Captain Universe is not one person. In one sense, it is not a person at all--it is the Uni-Power (an aspect of the Enigma Force) and a manifestation of the Universe itself, a sentient energy field that seeks out people in great peril and bonds with them. In another sense, it is every person--it is the potential for heroism that lives in each of us. When the Uni-Power chooses a partner, it endows that person (or, rarely, persons) with the powers, memories, and costume of Captain Universe. The partner can use the powers of Captain Universe until the peril is surmounted. However, if the partner tries to use those powers for personal gain or for evil, the Uni-Power immediately deserts him or her or them.
There is no apparent pattern in Captain Universe's appearances or accomplishments. In one universe (and possibly in all universes), it is the Guardian of Eternity, the sum of all life, and is thus responsible for protecting all life in existence.
The first known partner of Captain Universe was Ray Coffin of Florida. Baron Karza had come from the Microverse to menace Earth. A Time Traveler, also from the Microverse, appeared to Coffin, warned him of the danger, and offered him the Uni-Power. Coffin accepted and drove Karza away. With the mission completed, Coffin reverted to normal, and the Uni-Power passed to another. No Time Travelers have appeared to subsequent partners; the Uni-Power simply, and instantly, bonds with them.
Other partners have ranged from a dog to the Silver Surfer (see the Appearances page for a full list). Missions have ranged from facing down a bully to saving the world. Most of these partnerships have gone unreported. However, the US government has established a secret agency, Division U, to track and study Captain Universe and the Uni-Power, so far with little result. A.I.M. has been studying the same phenomena.
The Uni-Power began to experience memory and power loss and traveled to Earth in search of a willing human host. This is where it found Gabriel Vargas, who agreed to bond with the entity and travel into the Microverse in search of that which was causing these problems.
But first, the Uni-Power needed to process, replicate and download the powers of several super-humans in order to regain some stability. After bonding with the Hulk, Daredevil and X-23, it went to the Fantastic Four for help.
Mr. Fantastic, not one to refuse an opportunity to study the Uni-Power up close, agreed to help The Uni-Power discover the source behind its problems before they were attacked by Gladiator of the Shi'ar Empire, who had orders to take him back to his superiors for imprisonment and study.
The Uni-Power bonded with the Invisible Woman before Gladiator could get his hands on it and a battle ensued. During this time, the Invisible Woman had the Uni-Power bond with Gladiator to make him see the truth about the current dilemma it was facing.
When Gladiator and the Uni-Power found out that Mr. Fantastic was incapable of repairing the problem, Gladiator offered to take the Uni-Power back to the Empire as a guest in the hopes that their scientists could do what Reed could not.
The Uni-Power accepted Gladiator's offer and began their journey to the Shi'ar Throneworld of Chandilar. However, as they were leaving Earth's Solar System, Gladiator and the Uni-Power were intercepted and captured by energy-consuming tyrant named Krosakis.
Krosakis used his vampiric-like energy siphoning abilities to force the Uni-Power to bond with him. This gained the attention of the Silver Surfer, who confronted and fought Krosakis and freed the Uni-Power from his control by overloading Krosakis with the Power Cosmic.
The Uni-Power then bonded with the Silver Surfer, who infused the Uni-Power with a portion of his Power Cosmic and managed to repair its memory loss and power fluctuations.
In addition to the repairs, bonding with the Power Cosmic put in place several protective barriers that would make it impossible for anyone to tamper with the Uni-Power ever again.
The Silver Surfer then escorted the Uni-Power back to Earth, where it merged with a paraplegic Desert Storm veteran named Gabriel Vargas, whom the Uni-Power had made a bargain with following an incident that had resulted in the death of a police officer and severe injury to the Captain Universe (Ted Simmons) that had preceded Gabriel.
After getting used to the feeling of walking again for the first time in almost a decade, Gabriel, now in the guise of Captain Universe, parted ways with the Silver Surfer and began making his way into the Microverse.
Two years later after the undocumented events of Gabriel's excursion into the Microverse, he resurfaced somewhere within the confines of the Kree Empire or rather what was left of it following the First Annihilation War and attacked a group of Kree Soldiers, whom he thought were slaughtering innocent people.
After learning that these so-called innocent people were actually Annihilation Wave sympathizers, Gabriel allowed himself to be taken into custody, and was imprisoned alongside Bug, Deathcry , Mantis, Rocket Raccoon and Groot while awaiting trial.
Following the initial conquest of both Kree and Annihilation Wave territories by Ultron and the Phalanx, former Lunatic Legion leader Galen-Kor was ordered by Ronan the Accuser to create a low-tech task force capable of successfully infiltrating and destroying a new version of the Phalanx Technophage Virus capable of spreading it further and faster than they would be able to via their standard methods.
Peter Quill, who had accidentally handed the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, to Ultron and the Phalanx when a group of infected Spaceknights were allowed to upgrade the Kree Defense Network with a program called "A-Ware" was forced to take on the mantle of Star-Lord once more and was paired up with Gabriel and the others to create the task force Ronan desired.
Together, Gabriel and the rest of the "Dirty Half-Dozen" descended upon Hala without mercy and began viciously fighting their way through the heart of their newly conquered territories against Ultron's minions. In the process, several problems began to rise along the way, the first being the small feud between Gabriel and Deathcry, which continued to escalate until Deathcry went berserk and tried to kill Gabriel who, in self-defense, obliterated Deathcry using the Uni-Power.
Gabriel was mentally traumatized by the event after realizing exactly what it was he had done and went into a shell-shocked state of being, which he remained in until he decided to stay behind and hold off an army of flesh-eating insect-like Phalanx drones while the others made their escape.
Mantis, who had cloaked herself in order to keep from being captured by the Phalanx along with the others, sent a telepathic message to Gabriel, who managed to survive the Phalanx onslaught and told him that he was now their only hope for victory.
After meeting back up and conversing with Mantis, Gabriel detached himself from the Uni-Power and sent it on a mission to infiltrate and hack the Phalanx Datacore possessing the cure to the new Phalanx Virus, which Star-Lord had discovered was airborne and inside the bodies of Hala's inhabitants.
The Uni-Power complied and headed towards the Datacore, where it merged with one of the Phalanx Planner Drones and corrupted its programming. The Uni-Power allowed the drone to think that it was in control of the Uni-Power and that upon accessing the Datacore it would be able to replicate the Uni-Power and create an army of Uni-Powered Phalanx drones, therefore making it the most favored Phalanx of all.
When its fellow Phalanx refused to allow the Uni-Powered Planner Drone to access the Datacore, it became angry and destroyed them all, thus allowing it to enter the Datacore unhindered. However, when this happened, the Uni-Power revealed its ruse and not only retrieved the data it sought but also obliterated the Datacore, thus destroying every bit of data they had collected in the short time since the conquest of Hala. The Uni-Power then merged with Gabriel once more, allowing him to fend off the Phalanx while his teammates stole a getaway vessel.
After returning to base, the Uni-Power shared the data it had collected with the Kree Science Divison and amicably parted ways with Gabriel.
Something can stop the Juggernaut
When Spider-Man was chasing Captain Universe, he sensed the eruption of several large tremors deep under the Earth's crust and went to check out the rapidly growing problem.
When he found that Earth's tectonic plates were coming undone Captain Universe began to question his true destiny, thus giving the Uni-Power itself a chance to speak and hopefully guide Captain Universe in the right direction. However, before Captain Universe could fully repair the shattered tectonic plates he sensed the Juggernaut's presence, shut out the Uni-Power's voice, erupted forth from underneath the Earth his adversaries stood upon and attempted to kill the Juggernaut once more.
The new Captain Universe revealed himself to be William Nguyen, a former employee of a major financial firm that the Juggernaut tore through while attempting to outrun Spider-Man. When was about to commit suicide, William prayed for forgiveness and found those prayers answered by the Enigma Force, which imbued William with the Uni-Power and transformed him into the Captain Universe that now held both him and Spider-Man prisoner.
Spider-Man asked whether William had fixed the fractures or not, to which William replied no and declared that killing the Juggernaut was the only thing that mattered to him. This, of course, deeply offended the Enigma Force who stripped William of his power and transferred it over to the Juggernaut. With the powers of Captain Universe at his disposal, the Juggernaut delved deep into the Earth, located the fractures and fixed them. The Enigma Force then commended the Juggernaut for his work and sent the Uni-Power on its way.
The Universe is Broken
The Universe became sentient once more, as it possessed Tamara Devoux, a young amnesic woman who suffered an accident and was left in coma for ten years. When asked why it chose her, Captain Universe explained that it chose Tamara because she was broken and dying, as it was.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Captain Universe's powers and power levels vary from partner to partner, presumably to meet the demands of the job at hand. The Uni-Power also enhances the powers and abilities of a host who already has such powers and abilities. Powers that remain relatively constant include:
- Uni-Vision: a sort of cosmic consciousness. Captain Universe can sense things on a subatomic level or at great distances. This power can also force someone to tell the truth.
- Matter/Energy Manipulation: Captain Universe can divert an energy flow in a different direction or convert it into a different type of energy. Diverting the flow of gravitons, for example, allows flight. Captain Universe can also change matter at the atomic level, for instance, to transmute one substance into another or to change an object's shape.
- The costume (or the Uni-Power itself) protects against extremes in temperature.
Captain Universe in Other Realities
- In Fantastic Four Roast #1, May Parker partnered with Captain Universe.
- In What If? Vol 2 #25 (May 1991), Set defeated the Avengers. Quasar became a partner of Captain Universe and drew Set into the Eye of Agamotto, thus saving Earth.
- In What If? Vol 2 #31 (November 1991), Spider-Man retained the powers of Captain Universe after the events of Acts of Vengeance. He finally used up both their powers to give all of humanity a form of cosmic consciousness.
- In the Earth X series (March 1999 - October 2003), Captain Universe partnered with the late Captain Marvel and formulated a plan to save Earth from the Celestials. Reed Richards became another partner at the end of the Paradise X series.
- In Fantastic Four Annual #2001, Captain Universe (with an unknown partner) was a member of the Law Enforcement Squad from another reality. Along with the introduction of Abraxas, this story reveals that Captain Universe is the Guardian of Eternity.
- In Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 #16 (December 2005), a synthetic Uni-Power (developed by AIM 100 years in the future) was incorporated into Death's Head 3.0 to give it the power of Captain Universe.
- 53 Appearances of Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- 19 Images featuring Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- Captain Universe Recipients
- Captain Universe: X-23, Hulk, Daredevil, Invisible Woman & Silver Surfer one-shots.
- Enigma Force
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