WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Professor Zodiak aka The Alchemist
Name: Zobar Zodiak
Occupation: Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age): All-Star Comics #42 (August 1948)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Justice League of America #193 (August 1981)
Little is known of the life of Zobar Zodiak prior to his
appearance in the late 1940’s. He was
known to be a prominent scientist, nominated for a cabinet position in the Truman
Administration when he was accused of murdering a prominent faculty member at
Gotham University. At his trial, he unraveled his path to a life of crime.
Having mastered normal disciplines of chemistry and
engineering, he began the study of arcane sciences such as alchemy. His goal was to develop advanced alchemical
weaponry and his work drew the alarm of other prominent scientists who in turn
contacted the Justice Society. As luck
would have it, Zodiak rented a room in a flat next to an elderly man named
Galio. One evening, he happened to
overhear Galio visiting with the Justice Society who had come to hear the old
man reveal an incredible tale, that he was over 500 years old and had secreted
away four alchemical artifacts of incredible power. Just as he was to reveal their location to
the Society and the eavesdropping Zodiak, he expired. Listening further, Zodiak heard Dr. Mid-Nite
suggest that they prioritize a lead on a criminal scientist, startling Zodiak
when he heard his own name. He fled but
left his cane behind, alerting the JSA that he too now knew of the alchemist
A mad hunt the ensued with the JSA following leads only to
discover the Zodiak, using an alchemist’s machine to scan dozens of newspaper
at once, was one step ahead. He
recovered the Philosopher’s Stone ahead of the Flash and Hawkman, using it to
turn a building’s steel girders to collapsible gold. When an arrogant millionaire accidently kills
himself by drinking the Universal Solvent, Zodiak again got to it first,
outpacing Dr. Mid-Nite and the Atom.
Finally Zodiak deduced that a spinning top contest in fact was being won
by someone possessing the secret of perpetual motion. There
he was almost captured by Wonder Woman and the Black Canary before he reduced
them to children with an Alchemo-bomb. The final treasure was found with a Professor
Michaels of Gotham University who had flowers in his garden that never ceased
to bloom. Visiting Michaels, Zodiak
recovered the reason – the Elixir of Youth – and stole it. When Michaels intervened he seemingly killed
him with a bomb but was intercepted by Green Lantern before he could escape. After a brief struggle, the hero also fell
was taken to Zodiak’s hideaway where, along with the other male JSAers, was
placed in a fan-like perpetual motion to remain forever. Zodiak then surrendered
to the police to gain the publicity of a trial.
Having accomplished his purpose in revealing his tale, he
fended off the police and took to the air waves blackmailing the nation with
his alchemical weapons. Meanwhile, the
JSA had freed themselves, using the Elixir of Youth to shrink out of their
bonds. The side effect is that they were
now children and not taken seriously when approaching the police. Eventually convincing one, they tricked
Zodaik into throwing an alchemical bomb, restoring their adulthood and leading
to the defeat of Zodialk and his men’s defeat.
As Zodiak attempting to flee in a plane of alchemical design, he was
consumed in an explosion which the JSA interpreted as a testament to the
fallacy of alchemical science (All-Star Comics #42).
In reality, the bomb was a cover effect from Per Degaton to pull Zodiak through time to 1942. There he joined several other time-displaced villains in attacking the Justice Society, using the Elixir of Youth and a kryptonite-covered Philosopher’s Stone to capture Superman, Batman and Robin (Justice League of America #193). Degaton’s efforts were thwarted by the arrival of a group of heroes soon to be named the All-Star Squadron. Degaton had booby-trapped the mechanism of pulling the villains back in time and imminent defeat sent them back largely to where they came from (All-Star Squadron #3). The later activities of Professor Zodiak are unrevealed.
Powers and Abilities
Professor Zodiak possessed an genius level intellect, especially as applied to the sciences. He had a moderate level of ancient arcane science, which he applied to modern contrivances like bombs or airplanes. With the four alchemical wonders in hand, he could transmute elements (Philosopher's Stone), dissolve anything to nothing (Universal Solvent), entrain endless energy (Perpetual Motion devices) and reverse the aging process (Elixir of Youth). It is likely Zodiak has already sampled the Elixir of Youth and achieved extreme longevity, tho this is unknown for certain. His stature prior to his crime life evidently bestowed on him considerable wealth to finance his operations.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Professor Zodiak was a normal human in poor physical shape and represented little physical threat.
The history of Zobar Zodiak is thought to be essentially identical to his Earth-Two counterpart.
All-Star Coimics #42
1st appearance, vs. the Justice Society
All-Star Comics Archives Vol. 9
Justice League of America #193, All-Star Squadron #1-3
As an agent of Per Degaton, vs. the Justice Society and All-Star Squadron
Showcase Presents :The All-Star Squadron Vol. 1