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Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Team-Up #55 (Mar 1977)
Created by Bill Mantlo (writer)
John Byrne (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Ord Zyonz
Species from Seyfert galaxy M-77
Team affiliations Elders of the Universe

Use of the Primordial Power
Plant control

The Gardener (Ord Zyonz) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicted as one of the known Elders of the Universe in the Marvel Universe.

Fictional character biography

The Gardener was once Ord Zyonz, a being who came into existence in the Seyfert Galaxy M-77. Like all the other Elders, he belongs to one of the first races to develop since the Big Bang and thus is nearly immortal and extremely powerful. He is absolutely obsessed with peace and quiet, and with his garden.

At one time he created an amazing lush garden in the Blue Area of the Moon using his Infinity Gem, the Time Gem. This was eventually brought to a halt when Adam Warlock, Spider-Man and the Stranger were caught up in a battle on the moon and he used his gem along with the Soul Gem of Warlock and successfully slowed down the Stranger enough to make him leave. After using his gem in battle it was corrupted and he believed he could no longer use it to make things grow; he left it behind in search of a new place for his garden (where it stayed until Thanos found it).

The Gardener was later revealed to possess Adam Warlock's Soul Gem. He journeyed to K'ai to create a paradise valley. There, he battled the Hulk, and briefly lost the gem, but he soon had it in his possession again.

The cosmic entity Grandmaster had, by proxy, lost a contest for the entity Death. Angered, she forbade him and his fellow Elders, including the Gardener, from entering her realm. Thus the Gardener became immortal.

The Gardener was seen among a group of abstract and near-omnipotent beings (including Uatu the Watcher, Eternity, the In-Betweener, the Living Tribunal, Lord Chaos, Master Order, and a Celestial) confronting the Beyonder.

The Gardener was one of the eleven Elders who allied together to restart the universe by killing Galactus. He used Earth plants to capture Mantis. He battled Galactus and the Silver Surfer, but was converted to energy and consumed by Galactus. Along with the other four Elders who were devoured by Galactus, he caused Galactus "cosmic indigestion" from within until they were forced out of him by Master Order and Lord Chaos. The Gardener was one of the four Elders who aided the Silver Surfer and Nova in helping Galactus to defeat the In-Betweener. Once that was done the five Elders used their Infinity Gems to instantaneously travel very far away from Galactus and his vengeance. Afterwards, the Gardener retained possession of the Time Gem and used it once more. Thanos confronted him, using the Gems he had already recollected to seemingly kill the Gardener and take the Time Gem, as part of his ultimate goal to create the Infinity Gauntlet.

Later, during the "Infinity War" incident, the Contemplator spotted the Gardener in the Dimension of Manifestations among a group of abstract and near-omnipotent beings who were conversing with the Beyonder. However, that was only a "reflection" (recording) of a manifestation-event that had taken place years earlier (and which is listed above).

After the Multiverse was restored following the "Secret Wars" storyline, Gardener took part in a Contest of Champions between the other Elders of the Universe in order to determine who would keep the Power Primordial that is now abundant throughout the universe. He was eliminated from the contest when his unknown champions lost.

At some point, Loki visited Gardener who wanted to know about the Soul Gem's location. When Gardener didn't know where it was, Loki infected him with a poison that drove him mad to the point where he shattered Groot and took some of his splinters to grow an army of Flora Colossi. In the present, Gardener and his army of Flora Colossi attacking Telferina.

During the "Infinity Countdown" storyline, the Guardians of the Galaxy intercepted the army of Flora Colossi where it was revealed that Groot regenerated from a splinter and could not reach his normal size due to Gardener having taken all his splinters. Getting close to Gardener, Groot used his energy to cure Gardener of the poison. After being healed, Gardener's first action was to restore Groot to his original height as well as allowing him to speak in full sentences in the third person. Though a building-sized Flora Colossus named Scar was still on a rampage.

Powers and abilities

The Gardener has the ability to manipulate cosmic energy for a variety of effects, including virtual immortality, and the ability to increase his physical attributes to unrevealed superhuman levels. Currently, due to his machinations with the other Elders against Death, he cannot die by any means.

Other noted powers used by the Gardener consist of limited levitation, telekinesis and vegetation control. The Gardener has been seen walking on cosmic bridges made from various vegetation and flowers that stretch the span of the universe itself.

While in possession of the Soul Gem, the Gardener could control and mentally manipulate animals including birds, monkeys and great beasts. He would use these animals for protection as he did with the Hulk. Using the Power Primordial in combination with Adam Warlock's Soul Gem, the Gardener augmented his physical strength to match the Hulk himself in a wrestling match for his cane. The Gardener also tamed the Hulk's rage by using the Soul Gem to tap into the Hulk's soul and pull out Bruce Banner's consciousness which allowed Bruce to maintain his wits while possessing the strength of the Hulk.

While in possession of the Infinity Gem of Time, the Gardener could fast forward the growth cycle of plants and then freeze them at the peak of their bloom, creating the most beautiful garden in the universe. The Gardener would also use the Time Gem to weaponize vines and produce plant growth spurts to ensnare and entangle enemies such as the Hulk and Thanos.

The Gardener created his crooked staff composed of unknown materials through which he can channel cosmic energy. He has used various of the Infinity Gems at one time or another.

The Gardener has accumulated vast knowledge of the botany of countless alien worlds over the millennia.