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|“||We shall change the Earth that is full of light into our cold and dark EMPIRE!||„|
|~ Emperor Zeba to his followers|
Emperor Zeba is the ruler of the Underground Empire Tube and the primary antagonist of Hikari Sentai Maskman. He is a mysterious figure who usurped control of Tube after killing off its original rulers, the Igam family. He desires to conquer the surface world and spread darkness all across it.
He was voiced by the late Seizō Katō, who also played several other Tokusatsu villains, most notably Dai Satan in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, General Jark in Kamen Rider Black RX and Alien Mefilas in Ultraman and Ultraman Mebius.
Zeba was originally Lethal Doggler II, the son of the original Lethal Doggler, a beast that terrorized the underground until being slain by the Igam family. After being born Lethal Doggler II devoured its parent's body to gain more power. Lethal Doggler II then took up the identity of Zeba and began his crusade of vengeance against the Tube.
Zeba overthrew the Igam family and took control of the Tube Empire, reforming it from a peaceful kingdom into a militaristic and oppressive state. Zeba killed every member of the Igam family except for their twin daughters, Igam and Iyal, whom he spared to raise as agents of his regime. However, Zeba learned from a prophecy that the two daughters would be his downfall and thus kept them apart for most of their lives, raising Igam to be his second-in-command and successor. Under Zeba's reign, a cult of personality around himself was constructed and the kingdom began preparation for a war with the surface world.
Hikari Sentai Maskman
Desiring to add the surface world to his dominion, Zeba sent Iyal to the surface as a spy to scout it for invasion, though this backfired when Iyal fell in love with Takeru and warned him of the Tube invasion. As punishment, Zeba sealed Iyal within ice.
At the end of the series, Zeba raised the Underground Castle to the surface, intending to use it to spread darkness across the surface world. Traveling to the surface, Zeba battles the Maskman, initially having the advantage due to fighting them in his own Dark Aura domain. However, Iyal and Igam combine their powers with the Igam Royal Pendant and combine that with the five combined Auras of the Maskman to expose Zeba's true form as Lethal Doggler II. Lethal Doggler II is then blasted by the Jet Cannon, but survives and enlarges himself. Battling Galaxy Robo, Lethal Doggler II is finally finished off by the mecha, ending his cruel reign over the underground.
Zeba is a cold and monstrous beast throughout the show despite him showcasing his human appearance for almost the whole show. His depravity even shows when he poisoned an entire village of people to test out a biological weapon, poisoning all the people in the city. Upon that he himself warmongers, encouraging a war between humanity and the underground and always pushes to instigate fighting in the first place. Zeba also finds harming people amusing as shown when Akira is put into a death match and other events like that. Most of all his totalitarianism and slavery of his own people show that to him people are disposable and makes them lower than where he stands. Compassion to even his most loyal minions is lacking since he froze princess Ial in ice when she displeased him and in the first place separated both of them to save himself from impending doom. At the end he is a dark warmonger from the underground who is monstrous in every aspect of his existence.