Zhaos the Warbringer (MOTUC)

Zhaos 00

I’ve had this idea for a Masters of the Universe character rolling around in my head for a while now.  But first, let’s talk about Zodac.

In the original Masters of the Universe toyline, there was a bold line drawn between the “heroic” and “evil” characters.  And then there was Zodac.  His toy package was labeled “cosmic enforcer” without any heroic or evil affiliation.  Between the mini-comics and cartoons, Zodac has been depicted in a variety of ways ranging from a bounty hunter to a god-like entity.  He’s intended to be a neutral character, though he tends to lean on the heroic side of the fence.  His outfit has a retro sci-fi vibe, with a dash of Kirbyesque “New Gods” influence.

A popular idea regarding Zodac was that he wasn’t “the” cosmic enforcer, but instead “a” Cosmic Enforcer; one of many.  So how do they go about enforcing the cosmos?  And what exactly is the “cosmos”, anyway?

The dictionary’s definition of cosmos is “the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.”  The definition of cosmic is “adjective pertaining to ‘cosmos’, immeasurably extended in time and space; vast.” So the cosmos isn’t just limited to physical space, but also of time.

I can see how a character like Zodac can work toward maintaining order, but how would one enforce order?  I suppose their organization has rules, but much is still left to the interpretation of the individual.

Zhaos has a very unique way of seeing at the universe.  He can look forward at the development of a culture and see where it’s heading.  You could almost say he predicts it, but in many cases the events are too orchestrated for any of Zhaos’s predictions to be considered anything more than self-fulfilling prophecy.  Imagine if you took a ball and let it roll downhill.  If the ball starts to steer off-course and roll off the edge, you give it a nudge and steer it back on-course.  If it starts to roll backwards, you push it forward.  If it stops rolling completely, you give it a shove.  Zhaos sees his role in the cosmos as keeping evolution rolling.  He believes that when a society experiences perfect peace, they cease to improve themselves.  Simple comforts like air conditioning units, for example, allow us to control our environment, canceling our need to adapt to the elements. In order for “survival of the fittest” to be achieved, Zhaos believes a society must be forced into a state of adaptation or survival.  He “kicks over anthills” on a galactic scale, stirring dissent and sparking wars in an effort to promote change.  Zhaos is arrogant and boastful, considering himself the hardest working of all the Cosmic Enforcers, and the only true visionary in their ranks.  Zodac and his fellow Enforcers have wondered why Zhaos hasn’t had his membership revoked for what they see as crimes against nature, but their leader says “he serves a purpose.”

Zhaos’s use of “the butterfly effect” has set events in motion that echo from the dawn of life on each planet all the way to it’s extinction.  He has stood in the shadows behind countless thrones while counseling the most powerful leaders through wartime, some while they were in direct opposition of each other.  Sometimes he orchestrates events with such precision that they end precisely as he intended.  Other times he “turns the dogs loose” just to see what will happen.  Zhaos has wandered all over eternity, weary and hard-traveled, long since losing any sense of wonder he might have felt.  He finds it difficult to discover new ways to challenge and entertain himself.  Catching the attention of Zhaos is practically a curse for any society his eye may fall upon, but he believes that, in time, your descendants will be better and stronger for it.  He thinks it’s an acceptable price to pay that he must be perceived as a villain by those he sees as having a “lack of vision”.

“Evolve or die”.  “Eat or be eaten”.  These are the universal truths that he has established, most notably on Eternia, the planet that sits at the center of the universe; the fulcrum that the entire cosmos spins upon.  Ages ago, he set events in motion that caused the crash of a Gar starship, contaminating a primitive, peaceful world with highly technological weaponry, at it’s core changing the very tone at which the entire universe vibrates.  And in this way, Zhaos may very well be THE Master of the Universe in it’s most literal sense.
Zhaos 01 front Zhaos 04 right Zhaos 03 back Zhaos 02 left
This figure was made out of a MOTUC Zodac figure.  It’s mostly just a repaint, with a sculpted beard and eyepatch.  I wanted him to be practically black and white, with only his skin tone as color, covered with aged and faded tribal tattoos.  I decided to add a spot of red for his one eye.  The Cosmic Enforcer sword is an original design by Karak Nul’s Custom Figures.  I asked Karak Nul’s Stacy Mealer about the weapon’s origin.  He said “I needed an accessory to go with my custom enforcer armors. Enforcer-specific weapons are always popular.” I decided to add red detailing to imply that this sword has seen it’s share of bloodshed.  His beard is brown, with a touch of silver to bring out the texture.

Zhaos 05 Zhaos 06 Zhaos 07 Zhaos 08 Zhaos 09 Zhaos 10Zhaos 11

Before and after

Zhaos 12 before&after

“Who invited him?!”

Zhaos 13 Cosmic Enforcers

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