Simon William Garth
|Location:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Known relatives:||Donna Garth |
|1st appearance:||Menace #5|
Simon William Garth is a fictional zombie featured in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is part of the mainstream Marvel Universe and is associated with the Tales of the Zombie magazine series.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early Life & Death[edit | edit source]
Simon Garth was a highly successful businessman and well known public figure who was notorious for treating his employees ruthlessly. Garth's gardener, Gyps, vowed to get revenge upon his employer for his years of mistreatment and recent firing. Kidnapping Garth, Gyps stabbed him to death with a pair of garden shears in the Bayous near New Orleans. Gyps was not satisfied by Garth's relatively quick death, however, and so he turned the corpse over to a nearby Voodoo cult and forced the voodooienne (voodoo queen) Layla to turn Garth into a zombie. Layla, who also happened to be Garth's secretary, called upon Damballah, the serpent god who is the most powerful of the Loa (the gods of voodoo), and with the aid of matching talismans, resurrected the corpse of her former employer as a mindless zombie. One of the two amulets was placed around Garth's neck; the other was given to Gyps. Using the amulet, Gyps could control the Zombie.
Finally, when Gyps tried to force Garth to kidnap his own daughter, a remaining portion of the spirit of the man he once was enabled the Zombie to resist his master despite the amulet, and Garth killed him.
A 24 Hour Life[edit | edit source]
For two years, Simon Garth walked the earth as a zombie, controlled by a succession of people who had possession of the mystic amulet. Among them were a chemist named Philip Bliss, , a houngan (voodoo priest) named Papa Shorty , and a fireman named Fred Miller. At the command of Miller's friend Dora Katz, Garth struck Layla, severely injuring her.  Layla still loved Garth, and with the aid of a friendly houngan named Papa Doc, she undertook a difficult voodoo ritual by which her ebbing life essence was mystically transferred to Garth. Thus as Layla died, Simon Garth returned to life for a period of 24 hours. In that time, Garth managed to put all of his affairs in order making up in some way to various people he had slighted during his first life. Garth then became a zombie once more and was buried by Papa Doc. 
The Search for the Amulet[edit | edit source]
Death however, is always transitory for a creature like Simon Garth. Years passed, and Simon once again rose from his grave. The amulet of Damballah that he had worn for so many years was gone, and he instinctively began seeking it out. His search brought him to New York City where he unwittingly discovered the amulet in the possession of Daily Bugle employee Glory Grant. The amulet was infused with the spirit of the villainess Calypso, who had possessed Glory and forced her to do her bidding. While seeking the amulet, the Zombie ran afoul of Spider-Man. The two fought, but he ultimately reclaimed the amulet and returned to a restless slumber.
Lilith Drake[edit | edit source]
A short time later, a wealthy student of the arcane named Kelsey Pierce acquired one of the amulets and offered it to the vampire Lilith Drake in the hope that she would reciprocate by turning him into a vampire. Lilith accepted the gift, but killed Pierce rather than turning him into a vampire. With the amulet, she took control of Simon Garth, and used him as her personal servant, forcing him to attack innocents and drag them back to her lair.
During this time, Donna Garth hired vampire private investigator Hannibal King to find the amulets and bring her father back to New Orleans. King’s investigation led him to New York where he found himself teaming up with Spider-Man in order to take down Lilith. The two were unsuccessful at defeating her, but King did manage to purloin the amulet, and he brought both the talisman and the Zombie back to New Orleans.
Gerber Hospital Morgue[edit | edit source]
The Zombie turned up again years later. His remains were found beneath the wreckage of a building destroyed by a fire and taken to Gerber Hospital. He rose from the morgue table and escaped, only to return shortly after an altercation with a police officer.
The Zombie later took a "corpse bride" that he found at the morgue, and returned to the grave with her.
All-New Howling Commandos[edit | edit source]
The Zombie was later recruited by Phil Coulson to join his incarnation of the Howling Commandos in order to combat Dormammu's Mindless Plague.