List of Marvel Comics characters: Z
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).
Within the context of the stories, Zarek is an Imperial Minister of the Kree Empire. He chooses Captain Mar-Vell to be the Kree spy on Earth. Zarek later conspires with Ronan the Accuser to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence, but is defeated by Captain Marvel. Zarek is declared a traitor to the Kree Empire and operates as a renegade, leading a band of Kree malcontents known as the Lunatic Legion. With the Lunatic Legion, he creates the deadly Nitro, and joins in a plot to use Captain Mar-Vell to destroy the Supreme Intelligence. Zarek battles and is again defeated by Captain Mar-Vell.
Zeitgeist (Axel Cluney) is a fictional mutant character and superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a member of the second team of X-Force. Zeitgeist could spew acidic vomit from his mouth, and wore a protective mouthpiece in and out of costume. It was shown that his vomit could burn through 10 cm thick steel in less than 30 seconds.
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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