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Doctor Zero (Earth-88194)

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The man eventually known as Doctor Zero is an impossibly old "Shadow-dweller", possibly the oldest sentient creature on Earth. He claims to have evolved from the primordial ooze at the dawn of Earth's cooling, and no one alive is old enough to contradict this.

"Zero" had little regard for either humanity or his fellow Shadows as a whole, although he would respect or befriend individual people who caught his attention. A grand manipulator, Zero often guided humanity unwittingly or unwillingly onto a more stable path to preserve the planet as a place where he could live peacefully. Under the alias of Draghignazzo, Zero first introduced civilization to ancient Europe by establishing a system of feudal lords under his control. This angered a religious group of Shadows, eventually known as the Order of St. George, who believed only Divinity could impose rules on man. Their Abbott used his Shadow-power to create a powerful armor for their namesake, the knight St. George, to defeat the Draghignazzo. Seriously wounded by the conflict, the Dragon had his squire Schreck bury him under enchanted stones so that he would have time to heal himself. In his absence, the Order unleashed the Black Death on Europe in an attempt to undo the trappings of civilization he created.

The Draghignazzo resurfaced eventually, and continued manipulating the development of mankind for his own purposes, taking on a variety of aliases.

In the 1980's, the Dragon adopted a new method for manipulating humanity. Using mind-controlled marketing firms, research, and fashion experts, he crafted his "super-hero" identity as Doctor Zero to appeal to the masses.[1]

Secret Wars

When the Multiverse was destroyed in the last incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610, Doctor Doom, with Beyonder's powers, recreated it in the form of Battleworld. Earth-88194 was recreated in the Shadow Province, ruled by Doctor Zero. He was killed by Baron Hyperion of Utopolis for taking the Argonite.[2]

Powers

Like all Shadow-Dwellers, Zero has a virtually infinite lifespan and will remain young indefinitely if he chooses. His body is naturally tougher and more resilient than a human, even without his Shadow-power. Zero feeds off of bio-energy from humans (and possibly Shadows), depriving them of thoughts, health, and potentially their lives.[3] Excessive use of his Shadow-power requires greater amounts of stolen bio-energy to replenish it.

Doctor Zero's powers allow him to fly, project devastating "vacuum" effects that explosively damage matter, and rearrange matter on a cellular level. He is a projecting telepath, able to edit the memories of other people and influence their behavior.


Weaknesses

  • The armor of St. George is said to be the only thing capable of killing him (a nuclear weapon only weakened him).
  • All Shadows are only immortal until they choose to have children, at which point they begin to age naturally. This rule presumably applies to Doctor Zero as well.


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Footnotes



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