Zorak


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Zorak

(pop culture)
No supervillain has come closer to defeating Space Ghost than the lethal locust Zorak. With a robotic minion named Titanor in his thrall, Zorak, resembling a human-sized praying mantis, issues “The Challenge” to Space Ghost in an episode of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost and Dino Boy cartoon (1966–1968) originally aired October 29, 1966. Space Ghost is pummeled by the mechanical warrior until discovering that the insidious Zorak has substituted his power bands with neutered duplicates. His energies restored, Space Ghost junkheaps Titanor, but Zorak slinks away. Animation voice great Don Messick played Zorak in his 1960s television appearances, in which he bedeviled the cloaked champion with weapons manufactured (such as his Matter Intensifier) and organic (his razor-sharp claws and mandibles). For his frequent but unsuccessful attempts to conquer planets, Zorak served a stretch on Gaolworld (Comico's 1987 Space Ghost one-shot comic book by Mark Evanier and Steve Rude). He was later imprisoned on Space Ghost's own Ghost Planet, from which he was paroled to become the bandleader (of the Original Way Outs) on the animation/live-action hybrid Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (1994–2004), a talk-show parody on cable television. Zorak loathed and insulted the heroic host, only to be belted by a blast from Space Ghost's power bands in response to each barb. Zorak's evil knew no bounds: “My favorite episode of The Golden Girls is the one where they all took contaminated Geritol and died,” he once cackled, his voice provided by actor C. Martin Croker, but when informed there was no such program he replied, “Well, there should have been!” In the early 2000s an action figure of Zorak was produced as one of several tie-ins to the show. Zorak's camaraderie with fellow Space Ghost rogue Brak earned him a supporting-cast slot on the Cartoon Network's The Brak Show (2000– 2003), a suburban-based sitcom in which childaged Zorak and Brak were playmates. Writer Joe Kelly and artist Ariel Olivetti overhauled Zorak in DC Comics' miniseries prequel to the 1966 Space Ghost cartoons, Space Ghost (2005), reimagining him as a gruesome, multi-armed insectoid. Zorak, leader of a hive-like swarm of planet pillagers, allied with Space Ghost's former military commander in an attempt to end the crusader's career just as it was starting, and engaged in a gory duel with the hero, remarking, “Inside, all men are soft,” while spearing Space Ghost's abdomen. Whether portrayed as spine-chilling or funny bone–tickling, Zorak stands supreme as Space Ghost's archnemesis.
References in periodicals archive ?
22LR and a modified Atak Zorak blank firing revolver in Derry last April.
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A campy parody of late-night talk shows, the new cartoon features the vain and stupid Space Ghost character as host, sitting behind a desk clad in white tights, a black mask, and a cape, and Zorak, a rage-filled preying mantis, as his reluctant Doc Severinsen.