DC Database

Zha-Vam was a being created by the Gods of Olympus as a rival for Superman.

Peering into the future, the Olympians became aware of Superman and, believing him to be a rival god, created Zha-Vam out of clay. Sent to defeat Superman Zha-Vam, endowed with the powers of the gods, became leader of the United Crime Syndicate then defeated and humbled the Man of Steel.

Using his computer at the Fortress of Solitude, Superman learned that he could defeat Zha-Vam through a weakness in his heel. During a subsequent confrontation Superman found that Zha-Vam protected his heel with Green Kryptonite.

Driven from Earth, Superman attempted to return but could not because Zha-Vam had placed the Shield of Orion around the planet. Traveling through time to Ancient Greece, Superman learned the reason that Zha-Vam was created by the Olympians. He also consulted their oracle to learn ways to defeat Zha-Vam. That oracle sent Superman to another group of gods, led by Neptune. From those gods--they'd quarreled with the Olympian Gods--he borrowed a magical belt similar to Zha-Vam's. Returning to the present, Superman defeated Zha-Vam, sending him back to Olympus in the past, where the Olympian Gods returned Zha-Vam to clay.




  • Zha-Vam's Belt: Zha-vam wore a belt that gave him the powers of other Olympian gods, heroes and entities by pressing its letters:
    • C turned him into a Cyclops with a ray-beam eye.
    • G transformed him into the mythical Gorgon with the power to petrify living beings, including Superman.
    • I caused him to project the magic bows of Iris, which could bond a victim.
    • J gave him the dragon-teeth of Jason's; by sowing them real dragons or warriors could be grown.
    • M gave him the power of Morpheus' to make living beings sleep and dream, or Mars' war-like abilities.
    • O gave him the use of Orion's Shield, an impenetrable mystical shield which could expand faster than Superman could fly and could cover the Earth.
    • P gave him Pluto's Cap of Darkness or Paethon's Sun Chariot.
    • S gave him four arms and swords as the Hindu god, Siva.
    • T would allow him to become a 100-ft giant, as a Titan.

As a defense the belt would use these powers if anyone other than Zha-Vam attempted to use it.

  • This version of Zha-Vam, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths event and later restored following the rebirth of the infinite Multiverse during the Dark Crisis of 2022-2023. Even though other versions of the character may have appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Zha-vam was possibly meant to be an early homage to Captain Marvel before DC Comics acquired the rights to the character. He also has traits in common with Wonder Woman, such as being created from clay.
  • It is possible the Gods of Olympus found a way to survive beyond Ancient Greece since they still appear as characters of the DC Universe.
  • In this arc of stories, the Olympian Gods are called by their Greek and Roman names, without distinction.



Superman Villain(s)
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This character has been primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."