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Zakaius possessed a wide variety of powers, both mental and physical. He generated powerful feelings of tranquility and trust in his victims. This allowed him to get close to his victim and use his primary power, a "death-touch" that stole the lifeforce of his victim and distilled it into a finger-sized stone known as a 'life-force rune'. According to Adam Warlock, this touch was powerful enough to fell both himself and Drax the Destroyer if used, which makes it powerful indeed. This power collected only life-forces, letting the souls of his victim free to dissipate in the cosmic ether.
He was immune to mental manipulation by Moondragon and the Mind Gem, and had generic green cosmic energy blasts, which were strong enough to puncture foot thick steel, but didn't even scratch Drax. He also had teleportation abilities across galactic-scale distances. However, this teleportation power was apparently limited to places where his master Domitian wanted him to go.
At one point, his aura of peace and trust was sufficient to cause a biker gang to fight for him against Warlock and the Infinity Watch. However, he was also buying them beer at the time, so it's unclear how much of their loyalty was due to his mental abilities.
Zakaius is a humanoid alien of an unrevealed race. He was easily able to pass for an Earth man. All his abilites appear to be due to some form of cosmic enhancement.
Zakaius was recruited to the Imperial Court many years ago. While it is not entirely clear, it is most likely that all his abilites were granted him by Domitian specifically for his job as Executioner. For many years, Zakaius would go out and execute 'sinners' who were given death sentences by Domitian across a wide variety of worlds, taking the life-force runes he collected back to Domitian. He was almost surely not the first appointed Executioner of the Imperial Court.
He had recently collected the life-force of the being known as Firelord on the planet Luraei.
He was next assigned to execute the "heathen blasphemy" of Warlock and the Infinity Watch, which led him to scout out the activities of the Watch, which somehow led him to hang around biker bars in Pittsburgh. Apparently Zakaius also has some authority to execute other sinners, since he extracted a life-force rune from a random human criminal he encountered in Pittsburgh.
Warlock had been contacted by the soul of Firelord and given an image of Zakaius, which allowed Pip to teleport them all to the biker bar in Pittsburgh. Zakaius and the Infinity Watch started a bar fight which spilled out into the streets. He demonstrated a particularly odd sense of religious zeal, shouting things like, "I purge the galaxy of the iniquity that besets it! I welcome all trangressors before me, to feel the power of my immaculate wrath!" One of his cosmic energy bolts hit a tanker truck, and the resulting explosion burned down a brownstone tenement.
Zakaius immediately repented upon seeing the Infinity Watch save the lives of innocents, and suddenly realized that maybe some of his other thousands of victims, including Firelord, may have been falsely accused of being cosmic sinners. He agreed to accompany the Infinity Watch back to the Imperial Court to confront Domitian. Once they arrived outside the palace, they were confronted by Kaef, and told that to question the will of Domitian constituted heresy, and attacked. Domitian himself appeared and told Zakaius he was unworthy of the office of Imperial Executioner, and that he would teach him a lesson. Attacked by Domitian's army of (yes, seriously) undead cyborg alien criminal assassins, Zakaius aided the Infinity Watch in defeating them, and were then confronted by a Domitian, super-powered by the life-force runes.
When Domitian reappeared, Zakaius had another crisis of conscience and rejoined with Domitian momentarily, but when Moondragon showed him that Domitian was draining the life-forces of innocents he had collected, he again rejoined the Infinity Watch. Zakaius knew where the machine powering Domitian was located, but was unable to teleport into the palace against Domitian's will. With the aid of Pip, he was able to teleport right to the machine and originally tried to disarm it, but as the situation became more dire, he simply destroyed the machine with a cosmic energy blast.
Throughout this, Zakaius had developed a strange attachment to Adam Warlock, and by the end of this mission, he was taking whatever Warlock said as religious doctrine. But Warlock told him he had to leave the planet immediately with Firelord's life-force rune, and could no longer guide Zakaius on the paths of enlightenment. He urged Zakaius to think for himself and to make restitution to all the others he had executed, by reuniting their life forces with the bodies of his many victims. As far as is known, Zakaius set off to do just that, although Domitian was left alive on the planet with Zakaius, and may have very well talked him into beginning his religious crusade again. You can pretty much talk Zakaius into anything if you're a cosmically powered guy, it seems.
First Appearance: Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992) #35
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Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992)
- 'Citizen Tyrannus'#37
- 'Domitian over All'
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