Monday, September 28, 2015

I know this seems obscure, but whenever Rond Vidar showed up in the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, I loved it.

Universo was one of the Legion's earliest enemies. He possessed innate, immensely powerful hypnotic powers which were augmented even further by a "Hypno Stone". He is actually a former Green Lantern, who attempted to see the Dawn of Time. This is a mega-massive-huge no-no. When the Maltusian scientist Krona attempted to do so billions of years ago, he created the Multi-Verse and unleashed massive amounts of evil. Universo's attempt to do so was stopped before it could do any damaged, and he was stripped of his power ring. He then tried to use his hypno-powers to accomplish his goals using the Legion's Time Bubbles.

Rond Vidar is Universo's son, and immune to Universo's hypno-powers. Rond concealed his true heritage for many years, as Green Lanterns were barred from Earth following Universo's treachery.

Rond is one of the most brilliant temporal researchers the galaxy has ever known -- more so that T.O. Morrow, more so than Rip Hunter, more so than Brainiac 5, more so than the Time Trapper. He was just 20 years old when he invented the Time Cube (the first practical and replicable time-traveling device), and he later invented the Time Beacon (which made time travel immensely safer). Rond appeared periodically in the Legion comic book, usually introducing some new time-related gadget that helped the Legion overcome some problem.

Brainiac 5 was never shown to be in love with anyone, too "brainy" to be worried about romance. But his friendship with Rond Vidar was shown to be a big-time bromance, and was occasionally used for comic relief (as neither was homosexual -- at least, at that time -- and neither had the slightest interest in sex or a relationship).

The Guardians of the Universe later recruited Rond to be a covert Green Lantern, and gave him his father's Lantern ring.

Unfortunately, in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds (August 2008 to September 2009), Rond Vidar's tale came to an end.

DC Comics was rebooting its entire comic universe YET AGAIN.... The Legion's backstory had become unglued in all sorts of ways due to the endless reboots that DC Comics engaged in between 1985 and 2005. This was an attempt to solve that problem.

Some years earlier, the Clark Kent of "our" world (Earth Prime) was taken into the world of Earth-1 (where all the comic book heroes live). He went insane after coming to believe that "other" Superboys had usurped the fame due him. He was then locked in a "paradise dimension", but eventually freed himself by "pounding on the walls of reality" (something fans snicker at to this day). He was later cast back through time and believed lost...

But now, in Legion of 3 Worlds, the Legion's greatest foe -- the Time Trapper -- retrieves Superboy-Prime and sends him to then 31st century. He's (typically) enraged to learn of his minimal impact on history. He breaks the Legion's enemies out of prison, and creates a new version of the Legion of Super-Villains in a bid to destroy the Legion. The villains travel to Sorcerers' World to recruit Mordru.

Mordru the Merciless, the greatest wizard of all time, throughout the universe, had some time ago captured the Naltorian sorceress known as the White Witch (she's Dream Girl's sister). Rond revealed himself to be a Green Lantern, and led a group of Legionnaires to Sorcerers' World to rescue her. When they arrived, they encountered Superboy-Prime and his gang. Rond attempted to hold off Prime and the others while the rest of the Legionnaires fled back to Earth to gather more members. Rond was defeated by Prime and Saturn Queen, who interfered with Rond's ability to operate his ring. Universo demanded his ring back; when Rond refused, Superboy-Prime brutally murdered him.

Superman travels from the 20th to the 31st century to assist the Legion against the villains. Brainiac 5 then recruits the immortal Sodam Yat (the last Guardian of the Universe) to help battle Prime. He also has Starboy (sent to the 20th century years ago, and now the mentally ill hero known as Starman) to retrieve Conner Kent's* body and place it in a Kryptonian healing chamber in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Brainiac 5 then summons the Legions of parallel Universe-247 and paralle Universe-Prime to fight against the Legion of Super-Villains. Brainiac 5 then uses Flash's Cosmic Treadmill (retrieved from the 20th century) to resurrect cousin Bart Allen (Kid Flash) from within the Speed Force.

As the army of heroes battle Superboy-Prime, Brainiac 5 travels to the Fortress of Solitude in the 31st century -- where he retrieves a now-living Conner Kent. Conner attacks his murderer, Superboy-Prime.

Inexplicably, the Time Trapper kidnaps three Legionnaires in the midst of battle. He reveals himself to be Superboy-Prime. He's knocked out, and taken back to Earth where Superboy-Prime punches his elder self. This causes both villains to wink out of existence.

The Universe-Prime Legion returns home. The Universe-247 Legion discovers its universe was destroyed during the Final Crisis, and decides to stay in our universe to scour the galaxy for other time-lost heroes. Superman returns to the 21st century with Conner Kent and Kid Flash.

Meanwhile, a powerless Superboy-Prime wakes up on the reborn Earth-Prime and is reunited with his parents and his girlfriend Lori, who are all horrified by what he has become.

Rond's body was taken to Oa, where he was cremated by Sodam Yat.

Brainiac 5 later reveals that of all the many friends he's had over the years who've died, Rond's death -- by far -- hurt him most of all. Even more than the death of Supergirl, whom Brainiac had loved.

* - It's too hard to explain. But in the wake of the 1992 story "The Death of Superman", a clone was created using DNA taken from Lex Luthor and Superman. He has limited Kryptonian powers (like invulnerabilty), but most of his powers are telekinetic -- and merely mimic Superman's super-speed, super-strength, super-senses, flight, etc. When he learns he's not Superboy, he starts calling himself "Kon-El" instead; the Kents decide to harbor him, and call him "Conner Kent", claiming he is Clark's cousin. Superboy-Prime murders him during the early events of the Final Crisis.

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