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- The only human being with whom I felt any kinship died three hundred years before the birth of Christ. Alexander of Macedonia.
- -- Adrian Veidt
- -- Adrian Veidt
Born in 1939, the son of rich immigrant parents, Adrian Veidt was found to be incredibly intelligent. After his parents and his teachers became suspicious of his grades, he successfully hid his intelligence by deliberately achieving average grades. After his parents' deaths, he inherited their substantial fortune at age 17, but chose to give it all to charity. Veidt then embarked on a vision quest, following the route of Alexander the Great - a childhood idol - throughout the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and former ancient Persia.
It was during this journey that he consumed a ball of hashish and decided to become a superhero. Returning to America, he named himself "Ozymandias" and became a costumed vigilante, focusing particularly on organized crime and earning a reputation as "the smartest man on the planet." However, his own cases robbed him of the idealistic belief that battling crime would truly lessen evil and suffering in the world. This was brought to a head when an abortive attempt to organize a new superhero team was disrupted by the Comedian, who noted in his brutally apt way exactly how petty the doings of the costumed heroes were in a world where the threat of nuclear war hung overhead, and how powerless they were to stop it. Veidt was inspired to do just that.
In 1975, two years before vigilante crime fighters (superheroes) are banned by the "Keene Act," Veidt retires from super heroism, marketing his image for money. This helps bankroll his scheme of creating a catastrophic event and deceive the world into uniting against a common enemy, in Veidt's case, a horrific alien invasion. To that end, he employed geneticists to clone the stolen brain of a murdered psychic and use it to create such a creature with a group of artists and creative personnel to help create the illusion. He also invents a limited form of teleportation based in part on the studies of (and studies by) Dr. Manhattan. Upon completion, he arranged the murder of all of his accomplices to maintain the illusion.
To prevent Dr. Manhattan from interfering, he hired old associates of the superhero and secretly exposed them to radiation to induce terminal cancer in them, then engineered a rumor that Manhattan was responsible, causing Dr. Manhattan to exile himself to Mars.
When the Comedian inadvertently learned of Veidt's plans, Veidt personally murdered him as well. The story of Watchmen begins several hours after the killing, with police detectives investigating the crime.
The death of the Comedian caught the attention of Rorschach, who investigated the crime and mistakenly theorized that there existed a conspiracy to murder masked adventurers. Although Veidt arranged an assassination attempt on himself to throw off suspicion, he framed Rorschach on a murder charge to get him out of the way. In addition, Veidt started the accusations against Dr. Manhattan to drive him off the planet and set off a chain of events that threaten to start a global war.
Unknown to him, the current Nite Owl and Silk Spectre grew to believe that Rorschach's investigation had merit and sprung him from prison to investigate the matter. In addition, Dr. Manhattan took Silk Spectre to Mars where she convinced him to return to Earth.
However, the superheroes were unable to stop the fulfillment of Veidt's scheme, which led to the deaths of over three million people in New York City. The world governments fell for this ruse, and agreed to a union to oppose this new alien menace. Seeing as how Veidt's plot had the desired effect of uniting the nations of the world and averting a possible nuclear war, Doctor Manhattan, Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre agree to keep silent about what they know, as it would only plunge the world back to the brink of disaster. Rorschach alone refuses to keep silent, telling Dr. Manhattan that he will never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon, Dr. Manhattan must kill Rorschach before he can tell anybody what he knows, and does so. When Veidt asks the precognitive Dr. Manhattan for verification that he did "the right thing" and that his plans "worked out in the end," Dr. Manhattan can only reply that nothing ever ends, leaving Veidt once again in doubt as to whether or not his plan was successful.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Due to a lifetime of training and conditioning Veidt has achieved peak of human potential.
- Peak Human Conditioning: Veidt ' physical strength is at the very peak of human potential. As a result, he is as physically strong as a human being can be without being classified as superhuman. He was ale to throw the Comedian weighing 225 lbs (102 kg) through the air and out a thick plain glass out of window. He is capable of punching brick walls and kicking down wooden doors with a single kick.
- Peak Human Speed: He can run at speeds at the peak of an Olympic athlete.
- Peak Human Endurance: Veidt's body and mind have been trained to the point where he can push his body beyond it's natural limit.
- Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist.He can coordinate his body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity. He also has the ability to leap 50 yards out in a single bound and 20 ft into the air without a running start.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Veidt's reflexes border on superhuman level. His reaction speed is 20 kph, which makes it possible for him to dodge gunfire even catch a bullet fired at close range.
- Peak Human Senses: Veidt's senses have been trained to react to any attack. He has been shown to dodge bullet because he sees faster than them.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Veidt is referred to as the smartest man alive. His mental performance allows his mind to operate in the most efficient and rapid manner possible. One manifestation of this is his tactical genius; the ability to quickly process multiple information streams and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations. Veidt also possesses an eidetic memory, meaning that he never forgets anything and has perfect recall. He is capable of creating numerous technologies to counter Dr. Manhattan. Veidt is able to view a wall filled floor to ceiling with television screens, each showing a different image he is able to pay attention to each one simultaneously.
- Polymath: He has studied the following areas:
- Master Martial Artist Veidt is an expert in hand-to-hand combat being very skilled in multiple martial arts. Fighting skills sufficient to hold off both Nite-Owl and Rorschach at the same time. Veidt is one of the finest martial artist earth has ever known. His only defeat came early in his career at the hands of the Comedian, something he never got over. He is well versed in:
- Master Tactician and Strategist: He is an accomplished strategist. He had been widely considered one of, if not the greatest, tacticians on the planet. He is able to create a vast billion dollar International corporation with links to legitimate and criminal organization, all with the single purpose to bring world peace via the threat of a fake alien invasion to unite the nations to bring about world peace
- Master Acrobat: His years of training and experience even at age 40 have made him an expert acrobat, gymnast, and aerialist.
- Multi-lingual: Veidt is fluent in English, German, Russian and various other languages not shown.
- Peak Human Strength: Veidt engages in an intensive exercise regimen, and because of this, his strength, like all other physical attributes, is at the peak of human perfection. He is shown to be able to bench-press at least 1000 lbs.
- Ozymandias' name is a reference to the Greek name of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II.
- 25 Appearances of Adrian Veidt (Watchmen)
- 13 Images featuring Adrian Veidt (Watchmen)
- 4 Quotations by or about Adrian Veidt (Watchmen)
- Character Gallery: Adrian Veidt (Watchmen)
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