Universo

Created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan

Text from the Legion Help File

NAME + ALIASES:
Argus Oranx III aka Vidar

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed wife (deceased), Rond Vidar (son)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Green Lantern Corps, Legion of Super-Villains

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Adventure Comics #349 (Oct. 1966)

The Legion meets some of the Green Lantern Corps, who are forbidden from operating on Earth. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.2 #295 (1983); art by Howard Bender and Dave Hunt.
Green Lantern Vidar does the forbidden, gazing at the origins of the univese. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.2 #295 (1983); art by Howard Bender and Dave Hunt.
Profile picture from Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #7 (1988); art by Greg LaRocque and Arne Starr.
Saturn Girl overcomes Universo's formidable mental powers. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #35 (1983); art by Howard Bender and Dave Hunt.

At some point beyond the late 20th century, operatives of the Green Lantern Corps were prohibited from entering Earth space by its government. The Legion first encountered the Green Lantern Corps when three Lanterns were sent to investigate events at the Time Institute in Metropolis. The "Chronarch" of the Institute, Circadia Senius, had attempted to view the origins of the universe. For the most part, the Guardians of the Universe were content to let the United Planets take care of Earth, but this act was specifially forbidden by them. (Green Lantern v.2 #40) The Guardians immediately dispatched three Lanterns to Earth: Vidar, the Green Lantern of sector 2814, which included Earth; Galte-Re of Xudar patrolled neighboring sector 2813; and a female Durlan Lantern. Note: In Superboy #207 (Mar./Apr. 1975), Universo's real name was given as Argus Oranx III.

Vidar possessed some natural mental powers which helped him develop the strong will required of a Green Lantern; he had served only briefly before this meeting with the Legion. The allure of secret, ancient knowledge (or power) was too much for Vidar to resist. He then also attempted to see what the Guardians were protecting, and used the Time Institute's machines to peer back in time. The Legionnaires caught him in the act, and the Guardians stripped him of his power ring and returned him to his home planet. (Legion of Super-Heroes v.2 #295)

Further, Vidar's wife was killed by his enemies and he became irrevocably embittered. His son, Rond Vidar, was left with family on Earth. (Adventure Comics #349) At some point after this, when Rond came of age, the Guardians awarded Vidar's son the role of Green Lantern of sector 2814. (Legion v.3 #50)

Vidar spent his next years honing his hypnotic talents. He sought out and stole the Hypno-Stone from the royal family of Titan. The Stone amplified his natural abilities considerably. (2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook)

Vidar rechristened himself "Universo" and used the "eye pendant" to infiltrate the Legion of Super-Heroes' headquarters and steal their time bubble. He sent the Legionnaires into the past — intending to strand them there — while he stayed in the 30th century and hypnotized the United Planets Council into giving him total control of Earth. Universo's plan was thwarted by his son Rond, who had invented his own time machine, the Time Cube, which enabled the Legionnaires to bring their comrades home and defeat the villain. (Adventure Comics #349)

Universo struck again within a year. His bold plot included the assassination of the President of Earth, and the kidnapping and impersonation of the Vice President, Kandru Boltax. With presidential power, Universo was able to effectively outlaw the Legion and send them into hiding. Some were sent to the prison planet, Takron-Galtos, and others went underground to fight for freedom. (Adventure Comics #359)

Again, it was Rond Vidar who defeated his father by nullifying Universo's mass hypnosis, and Universo was sent to prison again. For his valor, Rond was awarded honorary Legion membership. (#360)

Universo escaped to the Rigel system but the Legionnaires were hot on his trail. Despite possessing Superboy and some unexpected interference from the Science Police officer Dvron, the Legionnaires recaptured him quickly. (Superboy v.1 #207)

Universo escaped from prison with the help of criminal roboticist Doctor Anton Halkor. They controlled Rond, who helped them revenge on the police who'd put Halkor away. Their plot was unraveled by the Legionnaires, with help from a time-traveling Batman. (Brave and the Bold #179)

Universo escaped Takron-Galtos when the Daxamites attacked it during the Darkseid's "Great Darkness" campaign. Vidar began laying the groundwork for his most ambitious plot yet. (Tales of the Legion #320) Disguised as "Vid-Gupta," he cultivated a friendship with Earth's next President, Mojai Desai. (Legion v.3 #10) This position of influence enabled him to hypnotize key people, including Science Police officers. (#16) Universo systematically removed obstacles to his domination — even ordering the killing of his son, Rond. (#30)

"Gupta" convinced the President to build an "air purifier" which helped him to hypnotize the populace of Earth, meanwhile creating diversions to lure the Legionnaires away from the planet. Earthgov cut off contact with other planets and ordered the Legion to be disbanded. He corralled key super-heroes (including Legionnaires Saturn Girl, Dream Girl, Chameleon Boy and Brainiac 5) onto a prison planet to break their wills. But he underestimated Saturn Girl's mental strength and she broke free of Universo's mental blocks with her own power. She exposed Universo's disguise and released the world from his control. Universo was incarcerated again, on Labyrinth. (#31-36)

Glorith Reality (Legion v.4)

Jacques Foccart and his S.U.B.S. are forced to ally with Universo to fight the Dominators on Earth. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #16 (1991); art by Keith Giffen and Al Gordon.
After the liberation of Earth from the Dominion, Vidar is publicly hailed as a hero. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #40 (1993); art by Stuart Immonen and Ron Boyd.
Universo portrait from Who's Who #9 (1991); art by Paris Cullins and Jim Fern.

By the time Universo returned to Earth next, it had been overrun by the Dominators. This complicated his schemes, so he went underground and formed a terrorist resistance movement against Earthgov. He hired a mercenary called Grinn to serve as his second-in-command. He entered into a pact with Jacques Foccart (the ex-Legionnaire Invisible Kid) who was leading a resistance movement of his own, called the S.U.B.S. (Legion v.4 #16, 18, 20)

Meanwhile, Universo was also dealing with agents of the Dark Circle, whom he eventually double-crossed. After Earth was liberated, Universo became something of a hero, and was named as Earth's ambassador to the United Planets. (#25-34, 40)

The Legionnaires were wary of this development — for good reason. Universo was ultimately revealed to have framed the Legion for treason on behalf of the Khunds. (#50–59)

Legion Retroboot

When the Original Legion was (more or less) revived around the time of Infinite Crisis, Universo resurfaced as a member of the Legion of Super-Villains. This group was formed by Superboy Prime, who freed the inmantes of Takron-Galtos prison (including Universo).

Vidar stood idly by while Prime murdered his son, hoping that Rond's power ring would return to Universo. Instead, the ring eluded his grasp and returned to Oa. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2)

Universo of the Reboot Legion

Saturn Girl defeats her cousin, Universo. From Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze #4 (2000); art by Dan Jurgens and Phil Jimenez.

In 1994, the Legion's entire universe was rebooted during Zero Hour. Universo in this reality was Sarmon Ardeen. He was born on Saturn's moon, Titan, with immense mental powers. He was contained by Micah Aven, the world's most adept telepath, and kept apart from society. With age, Ardeen began plotting his liberation — and revenge — as Universo. (Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze #1-2)

His cousin was Imra Ardeen, bettern known as Saturn Girl, who was instrumental in his defeat. Universo hid his takeover plot behind a puppet; he revived Brother Blood, the 20th century adversary of the Teen Titans. Blood was vulnerable to Saturn Girl's own telepathic power and Universo was ultimately returned to captivity. (#3-4)

This timeline also had a Rond Vidar, a friend of Brainiac 5's from the Time Institute. (Legionnaires #0)

During this period of DC's publishing history, another character named Vidar was lived in the year 2645. This man helped send John Fox on a fateful time-trip that transformed Fox into the 27th century Flash. (The Flash Special #1)

 

Powers

Universo possesses natural mental abilities that he usually uses in a hypnotic way. His power is amplified by the Hypno-Stone of Titan, which enabled him to control the minds of entire planets.

The Universo of the Reboot Legion was the most powerful telepath on Titan (without the aid of a pendant). He was able to effortlessly control entire populations.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Original Legion

  • Adventure Comics #349, 359–360
  • Brave and the Bold #179
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.2 #295
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #10, 22, 25, 28–30, 32–37
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #1
  • Superboy v.1 #207
  • Superman Family #207
  • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #320
  • Who's Who in the DC Universe #9
  • Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #7
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #24

Reboot

  • Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze, one-shot (Mar. 2000)

Retroboot

  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2-3

» SERIES:

  • None