"Why is heaven not enough?"
"This is not my home! My home is three hundred ninety million miles away. And my children... all eight billion of them are undoubtedly standing in their cribs, crying out in desperation for me to return... Heaven is not enough because... heaven doesn't need me."
—The Game Warden and Adrian Veidt
Adrian Alexander Veidt is a former narcissistic genius superhero and billionaire industrialist who draws inspiration from his hero Alexander the Great and the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, from whom he took his name, Ozymandias. He used his company to create a giant monster, which he used to unite the human race through fear, thus ending nuclear war. Years of dissatisfaction of not being recognized for saving the world followed, however. He eventually asked his friend Jon Osterman to send him to a paradise he created on Europa, where he thrived for years until its monotony began to drive him insane. After his escape, he saved the world again, this time from his daughter, only to be arrested by Laurie Blake.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Costumed Adventurer Career
- 1.3 Retirement and Master Plan
- 1.4 Assassination of the Comedian
- 1.5 Preventing Nuclear Holocaust
- 1.6 Aftermath
- 1.7 Meeting His Daughter
- 1.8 Journey to Paradise
- 1.9 Escape from Europa
- 1.10 The Trial of Ozymandias
- 1.11 Return to Earth
- 1.12 Saving Earth Once More
- 1.13 Brought to Justice
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Physical appearance
- 4 Personality
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
- 9 Navigation
Adrian Alexander Veidt was born on July 2, 1939 to rich immigrant parents. Growing up, he 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 - his childhood idol and namesake - 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.
Costumed Adventurer Career
In 1958, Veidt adopted the guise of "Ozymandias" and became a costumed vigilante, focusing particularly on taking down organized crime synicattes led by Moloch the Mystic, and earned 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.
Retirement and Master Plan
In 1975, two years before vigilante crime fighters were banned by the Keene Act, Veidt retired from superheroism, marketing his image for money. This helped 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 named Robert Deschaines 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) Doctor Manhattan. Upon completion, he arranged the murder of all of his accomplices to maintain the illusion.
To prevent Doctor 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 Doctor Manhattan to exile himself to Mars and thereby setting off a chain of events that threaten to start a global war.
Assassination of the Comedian
When the Comedian inadvertently learned of Veidt's plans, Veidt personally murdered him as well. 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.
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.
Preventing Nuclear Holocaust
To ensure the safety and success of his secret, Veidt decided he would rig the 1992 US presidential election to get liberal actor Robert Redford elected president. And, to ensure people never forgot the squid attack, Veidt created a device that randomly selected a location on a regular basis to send baby squids to the planet's surface over an area of a few square miles. He also prepared to incapacitate Doctor Manhattan by placing a tachyon ring on his forehead that would cause total amnesia and render him helpless, but instead opted to create his own intrinsic field subtractor, the machine whose accident created Manhattan years ago. Finally, he prepared to drive the new, improved world into a utopia of his own making.
On November 1, 1985, Veidt recorded himself for Redford, explaining his plan in great detail, and how he would have to help keep Veidt's secret safe. After scheduling the tape to be sent to the White House the night of Redford's inauguration, Veidt teleported his monster into New York City resulting in the deaths of three million people. Doctor Manhattan and Silk Spectre arrived to stop him, but they were too late, as Veidt vaporized Manhattan by luring him into the intrinsic field subtractor along with his pet lynx, Bubastis. Manhattan quickly reconstructed his body and materialized outside Karnak as a giant. As he predicted, the governments of the world 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.
While mediating in his sanctuary, Veidt is visited by Manhattan and informs him that he is leaving Earth. Before he left, Veidt asked the precognitive Manhattan if his plans for utopia would come to be, and if it was all worth it in the end. Manhattan cryptically responded by saying "nothing ever ends", then departed for Europa leaving Veidt once again in doubt as to whether or not his plan was successful.
In 2007, Veidt traveled to Kenya where he was awarded the Chief of the Golden Heart, the country's highest civilian honor, on the 40th anniversary of when he exposed an illegal plot to kill the citizens of Nairobi and the surrounding areas using biological weapons. This was Veidt's last known public appearance.
Meeting His Daughter
By 2008, Veidt had been keeping his squid rains falling regularly for twenty-four years, and the general populous still unaware of his involvement. His plans for a great future, however, had been ignored by the world, and he had grown much more arrogant, excitable, and animated over the years, while still keeping a respectful reservation coupled with innate sarcasm. Hiding in his base of operations in Antarctica, he was greeted at its door by Lady Trieu, who explained to him that she was his daughter, and that her mother, Bian My, was one of Veidt's Vietnamese war refugee workers in 1985 who injected herself with his semen to have a worthy offspring. She proved to him her great intellect and skill, enough to rival his own, by showing him that Doctor Manhattan was not on Mars at all, but instead on Jupiter's moon Europa, and that she had sent a satellite that would reach the moon in 2014 and catch Manhattan in the act with its camera. Trieu asked him for the money and resources to build a giant machine with which to steal Doctor Manhattan's powers and use them to improve the world. Angered by the discovery of his illegitimate daughter's existence, however, he disowned her and ordered she never call or come to him again, throwing her out of his base, and telling her that he would never call her "daughter".
Journey to Paradise
About a year later, a bored and dissatisfied Veidt was visited by Doctor Manhattan, who desired to become human to pursue a comfortable relationship with his lover, Angela Abar. Veidt conversed with Manhattan, who he comfortably called Jon, for a short while about their history and his distaste for the public's lack of knowledge of his achievement, as well as lack of celebration, and showed him the tachyon ring he had never used all those years ago, the very same he planned to use to wipe Jon's memory. But Veidt requested in return the answer to the question he'd asked all those years ago: would he live to see his utopia come to be? Jon answered "yes, but not here". He explained he had created a paradise on Jupiter's moon Europa decades earlier, a bubble of atmosphere and land, filled with people, endlessly generated clones of beings called Mister Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks, who care nothing for themselves, their only desire being to make others happy. Veidt believed that this described paradise and allowed Jon to send him there, leaving the device with him.
Arriving on Europa, Veidt believed Manhattan's words completely. He performed various activities with his servants, including putting on a play titled The Watchmaker's Son, a retelling of the origins of Doctor Manhattan, and instructing the first Mister Phillips created, the Game Warden, to wear a mask and act as his adversary. He was happy the first two years of his stay, but over time the lack of achievement and deserved celebration began to drive him mad. Discovering his own self-worth means nothing if he can't be properly celebrated by it, Veidt began plotting a daring escape.
Escape from Europa
From 2011 to 2014, Veidt utilized the resources at his disposal to build spacesuits with which to send numerous Mister Phillips' out of the atmospheric shell, telling them he wanted them to find a way out and report back to him. In truth, he wanted to test their suits with the outing to make the perfect one that wouldn't kill him. Many attempts were made by the Game Warden to make him stop, but he carried on anyway. When Veidt's perfect suit was finally engineered, his various servants assisted in sending him outside the atmospheric shell, and out onto the frozen, rocky surface of Europa.
Once outside the shell, Veidt collected the bodies of the various Mister Phillips' he'd tossed out there over the years together in different clumps. By breaking off some of their limbs and bending some into unnatural positions, Veidt used the bodies to spell out, in giant letters, "SAVE ME DAUGHTER". No sooner did he finish that Trieu's satellite flew overhead and snapped its picture. However, Veidt was only left a short time to celebrate his victory before the Game Warden pulled him back into the atmosphere.
The Trial of Ozymandias
After a lengthy year-long trial in which he represented himself (though his only defense was farting loudly on the last day for the courtroom's disgust), Veidt was given the opportunity to stay willingly or stay by force. Veidt chose the latter, and was confined to the castle dungeon. The Game Warden brought him a cake, as his servants did every year on the anniversary of his arrival, but unbeknownst to the Warden, the Phillips and Crookshanks clones that prepared the cake had planted a horseshoe inside it. Once the Game Warden left, Veidt pulled out the horseshoe and began scraping away at the castle floor, shaving off bits of it at a time, and, in two years time, had scraped away a massive hole under his bed that led out of the castle to the field outside.
Return to Earth
In 2017, Lady Trieu’s rocketship, which she had sent as soon as she realized her father was on Europa, finally arrived on the moon’s surface. An ecstatic Veidt, wearing his old Ozymandias costume, jumped in his hole as soon as the ship landed, and climbed out, horseshoe in hand. The Game Warden fought with him to make him stay, but Veidt impaled him with the horseshoe and killed him just as the rest of his servants came outside. After a brief moment where he sat with and comforted the Warden as he bled out, Veidt strode into the ship as his servants bade him goodbye and Godspeed. Once inside the ship, the onboard computer instructed him to step into a cryostasis chamber and to place his hands on his hips and stand defiantly. The chamber froze him with a golden sheen, and when the frozen Veidt returned to Earth, Trieu put him on display as a “gold statue” inside her Millennium Clock, where he remained for several months. Two years later, in 2019, Veidt was officially declared dead and Trieu bought out his company for her own gain.
Saving Earth Once More
A few months after buying Veidt Enterprises, Lady Trieu freed her father from his cryogenic sleep and explained to him, as he groggily awakened, her master plan. Since Veidt's rejection of her in 2009, she had strived to prove herself better. And, as her plan neared completion, she yearned to have her parents see her achieve her success, causing her to rescue her father from Europa and clone her dead mother.
Now, ten years after her father's insults and vile attitude, she had built teleportation equipment, a cage that could contain Doctor Manhattan, and a machine that would destroy him by draining his essence, as well as transferring it into another person, namely herself. Utilizing the white supremacist group Cyclops to capture Doctor Manhattan (they believed they were sabotaging Trieu’s plans of global salvation for their own), Lady Trieu planned to take the powers of Doctor Manhattan unto herself and remake the world as she saw fit, creating her own sick paradise. As she spoke, Cyclops captured Doctor Manhattan and prepared to transfer his power into their leader, Joe Keene, and as soon as Trieu finished detailing her plan to her father and gave him a change of clothes, she traveled with him to Tulsa’s town square, where he discovered that he was recently thought to be dead by the world, and still no one knew he had saved humanity.
Trieu carried out her plan, teleporting the Cyclops members, a caged Doctor Manhattan, a kidnapped Laurie Juspeczyk, now named Laurie Blake, and an undercover Wade Tillman, into the town square, just as Keene attempted to transfer Manhattan’s abilities unto himself. Helpless, the members of Cyclops watched as Trieu opened the door of the chamber he stood in and unleashed a wave of red liquid that had once been the organization’s leader all over the ground. As Trieu monologued about her genius plot, Doctor Manhattan touched the liquid, which had traveled under his cage, and sent his power through it, teleporting Veidt, Blake, and Tillman to Karnak, Veidt’s old base in Antarctica, which was still sending out randomized pre-programmed squidfalls, even after several decades. While Laurie and Wade were confused, Veidt instantly knew why Manhattan sent them there, and what they must do to save the world.
Veidt ordered Wade and Laurie to do certain tasks for him, such as answering his questions and lowering the temperature on his squid chamber. Once the squids were frozen and the coordinates of Tulsa, Oklahoma were in place, Veidt let them loose from the sky, explaining that while the squids were usually harmless, freezing them solid before their rain on the Earth produced a result Veidt described as “firing a Gatling gun from the heavens.” Sure enough, the frozen squid destroyed Lady Trieu’s machine just after Doctor Manhattan had been obliterated. The squids ripped holes in buildings, wounded and killed many, and caused Trieu’s broken machine to crush her flat, but humanity was safe once again, thanks to Adrian Veidt, just as it was before.
Brought to Justice
Feeling content and victorious, Veidt prepared Archie, Dan Dreiberg’s Owlship, for Laurie and Wade to return to civilization. Wade and Laurie, however, were not ready to just let him go. Laurie declared Veidt to be under arrest, and Wade, who had been in New Jersey across New York City the night of the squid attack and only recently discovered it to be a hoax, showed Veidt the disc of his video to President Redford, confessing everything. Veidt faced down Laurie and angrily demanded she reconsider, but Wade knocked him out before he could finish. Together, Wade and Laurie dragged Veidt’s unconscious body to the Owlship, and took off for Washington, D.C. to formally place him under arrest.
- Genius Level Intelligence: Veidt has been deemed the "smartest man in the world" by many, mainly the media, though this title is deserved. Veidt deftly built both a legitimate and criminal empire from nothing and made it large enough to become a global threat through his exploitation of advanced technology and genetics. In one scene, he is shown viewing a wall filled floor to ceiling with television screens, each showing a different image, in order to demonstrate his ability to pay attention to each one simultaneously. From the juxtaposition of these numerous images, he is able to deftly paint a picture of the current political and social climate, from which he can predict future trends and make plans accordingly. Veidt's intelligence is so great, Doctor Manhattan, a being of nigh-omniscience, acknowledged his intelligence.
- Master Tactician: An excellent schemer and manipulator, with an ambition matching his intelligence, Veidt managed to successfully execute a plan to help Earth towards utopia by ending international hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union and maintained secrecy about it for several years. He is shown to be a ruthless master strategist, swiftly eliminating anybody who dares to get in the way of his plans, while maintaining a facade of a billionaire philanthropist.
- Master Scientist: Veidt is a master scientist, well versed in genetic engineering and quantum physics. His mastery of genetic engineering is so great, he was able to create his pet, Bubastis, along with cloning the psychic brain of Robert Deschaines, mutating it into a giant alien-looking squid creature.
- Master Engineer: Veidt is well versed in mechanical engineering as demonstrated through his creation of a variety of inventions such as energy hydrants, created designs that utilized Doctor Manhattan's energy, and his creation of Karnak in Antarctica. He was also able to successfully repair Nite Owl's damaged Owlship.
- Multilingualism: Veidt is fluent in English, Turkish, German, Russian, Vietnamese and various other unspecified languages.
- Peak Physical Condition: Veidt is depicted at the pinnacle of human physical ability, to the point of being able to mentally calculate physical reaction times, anticipate the pull of a trigger, and reflexively catch a bullet. While not technically superhuman, Veidt's extremely muscular and athletic physique (and resulting nigh-superhuman physical prowess) makes him immensely physically powerful by normal human standards.
- Peak Human Strength: Veidt has and can, by properly utilizing physical forces, momentum, and leverage (as well as his knowledge of anatomical weaknesses and undergoing frequent extremely intense strength-and-endurance-based exercises), easily generate low-level superhuman strength. Veidt has been able to effortlessly lift men as large as the Comedian above his head with both hands before throwing them through the air, smashed through stone and solid wood with one hit, send people flying through the air several feet with his attacks. Being attacked by him is almost like being struck by a vehicle, to the point where it may be fatal. This causes his attacks to be heavily weakening and debilitating to anyone he fought, including the Comedian, Nite Owl, and Rorschach, all of whom are also portrayed with similar strength and physical prowess.
- Peak Human Durability: Veidt is also exceptionally durable by human standards due to his intense training during his travels and the years before becoming Ozymandias having made his skin, bones, and muscles far denser than an average human. Veidt is barely fazed when repeatedly punched, showing no pain or discomfort, as if he did not even feel the attacks. He also showed no pain when he had a bullet lodged into his hand when he caught it as it was being shot at him.
- Peak Human Speed and Agility: Ozymandias is incredibly fast and agile, and has demonstrated an almost superhuman nimbleness and agility enough to effortlessly catch a butcher knife at point-blank range, dodge gunfire by running and with acrobatics, and move his hand into the path of a bullet at point-blank range, lodging it in his palm.
- Master Acrobat: A world-class athlete, Veidt does acrobatic performances in aid of charity events, performing excellently despite being in his mid-forties.
- Master Martial Artist: Veidt is a superb fighter, martial artist, and almost superhuman unarmed combatant, able to subdue Rorschach and Nite Owl with little effort. His only defeat came early in his career at the hands of the Comedian, something he never got over. With the sole exceptions of Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian, Ozymandias was easily the most dangerous of the crime fighters of the 20th century due to his fighting skills alone. His fighting abilities are such that even Rorschach was wary of facing him in combat.
- Master Businessman: Veidt is a remarkably gifted businessman and financial analyst. Veidt deftly built both a legitimate and criminal billion dollar empire from nothing and it became large enough to become a global threat through his exploitation of advanced technology and genetics. He came to found his own shell companies, like Pyramid Deliveries and Dimensional Developments for his illegal activity.
Adrian has short blond hair that is always neatly kept, bright blue eyes, fair skin, and a muscular yet lean body. In his civilian life, Adrian normally wears nice business suits, sporting the colors purple and yellow. Alex Ross described his standing as almost divine, and his smile as something between Jackie Coogan and JFK.
His Ozymandias costume is a golden bodysuit, slightly covered in purple robes. He has purple shoes, a gold headband, a gold belt, and a long purple cape that connects to his robes. He used to wear a purple mask, but after his retirement, he decided to go without because everyone knew his true identity.
Adrian Veidt had an extremely colorful personality which gave him the large reputation of being caring, conscientious and a pacifist, who was a vegetarian and never resulted in killing during his cases, although he had to change his stance by killing innocent people so as to not leave any traces of his plan. He was one of the most respectful and consistently left-leaning of the superheroes and as a mogul, he was known as a benevolent philanthropist. Critics included the right-wing New Frontiersman, while the Comedian called him "an intellectual dilettante that dabs in national affairs that shouldn't concern him".
He studied science, art, religion, and philosophies. Futurology is one of the most interesting subjects for him. He likes avant-garde music like Cage, Stockhausen, Penderecki, Andrew Lang, Pierre Henry, Terry Riley. He also likes electronic music, like Jamaican dub.
Despite his caring, pacifistic and conscientious demeanor, Veidt actually kept his true colors hidden from anyone else, and it came out to light when he confronted with his former friends at his house.
Veidt's true nature was revealed to be that of an extremely arrogant, egotistical and cold individual which appeared to be the ultimate personification of destruction following the reason that his plan is known to be destructive, and that is Veidt's best-known feature which is that his destructive personality knows no limits, and even if he is aware to the dangerous consequences of his plan, he doesn't show even a little bit of compassion, mercy or even thought about the innocent lives which his plan is taking part of, which means that he is truly sinister and psychotic individual. However, it is important to remember that Veidt is not a sadist because that even if he doesn't show any compassion or mercy towards the innocent people that he wipes out in the path, he is not enjoying their deaths or their pain, but he indeed enjoys seeing that his plan succeeds, and this is what he likes; success.
In addition, he indeed showed to be an extremely megalomaniacal individual sharing crazy god complex, seeing himself as a real god, maybe the god of wisdom, and this is his greatest weakness; his amazing intelligence, following the reason that if other individuals which are superheroes like he was, for example, Batman, reveal his intelligence levels to be extraordinary and that he is counting on his intelligence all the time, enemies can ulitize it for good in order to defeat him. His second weakness is his overconfidence and arrogance, which he is showing it the most, and this thing can be a really sharp tool for enemies in order to defeat him.
“You get to be a superhero by believing in the hero within you and summoning him or her forth by an act of will.” —Adrian Veidt
- He is a modified version of the character Thunderbolt from Charlton Comics. Both are trained to mental and bodily perfection in the East.
- His name recalls the famous poem by Percy Bryce Shelley, which takes as its theme the fleeting nature of empire.