to deliver the last of the spirits, Zadkiel turns on him, casting him back to Earth. With his enhanced abilities, Zadkiel was able to apparently usurp the throne from God and instill himself as the new ruler of Heaven.
His reign was short-lived, however, as Danny and Blaze had arrived in Heaven to challenge him. With the assistance of the deceased Ghost Riders of the past, the brothers were able to overthrow Zadkiel and return the Heaven to God; Zadkiel realized that though he might have been able to shift the power that fueled the Ghost Riders from its hosts, and even leech it from them, he could neither control nor destroy it, as only the one true God possessed that power, which he was not. Zadkiel is currently imprisoned in Hell, condemned by an enraged God for his treachery to be tortured for all eternity for his horrific crimes against Paradise and Creation.
Powers and abilities of Zadkiel
Zadkiel has not revealed the full extent of his powers, but is essentially immortal. The sole ability he has demonstrated so far is that he can mutilate and destroy human souls. He did have a semblance of what seemed to be the Creator's power briefly and used the power to create havoc on Earth, erasing people from existence, though it is ultimately revealed that while he may have able to drain a portion of the power of the Spirits of Vengeance from them temporarily, he was not, and never would be, the one true God and could thus never truly claim dominion over Heaven for long, much less all Creation.
Other versions of Zadkiel
During the 2015 Secret Wars event, a variation of Zadkiel resides in the Battleworld domain of Doomstadt and works for Arcade as the Killiseum's chief of security. As Arcade planned to destabilize Robbie Reyes, Zadkiel warned him that Robbie draws his power from a different source. After Robbie escapes with the help of the ghost of Eli Morrow, Arcade orders Zadkiel to send the Ghost Racers to hunt him down. When the Ghost Racers corner Robbie, Arcade kidnaps his brother Gabe Reyes and plans to have him race in Robbie's place. This causes Robbie to return to the Killiseum. Once at the Killiseum, Zadkiel orders the Ghost Racers to kill Robbie and to unleash the Venus Compiler on him as well. When Robbie frees the other Ghost Racers, they help to destroy the Venus Compiler. Zadkiel plans to kill Gabe, but Robbie instead kills Zadkiel by consuming his soul.
Maximillian Zaran, a British character, was created by Mike Zeck and first appeared in Master of Kung Fu vol. 2 #77. Formerly an agent of the British Secret Service: MI-6, he becomes a mercenary and assassin, training himself thoroughly in martial arts and the use of various kinds of weapons. His first superhero battle is against Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu, who easily defeats him, although Zaran later defeats the hero in turn. Zaran then joins Batroc's Brigade, and is hired by Obadiah Stane to steal Captain America's shield.He later joins forces with Razorfist II and Shockwave and fights the West Coast Avengers.
During the Bloodstone Hunt, Zaran becomes good friends with fellow mercenary Batroc. The Brigade is employed by Baron Zemo to acquire the fragments of the Bloodstone, and Zaran fights Captain America and Diamondback but loses. They are later hired by Maelstrom to help him build a device capable of destroying the universe and battle the Great Lakes Avengers, during which he kills the newly initiated G.L.A. member Grasshopper.
At one point, Zaran trains a successor, who Shang-Chi defeats in battle.
Although he has no superhuman abilities, he is an extremely athletic man with knowledge of numerous forms of armed and unarmed combat and of such varied weapons as knives, bows, staffs, maces, spears, nunchakus, shuriken, and guns. He wears a leather outfitted with a variety of specialized clips, loops, and pockets for carrying weapons. He usually carries small sais (three pronged daggers) attached to his gauntlets, collar and codpiece, a bo staff/spear/blow gun, and a wide variety of weapons as needed.
Other versions of Zaran
In House of M, Zaran is a member of the criminal organization Shang-Chi's Dragons, alongside Mantis, Swordsman, and Machete. He is killed by Bullseye after the Dragons are ambushed by the Kingpin's assassins.
Zaran in other media
Zaran appears in the video game Spider-Man and Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge (1989).
Leo Zelinsky is a fictional tailor, specializing in outfits for superheroes and supervillains, created by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr.. His first (named) appearance is in The Amazing Spider-Man #502.
Zelinsky's first superpowered customer was The Thing, whose clothes were burned off by a fire-wielding villain. Word gets around and other heroes begin to go to him, as well as villains, such as Doctor Doom. To prevent fights from breaking out among his customers, he establishes a schedule where he serves each group on alternating days of the week. At one point, Zelinsky overhears one of his villainous customers, named Killshot, planning to murder the local District Attorney. Wishing to protect his business and protect his grandson, he reluctantly reveals this to Spider-Man. Spider-Man stops Killshot's scheme, but the villain attempts to get revenge on Zelinsky, injuring him before Spider-Man stops him. Spider-Man later visits Zelinsky to get his costume repaired
Zelinsky designs a costume with a reversible jacket design for Spider-Man, offering it to him at a discount price. This costume is seen during Grim Hunt in an alternate future reality where Spider-Man kills Kraven the Hunter. It is also worn by an alternate version of Ezekiel in the Spider-Verse storyline. Zelinsky later designs the hero a black and blue costume with a four on the chest, which the latter plans to use while adventuring with the Fantastic Four. They force him to change the outfit, however, as they had decided to retire the Fantastic Four and instead be the Future Foundation.
An unnamed character strongly resembling Zelinsky (later confirmed as being him in Civil War: Battle Damage Report) appears in Civil War: Frontline, where he provides Robbie Baldwin with a new armored costume, expressing dismay when Baldwin asks for his help putting on the suit as its interior is covered in sharp spikes.
DC Comics has a similar character named Paul Gambi.
Ziran the Tester
Created long ago by unknown forces, Zom is a massively powerful mystic entity who exists only to destroy. Possessing enough evil energy to disrupt the balance of the multiverse, it takes the combined efforts of Dormammu and Eternity to successfully banish him; Zom was fitted with the "Crown of Blindness" and the "Manacles of Living Bondage" before being imprisoned within a small mystic amphora in what Eternity described as a "world beyond all worlds" and a "time beyond all time".
In Dormammu's absence, his sister Umar assumed the Flames of Regency and all the powers of the Dark Dimension, and as she was not bound by the pact that prevented Dormammu from entering the 616-Universe, she transported herself to Earth with the intention of destroying Dr. Strange along with the planet. Knowing he had little chance against Umar in a straight mystic battle (as she was wielding power equal to that of Dormammu), he makes the risky gambit of intentionally releasing Zom in the hopes that the two evil entities would battle one another. Zom furiously attacks Strange and pursues him to Earth, and Umar hastily retreats to the Dark Dimension upon seeing the demon. Dr. Strange attempts to battle the menace alone, but it is the Living Tribunal that banishes Zom, wishing to prevent his evil energy from leaking into other dimensions.
When faced with the unstoppable rage of the Hulk during the "World War Hulk" storyline, Doctor Strange resorts to invoking Zom's essence into himself by drinking the contents of the amphora. He successfully channels them, severely battering the Hulk, but begins to lose control. He pauses to restrain the demon, allowing the Hulk to recover and knock him unconscious.[volume & issue needed]
After Doctor Strange's defeat, the infernal entity, severely depleted, resumes its mission to destroy the Earth dimension, and inhabits Iron Man's discarded Hulkbuster armor to activate the latter's anti-matter doomsday device. Wong attempts to recapture it, assisted by Hercules, Namora, Angel, and Amadeus Cho. Eventually, Cho tricks it into possessing his body so Angel can knock him out, allowing him to be successfully resealed.
During the assault of Amatsu-Mikaboshi on all of existence during the Chaos War storyline, Amatsu-Mikaboshi attacks Doctor Strange, awakening his inner Zom. Marlo Chandler eventually frees Doctor Strange using the power derived from her connection with Death.
Zom has displayed innate magical power and mystical knowledge sufficient to overpower both Doctor Strange and Umar, magic users of the highest order;[volume & issue needed] additionally, the Living Tribunal was moved to intervene personally to dispatch him, something which typically does not happen unless the entire universe's existence is at stake.[volume & issue needed] He also possesses incredible physical strength, being able to shatter manacles set on him by Eternity himself;[volume & issue needed] and while channeling his power, Doctor Strange was strong enough to hold his own against the Hulk.[volume & issue needed] If he is defeated and not every piece of him is recaptured, each one can potentially grow into a new, complete Zom, provided it has sufficient magical power to feed on. He can also possess both inanimate objects and individuals, seemingly dominating even very powerful and trained wills with ease.[volume & issue needed]
Zuri, a fictional Wakandan, was created by Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira and first appeared in Black Panther Vol. 3 #1 (November 1998). He is very large, and is one of King T'Challa (Black Panther's) many warriors. Despite his old age, he possesses great strength and is a master of armed and unarmed combat. He fought alongside T'Chaka, who as his final act asked Zuri to watch over his son. It is implied that Zuri trained T'Challa at a young age. He, Okoye, and Nakia accompany T'Challa to New York City, where he meets and befriends their intended handler on foreign soil, Everett K. Ross. 
Zuri notably has a slim grasp on contemporary culture. He often eats things raw, regardless of their origin, and his idea of "formal" clothing is, at least according to Ross, "Even BIGGER dead animal slung across shoulder".[volume & issue needed] He disapproves of T'Challa's previous relationship with a woman named Nikki Adams simply because she is not Wakandan. He does respect non-Wakandans, such as Ross, who he views as a close friend. Zuri is killed by Morlun.
Zuri has super-strength,[volume & issue needed] and is also an expert hunter, skilled tracker, and a master at armed and hand-to-hand combat.
Zuri in other media
Zuri appears in the film Black Panther, portrayed by Forest Whitaker, and by Denzel Whitaker when he is younger. As a young man, Zuri posed as an American named James to tail N'Jobu, T'Chaka's brother and a traitor, and witnesses his death at T'Chaka's hands. Thirty years later, Zuri appoints T'Chaka's son T'Challa as the new king, and oversees T'Challa's fight with M'Baku on challenge day by administering the liquid that removes the abilities the heart-shaped herb grants. When M'Baku is defeated, Zuri performs a ritual that involves the abilities' return. Zuri is the one to tell T'Challa the truth about Erik Killmonger's parentage. Killmonger later kills Zuri when he attempts to protect T'Challa, blaming him for doing nothing to protect N'Jobu.
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