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Zzzax battles the Hulk on the cover of The Incredible Hulk #183 (Jan. 1975).
Art by Herb Trimpe.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Incredible Hulk #166 (Aug. 1973)
Created bySteve Englehart
Herb Trimpe
In-story information
Team affiliationsLethal Legion
Notable aliasesGeneral "Thunderbolt" Ross, The Living Dynamo, Pyro
Electrical energy absorption, projection and manipulation
Heat generation
Ability to supposedly gain intellect

Zzzax is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #166 (August 1973), and was created by Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe.

Created by accident during a terrorist act, Zzzax is a being of pure electricity who can absorb and discharge powerful currents of electricity. Its size and strength depend on the amount of electricity absorbed. It can also absorb human brain energy, temporarily taking on the personality of the victim.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Debuting in the title The Incredible Hulk,[1] Zzzax is a humanoid creature formed from electricity by an act of sabotage at a Con Ed nuclear power plant in New York City. A group of terrorists destroying the dynamos started a chain reaction that caused a rapid buildup of energy, which takes on a life of its own and absorbs the minds of the terrorists and several engineers. By using the electrical energy from their brains, the entity achieves humanoid form and sentience. Calling itself Zzzax, the entity fights the Hulk and Hawkeye before being defeated.[1]

The character returns to the title The Incredible Hulk and attacks a research center in Chicago. The Hulk battles the entity to a standstill before several scientists shut down the process that recreates Zzzax.[2] Zzzax reappears in the title Luke Cage, Power Man, and hunts down the men responsible for its last defeat. Power Man defeats the entity, but not before it kills one of the scientists.[3] Zzzax returns in the title Hulk to confront an intelligent version of the monster possessing the intelligence of Bruce Banner, but is quickly defeated.[4] Mephisto later reforms the entity in the limited series Secret Wars II, although the Thing defeats it.[5] In the title West Coast Avengers the character Zzzax teams with fundamental force villains Graviton; Quantum and Halflife, but is shortcircuited by Hawkeye.[6]

The title Hulk details how S.H.I.E.L.D. captured Zzzax and transported it to Gamma Base. General Thunderbolt Ross arranges for his mind to be transferred into Zzzax's body and battles a new version of the Hulk, whose alter-ego is Rick Jones.[7] Ross relinquishes control of the entity soon after saving his daughter Betty Ross Banner, realizing that his actions had risked lives.[8] Zzzax battles Iron Man in the title Marvel Comics Presents[9] and Cable in the self-titled series.[10]

The entity reappears in the title New Avengers and participates in the mass escape by super-villains from holding facility The Raft.[11] The second volume of the title She-Hulk reveals the character has been contained by S.H.I.E.L.D. After briefly escaping and turning the defence systems of the organisation's Helicarrier against its agents (including the Life Model Decoys), it is recaptured by She-Hulk.[12]

The Mighty Avengers later apprehend Zzzax when he attacks New Delhi.[13]

Zzzax later appears in the services of MODOK Superior when it comes to him attacking Red Hulk.[14]

During the Fear Itself storyline, Zzzax was with MODOK Superior when it comes to competing against Zero/One and Black Fog into getting to Red Hulk first.[15]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As a being of pure electricity, Zzzax is capable of absorbing and discharging powerful currents of electricity; manipulating nearby electrical fields and equipment, and, also, flying. The character's size and strength increases in proportion to the amount of electricity absorbed. This control of electric current extends to the human nervous system, as Zzzax has been shown controlling the Hulk. Zzzax is also dependent upon brain electricity, and when killing prey will temporarily take on the personality traits of the victim. Zzzax has been shown generating intense heat, to the point whereby water - a previous weakness - evaporates before touching it.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]


  • Zzzax appears in The Incredible Hulk, simultaneously voiced by Michael Bell, Leeza Miller McGee, and Kevin Schon. In the episode "Raw Power", nuclear power plant worker Mitch McCutcheon attempts to aid Bruce Banner In curing himself of the Hulk. However, security guards break in and damage the machine; McCutcheon rescues Bruce, but is transformed into Zzzax when the machine explodes. Driven insane by his transformation, Zzzax attempts to suck as much energy as possible to keep his new form. Zzzax is eventually transformed back to normal following a fight with Hulk leading them to fall off a hydroelectric dam and into the water. He later makes a brief cameo during a flashback during the episode "Innocent Blood", when Ghost Rider uses the Penance Stare on the Hulk.
  • Zzzax is featured in the animated television series The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Jonathan Mankuta. In the episode "A Brat Walks Among Us," Doctor Doom pairs him up with Pyro in attacking a part of the wall that separates Super Hero City and Villainville in order to enable Doctor Doom's forces to invade. They were defeated by Heroes for Hire and remanded to the Vault. In the episode "The Ice Melt Cometh," Zzzax is paired up with Pyro and Trapster as "Team Toxic" to build a super-spinner machine in order to spin the Earth enough to send Super Hero City into a space device built by Doctor Doom in his latest plot to get the Infinity Fractals.
  • Zzzax appears in two episodes of the animated television series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In the episode "The Breakout, Part 1", he is one of many supervillains released from the Cube, briefly clashing with the Hulk before escaping. In the episode "Gamma World, Part 1", Zzzax assists the U-Foes and the Wrecking Crew in attacking the Avengers when they enter the Cube. All of the villains are defeated, although Zzzax manages to short-circuit Wasp's hazmat suit, causing her to be mutated by gamma radiation and subjected to the Leader's mind control.
  • Zzzax appears in Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. This version takes the form of a skinny humanoid. When Spider-Man is interviewed by Mary Jane Watson in the episode "Exclusive," Zzzax and Hulk show up in mid-battle where their fight causes a rampage throughout New York. The police were unable to see Zzzax until it absorbed enough energy for it to be seen. After luring Zzzax to the subways, Spider-Man is nearly killed by the creature, but the Hulk saves him and Zzzax is seemingly destroyed. Later, it was revealed Zzzax did not die, but its powers were shorted out. With help from the Hulk and S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man defeats Zzzax by shorting it out with too much energy before it could absorb the whole city's power. In the episode "Contest of Champions" Pt. 2, Zzzax is paired up with Doctor Octopus and Absorbing Man in a game of "Last Team Standing" against Spider-Man, Skaar, Black Widow and Power Man. Spider-Man removes him from the game by knocking him off a building and into the floodwaters that Grandmaster had summoned.
  • Zzzax appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "All-Father's Day". He lays siege to the United Nations until the Avengers arrive. The Avengers start to overload Zzzax with energy until Zzzax is defeated by Odin.


Video games[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hulk #166 (August 1973)
  2. ^ Hulk #183 (Jan. 1975)
  3. ^ Luke Cage, Power Man #47 (Oct. 1977)
  4. ^ Hulk #285 (July 1983)
  5. ^ Secret Wars II #7 (Jan. 1986)
  6. ^ West Coast Avengers #12 - 13 (Sep. - Oct. 1986)
  7. ^ Hulk #325 - 327 (Nov. 1985 - Feb. 1986)
  8. ^ Hulk #330 (May. 1986)
  9. ^ Marvel Comics Presents #8 (Apr. 1989)
  10. ^ Cable #59 (October 1998)
  11. ^ New Avengers #1 - 3 (Jan. - Mar. 2006); New Avengers: Most Wanted Files #1 (July 2006)
  12. ^ She-Hulk vol. 2, #17 (April 2007)
  13. ^ Mighty Avengers #32
  14. ^ Hulk Vol. 2 #36
  15. ^ Hulk Vol. 2 #39
  16. ^ http://marvel.com/news/video_games/25634/go_inside_avengers_alliance_spec_op_32[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]