Real Name: Ord Zyonyz
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As an Elder of the Universe, the Gardener possesses an immortal body, immune to the cellular deterioration of aging, and impervious to conventional harm (disease, penetration wounds, etc.). Only the dispersion of a major portion of his body's molecules could prevent his regenerative powers from functioning. In his preoccupation with the art and science of cultivating plants, the Gardener has not devoted much of his energies to the development of potential physical and mental powers, as have certain of his kinsmen. Eschewing violence, the Gardener has little experience in combat techniques. While he is able to survive in space and go for prolonged periods of time without nourishment, he is unable to traverse interstellar distances without some means of propulsion.
The Gardener currently wears a green Soul-Gem upon his brow, one of six such power-jewels known to exist in the universe. Although the origin and nature of the Soul-Gem is as yet unknown, it would seem to be an artifact that either possesses great energies or is able to tap great energies which can be channeled by the wearer's will. Its previous wearer, Adam Warlock, employed the jewel to emit beams of concussive force, to scan the thoughts of others, and to entrap his opponents' life essences, or soul. This latter property may be an innate capacity of all gems, or may be a property peculiar Soul-Gem. The Gardener's Soul-Gem even seems to possess a primitive form of sentience, as well as an "appetite" for souls that it is occasionally able to impose upon its wearer. Souls known to reside within the subjective pocket universe of the green Soul-Gem are Adam Warlock of Earth, Pip of Laxidasia, Gamora of Xen-Hoober, Autolycus of Sirus X, and Kray-Tor of Jude. The Gardener mainly uses the Soul-Gem to accelerate the photosynthetic growth in plant and to animate them. As an Elder, the Gardener is invulnerable to the gem, travel through space at trans-light speeds, and open portals to other dimensions (such as the microverse of K'ai).
Like those of all the Elders of the Universe, the Gardener's origin is lost in antiquity. What is known is that he is among the oldest living beings in the universe, having been a member of one of the first of the universe's races to become sentient in the wake of the Big Bang. Virtually immortal, the Gardener has devoted his life to the creating of natural beauty by sowing the seeds of plants, flowers, and trees upon barren or devastated worlds. The number of worlds he has turned into fertile planet-wide gardens over the eons is countless. He has amasses a knowledge of botany second to none and has collected billions of different seeds in his travels. Using his advanced cultivation techniques, he can cover a barren Earth-size planet with lush vegetation in the space of a year.
In recent millennia, the Gardener acquired a Soul-Gem, an alien artifact the enables its possessor to transform cosmic energy for personal use. The Gardener employed it to stimulate the growth of his seeds beyond their normal rate and to traverse space without a starship. Recently, the Gardener used his Soul-Gem's power to combat the Stranger, another powerful extraterrestrial possessing a Soul-Gem. Believing the he "corrupted" the gem by its use as a weapon the Gardener abandoned it. Later, the Garden replaced his Soul-Gem with that once worn by the golden Earth-being Adam Warlock. Warlock's frequent employment of the gem as a weapon did not matter to the Gardener as long as he himself does not use it in that way.
Upon being contacted by the other Elders of the Universe, the Gardener agreed to partake in aggressive activity against the alien being Galactus and then the universe itself in order to recreate reality. The plan was foiled by Galactus' former Herald, Silver Surfer, and his ally, Mantis. The Gardener returned to his life as a gardener until confronted by the villain Thanos. Thanos challenged the Gardener for the Gem, taking it and killing the Gardener in the process.
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up (1972) #55
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Contest of Champions (2015)
Deadpool Corps (2010)
Last Planet Standing (2006)
Marvel Masterworks: Warlock (2007)
Marvel Team-Up (1972)
#55 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A To Z Update (2010)
- 'Spider, Spider on the Moon!'
#38 Secret Wars II (1985)
- 'Whose War Is this Anyway?'
Silver Surfer (1987)
#4 The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
- 'Soul, Sweet Soul'#9
- 'Space Is Eternity'#17
- 'Playing With Matches!'
#503 The Incredible Hulk (1968)
- 'Chasing a Dark Shadow'
#247 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Tarella's World'#248
- 'How Green My Garden Grows!'
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#4 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'D-G: From Dragon Man to Gypsy Moth'
#5 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Gardener to the Hulk'
The Thanos Quest (1990)
#1 West Coast Avengers (1985)
- 'Schemes and Dreams'
What If? (1977)
#32 What If? Secret Wars (2009)
- 'What If... The Avengers Had Become the Pawns of Korvac?'
- 'What if... Doctor Doom Kept the Beyonder's Power?'
Elders of the Universe (Marvel)
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