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What the D'ast? Zarrko the Tomorrow Man

Posted By: Wonder Worlock
Fri, 04/08/2011 - 13:19

(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)


By Byron Brewer


picI didn’t catch up on this scientist from the future until a latter-day adventure in Thor, but the character has roots going back to the Thunder God’s Journey into Mystery days with Stan and Jack.

Born in Old New York of the peaceful 23rd century of an alternate future. Artur Zarrko was once a civil servant, but built a time machine to escape from his time and visit more primitive periods, like USA in the 1960s, where nuclear weapons could be stolen easily, as he sought to become a conqueror and dictator in his own time. Zarrko stole an experimental cobalt bomb to use in his own time, thus taking over Earth, but was pursued by Thor who recovered the bomb and caused Zarrko's ship to crash.

Zarrko was left amnesiac for a time, but his memory was eventually restored by Thor’s brother, the God of Mischief Loki; Zarrko returned to the 20th Century and coerced Thor into helping him conquer the government of the 23rd Century. However, despite gaining access to the Master Machine which controlled the entire planet, Thor defeated him.

Zarrko later conquered an Earth in the 50th Century, where he encountered the Time-Twisters. He used his Servitor robot to enlist the aid of Thor and the Warriors Three to defeat the Time-Twisters. He journeyed with them to the "end of time" to thwart the Time-Twisters' birth, but when he returned to the 50th Century he found himself deposed as ruler.

Some time later, Zarrko traveled to 2591 and tricked Dargo, the Thor of that era, into accompanying him to the 20th Century to battle the second Thor and Beta Ray Bill. Zarrko sought to use the energy unleashed by their hammers in the clash to activate the radical Time Stabilizer device to use to collapse all the timelines into one. However, he was left adrift in the time-stream.

In one tale, Zarrko's plot was revealed to be a plan to save humanity! In his future, Thor had separated from his human self, Jake Olson, and lost his ability to understand humanity. Because of this, Thor became more and more oppressive and imposing, and believed that ruling humanity was the only just thing to do. Zarrko knew that in his future, Thor would become a tyrant, so he had to travel back in time and stop him before the Odin Force made him invincible and near-omnipotent. When the governments of Earth launched a massive assault on Asgard (not Siege now), Zarrko was seen trying to escape with his time machine, only to be stopped by Thialfi (a human boy transformed by Odin into an Asgardian). Zarrko's attempted time travel was instrumental for Thor to create for himself a new future in which he would never be the tyrant he would have been without his human self.

Zarrko later returned disguised as Boris, a manservant to Kristoff Vernard, heir of Doctor Doom, who had become a member of the Fantastic Four following the “death” of Reed Richards. He was soon exposed but used his time machine to cause chaos in the building by bringing in various heroes and villains from the past and the future to fight it out. He later escaped, deciding that all he wanted was a quiet place and plenty of food.

Surely, Zarrko is stuffed by now (although I know that is a relative statement as for as time goes). Anyhoo, with Kang popping up all about in recent days, can Zarrko be far behind?