Master of Disguise
Code Name: Zartan
Real Name: Unknown (uses various aliases)
Primary Specialty: N/A
Secondary Specialty: N/A
Place of Birth: Unknown
Raised: Unknown; possibly Australia or New Zealand
Surviving Relatives: Zandar (brother), Zarana (sister)
Essential Episodes: "In the Cobra's Pit", "The Vines of Evil", "The Palace of Doom", "Battle on the Roof of the World", "Amusement Park of Terror", "The Further Adventures of G.I. Joe", "Rendezvous in the City of the Dead", "Three Cubes to Darkness", "Chaos in the Sea of Lost Souls", "Knotting Cobra's Coils", "Countdown For Zartan", "The Gamesmaster", "The Funhouse", "The Synthoid Conspiracy" Parts I & II, "Lights! Camera! Cobra!", "Battle for the Train of Gold", "Cobra Claws Are Coming to Town", "Flint's Vacation", "The Wrong Stuff", "Cold Slither", "Worlds Without End" Parts I & II, "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" Parts 1 & 2, "Computer Complications", "Once Upon A Joe", "Cobrathon", "Glamour Girls", "Raise the Flagg!", G.I. Joe: The Movie
Voiced By: Zack Hoffman
A ruthless mercenary with no scruples, Zartan is one of the greatest threats that has ever existed to G.I. Joe.
Little is known about Zartan's past outside of the existence of his siblings Zandar and Zarana, both of whom are nearly as notorious as he is. At some point, however, Zartan received military training, possibly from a military academy such as the one at St. Cyr. He also became a master of disguise (supplanting his natural camouflage ability, the source of which continues to be unknown), and an excellent ventriloquist, acrobat, contortionist, and linguist (eventually learning some 20 languages and dialects). He is also a purported master of various martial arts, and it is rumored that he has received some form of vocal chord implants (as evidenced by the odd metallic reverberations in his normal speech patterns). His one weakness: an aversion to sunlight, which robs him of his camouflage ability.
At some point in an already distinguished criminal career, Zartan encountered Cobra Commander. Impressed with the mercenary's skills, the Commander formed a standing agreement with Zartan to hire his services when necessary. This agreement first came into affect in 1984, when Cobra Commander was captured by the Joe team during the otherwise successful mission to steal the Laser Core of the Joes' new cannon for Destro's Weather Dominator. Zartan and his Dreadnoks intercepted Colonel Sharpe as he sped through Zartan's swamp en route to Blackwater Prison, and assumed the Colonel's identity. After ordering Gung-Ho to return to Joe Headquarters, Zartan and the Baroness (disguised as Dr. Causelles) put the prison's warden (and later the guards) to sleep and escaped with Cobra Commander. Escorted by the Dreadnoks, the three were chased by Gung-Ho, Short-Fuze, and Breaker throughout the swamp surrounding Blackwater until Zartan managed to lose them, at which point he, Cobra Commander, the Baroness, and the Dreadnoks left for Cobra Temple.
Zartan would later be an unwilling participant in Destro's demonstration of his Strangler Vines, and would watch Duke and Snake Eyes fight to the death in the Arena of Sport before being assigned to retrieve the Ion Corrilator along with the Baroness at the aptly-named Island of No Return after the three components of the Weather Dominator shot into space following the conclusion of the full-power strike on Washington, D.C. that he himself had advocated. However, instead of helping the Baroness, Zartan laid low with the Dreadnoks, tipping the scales in Spirit's favor so that both G.I. Joe and Cobra would have a piece of the Weather Dominator going into the assault on the Roof of the World for the Laser Core.
Zartan led the Dreadnoks on his own mission to the Laser Core, beating both G.I. Joe and Cobra to the fragment, at which point he declared that it was for sale to the highest bidder before causing an avalanche that nearly killed the Joes and Cobras battling for the fragment. Upon reaching his base at the Bayou World Amusement Park, Zartan gloated to Cobra Commander at Cobra Temple and Doc and Cover Girl at Joe Headquarters about his possession of the Laser Core, which led both armies to his position. Destro and Major Bludd arrived at the park first, and were attacked with armed amusement park rides until the Joes destroyed Zartan's power generator, resulting in the hasty exit of him and the Dreadnoks. While Buzzer, Ripper, and Torch managed to make a clean getaway, Zartan was apprehended by Destro with the Laser Core. Upon returning to Cobra Temple, Cobra Commander forgave Zartan, if only to infuriate the arms dealer (which it did). Zartan was also able to escape after the Joe team overtook Cobra Temple, grabbing a ride on Destro's Viper Glider as the two bickered off into the distance.
Zartan's next venture with Cobra would be to pose as a U.S. Army soldier, Sgt. Popper, and tag along on a Joe transport to Space Station Delta. He would soon reveal himself, though, using the Dreadnoks and Cobra Commander's Fatal Fluffies to seize control of the space station. When he established radio contact with Joe Headquarters, he homed in on the base and leveled it, leaving the Joe's base in ruins. At that point, Zartan supervised construction on Space Station Delta that left the station suitable for use as a circuit for Cobra's newest weapon, the Pyramid of Darkness.
After the Pyramid was activated, Zartan was overthrown by the Dreadnoks, who were working with Tomax and Xamot. Eventually the Joes would liberate themselves, resulting in the capture of the Dreadnoks and the shutting down of the Pyramid. Zartan would escape, though, and release the Dreadnoks. As a final bit of revenge, Zartan directed the Dreadnoks to the garbage module, which he promptly ejected into space before cruising to Earth in an escape module.
After smoothing things out with the Dreadnoks, Zartan would use their services to capture Dr. Mettier, a scientist from France who was sent to America to deliver France's anti-terrorist data to the Worldwide Defense Center in an attempt to share the information known about terrorist organizations such as Cobra. Zartan delivered the data as Dr. Mettier, while also planting a bomb given to him by Storm Shadow in the auxiliary control room. While Storm Shadow escaped with Spirit (whom Zartan had rendered unconscious following a scuffle between the Native American and Storm Shadow), Zartan opted to make a less conspicuous exit....only to be thwarted by a group of Joes led by Lady Jaye.
Following a shakedown by Gung-Ho, it was revealed that Zartan's watch was in fact a timer in synch with his bomb. As such, the Joes threw Zartan in the Defense Center's brig while they searched for the bomb, and Gung-Ho left Zartan's watch in clear view so he could see time ticking down. Zartan eventually broke down and revealed the location of the bomb, but realized that he had been duped when the timer ran out a couple of minutes later. He broke out of his cell when Doc checked on him, and proceeded to destroy the consoles in the power room, causing a black-out in the building. Using the darkness to his advantage, Zartan terrorized Stalker and Lady Jaye in the Defense Center's control room, knocking out the latter when she chased him into the shadows. Stalker had the last laugh, however, when he activated the auxiliary power and opened a canopy, drenching the control room with sunlight. Cowering in agony over the hated rays of the sun, Zartan later escaped at the conclusion of Cobra's failed attempt to destroy the Defense Center. Sometime afterwards, Zartan and the Dreadnoks would run interference as Duke, Scarlett, Recondo, and Rock 'N Roll tried to safely escort Dr. Shakoor, the inventor of the Vulcan Machine, to America. Zartan escorted the doctor to Cobra Commander, and escaped when the Joes rescued Shakoor and destroyed Cobra's base.
After a brief period of inactivity, Zartan again acquired work with Cobra, capturing a scientist, Dr. Hibbentrope, and watching as Cobra Commander ran Flint, Lady Jaye, Dusty, Alpine, Bazooka, and Airtight through a giant funhouse filled with traps. Zartan escaped the island with Cobra Commander and the Baroness to Cobra's real base (and the location of Hibbentrope and a number of other scientists Cobra was holding hostage for a ransom of sixty billion dollars), then escaped on his own when the Joes found them. Soon after, Zartan and the Dreadnoks were assigned as lookouts for Cobra's Rocky Mountain base. After shooting down a Dragonfly piloted by Shipwreck, Zartan and the Dreadnoks stole the chemical weapons stored at the Rocky Mountain Chemical Weapons Arsenal, which ranged from non-lethal gases like itching powder and laughing gas to the highly lethal explosive gas. Zartan and the Dreadnoks escaped after a group of Joes led by Cover Girl foiled Cobra's plans and resulted in the destruction of all of the gases and Cobra's underground base.
Zartan's next scheme with Cobra Commander would turn out to be one of Cobra's most devious ever: using protoplasmic material acquired from Destro, Zartan created the Synthoids, synthetic humanoids that could accurately mimic any person, but loyal to Cobra. Initially replacing Colonel Sharpe, Admiral Ledger, and two officials from the Pentagon assigned to assess the need for G.I. Joe, the Synthoids drastically cut the Joe team's budget, leaving them highly susceptible to Cobra attacks. However, at this point, Cobra Commander and Zartan made a crucial error, as they manufactured a Synthoid of Destro as a joke. Vowing revenge, Destro left in a huff as Cobra Commander planned an attack on Joe Headquarters to capture Duke, and replace him with a Synthoid. Zartan and the Dreadnoks achieved this during a chaotic battle where the under-equipped Joes were clearly outclassed. When Cobra's scheme unfolded and the Joes had Cobra Commander on the run, Zartan watched on in horror as Cobra Commander, intending only to destroy the Synthoid Duke in order to prove that the Synthoid was in fact trying to escape with them, destroyed all of the Synthoids with the neutralizer's highest setting. Thankfully for Zartan, he and Cobra Commander managed to escape in a Firebat, allowing the two to live to fight another day.
Zartan would be called into service again when Cobra Commander offered him $4 million to recover a stolen Firebat-four times the amount that Zartan and the Dreadnoks were currently stealing from a bank in London. The four went to the LA movie studio where the Firebat was currently being used for a movie about the Joe team (featuring a group of "oddballs", led by Cover Girl, as technical consultants), and began to wreak havoc on the set. Zartan got Recondo and Dusty out of the picture by challenging them to a race (with he on a Ferret, and they on a Silver Mirage), and forcing them off the path and into a ravine. Upon returning to the set, he tried to simply destroy the Firebat, but was chased off by Mutt, Junkyard, and Blowtorch. The next day, Zartan, Buzzer, and Ripper reported their failure to Cobra Commander, drawing the Commander's ire as he reported to them the capture of Torch. The three returned to the studio, where they knocked out Mutt and Junkyard before encountering Shipwreck. Zartan also knocked him out, unintentionally sending the Firebat (with Shipwreck in it) back to Cobra Temple. Their mission accomplished, Zartan and crew rescued Torch, only to learn that Cover Girl had studied Torch's face. Zartan tried contacting Cobra Commander, only to learn that he was under radio silence...and headed for LA.
After that mission, Zartan would, along with Firefly, would detonate a series of condemned buildings in an attempt to aid Roger Harper, a Cobra-backed candidate. When the plan backfired and Harper rushed to the two for aid, Zartan punched him. The damage was done, though, and Harper handily lost the election. Another break between missions with Cobra occurred before Zartan was tapped to impersonate General Stack, the commander of Fort Knox, as Cobra attempted to steal all of the gold there. As Cobras loaded the gold onto the Cobra Bullet, a bullet train constructed specifically to quickly transport the gold, Zartan captured Duke, Scarlett, and Snake Eyes and took them on board as hostages. The three Joes escaped after Zartan ordered them killed, and the ensuing melee ended with the train crashing. Battered and bruised, Zartan and the Dreadnoks escaped, vowing revenge.
Zartan and the Dreadnoks were used for their muscle when Cobra drew the Joes to the Loco Toro Ranch, where the snakes were attempting to gain control of an energy transmission satellite. After nearly killing Lady Jaye, Alpine, and Bazooka while posing as ranch hands (and then under guise of trying to teach the three how to ride horses), Zartan stole the control chip for the satellite, ordering the Dreadnoks to cause a stampede in order to cover his tracks. That night, they captured Alpine and Bazooka as the two began snooping around the ranch. Zartan was later knocked out by Wild Bill, but managed to escape in a Trubble Bubble with Cobra Commander, Destro, and the Baroness when the Joes foiled yet another one of Cobra's schemes.
Zartan's next action would be to directly accuse Destro of attempting a coup when Cobra Commander suddenly turned up missing during a military parade held for the Commander's pleasure. After Destro dismissed the idea, Zartan retreated to his laboratory, and was attacked by Duke and Gung-Ho, who thought Cobra had captured Flint and Lady Jaye. After being nearly forced to drink a deadly swamp flu of his own creation, Destro and Duke surmised that someone else had captured Flint, Lady Jaye, Cobra Commander, and the Baroness. Zartan took part in the battle to defeat this third party, a nutcase calling himself the Gamesmaster, managing to talk shop with Scarlett both during and after the fight.
Zartan would be guarding Tomax and Xamot's Extensive Enterprises Tower when the Joes stormed the place based on a tip from someone called "The Viper", but would easily escape. After a lengthy period of inactivity, Zartan and the Dreadnoks were hired to steal the Matter Transmuter, a device capable of changing the molecular structure of anything it was fired at. They managed to steal the device itself, but G.I. Joe was able to recover the blueprints. Cobra made a second attempt at procuring the plans, with the Baroness posing as Dr. Renault (from the Transmuter research team) and Zartan as General Wagstaff (Dr. Renault's military liaison). The plans, however, were being delivered by Footloose and a group of other Joes, and not Flint and Lady Jaye (who were traveling on the train with Zartan and the Baroness). Both Joes were thrown from the train, and Flint, Lady Jaye, and Footloose's group were sent to an alternate reality (where Zartan was the head of police in a Cobra-controlled Earth) when Steeler accidentally caused Copperhead to activate the Transmuter.
Zartan and the Dreadnoks would next take part in Cobra's last attack of 1984, when Cobra, using a molecular reducer/enlarger ray developed by Destro, hid themselves inside some toys for the Joes' Toys For Tots drive and infiltrated Joe Headquarters. Cobra then posed as the Joe team (with Zartan recording a message to the public as Duke), and headed to Central City in the Joes' vehicles. Zartan and the Dreadnoks lagged behind the main force, however, and missed the battle when they were overtaken by the Joe team, who were forced to use Cobra equipment to stop Cobra and rescue Duke. After a short break in action, the four would pose as the police force of Pleasant Cove, a planned community owned by Cobra that used the citizens of the town (including members of Flint's family) to do Cobra's dirty work. After capturing Flint (but failing to ward off the Joes who had come to Pleasant Cove after seeing Flint during a televised Cobra ultimatum), Zartan argued with the Baroness over who should shoulder the blame for the breach in security, but escaped nonetheless when the Joes destroyed Cobra's base.
Zartan would also pose as Dr. Hammler, the "inventor" of Watchdog, a computer designed to in effect lead G.I. Joe (but really a device that allowed Cobra to spread the Joe team's forces thin).Next, Zartan and the Dreadnoks would participate in Cobra's plan to control the world's airwaves, controlling Cobra's satellite with Destro's aid. (Zartan would also provide his acting services on some of the Cobra Television Network's programs.) And for one of his strangest assignments, Zartan would pose as an alien in another Cobra scheme. Cobra was discovered when the Joes, working with the USSR's Oktober Guard, noticed a milk carton (left there by the Dreadnoks) beside the "alien" while viewing a tape of one of their threats to the world. Zartan and the Dreadnoks would receive their 15 minutes of fame when Cobra, bankrupted by a Joe raid on their secret vault, tapped the group to pose as a rock band named Cold Slither. The music, which was backed with a subliminal message, lured fans to a concert, where the attendees were held by Cobra for a ransom of $100 billion. Zartan's role in the scheme ended when the Dreadnoks left the stage in the middle of the concert, demanding more money, leaving him there by himself, dumbfounded, until he too left.
After the New Year, Zartan and the Dreadnoks would be in Cobra's "Alpha" base when Shipwreck, who was being held by Cobra while they tried to get him to reveal the final ingredient to a formula that could turn water into a lethal explosive. However, change was on the horizon for the mercenary, as Zartan's next mission would be of such importance to Cobra that he would be asked to bring his brother Zandar and sister Zarana into the fold, as well as hire a new member of the Dreadnoks. Two new Dreadnoks were selected: Monkeywrench (who cheated in the "audition" by using a stun grenade) and Thrasher (who not only stayed back while the others fought, but provided his own vehicle, the Thunder Machine). After discovering that Sgt. Slaughter, Low-Light, and Beach Head were witnessing these events, Zarana attempted to destroy the parchment detailing the Dreadnoks' mission, only to allow the three Joes to learn of some of the tombs Cobra was planning to raid. Thrasher was officially made a Dreadnok when he seemingly killed the Joes, but they managed to escape, and alert the entire force to a part of Cobra's plot to create the Cobra Emperor, Serpentor. Zartan would take Zandar, Ripper, Torch, Torch, and Monkeywrench to Montezuma's tomb, successfully extracting the Aztec ruler's DNA (but unfortunately keying Flint, Recondo, Low-Light, and Dial-Tone into the extraction process), but remained uninvolved until the newly created Serpentor invaded Washington, D.C. (where Zartan and the Dreadnoks would eventually retreat, just like the rest of Cobra's ill-prepared assault force).
Zartan's first mission for Serpentor would be to try and reprogram a group of G.I. Joe's automated subs (which were searching for a sunken satellite) so that they could be controlled by Cobra. On Zandar's suggestion, Zartan let his brother and, when his attempt failed, Zarana, infiltrate Joe Headquarters. Zarana ended up falling in love with Mainframe, however, and spared the Joe's life after Zartan placed a bomb on his unconscious body when he and the Dreadnoks came to get their comrade. (Zartan also lost even more brownie points with the Joes when he destroyed a diner popular with the team some time before retrieving Zarana.) However, when Zartan, Zandar, and the Dreadnoks began mocking Zarana's new love after the end of their mission, she shot at them, very much in the throes of heartbreak.
Zartan's next mission would not come until Cobra Commander radioed, requesting that the Dreadnoks recover the McGuffin Device, a weapon so secret that no one knew what it was even supposed to do. Zartan took the mission himself, not only for its ease (and the joy of taking all of the fee for once), but because his siblings and the Dreadnoks were arguing violently over weighty subjects-namely, breath mints or candy mints. However, Zartan was beaten to the punch by Shipwreck, who inadvertantly stumbled upon the device while looking for dud missiles at the request of Leatherneck. Upon returning to the orphanage the Joes were rebuilding as Shipwreck, Zartan rudely brushed off a girl the sailor had befriended before being ordered by Beach Head to finish the story Shipwreck had been telling the orphans. However, when "Shipwreck's" tale ended quite horribly, Jenny, the real Shipwreck's new friend, suspected that something was wrong, and eventually found him with Polly's help. Shipwreck knocked out Zartan, and left him in a Night Raven drone as it returned to Cobra Island.
Next, Zartan would participate in Cobra's telethon designed to raise the funds to unleash a deadly virus on the computers of the major law enforcement agencies alligned with INTERPOL. At the event, dubbed the "Cobrathon", Zartan and Thrasher would introduce the "Poster Delinquent of the Year" while promoting the Cobra Elite Corps to viewers of the telethon. After escaping when the telethon was raided by the Joes, Zartan would pose as a photographer luring models to be guinea pigs in the tests for the Facial Transference Machine developed by Madame Veil, a decrepit cosmetics tycoon. However, when the Dreadnoks hypnotized Zarana as a prank, an extremely upset Zartan freed a group of Joes led by Flint who were captured while investigating the disappearance of the models, including Low-Light's sister, Una. For his trouble, Zartan was KO'ed by an equally upset Low-Light. Following that rare personal mission, Zartan and the Dreadnoks were hired to stop the Joes and secret agent Matthew Burke from successfully transporting a nerve-paralyzing weapon to the Rocky Mountain Chemical Weapons Arsenal. While they were eventually successful, it was eventually revealed that, unknown to both Cobra and the Joe team, the real chemical had been transported by other means-meaning that Flint's unit was a decoy.
Directly following that hollow victory, Zartan, Zandar, and Zarana would lead a salvage mission to recover the anti-matter energy pod from the satellites they had tried to help Cobra recover some months before. However, Zartan, Zandar, Zarana, Roadblock, Wet-Suit, and Leatherneck were taken captive by B.A. LaCarre, a Cobra chef who had been marooned since Cobra's helicarrier and the USS Flagg had sunken upon reaching the interior of the Flagg. They were forced to work in LaCarre's kelp gardens, and eventually all parties worked together to raise both ships after a battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra on the ocean surface caused the Flagg and Cobra's air carrier to begin sliding off an underwater ledge. Zartan nearly made off with the anti-matter pod upon reaching the surface, but since the ship had submerged too quickly, everyone succumbed to the Bends, and the Joes managed to recover the device.
Zartan and the Dreadnoks would take part in the initial attempt to use nightmares inserted into the Joes' minds by Dr. Mindbender against them, and would implant emotion-altering devices into a group of Joes testing armor in Pittsburgh, capturing Roadblock in the process. They would befuddle the Joes, eventually losing when they conquered the effects of the small devices, fleeing before they could be captured.
Zartan would remain inactive until the following year, when he, along with Zandar and Zarana, witnessed Cobra Commander's final fall from grace as Serpentor, Destro, Dr. Mindbender, the Baroness, Tomax, and Xamot all gave the Commander a severe dressing down after he challenged Serpentor's leadership abilities. After a mysterious intruder alerted Serpentor to the existence of the Broadcast Energy Transmitter, Zartan and the Dreadnoks (and just about every other recognizable Cobra agent) joined in on the full-scale assault in the Himalayas to recover the experimental machine. After Duke managed to knock out Serpentor, Cobra Commander called retreat, and lead Thrasher, the remaining Cobra forces, and a unit of Joes lead by Roadblock to sanctuary for the Cobra forces. After hours of traveling, both factions entered a strange-looking grove, and before long, the Joes had been beaten senseless by a group of equally odd-looking warriors. After the Cobra forces were taken prisoner (especially a now-fearful Cobra Commander), Zartan and the Dreadnoks were paid with an impossibly large gem by the woman, Pythona, to free Serpentor. Using information about Serpentor's prison obtained by Zarana, the Dreadnoks, Zartan, Zandar, Zarana, Pythona, and Nemesis Enforcer freed Serpentor and escaped, injuring Alpine, Bazooka, and Gung-Ho in the process.
After angrily witnessing the trial of Cobra Commander at Cobra-La's home base as the Commander blamed his repeated losses to G.I. Joe on the cowardice of his troops, Zartan disappeared from sight. It's not known where he disappeared to, but, needless to say, he likely survived the destruction of Cobra-La (and in fact might not have even been there for the final battle). If Zartan is still alive, there's no doubt that he will continue to be a threat to G.I. Joe and other law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Garrett's Opinion: Zartan is, by far and away, one of the most popular characters in G.I. Joe history. The original Zartan figure (which came with the Chameleon Swamp Skier) was named the 7th best action figure of all time by Toyfare magazine, and that figure (and character) inspired the first G.I. Joe mega site, Zartan's Domain.
Of course, it's easy to see why Zartan is so popular: not only does he have a neat gimmick (the color-change plastic), but he's a rebel not unlike Han Solo or James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. While Zartan works with the dim-witted Dreadnoks and his siblings, Zandar and Zarana, he feels that he has no equal, especially when it comes to his ability to infiltrate various locations and accomplish whatever mission he is paid to do. His record with Cobra is second only to Major Bludd's, who is unequalled in the field amongst the regular Cobra forces.
Adding to his popularity is Zartan's legendary feud with Destro (and, as a consequence, the Baroness). Fueled by Cobra Commander, who, after the MASS crisis, obviously needed someone he could trust to clash with Destro, Zartan's distrust for Destro and his obvious snobbery altered the tenor of Cobra in ways that only Serpentor himself could surpass. Suddenly, Cobra Commander's position in his own organization was far more secure than before, and Destro is left to worry about the mercenary whose loyalties are in doubt, as opposed to having the time to consider whether or not he should eliminate Cobra Commander and run Cobra himself.
Also important is Zartan's entourage. The Dreadnoks, Zandar, and Zarana are just as likely to betray Cobra (and even Zartan if need be) to better themselves as Zartan is, and their undisciplined methods are thoroughly unpredictable. leading to more exciting possibilities when they are present. However, the Dreadnoks are far less intelligent than Zartan, which is their curse, and also why they will always be subservient to him (unlike Zandar and Zarana, who are loyal to Zartan largely for familial reasons).
The final facet to Zartan's personality is his ability to assume the identity of just about anyone he pleases. As evidenced by his initial appearance in "In The Cobra's Pit", the only barrier to Zartan's effectiveness is that he must hear his victim's voice in order to duplicate it. Zartan's voice, which is enhanced by a metallic-sounding reverb, implies that he has had modifications done to his vocal chords, a point confirmed by the lack of range evident in Zandar and Zarana's voices when impersonating others. Also, Zartan's green eyes, which are perhaps his most striking feature (outside of his black facial makeup and his hair, which is much like a robe), allow him to assume any number of eye colors, leading one to believe that they too have been altered. However, unlike the comic (which placed a lot of Zartan's disguise abilities as a function of holograms mounted on Zartan's outfit), the rest of Zartan's camouflage and disguise abilities are natural, implying that he may be some form of mutant.
In the end, Zartan's greatest trait is the mystery that surrounds him. Nothing is known of his past (save the existence of his brother and sister), and there is little understanding about the source of his camouflage ability, his voice, and his odd eye color. (Even stranger is why his chest armor glows red when he becomes furious.) To destroy the mystery would only damage his mystique, and rob animation of one of its greatest villains.
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