Jartran Radd worked as a scientist. He married a woman named Elmar and they had a son together. Jartran was a workoholic and with the simplistic lifestyle on Zenn-La and lack of a husband, Elmar committed suicide.
He named his son Norrin Radd after Norrin Konn. Norrin Konn was a leader in a civil war on Zenn-La. He was called the Father of Zenn-La. He nurtured his son to think differently and to follow in his footsteps. He always told Norrin that he would be a great man someday. Jartran believed their computerized world had taken away the spirit of the Zenn-Lavians and their once proud race has wasted away. He insisted that his son not grow up to be like the rest of the population. He always reminded Norrin that greatness awaited him. But even though Norrin received his father's qualities he also gained his flaws.
Jartran had a mistress after Elmar's death and they produced a son out of wedlock named Fennan Radd. This was kept hidden from Norrin.
Jartran received the Delta Award for inventing the Psi-Sonic Transmitter, a breakthrough in psycho-recreational arts. He did not approve of such devices but can only get funding for such things. He is eventually accused of idea theft and Norrin learns of it. Jartran claimed that he had forgot to give the other inventor his credit. Disgusted, Norrin walks away.
This event caused Jartran to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. This caused Norrin much guilt, believing it were his fault that this happened. He bottled it up for centuries. Only after a trip with Virtual Reality did Jartran and Norrin make amends with one another.
He met his father's spirit again during the Infinity Crusade. The Surfer was near death and found himself at a train station on Zenn-La that would take him to the land of the dead. While Elmar told the Surfer it was not his time, Jartran still seemed to revel in his own self hatred, and told him that life is meaningless and he should just end it. The Surfer was able to convince him otherwise and they once again make amends with each other.
It was later known that Mephisto was in possession of Jartran and Elmar's souls because of their method of death. The Surfer was able to fight and rescue his parent's souls and his own. Jartrans spirit left the Surfer to his loneliness. He returned to Jartran's grave on Zenn-La and lit a eternal flame for his parents. They were now free of their sins but at a deep cost to the Surfer.