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Zenn-Lavians are humanoid, and appear to have no easily discernible differences from terran humans, its people varying in roughly the same minor ethnological aspects as the people of Earth. The people of Zenn-La are extraordinarily long-lived, however - three human generations can easily be born and die off in the time it takes a native of Zenn-La to reach their middle years. The people of Zenn-La have used their long lives to construct a virtual paradise, an ancient civilization in an eternal golden age. However, despite their cultural and technological achievements, the people of Zenn-La have become complacent over the centuries, and no longer desire to explore, innovate, or broaden their horizons. Such activity was by no means discouraged, but it was considered somewhat unnecessary.[2]

This was not always the case, of course. For ten thousand centuries Zenn-La was locked in a bloody Age of Warfare. The scars of this period were so deep that the people came to renounce weapons forever, and came to embrace science as their only principal. What followed was the hundred-century Golden Age of Reason, an era of peace, prosperity, and learning.[2] Norrin Konn was the most influential Zenn-Lavian who helped with the advancement of science, founding the City of Zenn-La. However, a group was formed who feared that this obsession with science would deprive them of emotion, and under the command of their Warlord, they united several like-minded nations and instigated a bloody civil war to return Zenn-La to the old ways. This placed Zenn-La in another dark age, until Konn and his forces managed to squash the army and reestablish science as Zenn-La's only principle.[3]

The Age of Space Travel soon came. Considered by Zenn-La's more romantic citizens to be the time of its greatest glory, Zenn-La launched numerous space-faring vessels during this period. As the ancient race stretched for the stars, they brought with them colonies and supposedly civilization to numerous more primitive worlds. While many planets fell under Zenn-La's dominion, the citizenry eventually grew bored, and retreated to their home world, never to explore in any significant sense again.[4]

This is the world into which Norrin Radd was born. Radd had always been a peculiarity among his people, being one of the rare few who was not completely content to spend his many years on his peaceful native planet. When a hungry Galactus came to Zenn-La seeking to feed off of it, the natives realized for the first time they had not faced a true threat in centuries, and had no modern concept on how to fight such a foe. Unfortunately for them, an automated weapon from the Age of Warfare, the Weapon Supreme, had detected Galactus' approach, and fired upon him. The Weapon Supreme drained energy from the planet itself, turning the entire world into a gigantic anti-matter weapon. The Great Eastern Sea was vaporized, its coast destroyed, and much of Zenn-La was devastated by the backlash. Despite the devastation, Galactus' approach continued unabated.[2]

Radd saw an opportunity to both save his people and get the adventure he craved. Radd offered to become Galactus' herald, constantly seeking out new worlds for him to devour if he would spare Zenn-La and protect his lover, Shalla-Bal. Galactus agreed, and infused Radd with the Power Cosmic, shaping him according to his childhood dreams to form him into the Silver Surfer.[2]

In Earth's year of 1947, the Other arrived to Zenn-La and killed every single living being on the planet, destroying all of the Zenn-Lavians. Silver Surfer and Galactus were present in the system, but were prevented from intervening by the Other. In a surprising act of compassion, Galactus undid the damage done by the Other, reviving the Zenn-Lavians who had no memory of their destruction.[5]

However, Galactus had stripped the planet of all energy, leaving the Zeen-La a barren wasteland which forced the Zenn-Lavians to live in refugee camps. They came to resent Norrin Radd, blaming him for their misery. Silver Surfer's lover Shalla Bal was kidnapped by Mephisto, but thankfully was rescued by Radd who imbued her part of his Power Cosmic. Shalla proceeded to use her newly gained powers to reform Zenn-La's civilization and providing enough plant life, earning her the post of Zenn-Lavians' empress.[6]

During the Kree-Skrull War, the Skrulls and later the Kree attempted to invade Zenn-La and conquer its people. The Silver Surfer intervened, having become the planet's protector, and negotiated with the warring factions. He promised to not interfere with the war and in exchange Zenn-La would be left alone.[7]

Several decades later, Shalla-Bal adopted the title of the "Keeper of the Great Truth," and embarked in a journey to use the Illuminatrix to replace the culture of thousands of worlds with Zenn-La's. When she targeted the Earth, the Silver Surfer tried to stop her. When she managed to enthrall some of Earth's heroes and made them fight the Surfer, Norrin saw himself with less and less time to try to revert the Illuminatrix's conversion. As a last resort, the Surfer used all of his Power Cosmic to destroy the Illuminatrix, an action that caused all of Zenn-La's culture to be erased from the universe, including Zenn-La itself.[8]

Alternate Realities[]

Ultimate Marvel (Earth-1610)[]

The Zenn-Lavians were ruled by the Revka Scyros III, the most powerful telepath of Zenn-La. Amplifying his powers through various machines around the planet, he induced into the population docility and happiness through ignorance. He raised Norrin Radd to be his successor, but the latter was disgusted by how the Psycho-Man mind controlled all of his people. He freed all of the Zenn-Lavians from Psycho-Man's control, but this resulted in the planet destroying itself and Norrin being banished.[9]


During Thanos' conquest of the universe, he completely ravaged Zenn-La's civilization, leaving the fate of Silver Surfer's loved ones uncertain.[10]


Years after Earth was rendered a wasteland, Psionics was a human mutant and Zenn-Lavian hybrid born to former Herald of Galactus Lightwave and a unnamed descendant of Polaris.[11][12]

Powers and Abilities


Advanced Longevity: Zenn-Lavians can live for centuries.[13]




Type of Government

Utopia. Through years of scientific advancements Zenn-Lavians reached a state of near-perfection, having mostly forgotten wars, crimes and illnesses.[2] They were led by one single ruler, that currently being empress Shalla Ball.[4]

Level of Technology

Superior to Earth. As a result of the Zenn-Lavians of their obsession with science, their technology was highly advanced. They had sci-mages and magi-techs that helped advance their society, with some of their artifacts included flying water vases and the Illuminatrix.[14][4] Zenn-Lavians believed they were so advanced that they never have to suffer from labor and live eternally comfortable.[15] They had advanced spacecrafts and weaponry,[4] though the Zenn-Lavians mostly abandoned the latter except for the Weapon Supreme which they used against galactic threats.[2]

Cultural Traits

The Zenn-Lavian males are welcomed into manhood with the shaving of their heads.[15]

A child grieving the death of a parent will be paired with another child as companion.[16]

Within Zeen-La society were the Science Regents who awarded citizens that made great achievements or took those awards from individuals that stole ideas from others.[15]

They used to worship the Old Gods of Zenn-La who were instrumental in developing their civilization, but their belief in the gods eventually died out due to the primitive and un-materialistic nature of believing in deities in their technological society. The Old Gods would attempt to reignite their worship through miracles, only for the Zenn-Lavians to explain them all. This caused the Old Gods to become angry at their former worshipers and completely ignored their prayers when Galactus threatened to consume their planet.[17]

According to Zenn-Lavians, their culture was the most perfect in the universe, to the point it was considered unnecessary to explore other worlds, considering none had to offer anything Zenn-La didn't already have.[4]

When the Keeper of the Great Truth embarked in a journey to rewrite thousands of world's cultures with Zenn-La's using the Illuminatrix, the Silver Surfer was forced to hack the Illuminatrix and completely destroy the culture it was using as a template, the culture of Zenn-La.[8] Because of this, any and every element of Zenn-Lavian culture has been reduced to mere form and function.[18]


See Also

Links and References