Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Who's Who: Universo

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Vidar
Super-Power(s): Super-hypnosis; as a Green Lantern, used a Power Ring
Planet of Origin: Unknown
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Universo first struck at the Legion of Super-Heroes as part of his first attempt to take over the United Planets. He used his super-hypnotism to control them, even managing to stop Superboy and super-telepath Saturn Girl. He then stole the Legion's time bubble. When the Legionnaires awoke, they learned to which time periods Universo had gone and went after him. However, Universo had set up plans for his agents to murder them in the past. Unfortunately for Universo,  he had not counted on the intervention of his son, Rond Vidar. Rond used his own time machine, his "time cube," to rescue the Legionnaires from the past. Returned to their era, they were able to stop Universo from taking over the UP Security Council.

Later, Universo murdered the Earth President and took his place as Vice-President Kandro Boltax. In one of his first executive orders, he had a new water purification plant created. Universo then secretly poisoned it with hypnotic drugs, making the populace of Earth lose their free will. Universo as Boltax declared the Legion unconstitutional and forbid any Legionnaires from exercising their powers. Eventually the Legion figured out what he was doing and how to stop him, again with the timely intervention of Rond Vidar.

Universo managed to escape prison several times, but each time he was apprehended by the Legion, sometimes working with Supergirl or with a time-traveling Batman.

The Legion later learned that Universo was at one time a member of the Green Lantern Corps. He was one of the three Green Lanterns who came to Earth and challenged the Legion when they were beginning to experiment in traveling through time. Universo was seduced by the idea of witnessing the so-called "birth of the universe" and broke Green Lantern rules in order to try to acquire this knowledge. He was then disbarred from the Corps. At this time Universo's name appeared to be Vidar. During the conflict with Batman, however, he gave his real name as Argus Oranx. Neither Universo nor Rond ever spoke of Rond's mother, and no details of her life were ever given.

Universo's greatest triumph came after several months of intense planning and scheming. He took on the identity of a high-ranking assistant to Earth President Desai and from there worked to incapacitate his son, Rond, as well as consolidate power. After all of Earth fell victim to a so-called "sleep sickness" (actually his super-hypnotic spell), they awoke as his mental slaves. Universo imprisoned several of the most strong-willed super-heroes of the galaxy, including four Legionnaires, on a slave world while he isolated Earth from the rest of the United Planets. He hoped to consolidate all the power on Earth, then plan an invasion of the planet Oa to learn the secrets he had been denied years earlier.

His grasp of power was stopped by Saturn Girl, who was able to break through his mental blocks. She freed herself and three of her friends and they raced towards Earth. While her friends kept the majority of Legionnaires occupied, she took on Universo himself. He was imprisoned again, and this time he was kept perpetually unconscious, unable to control anyone's will ever again.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap, the Dominators had seized control of Earth during its economic collapse, and Universo ended up as one of the primary leaders of the resistance movement, along with former Legionnaires. He is branded a terrorist by the Dominion-backed Earthgov, who accuses him of working with the Khunds. He was in fact nominally working with the Dark Circle, though in reality, to further his own ends. After Earth is liberated, he uses his new status to work further schemes with Leland McCauley IV, branding the adult Legion as renegades, and manipulating the United Planets' government until his lies catch up with him. He is caught by Infectious Lass not long before this timeline collapses.

After the Reboot, Universo is Sarmon Ardeen, Saturn Girl's cousin. In an alternate timeline in which the Titans are in suspended animation until the 31st Century, he joins forces with a recreated Cult of Blood to take control of that team. When this timeline is negated, the real timeline has him imprisoned on his home moon, Titan. After the return of the "Legion Lost" from the Second Galaxy, Universo attempts to control Saturn Girl, and the Titanet telepathic communication network. This fails, and Saturn Girl leaves his mind in the same fantasy scenario he had created for her.

After the Threeboot, Universo does not appear to exist.

After Infinite Crisis, Universo's original history has presumably more or less been restored. He is a member of Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains during the Final Crisis, where he assented to his son Rond's murder, mistakenly believing that he would be able to take Rond's Green Lantern power ring upon his death. He would later disguise himself as the new President-Elect of Earth, Hiroshi Takaneda, attracting the attention of a precognitive terrorist attempts an assassination who believes the United Planets will fall apart under the villain's tyrannic rule nine years hence. He survives the assassination attempt.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #32-35
Universo takes over Earth and controls all people living there

Important Universo Stories:

Adventure Comics (v1) #349
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5, 
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
Universo makes his first attempt to take over the United Planets 

Adventure Comics (v1) #359-360
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
Universo succeeds in outlawing the Legion

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #207
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
Universo escapes, prompting the Legion to go after him

Superman Family #207
Universo challenges Supergirl

The Brave and the Bold (v1) #179
Universo attempts to destroy all of Metropolis

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #295
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe HB)
Blok learns that Universo was once a Green Lantern 

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #320
Universo bargains with the Monitor

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #22
Universo successfully plants himself as an advisor to the Earth President

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #30
Universo plots to murder his own son 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #32-35
Universo is at the pinnacle of his power during "The Universo Project"

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #36
Universo is caught and sentenced to life on the prison planet Labyrinth
Who's Who in the DC Universe #9
Five Years Later, Universo is a leader of the Resistance on Dominion-controlled Earth,
but backed by the Dark Circle, as chronicled in Who's Who

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #21
Universo's true colors are revealed

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #35
Universo makes a deal with Leland McCauley

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #40
After the Dominion is defeated, Universo plays the Richard III part

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #50, 54-59
Universo has the U.P. brand the Legion a renegade group

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #59
Universo is captured by Infectious Lass

Titans/Legion of Super-Heries: Universe Ablaze #1-4
After the Reboot, Universo joins forces with Brother Blood against the Legion and
the Titans, but this timeline is undone by the end

The Legion #20-23
Universo takes over Titan's telepathic net, but is ultimately defeated by Saturn Girl

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2
Universo agrees to see his son murdered so he can steal his Green Lantern ring

Action Comics (v2) #16
After Flashpoint, a psychic assassin tries to kill Universo to prevent him from taking power

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