this entry covers the “Zealot” mini-series, which was composed of issues 1 through 3.
In the ’90s it seemed like most big comic properties really wanted to keep the backstories of their newest characters as vague as possible. Example: Wolverine and Cable. Oddly, WildStorm always seemed to be champing at the bit to give background info on their creations. We were getting comics like “Team 7” and soon “Team One” books filling in the gaps for us on a bevy of WSU characters. We’d seen a bit of Jacob’s previous adventures in “WildC.A.T.s” so now it’s time to shed a little bit of light on Zealot, AKA Lady Zannah. Ok, Imma gonna present this story chronologically. I’m not gonna go all shifty shift, all over, back and forth in time. The narrative does this in the book, and it works to read it like that, talking about it, not so much.
The earliest bit of history we have in this book is the Kherubim ship crashing on Earth. And of course that can’t be the true start of the history, as there are many past events that are mentioned as well. First, we have Promethos AKA Prometheus on board the Kherubim in some sort of cell. Turns out he tried to arrange for a mutiny on the ship. Into the brig with you, ya jerkface. As the ship is going down he appeals to the past romance that he had with Zealot. In a moment of weakness, she frees him, only for him to take hostage of Savant to make sure that he gets an escape module to get safely to Earth. He lands with Savant still his hostage and telling Zealot “We can rule this world, you and I! Let’s do it! Never mind me holding Savant’s life in the balance as I make these proclamations of hypothetical greatness!” Zealot is having none of this, breaks his thumb, and Savant elbows him in his douche bag stomach. They walk away down the beach while he clutches his tummy in the sand and surf.
Time passes, a lot of time. Time enough for Zealot to set up her branch of the Coda, fight in the Trojan war, and then defect from the Coda. That last event causes the Coda to be after her. She almost gets taken down, but in a surprise twist, Prometheus saves her. Turns out since being left on the beach, he’s set himself up quite nicely on Mount Olympus, and even has a buncha servant girls. He once again tries to talk Zealot into staying with him and ruling the rubes. This time she nails his hand to a statue with her Kherubim Honor Blade and walks away. Prometheus vows revenge!
Revenge is taken, a fair bit later when Zealot is in Japan. She’s shaking up with her latest boyfriend, and learning, as well as sharpening her fighting skills in a dojo. The good times can’t last and she gets a message that Savant has been kidnapped by the Masked Warlord. You guessed it, the Masked Warlord is Prometheus and he wants to get Zealots attention. Face it, man, she’s just not that into you. After Savant is saved, and Prometheus kills Zealot’s boyfriend, the ladies jump off a cliff and swim away. Oh yeah, Zealot was stabbed in the shoulder with her Honor Blade and just swims away with it stuck there! Seriously Prometheus, stop trying so hard. Chicks don’t dig that, bro.
Finally, we get to a story set in Nazi Germany. Prometheus is a Nazi officer and he’s trying to live up to his name, and give the Nazi’s the technology to develop atomic weapons. It’s still all part of his grand plan to rule the world. His logic works thusly, have the Nazis do all the work, rise through the ranks on the inside, then take out that weak little man Hitler. Easy, peasy! Zealot objects to, well pretty much the entire plan. Giving atomic weapons to Nazis, taking over the world… she didn’t say, but I’m sure she was fine with taking out Hitler, though. From now on that’s head cannon, Zealot was fine with Hitler being killed. At any rate, she and Prometheus start to fight again, but this time it is different, Zealot means to end Prometheus, and she does so with her Honor Blade. She lops off a hand, then a stab to the abdomen and then she pops his head off. Having done all this, she goes true badass and nukes the whole damn military installation.
So yeah, that’s the story. She told it to Pris when she came out to check on her practicing on the beach of Marlowe’s private island. Eventually, Void comes calling because Jacob needs everyone back at the compound. Zealot gifts her Honor Blade to Pris, as she never quite felt honorable about killing Prometheus, despite it needing to be done. I really enjoyed this short series. Sheds a little more light onto Zealot’s life. I would’ve loved to see how she and Cole met, or more what they were up to before they joined up with the team, but with a story this well done, I’m gonna let it slide.
- Yep, this mini-series starts and ends with scenes in the present, which take place on Marlowe’s private island, where we left the team in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 14.
- We’ll see more of the Kheribum ship’s crash landing in “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issue 49, I’m not going to lie, I was surprised to see Prometheus even in those pages! That’s an attention to the details in WildStorm history that made me super happy.
- Also, in connection with “WildC.A.T.s” Vol. 1 issues 48 & 49, we see the space fight that took down the Kherubim ship. Including Zealot losing her most recent boyfriend, Stratos, right before he sacrificed himself to save Zealot, Savant and by extension Prometheus. No wonder she wasn’t up for Prometheus’s shit when they landed.
- We have references to Zealot and Prometheus meeting up over the ages and having skirmishes that we don’t see play out. The earliest one with a date is in 1848. We know from “WildStorm : Chamber of Horrors” and Zealot met up with Tapestry after the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and that Savant had yet to be poisoned in 1705. This is giving us a window for the 100 years of slavery that Zealot endured at the hands of Tapestry as having to have started between 1706 and 1747. There’s also a reference in the second issue of “Zealot” with Savant stating that Zealot had already become a slave once to save her once before. So this means that the date range for that Japan story is between 1806 and 1847. I’ll have to do a bit more research to see if that depiction squares up with the Edo period of Japan or not. If not, we have a continuity error somewhere! Or at the very least, a historical inaccuracy.
- Known Kherubim seen on the ship: Majestic, Zealot, Savant and Prometheus. Unseen: Emp, Entropy, Nemesis and Mythos. I only suspect the latter two are unseen just due to having not been created yet.
- Zealot’s defection from the Coda was dealt with in “WildCATs Trilogy”
- Zealot states that she was at the Siege of Tenochtitlan in 1519. Not sure how, because the Siege didn’t start until December of 1520. Maybe she was there when Aztek leader Moctezuma II was taken as a hostage in Nov 1519, which later lead to the Siege. Though Zealot does say she has her Honor Blade with her at the time, which doesn’t add up, if Prometheus had it since their Olympus encounter up until their Japan encounter. Everything probably works if we forget that Zealot states that “the Price” occurs after the Salem Witch Trials. Either way, comic books, and I’m shocked that it took this long to find a continuity error like that in the WSU!
Where to find this story:
NEXT: “Gen13” 1/2 and 0 by Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, J. Scott Campbell, Ryan Benjamin, Richard Johnson, Travis Charest, Alex Garner, Frank Percy, Dev Madan, Sandra Hope, Mark Farmer, Gary Martin and H.K. Proger
2 thoughts on ““Zealot””
A particularly good article! I’ll admit I was always partial to stories being recapped chronologically. I remember this series being messy somehow but now it’s crystal clear the way you’ve narrated it. Good stuff.
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Thanks Martin! I try my best, as I’m not a very skilled writer. This book is far less messy than other WSU books at the time, the flashbacks upon flashbacks are more or less themed to the story of that book, so it works pretty well. I think if they’d done something like they did on “WildCats : Nemesis” where there was different artists for different time periods that would’ve worked better.