5916 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Validus of the Fatal Five (Legion of Super-Heroes enemy) (pre-boot DC Comics)

Validus

(Classic version)


Context

Validus is one of the signature enemies of DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes.

  • He is an immensely powerful engine of destruction – beyond even Kryptonian  levels.
  • He has close ties with core Legionnaires.
  • He’s part of the Fatal Five, and particularly dangerous criminal team.

Background

  • Real Name: Garridan Ranzz (In the “Five Year Gap” timeline only).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Garth Ranzz (Lightning Lad, father), Imra Ardeen Ranzz (Saturn Girl, mother), Graym Ranzz (twin brother), Mekt Ranzz (Lighting Lord, paternal uncle), Ayla Ranzz (Lightning Lass, paternal aunt), Imra Ardeen (maternal great-aunt), Dacey and Doritt Ranzz (sisters, “Five Year Gap” timeline only).
  • Group Affiliation: Fatal Five, partner of Ol-Vir, tool of Darkseid.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: ~36’ Weight: 10 APs (roughly 20-25 tons).
  • Eyes: None Hair: None


Advertisement


Powers and Abilities

A giant possessed of incalculable strength and invulnerability (in DC Heroes terms STR, BOD). The pure energy of his child-like mentality caused mental lightning to crackle around him (Lightning). Validus was force personified, one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy.

He was certainly more powerful than any Legionnaire, and it would have taken the combined strength of Mon-El, Superboy, and Ultra Boy to subdue him.

The interference caused by his mental lightning made it extraordinarily difficult for even the most powerful telepaths to read his mind or perceive his thoughts. However he was less resistant to mental control and suggestion (Mind Blank). Though he has no visible eyes, he can see, and his strange powers allow him, at least at times, to ignore illusions and see the invisible (True Sight).

Validus could also fly occasionally, but apparently did not like to do so, as it was exceedingly rare. He generally will only fly to get to a battle, or to flee one.


History

The monster known only as Validus appeared from nowhere in the latter half of the 30th century. He seemed to be the strangest and most powerful of all living beings. It was unknown who or even what he was. But his strength was known and feared throughout the United Planets.

Though not truly evil, his tendency to go on destructive rampages made him one of the five most wanted criminals in the UP.

Eventually he was trapped in an inertron (the most indestructible substance known to 30th century technology) cage by the Science Police. They were going to try executing him with anti-energy bombardments.


Advertisement


The Sun-Eater

Instead, Validus and four other top criminals, known colloquially as the Fatal Five, were freed by the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion sought their assistance in battling the Sun-Eater, a non-sentient life-form that devoured stars and, over time, whole galaxies.

At the time, the Sun-Eater was the only known being more powerful than Validus, and even he was badly outclassed by it. Validus was practically valiant in his battles against the Sun-Eater, and saved the life of Legionnaire Princess Projectra.

Unfortunately Tharok, the most brilliant of the Fatal Five, devised a way to control Validus’s mind, and the child-like behemoth acted as his pawn thereafter.

After the Sun-Eater was beaten, Tharok ordered Validus and the rest of the Five to turn on the Legionnaires. But when Projectra encouraged him to fight off Tharok’s control, Validus was again moved to save her, and turned his mental lightning on Tharok and the others.

The Fatal Five

Another Fatal Fiver, the Persuader, blocked the attack with his Atomic Axe, a weapon able to cut literally anything, including energy. The clash of forces cut through the barriers between dimensions, exiling Validus and the rest of the Fatal Five into an other-dimensional limbo.

Validus pounding on the Legion of Super-Heroes HQ

While in this alternate dimension, Tharok was able to re-establish and strengthen his control over Validus, who never rebelled again. Although Tharok originally used mechanical devices to keep Validus dominated, he later conditioned the giant to respond to commands from himself or the other three Fatal Five members.

The Fatal Five were easily among the Legion’s most dangerous foes, ironic as the Legion itself created them. Under Tharok’s influence, Validus fought the Legion many times, and in one of those battles crushed the original Invisible Kid in his giant fist.

After Tharok died battling his own clone (a being known as the Dark Man), Validus was imprisoned on the UP prison planet, Takron-Galtos. He was placed in a giant block of inertron reinforced with one-way force fields.

The Great Darkness

Validus unwittingly helped to save Takron-Galtos from destruction during the Great Darkness, when Darkseid of Apokolips enslaved the people of Daxam and sent them out to conquer the galaxy.

Darkseid sent a Daxamite child named Ol-Vir, possessed of all the powers of Superboy, to ravage the prison planet. Legionnaire Chameleon Boy, who was then in prison as a result of a failed Legion mission, tricked Ol-Vir into going through the one-way force fields, confining the Daxamite with Validus.

Validus, who’d been in solitary confinement for some time, was likely pleased at the chance to vent his frustrations.

Later, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Legion attempted to evacuate the planet before a wave of anti-matter struck and annihilated it. But Validus, enraged after his long confinement, went on a rampage when he was released. The Legion was unable to contain him in time to rescue him from anti-matter and believed he was destroyed.

Secrets of Darkseid

But Validus was saved by a boom tube created by Darkseid.

Darkseid was the true force behind the creation of Validus, whom he referred to as his cosmic irony. Validus was truly the twin brother of Graym Ranzz and the son of Legion founders Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. Darkseid teleported him away from them at the moment of his birth under cover of darkness, so that they never even knew he had been born.

Darkseid took him in fulfillment of his curse, that the Legion would be destroyed by “darkness growing from within.” The curse was aimed at the purest among them, but even the Legionnaires did not dream that Darkseid would target an innocent babe and transform him into a monster.

It was an ironic mockery of the way in which Darkseid’s own plans had always been thwarted by children. These included his own son Orion in the 20th century, and in the 30th century a baby summoned by sorcery who turned out to be Izaya the Inheritor, the Highfather of New Genesis.

Validus vs. Superboy

Validus was sent into the past to become the living incarnation of Darkseid’s curse. The conditions of enchantment or scientific mastery that surround Validus and his creation are not fully known, but Darkseid continued to watch over his cosmic irony, rescuing him from Takron-Galtos and later unleashing him anew, this time allied with Ol-Vir.

While Darkseid seemed to be trying to manipulate Validus into killing or being killed by his own parents, Saturn Girl suddenly managed to contact his mind and recognize him as her son. She begged Darkseid to return him, and unexpectedly he did, reverting Validus into an apparently normal toddler.

This was at least partly in recognition of and respect for Saturn Girl’s courage, and because she, who had always denied the darkness, had acknowledged his power.

Still called Validus, the toddler settled into life with the family he’d never known.


History Update: After the Five Year Gap

In at least one alternate timeline, however, Darkseid’s curse was not finished. In the “Five Year Gap” timeline, Darkseid once again kept his promise. He struck through the innocent, setting darkness to grow within and destroy his enemies.

Validus, now named Garridan, proved to be a carrier of a deadly disease. It twisted those of Titanian (like his mother) or Winathian (like his father) birth into deformed shapes reminiscent of Validus himself before killing them.

Many Winathians were killed by the disease, called the Validus Plague. Garridan’s father, Lightning Lad, was permanently scarred and partially crippled. Garridan himself was forced to live apart from his family on Quarrantine World while a cure was sought.

However, Garridan was shown to still possess the “Mental Lightning” of Validus, at about 12 APs. He used his powers alongside Legionnaires and other patients battling Grimbor the Chainsman. Occasionally, wearing an isolation suit, he can visit with his family.


Description

He’s a big purple giant, about 6 times the height of an adult human, with a transparent, seemingly eyeless skull. He’s got three fingers and two toes which splay out like tree-trunks.


Personality

Validus has a child-like mentality and is not truly evil. Unless he is given specific orders to kill, he usually fights rather defensively. Thus, his true power doesn’t always show through. He will often simply ignore attacks against himself, as most of them are beneath his notice. He will frequently Grapple an opponent and then throw them far away, rather than trying to kill them.

He had never been known to steal, nor to kill or destroy with deliberate malice, until the Fatal Five formed. He could even behave heroically, as when he saved Princess Projectra from the Sun-Eater, or for her sake turned on the Fatal Five. But he was subject to sudden seizures of apparent madness, perhaps merely temper tantrums, during which he would obliterate everything in sight.

Under Tharok’s influence he became more violent, blood-thirsty, and brutish. He could be induced to do anything, including kill. Once Tharok died, he reverted somewhat, but still was filled with rage and confusion.


Quotes

“Free ! Yes, I will be free ! But I won’t need a puny Earthling to do me any favors !”

“ARRGH !”

“I — obey !”

“AAAAAAARRR !”

“Legionnaire below…crush…kill !”

“You-try-to-kill-Validus ! But-Validus-kill-you !”

“Legionnaires ! We—kill—Legionnaires ?”

“RAAAAARRRRGGG !”

“Rarggghh??”


DC Universe History

There’s a post-Zero Hour version of Validus. There are significant differences in stats and their origins are completely different.

The original would likely show up only via Hyper-time. Though after Infinite Crisis there’s yet another Legion and another Legion timeline – so it’s anyone’s guess if there will be another Validus as well.

Personally I much prefer a Validus whose connection with Darkseid, Lighting Lad, and Saturn Girl is intact.

Of course, if you prefer an enigmatic and mysterious Validus, you could always ignore both the Levitz origin and the post-boot origin, and concoct your own. The things to remember are that Validus is basically an innocent, tragically warped and terribly lonely. He’s an orphaned child of incredible power who frightens everyone and is loved by no one.

His reaction to Princess Projectra might indicate his need for a maternal figure. His immense power levels surpass Mongul or even Doomsday – he could be a tool for good or evil, depending on who manipulates him.

Actually, Validus might make a good replacement for Doomsday as the killer of Superman. He’s got a much longer history, is more powerful, and has more personality and pathos than Doomsday, who just kills or smashes everything in his path.

Superman likely would be trying to protect Validus even as he battled him. His death would be another terrible tragedy in the life of a creature who never really had a chance.

In fact, in a post-Crisis universe, where Superman and Darkseid are deadly and implacable foes, it would make sense that Darkseid might create such a creature as a weapon to use against Superman. In such a continuity, Validus might even be a time-lost child of Superman’s, teleported from the future and used against Superman in the past.

For that matter, it would be fun to see the whole Pre-Crisis Fatal Five, at their full power, in the 20th century. They’re not afraid to kill, and their power levels would make them good opponents for the JLA, especially Aquaman. (Just kidding, Vinnie ! But Hawkman and Green Arrow would be toast.)


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Validus

Dex: 10 Str: 25 Bod: 26 Motivation: UP/Psychopath
Int: 03 Wil: 10 Min: 10 Occupation: Slave of Tharok
Inf: 09 Aur: 04 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 024 HP: 60-130

Powers:
Flight: 35, Growth: 08, Lightning: 20, Mind Blank: 10, Running: 02, True Sight: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flight is Catastrophically Marginal (-3 FC).
  • Growth is Always On, and already figured into his STR, BOD, Running, height, and weight. Note that Growth 08 subtracts 4 APs from his OV vs. Physical Attacks (down to a 06) and Perception Checks.
  • Lightning uses DEX for AV (-1 or -0).

Advantages:
Life Support (no need to breathe, eat, or drink), Lightning Reflexes.

Drawbacks:

  • CIA to obeying Tharok.
  • Innocent.
  • Power Loss (when fighting opponents with Growth, Validus loses APs of EV equal to his opponent’s active APs of Growth – but only while fighting that opponent).
  • SIA to obeying Mano, the Persuader, or the Emerald Empress.
  • SIA to throwing tantrums when lonely or when he doesn’t get his own way.
  • Serious Rage.
  • Strange Appearance.
  • Miscellaneous (Validus has the mind of a very young child, and no knowledge of his true identity).

Connections:
Fatal Five (High), Ol-Vir (Low).


Design Notes

This is the original, pre-Crisis character but on a post-Crisis scale. Growth, however. is NOT figured into his OV vs. Physical Attacks or Perception Checks. 4 APs should be subtracted from his Opposing Value in both cases, so Validus only has OV 06 vs. Physical Attacks.

The writeup assumes that Superman’s base DEX is 10, not 15 (though he can raise it with Superspeed). It also assumes that Krypton/Daxamite class characters must “activate” their Superspeed, and so don’t always get an Initiative boost.

If you use different rules, but want Validus to be as effective against those characters as he was in the comics, then you’ll need to give Validus about 14 APs of Enhanced Initiative (which would be very odd in my opinion).

Validus seems to be less effective against Colossal Boy than I can account for. CB is much weaker than a Kryptonian, but Validus seems to do little more damage to him than to Superboy or Mon-El. So, Validus has a Power Loss: his EV (STR or Lightning) drops by the APs of Growth an opponent is using, but only when used against that opponent.

If Colossal Boy is using his standard 8 APs of Growth, Validus would lose 8 APs from the EV of his STR and Lightning – but only against Colossal Boy. Interestingly, Colossal Boy has never tried to grow bigger than Validus.

Finally, Validus’s HPs vary considerably over time. In his first couple of truly overwhelming appearances in Adventure Comics, in the 60s, he has about 130. He’s less effective by the time the LSH’s adventures move over to Superboy – his HPs are about 90 during the 70s.

By his last few appearances – late 70s and early 80s, say Superboy and the LSH 231 and following – his Hero Points are way down, to about 60.

Is there an explanation for this ? Well, he’s used his Marginal abilities several times at that point, and been in some huge battles. Beyond that, not being truly evil, he doesn’t earn HPs from criminal acts as easily as other Fatal Five members do.


By Chris Cottingham.

Helper(s): John Colagioia, Frank Murdock, Roy Cowan, sockmonkeymurder, Dan, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Eric Langendorff, Mayfair’s Legion Sourcebooks v.1, v.2, and 2995 Legion Sourcebook, Who’s Who v. XXV March 1987, Who’s Who in the Legion #2.

Source of Character: DCU (Pre-Crisis/Pre-Boot Legion of Super-Heroes).

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .