The Green Lantern Corps is filled with interesting characters and exotic looking aliens, and one of the more visually compelling members was Galius Zed, a being who’s sizeable cranium boosts his body weight to over 1200 pounds. Zed’s personality was also headstrong (pun intended) and at one time he served as a foil for Hal Jordan and even rebelled against the Guardians of the Universe when he felt they were not doing the most they could to protect his fellow Corpsman.
Galius Zed came from the planet Noc’sag where the inhabitants needed to be strong to survive in the high gravity, high density environment. As a result Noc’sagians appear immensely strong on planets with Earth norm gravity, and their skin is harder than it looks, often being compared to granite in terms of it’s toughness. Noc’sagians are impulsive, quick tempered and outspoken and as a Green Lantern Galius Zed’s constructs reflected his culture being short lasting and very powerful. The Noc’sagian physiology is interesting with their immense heads requiring three legs to support, although over the years different artists have gone to only showing their race as having either two or four legs. Their appearance is sometimes viewed humorously as the time that Guy Gardner referred to the Red Lantern Zilius Zox, also a Noc’sagian, as a “testicle with teeth”.
Not much is known of Zed’s life and how he became the Green Lantern of Sector 1123 and his first appearance didn’t afford time for a backstory. Zed appeared as a member of the Corps during the 1981’s three-part event Tales of the Green Lantern Corps by Mike W. Barr, Len Wein and Joe Staton. This particular story also introduced the Green Lantern Honor Guard and served as the debut of Arisia as the Green Lantern Corps took on Krona as he tried to summon Nekron to destroy the universe.
Hard Headed Ring Slinger
Galius Zed became known throughout the Corps for his quick rush to judgement and his willingness to take on any mission…..and any fight…if he felt he was in the right. In Green Lantern volume 2 issue 166 Zed becomes agitated by the deaths of his fellow Green Lanterns due to their rings’ weakness to yellow after learning that the Guardians had developed advanced power rings which were not effected by the weakness. In trying to hold his masters accountable Zed rebels and goes on the offensive and it’s only after Hal manages to outlast Zed and forcing him to over exert himself that safety is restored Oa. It turned out that Zed’s betrayal of the Corps was an illusion designed to test Hal Jordan’s abilities.
From Green to Dark to Black
After the destruction of the Green Lantern central power battery (Green Lantern volume 2 issue 200) Galius Zed found himself a Green Lantern without a working power ring. When the Controllers, an isolationist offshoot of pre-Guardian Maltusans, chose John Stewart to join their Darkstars police arm to keep the order after the loss of the Green Lantern Corps. Stewart recruited a number of former Green Lanterns including Charlie Vicker, Medphyll and Galius Zed after corruption took hold of the Darkstars.
The third son of Darkseid, Grayven, began to hunt and brutally kill members of the Darkstars and Zed participated in the battle against him on the planet Rann, a struggle which led to John Stewart being crippled and Charlie Vicker being killed. With the Darkstars effort falling apart Zed and the last three remaining members stayed behind to help rebuild the planet. Yrra Cynril, a Xanshi warrior, adopted the name Fatality and began to hunt Green Lanterns as retribution for John Stewart’s failure to save her planet in the Cosmic Odyssey event and her quest led her to Galius Zed, who she killed in Green Lantern volume 3 issue 82.
After Green Lantern: Rebirth a monument to Zed was created in the crypts on Oa, although he is noted there as being the Green Lantern of Sector 3335. Zed’s remains would lie dormant for several years…..until the Blackest Night when Galius Zed would become a Black Lantern under the control of Nekron when Black Lantern rings disrupted the solemn tribute to fallen lanterns and raised them from the dead. Zed appeared in the background during Blackest Night and how he was defeated was not shown on panel.
New Life Off the Panel
While Galius Zed doesn’t live on in the pages of the comics his striking visual presence has led to him finding a second life in other forms of media. Zed as appeared on multiple episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Justice League animated series and in the direct to video movie Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Even though he’s had several appearances Zed is often fodder for the villains when he appears, dying in the Justice League episode Hearts and Minds while fighting Despero’s forces and in Emerald Knights where he is killed by the Khund before his ring finds a successor in Laira. On the big screen Galius Zed was the recipient of a considerable face lift (pun intended, again) in the 2011 Green Lantern motion picture. Zed’s Red Lantern kinsman, Zilius Zox, was a featured character in Green Lantern: The Animated Series and will make appearances in the upcoming Justice League Action animated series.