Zenn-La is a planet that features in Marvel Comics.
It was a planet in the Deneb star system which was threatened by the planet-eater, Galactus. To save his world, Zenn-Lavian Norrin Radd offered to make himself the first of Galactus' heralds, an offer Galactus accepted. Zenn-La thus became the first planet to ever escape Galactus. But this only delayed the death of Zenn-La- years later, the planet was destroyed, before Norrin Radd, now the Silver Surfer, could make a new life there.
Zenn-La long ago during ancient times was a barbaric world that had violent polytheistic people. The native Zenn-Lavians lived in the Age of Warfare for ten thousand centuries. In desperation, they sought to preserve their kind and decided to make science their new god. This gave way for the rise of Zenn-La City that was the first to adopt the practices of science. Chief among its people was Norrin Konn of Zenn-La City who became revered as the "Father of Zenn-La". Around this time, a warlord emerged who opposed the new belief in science as he felt it would strip the Zenn-Lavians of their passion and thus fought a blood filled civil war against those that sought scientific pursuits. This warlord managed to unite the warring nations and she managed to amass the greatest army that Zenn-La had ever seen. However, the warlord died wen she attempted to pilot a flying craft and her generals dispersed in the aftermath. With her demise, the warlord's followers decided to join the rest of the population in following the path of science as they came to realize that warfare would bring about the end of their civilization within a few generations.
Long ago, the earliest moments on their world was similar to those on countless other planets where the native humanoid species battled the predators of Zenn-La. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
Eons later, the world was engulfed in a ten thousand century long Age of Warfare. The effects of this era were so deep that they left deep battle scars to the point that their renounced the use of arms forever. (Silver Surfer v1 #1) As their species embraced science, there were fears that this would strip them of their emotion. It was during this dark time that a figure named the Warlord emerged with many following this individual. The resultant conflict was one that plunged Zenn-La into a blood filled dark age. The fanatics that followed her feared the coming new age of science and sought to preserve the old ways at any cost. The main opposition to him was Norrin Konn who led the settlement of Zenn-La City and its embrace of science. (Silver Surfer v3 #91)
The height of their civilization came during the Golden Age of Reason that was a hundred centuries which brought learning, wisdom and peace to their war-torn galaxy. (Silver Surfer v1 #1) It was claimed that the work of their sci-mages and magi-techs resulted in an era of perfection whereby the inhabitants of Zenn-La had no need for anything. Thus, this resulted in them being content on their homeworld and ending any desire for space exploration. (Silver Surfer v8 #2)
It was then that the people of Zenn-La sensed the approach of an unknown vessel coming to their world. With no weapons at their hands, the Zenn-Lavians turned to their ancient arsenal and had no choice but to use the Weapon Supreme. The weapon nearly destroyed their world but despite its power it failed to stop the approaching craft. To save his world, Norrin Radd travelled to the visitor and was shocked to discover that it was the legendary Galactus who had come to harvest the world of its rich life energy. In desperation, he begged the World Devourer to spare the planet and offered to become his Herald to find a suitable replacement. Ultimately, Galactus agreed and used the Power Cosmic to transform Radd into the Silver Surfer who immediately did his masters bidding in find another planet for him to consume to sate his hunger. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
Sometime afterwards, the Zenn-Lavian Shalla-Bal took the title of the Keeper of the Great Truth who began to travel across space to use the Illuminatrix to replace the culture of thousands of planets with that of Zenn-La. This eventually saw her targeting Earth with the Silver Surfer opposing her. During this time, she managed to control several of Earth's heroes to aid her such as the Thing who became her Herald with these being dispatched against Norrin Radd. As a matter of last resort, the Silver Surfer used the full might of the Power Cosmic to destroy the Illuminatrix thus removing Zenn-La's culture both on Earth as well as the entire universe. (Silver Surfer v8 #3)
Locations on Zenn-La included:
- Museum of Antiquity : an exhibited present was the last remaining weapon of warfare that could still be seen. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
- Zenn-La City : the first city that embraced the new way of science that was transformed into a place of wonder that held the Great Hall of Science. (Silver Surfer v3 #91)
- Great Keep : a place that contained a number of spacecraft with the area being considered forbidden. (Silver Surfer v8 #2)
In time, their race had achieved perfection to the point where war, crime and illness were dimly remembered memories. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
A figure of importance within their society was an individual that took the name of the Keeper of Great Truth who served as the spiritual leader of Zenn-La. (Silver Surfer v8 #2) Another group within their civilization were the Science Regents who bestowed awards such as the Delta Award for those that made great achievements or even strip them for idea theft. (Silver Surfer v3 #50)
The Old Gods of Zenn-La included:
- Thrann : a male headed male deity who was called the Saint of Science. (Chaos War: Chaos King v1 #1)
- Iroxx : a bald headed male war god. (Chaos War: Chaos King v1 #1)
- The Dark One : a bald red skinned devil-like figure. (Chaos War: Chaos King v1 #1)
- Siri Ullall : a bald headed female goddess who had many mother to many creation. (Chaos War: Chaos King v1 #1)
Belief in the Old Gods disappeared gradually among the Zenn-Lavians who came to attribute any act of miracles being rationalised into being natural phenomena. (Chaos War: Chaos King v1 #1)
Flying water vases were famed items from Zenn-La. (Vision v3 #1)
It was held by their people that they had achieved near perfection through the marvels of science. (Silver Surfer v3 #50) Their civilization was believed to had reached perfection by the works of their sci-mages and magi-techs. The height of their magi-tech technology was the Illuminatrix that could warp culture with large scale versions of these machines able to accomplish such feats on entire planets. (Silver Surfer v8 #2) They believed they were so advanced that none of their race had to ever again suffer the tedium of labour in order to live comfortably. (Silver Surfer v3 #50)
Among the mostly weapons in their arsenal was the Weapon Supreme that utilised incredibly powerful and destructive cobalt energy. Such was its power that it could cause planets to move from their orbits and could destroy the world it was fired from unless it was encased in a protective force field. However, even with a shield protecting it, the use of the weapon could lead to the planet's surface being devastated upon its use. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
- Norrin Radd : a bald-headed male from the modern age who offered to become the Herald of Galactus and thus was transformed into the Silver Surfer in exchange for his world being saved from the World Devourer's hunger. (Silver Surfer v1 #1)
- Shalla-Bal :
- Norrin Konn :a male from the dark age who spearheaded the embrace of science and was known as the Father of Zenn-La. (Silver Surfer v3 #91)
- Warlord : a long white haired woman who ruled during a dark age where her and her followers opposed the embracing of science as they sought to maintain the old ways. (Silver Surfer v3 #91)
- Jartran Radd : father of Norrin Radd. (Silver Surfer v3 #50)
- Elmar Radd :
- Fennan Radd :
- Yarro Gort :
- Zenn-La was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema where it made its first appearance in Silver Surfer v1 #1 (August, 1968).
- In Fantastic Force v2 #1 (2009), an alternate version of Zenn-La was mentioned in a universe that was designated as Earth-807128. In this reality, an individual taking the name of Lightwave was an inhabitant of that world who was noted to had been a criminal with light-based powers who departed his planet and escaped to Earth. Once there, he came to have a daughter Cindy who took the name of Psionics where he eventually joined a new version of the Fantastic Four.
In other media
- In Silver Surfer, Zenn-La made an appearance in the 1990 animated television series and was shown as part of the setting. On the planet Zenn-La, there existed a saying that states "There can be no justice without defense and prosecution." It was a noted planet of peace and hosted a conference to bring about peace between the Kree and Skrulls. During this time, Galactus arrived and all attempts to repel him failed with him ready to feed on Zenn-La. This was until Norrin Radd volunteered to serve as his Herald though Galactus blanked his mind to make him a more malleable servant. Unlike the comics, Zenn-La was not destroyed but rather displaced in space as punishment for the Silver Surfer leaving his service.
- Silver Surfer v1:
- Silver Surfer v3:
- Silver Surfer v8: