Created by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra, Malak Brood appears in the Strontium Dog story 'The Moses Incident' in the pages of 2000AD.
Locked away on the prison planet 'The Island of the Living Dead', Malak killed his brothers 'Karnak' and 'Hebkak' with his soul blade dagger, stealing their life force and feeding his own evil and power.
Taking over the planet was next, turning all the warders into zombies, making himself ruler of the 'Island'. But with each life he took the ball and chain around his leg grew with the accumulated guilt - his burden.
Many years later, Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer fight their way through the zombies to make a deal with Malak - bring back to life the boy they accidently killed (Moses Quest) during a gunfight.
Malak agrees, if they can remove his 'burden'. Alpha initially succeeds (using a time bomb), but the magic binding the guilt to him is stronger and the ball and chain return. Alpha, insisting he has upheld his end of the bargain, 'persuades' Malak to bring Moses back to life (at the end of the barrel of his gun).
But deals with evil sorcerers never goes well. The boy is brought back to life and initially a normal lively child, but as the Strontium Dogs make their way back to the Moses family, he becomes less responsive and once they arrive on his home planet, the boy is nothing more than a zombie.
Moses' home town are incensed and the boys mother, Martha, beyond grief. While the townsfolk erect a scaffold to hang the two stronts for what they've done, Martha quietly puts her boy out of his misery.
Alpha and Wulf don't resist, knowing what they've done is very wrong, and go without a fight to the gibbet. But just as the hangman's noose grows taut around their necks, Martha shoots the ropes, freeing them both.
The townspeople are not happy, but grudgingly accept Martha's decision to let them live. She in turn forgives Alpha and Wulf, accepting their hearts were in the right place.
Alpha returns, alone, to Malak Brood's island, to put an end to his evil. They fight, but Alpha is cruelly outmatched. Every weapon is batted aside and in a final hand-to-hand struggle, Malak raises his soul blade and plunges it towards Alpha's heart. But the Strontium Dog twists to one side and the blade plunges in to Malak's ball and chain. A burden of guilt so heavy that even Malak's blade cannot absorb. The guilt and the man crumble to dust, leaving Alpha to walk away, a free man.