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|Race||Spirit of war and destruction|
Spirit of the Earth (formerly)
|Powers||Possessing or controlling another's body|
Force field generation
|First Appearance||The Conqueror|
|Voices||Sting (seasons 1 & 2)|
David Warner (season 3)
Malcolm McDowell (seasons 4 & 5)
|“||I cannot stop you, Zarm. (...) My ring will not touch you because... you have no heart!||”|
– Ma-Ti, Summit to Save Earth Part II
Zarm is the Spirit of War and Destruction, who craves to destroy Gaia and Captain Planet. Throughout his five seasons of the show, he is voiced by three different actors: Sting, David Warner, and Malcolm McDowell.
While technically not an eco-villain out to exploit and/or destroy the environment and nature like most of the others, Zarm could be considered the most evil and dangerous one of them all. This is because he represents the evils and consequences of war, corruption, abuse of power, and hatred, which are more destructive and harmful to both the environment and people than anything else.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Weaknesses and Limitations
- 5 Sidekicks
- 6 History
- 7 Episodes
- 8 Remarkable Quotes
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
Gaia's male equivalent, Zarm appears as a middle-aged man with tan skin (of a slightly redder hue than Gaia's), short dark hair (deep blue up to Summit to Save Earth Part II, black in later episodes) with lighter streaks, and light-coloured eyes. Zarm is also very muscular and athletic in appearance, even more so than Captain Planet.
In most of his appearances, he wears a piece of armour (with a huge T-like shape in the center and horn-like details on the shoulders) over his torso, metal boots and gloves, and a cape. Up to Scorched Earth, all the parts of his armour (boots and gloves included) are coloured grey, with golden details, and his cape is deep red. In Future Shock and In Zarm's Way, the armour's details are mostly brownish-red or orange, while the cape is golden.
The Dream Machine provides an entirely different look for Zarm. In this episode, he has no gloves, cloak or a T-like shape on his armour; instead, he wears a belt with a sword attached to it, and a Gypsy-style earring in his right ear. Also, his hairstyle is less messy.
Like Gaia, Zarm is a natural spirit. However, they have radically different philosophies and personalities. Gaia cares for and believes in protecting the Earth's life, comparing herself to a mother. By contrast, Zarm believes that only the strongest deserve respect, and lives by a creed of "might makes right". As such, he is utterly ruthless and merciless, and will generally try to engineer conflicts between people to see who is the strongest. This even extends to his own followers; when he convinced the Planeteers to join him in his first episode, he encouraged them to argue and fight amongst themselves. These conflicts will theoretically show who deserves leadership, but in practice, both sides can and often do destroy themselves. According to Gaia, this was exactly what happened on a planet whose population destroyed itself in nuclear warfare due to Zarm's influence. In the present day, Zarm will often try to deceive his targets by appearing to be benevolent and manipulating them to behave violently. This strategy tends to fall apart after he is exposed, however.
Zarm, the Spirit of War and Destruction, is arguably the strongest and most deadly adversary of Gaia and the Planeteers. A former Spirit of the Earth exiled by Gaia, Zarm dedicates himself to bringing ruin and destruction in all forms to Gaia and all she protects out of vengeful spite, having consumed at least one planet to the tides of destruction and constantly attempting to do the same to Earth. Zarm attempts to initiate all-out nuclear war on Earth; painfully reverts Gaia to a withered old lady incapable of stopping the Earth from dying and taking over the Earth for a ten-year period of time where the Earth has become desiccated and ruined; coins a strategy he calls "Scorched Earth" by convincing world leaders to obliterate their own land and people (and claims to have been "a part of every important tyrant in history"), and nearly dooms the Planeteers' efforts to stop an alternate timeline where the Eco-Villains' descendants rule the planet by smugly ordering a young girl Ma-Ti saves murdered. A sadist drunk on his own capacity for destruction, Zarm is one of the single greatest sources of human misery within the show.
Powers and Abilities
Of all the Eco-villains, Zarm is considered to be the most powerful and the most dangerous. At one point, he was able to force all the other Eco-villains to work under him. He can also manipulate people with their hearts' desires, taking advantage of their ignorance and pitting them against one another – once with the dream machine, and second with an Asian mother and son and an African American father and daughter who lived next door to each other.
It is not unknown for him to manipulate human beings by possessing their bodies. He's also able to gather an army and traverse space and time to any number of possible futures.
Zarm has made a claim that he has been a guiding force behind every despot on Earth, which may have merit considering the kingmaking of the dictator Morgar. Zarm also remarks that there was one dictator in the 20th Century who actually turned down Zarm's guidance. Zarm remarks to the Planeteers that he was surprised by the dictator's success without him, and tells them "Try to guess who, I think you will be pleasantly surprised".
Zarm can also mimic the appearance and voice of any other being – not necessarily human. In Summit to Save Earth Part I, he posed first as Looten Plunder, then as the Earth Summit President, to eventually fool the Planeteers by impersonating Gaia.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Though he's able to show up in any place and time he wishes, Zarm can't stop possible futures from being erased from existence once changes are made in the present time (as in the Future Shock). In The Conqueror he was also unable to leave his ship, although he can travel freely in later episodes.
Zarm's biggest weakness, however, is his overconfidence--on multiple occasions, he has seriously underestimated his opponents to his detriment. Most notably, in Summit to Save Earth, he actually allowed the Planeteers to leave his ship while Gaia was ageing, mockingly telling them they could no longer save the Earth. This was proven wrong, as the Planeteers were able to find Commander Clash and stop Zarm with his help. Another example is The Conqueror, in which Gaia was turned mortal by the Planeteers' betrayal. After this happened, Zarm seemed unconcerned about the threat she and the loyal Ma-Ti posed to his plans and was genuinely shocked to discover them trying to sway the Planeteers back.
Zarm does not appear to have any sidekicks, though he does have an army or a crowd behind him. He is also willing to work with the other Eco-villains (or rather: turn them into his minions) in order to wreak havoc upon the world and destroy Gaia and Captain Planet.
Before the show
Zarm was once the Spirit of Earth but left the planet. It is clear that he and Gaia are enemies, although the details of their conflict prior to the show are never spelled out. According to her, once banished, he searched for other worlds to influence and caused at least one to destroy itself in a nuclear holocaust. It is unknown how many planets he has influenced; it is possible the world Gaia referenced was only one of many he destroyed.
Interestingly, in Scorched Earth Zarm is revealed to be the influence behind the dictator Morgar, and claims to have been "a part of every important tyrant in history". If true, this would mean Zarm has continued to stay active on Earth long after his original departure, over a period of many centuries before the present day.
Pretending to be a benevolent alien, Zarm claims he comes from a world of advanced science where world hunger, cancer, and other scourges are long gone, and says with his help Earth can soon reach such progress. He tricks the Planeteers into trading their rings for more powerful weapons, which he provides. Ma-Ti, whose ring's power cancelled out the mind control, is the only one who doesn't trust him. Zarm then turns the Planeteers away from Gaia with literal "Iron Fists" that increase their elemental powers a hundred-fold, making Gaia mortal and allowing him to nearly killing her. However, his plan for staging a nuclear war on Earth, with the Planeteers' unwitting help, is thwarted by Gaia, who manages to stop the Planeteers from using Zarm's powers they possess by showing that his planet's advanced science was put to use in war, leading to its destruction. Unfortunately for Zarm, his "conquerors" then abandon him and restore Gaia as a spirit, while he is sent back into deep space by Captain Planet.
Zarm forces all the other eco-villains to work together under his command, in order to wreck the Earth Summit.
The Earth Summit (based on the real-life Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro during June 1992) is being held, and the Planeteers are sent there to make sure the Eco-Villains don't try to spoil it. All six Eco-Villains have gathered to make plans, but are surprised by the arrival of Zarm. He forces all the villains to work for him; when Blight protests, he attacks her with an energy blast and she quickly submits. They begin a plan to kidnap delegates and replace them with duplicates who support pollution, while Zarm masquerades as the Brazillian president. The Planeteers follow the disguised Zarm back to his ship and discover what is happening, but are swiftly captured. They're able to escape briefly, but Zarm poses as Gaia and tricks them into handing over their rings, letting him capture them again.
Seeing all this from Hope Island, Gaia directly intervenes and teleports directly to Zarm's ship in an attempt to rescue the Planeteers. Zarm declares that he will destroy his old enemy, and a battle between the two spirits begins. At first the fighting favours Gaia, as she is able to withstand and neutralize Zarm's attacks with ease. However, Zarm puts the Planeteers in danger and forces Gaia to rescue them. This leaves her vulnerable and allows him to deliver a blow that wins the fight by destroying the crystal Gaia is in, leaving her powerless. With this, Zarm uses his powers to transform Gaia into an old woman.
Zarm reveals to the Planeteers that because of his victory over Gaia, ten years have passed outside the ship. Earth is now horrifically polluted, and the Eco-Villains have a free hand to cause as much destruction as they please. Zarm allows the Planeteers to freely leave his ship, but not before blasting Gaia and announcing that she'll turn to dust in twenty-four hours. Desperate, the Planeteers search for Commander Clash, whom they first met in their struggle against Captain Pollution. He is revealed to still be active in resisting the Eco-Villains; he tries to stop Sly Sludge and Hoggish Greedly, who are clearly aware of him and have apparently faced him before, from polluting a beach. He is defeated, but the Planeteers arrive just in time and rescue him.
Clash and the Planeteers come up with a plan to attack Zarm's ship, and Clash actually manages to trap Zarm in a restraint chair, but Zarm uses his powers to break free and drive Clash off. Feeling defeated, Clash offers to take the Planeteers to safety on his island, but they refuse. Zarm and the other Eco-Villains then capture the Planeteers, and Zarm mockingly has the Planeteers "fight" him. He allows the Planeteers to have their rings back, and then one by one, each Planeteer is freed from a force field and allowed to try and resist. Zarm's powers easily defeat each attempt, but the fact that he gave the rings back ends up backfiring severely when Clash comes back and restores Gaia to normal. With the rings in their possession, the Planeteers are able to summon Captain Planet, who is especially angered by how close Zarm came to killing Gaia and the Planeteers. Planet forces Zarm into his ship and sends it back into deep space, then brings Gaia another crystal from Hope Island that allows her to restore the timeline.
Add details here. (Scorched Earth)
Add details here. (The Dream Machine)
Add details here. (Future Shock)
Add details here. (In Zarm's Way)
- The Conqueror – the first appearance of Zarm. He tries to tempt the Planeteers with gauntlets that allow them to magnify the power of their rings, but his mind control ability was useless on Ma-Ti.
- Summit to Save Earth Part I – Zarm unites all of the other Eco-villains in an attempt to stop the Earth Summit, aimed at controlling pollution and other environmental dangers. He captures the Planeteers and turns Gaia into a human, causing her to age rapidly.
- Summit to Save Earth Part II – Zarm lets the Planeteers out of his ship 10 years into the future. As a result of the Earth Summit failing, the planet is now horribly polluted. However, Zarm turns out to have underestimated the Planeteers who get Commander Clash to help them save Gaia.
- Scorched Earth – Zarm possesses a dictator to ruin a country by destroying sea-bound oil refineries.
- The Dream Machine – in an attempt to expose human greed, Zarm, calling himself the Dream Maker, grants people whatever they wish for. The catch is that creating the things they wish for is depleting their natural resources.
- Future Shock – Zarm transports the future descendants of Plunder, Blight and Skumm to the past, in order to guarantee their timeline's existence.
- In Zarm's Way – Zarm makes a wager with Gi over the nature of human beings. In the middle of the debate are two children who are placed in a world where they can create whatever they desire. Whether the children prove to be good or evil by nature will settle the bet. This is Zarm's last appearance in the series.
- Gi: But do we have the right to destroy something like that?
Zarm: Right? Ha! Might makes right! You must either conquer or be conquered!
- The Conqueror
- Gaia. It's been ages since we've seen each other (...) but now I'm back, with new followers: your Planeteers. Already they fight each other for power. They wear my Iron Fist, not your ring.
- The Conqueror
- Gaia, you meddler! I will show you what it means to be mortal!
- The Conqueror
- Hoggish Greedly: Hey, that's nice, but look: we're developing a plan here and...
Zarm: You miserable worms, develop a plan? HA! You'll never figure out a way to stop Captain Planet. And he will show up; and wipe you off the face of the Earth! That's why you bumbling incompetents will be working for me.
- Summit to Save Earth Part I
- Maybe you can withstand my attacks, Gaia. But how about your precious Planeteers?
- Summit to Save Earth Part I
- Who will you save, Gaia? Yourself? Or the Planeteers? Choose!
- Summit to Save Earth Part I
- You see, I've been part of every important tyrant in human history.
- Scorched Earth
- Zarm steps out of the dream machine.
Ma-Ti: I knew this greed machine had to be yours!
Zarm: Yes, greed makes people want more and more power. Power over the Earth, power over each other; and greed is what I thrive on!
- The Dream Machine
- Depending on the episode, they can be gray, pale blue or greenish.