Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Vile Menagerie: Z'USH

Alter Ego: Z'ush
Occupation: Alien Invader
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: White Martians
Base of Operations: The Still Zone; previously Phoenix, AZ
First Appearance: JLA #56 (September, 2001)
Height: Variable; appeared approx. 6'0"
Build: Variable
Eyes: Variable; appeared red
Hair: Variable; appeared bald

Z'ush was one of the seventy White Martians who survived exile in the Still Zone and escaped to attempt multiple takeovers of the Earth. Z'ush was a key player in Protex's second global gambit, having determined that the harvesting of the freshly excised brains of human telepaths could augment the White Martians' natural psychic abilities. This was done in conjunction with the Martians' adulterating the atmosphere with a process that suppressed combustion, allowing them to move freely without fear of their weakness against flame. Z'ush pressed to strike immediately following the Martians' capture of J'Onn J'Onzz, but he was violently rebuffed by Protex, who wanted to be absolutely certain of victory. However, after the Batman discovered their lab and J'Onn J'Onzz briefly freed himself, Z'ush's wish to advance the timetable was granted. Even then, Z'ush was unsatisfied with having waited, and was complaining of such when J'Onn J'Onzz escaped a second time to incapacitated Z'ush and his companion Primaid via a varied density strike through their chests.

Later, the JLA were captured and sent to the Phantom Zone, so Z'ush acted as Protex's lieutenant in commanding Team Deimos and Team Phobos to resume the plan against Earth. However, turnabout led to the White Martians confronting the liberated JLA on the moon, and then being turned against one another by illusions. Given the choice between immolation near the sun or volunteering to enter the Phantom Zone, Z'ush joined the surrendering White Martians in returning to exile in a limbo realm.

Z'ush presumably possessed the innate abilities seen in most White Martians, but he only demonstrated telepathy, flight, shapeshifting and a superhuman physique in his appearances. However, Z'ush was one of only two White Martians to showcase the ability to manifest "psi-spikes" a glowing green shard of unknown tangible material that could be non-fatally driven into the brain of a Martian with seeming ease. These psi-spikes vaguely resembled Oan power ring constructs, as they retained material form for an undefined period of time in their creator's absence. The spikes caused excruciating pain throughout the brain and nervous system, largely silencing and immobilizing their victim. Z'ush and Protex gained this ability through the consumption of latent telepathic brains. It is unknown if the ability was retained indefinitely, if it required further consumption, or if it could be augmented by eating the minds of stronger telepaths.

Protex has a catastrophic vulnerability to fire, causing immediate loss of his abilities, and eventual death with prolonged exposure.

Quote:"The Green One is restless. Perhaps another psi-spike...?"

Created by: Mark Waid & Mike S. Miller

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