When his business partner and love interest, Miranda St. John, overdosed on heroin, Veidt decided to avenge her death as a superhero. His costume was conceived as a Halloween costume but he quickly developed a name for himself as a hero, calling himself Ozymandias.
Ozymandias allied himself with Captain Metropolis to help co-found the Crimebusters in a joint effort to fight crime on a national scale alongside other costumed adventurers. The Comedian, however, dismissed the idea stating that nuclear warfare would eventually become inevitable. The incident planted the idea of stopping the inevitable nuclear holocaust into Veidt's head.
Two years before the Police Strike of 1977 and the passage of Keene Act, Veidt went public with his secret identity and began merchandising his alter ego as he became one of the most important businessmen in the United States. However, his fear of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the U.S., plus a rivalry with the Comedian, led to him engaging in a vast conspiracy.
When the Comedian discovered Veidt's plot, Veidt assassinates him which leads Rorschach to investigate the murder, believing it be a former adversary killing costumed heroes. To avoid suspicion Veidt arranged an assassination on his own life, which he successfully stops. Veidt then arranged for the murder of Edgar Jacobi to frame Rorschach, preventing him from furthering his investigation. Veidt headed to Karnak to unleash his genetically engineered creature onto New York City, claiming the lives of three million people. To hide his involvement, he arranged for the deaths of the people involved in the project as well as his own servants. When Nite Owl II, Rorschach, Silk Spectre II, and Doctor Manhattan confront him, Veidt informs them of his insidious plot and how it has brought an end to the Cold War due the superpowers coming together against an "alien invasion".
Realizing that exposing Veidt's plan will undo the nascent world peace, most of the heroes agree to remain silent on the plot, except for Rorschach, who prepares to return to the U.S. and reveal Veidt's plan to the world, but ultimately lets Manhattan kill him. Before Manhattan leaves to create life in another world, Veidt asks him if he did the right thing in the end. Manhattan replies that "nothing ever ends", leaving Veidt in doubt about how long the peace will last.
In the years since 1985, he continued to run Veidt Enterprises and helped to advance technology beyond those of Doctor Manhattan. He also arranged for Robert Redford to become President of the United States, who distanced himself from Veidt after learning of his involvement in the Dimensional Incursion Event. Veidt became reclusive, and instead had spent much of the time since 1985 in Karnak, using the same teleportation device used for the squid to send storms of smaller squids randomly across the earth as to hold up the pretense of an alien invasion and ward off further international conflict. To his dismay, the world did not become the utopia Veidt hoped to oversee. In 2008, Veidt is visited at Karnak by Lady Trieu, who he learns is his daughter. Trieu asks Veidt to fund her construction of a machine capable of destroying Doctor Manhattan and transferring his power into herself which he refuses. In 2009, he took Doctor Manhattan's offer to be transported to a closed ecosystem Manhattan had created on Europa to be adored by clones of two servants, Phillips and Crookshanks.
Initially pleasing, Veidt soon became bored and instructed the first Phillips to become an adversary to him, the Game Warden. Over the next eight years, Veidt was able to briefly escape the ecosystem to leave a message to Lady Trieu for rescue, which comes in the form of an automated craft. For the trip back to Earth, Trieu turned him into a gold statue, having him revert to his human state years later so that he could witness her destruction of Manhattan and attempted harnessing of his powers. Transported back to his lair in Antarctica by Manhattan, Veidt uses his squid teleportation device to attack Tulsa so that he can stop Trieu from becoming a god. He is successful, only to be arrested by Wade Tillman and Laurie Blake for the murder of three million people in New York.
Adrian Alexander Veidt was born on July 2, 1939 in New York City, the son of rich German immigrant parents Friedrich Werner Veidt and Ingrid Renata Veidt. Adrian started to develop signs of high intelligence at two years old. When he was four years old, he had read all twenty four volumes of his father's encyclopedias. At age six, he entered public school and was given an aptitude test and scored the highest above the curve. After his teachers and parents became suspicious of his consistent academic prowess, Friedrich informed him that he needed to hide his intelligence by deliberately achieving average grades. Despite Adrian's best efforts of keeping a low profile, he was still the target of bullying. He was harassed by another boy at school, and after several months of martial arts training, he crippled the boy by damaging his leg; to prevent his expulsion, his father bribed the school principal.
Understanding Alexander the Great
Disgusted with having to constantly hide who he really is, Veidt stopped hiding his intelligence and graduated high school cum laude at the age of fourteen. In the mid to late 1950s several colleges and universities noticed Veidt's abnormally developed talents, and he received a scholarship to study in Europe. Three years later, Adrian started taking post-graduate courses at Harvard University, studying his namesake Alexander of Macedonia. After reading every available volume on the subject, including Alexander, Conquests of Alexander, Alexander the Great, and Empires of Alexander, he realized that he has only begun to scratch the surface.
Losing His Parents
When Veidt was just seventeen years old, his parents tragically died in a traffic accident, leaving Veidt an orphan and.the sole heir to the family estate. Despite receiving an inheritance large enough for him to live a life of luxury, Veidt yearned to experience as much as possible. With no living intellectual equals to turn to for advice, he explored how Alexander of Macedonia ruled most of the civilized world by the age of thirty-three, instituting his eras' greatest seat of learning. Adrian spent weeks studying a local museums' antiquities wing, staring silently at a large statue of his idol. Finally after a voice in his head told him, "Answers cannot be given. They must be learned", Veidt vows to measure his own successes against those of Alexander. To that end, he gave away his entire inheritance, donating much of it to worthy charities, so that he can emulate the ruler by building an empire from nothing.
Journey Across the Mediterranean Basin
Veidt left the United States to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage that traces Alexander the Great’s conquests. After traveling for weeks aboard a freighter, newly impoverished Veidt disembarked at a Black Sea coastal sea port in Turkey where he intimidated four thieves into backing down without a fight, merely by warning them away in Turkish. He retraced the steps of Alexander's conquest traveling through Ancient Gordium in northern Turkey in western Asia Minor; then made his way through the Mediterranean coast to Ancient Egypt from Memphis, Ancient Babylon, Kabul, and Samarkand; traveled down the Indus River; gathered martial wisdom in China and Tibet; returned to Babylon where Alexander had died and pondered his idol's failure to rule the entire world and unite humanity in the long term; and returned to Egypt to visit Alexander's tomb in Alexandria. At each step of his journey, he paused to improve his martial arts skills.
During his time in Tibet, monks teach Veidt how to use his brain to at one hundred percent capacity; he also becomes romantically involved with a man who gives him a small ball of hashish, saying he'll know when to consume it. The night before returning to the United States, Veidt heard a voice whispering his name and wanders out into the desert, where he consumes the drug and experiences a trans-formative vision of dead pharaohs. Returning to the Turkish port he encounters the same thugs, who this time attack. He left their broken, bloodied bodies on the dock.
Building His Empire
Becoming the World's Smartest Man
On September 1956, Veidt returned to New York City and eagerly began his new life. He purchases a copy of the Financial News, then spends a few weeks seated at a Gunga Diner booth, studying stocks to determine how best to invest his money. A beautiful woman named Miranda St. John introduces herself at the restaurant after watching him throughout that time, and the two become lovers, eventually moving in together.
Beginning later that year, Veidt grew increasingly wealthy over a span of several months by focusing his investments on electric power stocks. He adopted Alexander the Great's free-booting style, embraces pacifism and vegetarianism, and studies science, art, religion, and a hundred philosophies, all in an effort to attain extraordinary capabilities. With an IQ of more than 240, Veidt earned the reputation as "the world's smartest man", a moniker bestowed upon him by several financial publications.
Death of Miranda St. John
On March 1958, eighteen months after his return to the United States, Veidt erected a skyscraper in Manhattan to house his new business and penthouse apartment, including a trophy room filled with Alexandrian artifacts. This prevented him from spending much time with Miranda St. John. Bored one night she goes out seeking excitement and ends up in a posh underground club owned by Moloch the Mystic. The gangster introduces her to heroin, and Veidt discovers her dead in bed from an overdoes that same night. For the first time time since his parent's deaths, he wept.
Veidt named himself Ozymandias and became a costumed adventurer adopting the Greek name of Ramesses II and Alexander of Macedonia's free-booting style. He wore an elaborate yellow and purple cloth costume that he originally ordered for a Halloween party.
Drug Racket Takedown
Veidt spreads cash around New York City, seeking information about Miranda's drug supplier. Four days later, he receives an anonymous response directing him to a seedy South Side alleyway, where he confronts a drug dealer named Nico and renders him unconscious. When the pusher awakens, Veidt extracts the name of his supplier, then left him tied to a streetlamp in his signature Gordian Knot.
The following night, Veidt visits an exclusive supper club called Heaven, orders a well-aired 18181 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and surveys the room. He spots the manager handing an enveloped to a mob enforcer named Hondo, then trails the thug to a seemingly abandoned building in the warehouse district. Inside, young Asian women clad in underwear an facial mask process narcotics for their boss, Porcini, a gangster who ruins a major opium and heroin smuggling racket.
Warning the women to seek cover, Veidt takes out the mob within seconds, caused a gunman to fall into a pile of cocaine, and uses his ricocheting headband to drop a Klieg light onto Porcini. When police respond to the gunfire, Veidt introduced himself as Ozymandias, citing Percy Bysshe Shelley's same-named sonnet about Ramesses II.
Newspapers report Veidt's takedown of Porcini's drug racket, and he soon earns a reputation among criminals for his incredible intelligence and athletic prowess. This success leaves him optimistic that he can end injustice by demolishing crime syndicates and conquer evil by applying ancient teachings to modern society.
Veidt's crime-fighting exploits continued on as one by one he successfully took down various criminals throughout New York City including Three Dollar Bill, Low Jack, Wheeler Dealer, and Ancient Mariner. Each morning over breakfast, he scours local newspapers for mentions of his exploits, maintaining scrapbooks of such articles that soon fill a bookcases. He makes a number of underworld contacts, including a man named Skeeter.
One morning he read a newspaper article about Nite Owl nabbing the King of Skin and pondered about the decline in masked crime-fighters, vowing to learn what happened to the Minutemen so he can avoid a similar fate. For weeks he scours microfiche and newspapers at the New York Public Library, then maps out Hooded Justice's final days in an effort to solve the mystery of his disappearance.
Finding Hooded Justice
Government sources led him to another operative who failed at locating H.J. On September 23, 1959, Ozymandias tracked him to the dockland and found that it was no other than the Comedian, who attacked Ozymandias, "mistaking him for a criminal" and won. It was then when he realized that evil was not monopolized by criminals. Ozymandias and the Comedian despised each other immediately, but Ozymandias observed Blake over the years.
Meeting Doctor Manhattan
A few years later, he along with former Minutemen and newer costumed adventurers, attended a Red Cross charity event for the India famine, in which he performed a balancing act trick alongside Blake. It was the second time Veidt met Blake, but he chose to avoid him and concentrated on Doctor Manhattan whom he found fascinating. In turn, Veidt was the only person that Manhattan found interesting.
While everyone saw Manhattan as a superweapon, Veidt saw him as a symbol of mankind's problems and was one of those who believed that Manhattan worsened the instability of the Cold War. He also foresaw that Jon, being the elevation of the costumed heroes, would eventually become their descent, and he correctly foresaw that the fad would end by the late seventies.
During the 1960s he busted drug rings and frequently was criticized for being an establishment pawn.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
By the early 1960s, he started watching world events from a set of multiple TVs (which would evolve to a huge video wall). He watched the assassination of JFK there. The world realized how really bad things were. He continued adventuring, including storming in Dante's and confronting Moloch, but his own cases robbed him of the idealistic belief that battling crime (which was only a symptom to the real problem) would truly lessen evil and suffering in the world.
The Master Plan
In 1966, Ozymandias was summoned by Captain Metropolis, who made an abortive attempt to organize a new superhero team, the Crimebusters; this was disrupted by the Comedian, who noted in his brutally apt way exactly how petty the doings of the costumed heroes were. Veidt tried to explain that everything can be achieved with proper planning and leadership, but the Comedian referred to the threat of nuclear war that hung overhead, and how powerless the crimefighters were before it. This, along with Nelson's coda that "someone must save the world" brought to a head Veidt's doubts, and he was inspired to do just that. When everyone left, he consoled Nelson. Outside the mansion he saw the Comedian arguing with Sally Jupiter; he vowed to himself to deny the Comedian and his likes the last laugh.
Establishing Dimensional Developments
Veidt set into motion his plan to frighten mankind into seeking salvation, by creating a threat so terrible that nations will set aside their differences to fight it together. To ensure sufficient funding, Veidt Enterprises develops the basic patent for public spark hydrants, a curbside device capable of powering electric vehicles.
In October 1968, as part of an extremely complex corporate structure intended to obscure his plan to save mankind from nuclear war, Veidt used his public spark hydrant royalties to form Pyramid Deliveries, a company that later funds the Dimensional Developments, which in turn, funds the Institute for Extraspatial Studies. Starting from 1968, Veidt realized that Doctor Manhattan must be eliminated as a threat in order for his plan to save mankind to succeed. Through Dimensional Developments, Veidt hired several former associates of Jon Osterman as his employees including Janey Slater, Wally Weaver, and General Anthony Randolph. Veidt secretly exposed them to radiation with the intention of inducing terminal cancer, cultivating them as a future weapon to use against the superhuman.
During the 1960s he busted drug rings and was frequently criticized for being an establishment pawn. In 1967, Ozymandias uncovered a plot by rogue right wing extremists in the United States military who conspired within the Pentagon to test biological weapons on the citizens of Nairobi, Kenya and surrounding areas. His actions and political views made him the target of criticism from the right-wing newspaper, The New Frontiersman, and because of his old travels to the east, they called him "Puppet of Peking".
Purchasing an Island
In 1970, Veidt bought a small island in the Pacific in secret. He would hire a group of artists and scientists to come to the island, under the guise of a secret film project, to create a giant alien-like creature. Upon it's completion, he would arrange the murder of everyone involved to maintain the plan's secrecy.
Veidt's disillusionment with battling societal ills grew heavily upon him when Richard Nixon announced his unconstitutional plans of repealing the 22nd Amendment. In that moment, Veidt decides to retire from crime-fighting and reveal his true identity to the world, so as to defuse accusations of secrecy and cover-up that could hurt him financially.
Veidt correctly foresaw that the costumed hero fad would end soon. He decided to leave the scene and continue to build his fortune and reputation to sustain power. In 1975, two years before vigilante crime fighters were banned by the Keene Act, he officially retires from vigilantism, invites reporters to his office, and revealed his identity to the public. Veidt marketed his image, in the form of action figures, posters, diet books, and other products for profit.
Building Tachyon Generators
He built an Antarctica retreat called Karnak and manned it with Vietnamese servants. In the summer of 1975 he gave an interview to Doug Roth for the Nova Express. Doctor Manhattan and Laurie Juspeczyk visited Veidt at Karnak and he showed them his genetically engineered pet, Bubastis. Meanwhile he built tachyon generators in Antarctica and orbiting satellites so that Manhattan could not foresee his plans.
Wanting to bring Moloch into his plans, he helped his parole so that he exited prison, and he waited for him at the gates. Veidt presented Jacobi a chance to atone for his past life and offered him a very important job at Veidt Enterprises. He had prepared for him a small enclosed office where he was supposed to compare and cross-check the results from his teams researching a new energy source. Veidt assured Jacobi that his job required his power of concentration he had displayed as Moloch the Mystic and that his task was so important that it would better the world; he also asked him to keep the arrangement between themselves.
Veidt introduced some errors himself to check if Moloch could detect them. He also had hidden a radioactive source in his office in order to cause cancer to him. He was part of a plan by Veidt to get rid of Doctor Manhattan. Veidt frequently mentioned how much he trusted Edgar, who in turn saw him as a kind, generous savior.
In the 1980s Veidt doubled Jacobi's salary and tasked him to deliver a package of "medicinal" cigarettes to Janey Slater, a former employee at Dimensional Developments. which were actually carcinogenic. Eventually his health started to deteriorate, vomiting, feeling tired and suffering from insomnia, headaches and diarrhea. His condition was monitored by the company's private doctor (whose license had been revoked and was given this task by Veidt), who revealed to him that he had prostate cancer. Veidt (always presenting himself as his saviour), offered him a leave, and to cover all his medical costs.
Creating the Alien Monster
In 1983 Veidt engineered the disappearance of several scientific and creative figures, who were transported to his secret island, as well as the stolen brain of Robert Deschaines that was cloned. Their task was to create an alien monster and program it with such information to convince the populace that an alien attack was imminent and thus end the Cold War, albeit at a great cost of lives.
Assassination of Eddie BlakeEddie Blake discovered Veidt's master plan, after discovering the island as well as a list of infected people and realized that Jacobi was one of the few people he could be certain was not a part of Veidt's plan. Drunk and hysterical, Blake broke into Jacobi's home at night and told him about the list, knowing that Jacobi would not understand. Jacobi's house was already bugged and Veidt knew everything. The next day Jacobi reported it to Veidt, who assured him that the Comedian was just becoming delusional, and provided Jacobi with guards to keep his place safe. It was this that prompted Veidt to kill the Comedian. The real story 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 and even climbed to the Veidt tower to warn Veidt.
Attending Eddie Blake's Funeral
The other day, he attended the Comedian's funeral. In addition,
Doctor Manhattan's Exile
Veidt started the accusations against Doctor Manhattan to drive him off the planet and set off a chain of events that threaten to start a global war.
Assassination of Edgar Jacobi
Rorschach visited Moloch's house and he told him about the Comedian's visit. This was witnessed by one of the guards working for Veidt so he decided to dispose of Rorschach as well by framing him on a murder charge to get him out of the way. Veidt arranged an assassination attempt on himself to throw off suspicion. While Jacobi was expecting Rorschach in his house, he saw on television that Dr. Manhattan was accused of causing cancer in Wally Weaver, Slater and Moloch and realized that the cigarettes were the real cause. That moment Veidt came to his house and explained him his plan to save the world; he then offered him the chance to save the world with his death, as Jesus did, and Jacobi accepted by shooting him in the head. Thus when Rorschach broke into his house, he found Jacobi dead, and was framed for the murder.
Indian Famine Relief
Dimensional Incursion Event
Unknown to Veidt, Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre grew to believe that Rorschach's investigation had merit and sprung him from prison to investigate the matter. In addition, Manhattan took Silk Spectre to Mars where she convinced him to return to Earth.
However, the heroes 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 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 Doctor Manhattan that he will never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon – Jon must kill Rorschach before he can tell anybody what he knows, and does so. When Veidt asks the precognitive Doctor Manhattan for verification that he did "the right thing" and that his plans "worked out in the end", Jon can only reply that nothing ever ends, leaving Veidt once again in doubt as to whether or not his plan was successful.
In one possible quantum reality, Ozymandias acted as an advisor during the Cuban Missile Crisis; he suggested to move the Jupiter missiles out of Turkey, resolving the stalemate.
Ozymandias spent the next seven years campaigning for lasting world peace and the long-term survival of humanity. In 1988, he organized an international accord for nuclear disarmament, the NTA, with the support of newly elected President Redford. With some difficulty, he managed to convince all nuclear-armed nations to join the accord. He also created the Global Data Exchange Program to assist in this effort, which allowed for the free flow of information between each signatory nation. They agreed on a timetable for total nuclear disarmament within twenty years.
Trouble began when the contents of Rorschach's journal was published by Seymour at the New Frontiersman shortly after the New York City Massacre, implicating Veidt in the Comedian's murder. At first, the international community ignored the information as tabloid gossip and rumor; however, pressure began to build when a series of suspicious events led to increased scrutiny against Veidt. Accusations against him mounted, culminating in 1992 when President Redford, running behind in the polls, ordered a highly secretive investigation into the events of the New York City Massacre known as Operation: Commodus. Rorschach's account of events was verified, and the investigators implicated Veidt. The announcement of this ensured Redford's reelection on the campaign promise of capturing Ozymandias.
In a matter of weeks, everything Veidt had worked on in the past seven years had fallen apart as he became the most wanted man in the world. The NTA disbanded, the European Union dissolved, and relations between the United States of America and the Russian Federation deteriorated dramatically. The Russians accused the United States of collaborating with Veidt, something the United States vehemently denied. The situation quickly became direr than the Cold War had ever been. At the same time, Veidt discovered he had terminal brain cancer.
Veidt, working quickly, tried to draw his surviving former teammates out of retirement. Instead, however, he found himself working with the second Rorschach, who joined forces with him to locate Doctor Manhattan. On November 22nd, 1992, the Russian Federation invaded Poland, and the United States threatened a retaliatory nuclear strike if the Russians did not withdraw in four hours. He sent Rorschach II to breach Sing Sing prison and liberate Erika Manson, the former costumed villain Marionette. He succeeded but was forced to also release her husband Marco Maez, the Mime. Ozymandias was disappointed by this, but not surprised. The group met up beneath Nite Owl's old apartment, where Ozymandias explained the situation to Manson and Maez.
Ozymandias and Rorschach reviewed security camera footage from Marionette and Mime's last heist while the duo donned their old gear. Both men recognize it as a most unusual incident in the career of Doctor Manhattan; when Marionette confronted him to protect her husband, he withdrew in silence and allowed the authorities to handle the situation. Ozymandias believes he can use Marionette to remind Doctor Manhattan of his humanity and help bring him home. When the footage cuts out abruptly, Ozymandias realizes that their four hours are up. He has the team board the Owlship, which he has reconfigured for quantum tunneling, and they depart as a nuclear missile destroys New York City.
Having narrowly escaped the blast, the ship crashes in Gotham City. He rouses the unconscious Rorschach, who briefly tries to attack him before remembering their agreement to work with one another. They cuff Mime and Marionette, believing them to be too dangerous to be allowed to roam free. Ozymandias politely asks they wait patiently until they ascertain Doctor Manhattan's location, at which point they will release them and they can accompany them again. The two costumed adventurers then leave to gather intelligence at a nearby public library, where Ozymandias is fascinated to learn about the great preponderance of superheroes in this world, some of whom were fictional characters in theirs. Ozymandias wonders if Doctor Manhattan created them, perhaps even disguising himself like one of these superheroes. He decides to seek out the smartest men in the world to assist them: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. He sends Rorschach to Wayne Manor, while he himself goes to meet Lex Luthor at LexCorp.
Veidt gains access to Luthor's private office, where Lex finds him admiring a painting. Veidt and Luthor rhetorically spar with one another as Veidt explains the situation. Their meeting is cut short, however, when a concealed figure in the back of the room takes a shot at Ozymandias. He dodges it, and it instead hits Luthor in the chest. Ozymandias turns to face his attacker and is shocked to find a resurrected Comedian, eager for a rematch.
He narrowly escapes the Comedian and is severely injured. He is taken to the hospital and is mistaken for Lex's attacker. He manages to escape the hospital.
Watchmen (TV series)
Veidt appears in the HBO series Watchmen, a direct sequel to the graphic novel, portrayed by Jeremy Irons. It is gradually revealed that Veidt engineered Robert Redford's election as President in 1992 and had inexplicably recorded a video message on the eve of the New York incident (or 11/2) confessing to his hoax, effectively blackmailing Redford.
He did this despite the incredible effort he had previously put into keeping the hoax a secret. The president has served seven terms but has distanced himself from Veidt because of his confession, which Veidt resents. In 2008, Veidt is visited at Karnak by a young Vietnamese-American industrialist named Lady Trieu, who he learns is the daughter of a cleaning lady who surreptitiously impregnated herself with Veidt's sperm. Trieu asks Veidt to fund her construction of a machine capable of destroying Doctor Manhattan and transferring his power into herself; he refuses.
The following year, when Manhattan visits Karnak as Cal Abar, Veidt gives him a ring-like device that will give Manhattan amnesia and allow him to live with his wife, Angela, as a seemingly normal human. When Veidt expresses despair that his desired utopia will never come about, Manhattan teleports him to the moon of Europa, where he has created a livable environment and a race of peaceful, subservient cloned beings. Veidt's disappearance isn't discovered until 2012 and he is declared dead in absentia in 2017. He eventually finds the environment to be suffocating and attempts escape, impeded by the cloned beings. He manages to spell out a distress message on Europa's surface for a passing probe owned by Trieu, who sends a ship to bring him home. She brings him to witness her plan to absorb Doctor Manhattan's powers and ascend to godhood, but a captured Manhattan teleports Veidt, Laurie Blake, and Looking Glass to Karnak. The fortress has been randomly and occasionally teleporting harmless genetically modified baby squid around the world, raining them down on cities to keep the public on high alert for another alien incursion. Veidt uses the squid to destroy Trieu's machine, foiling her plan and killing her. Delighted to have saved humanity yet again, Veidt's celebration is cut short when Laurie arrests him for the murder of 3 million people in New York, supported by Looking Glass's possession of Veidt's video confession.
- 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 such as managing to accurately predict Robert Redford winning the presidency. 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 II‘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 II, 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 II 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.
Matthew Goode plays Veidt in the film, in which, much like in the comics, he is the main antagonist. During earlier pre-production and attempts to make the film, Tom Cruise and Jude Law (a fan of the comic) both expressed interest in playing the role, but they left the project after several delays and budget cost issues. Goode was not familiar with the comic when he was cast, and read it at the urging of his friends. He joined the critical consensus, saying "it's the best graphic novel out there". He had his own interpretation of Veidt's backstory, in that he gave up his family's wealth and traveled the world, becoming a self-made man because he was ashamed of his parents' Nazi past. Notably, Veidt seems disturbed when confronted about the Comedian's death, he says the man was a right-wing fanatic and practically a Nazi (not a label Veidt would give lightly). Goode suggested Veidt disguised his German accent to highlight the themes of the American Dream and the difference between one's public and private personas. When Dan gains access to Veidt's computer by finding the correct password, one can see a file named "Boys", a possible reference to Veidt's supposed homosexuality (briefly mentioned by Rorschach in the comics).
During the final confrontation with the other heroes, Dan condemns Veidt's plans by proclaiming that he has defiled mankind with his actions, his plan in the film focusing on framing Doctor Manhattan as the cause of the attack rather than the alien invasion of the comic. However, the project is referred to as S.Q.U.I.D. on one of the computer terminals, which alludes to the squid-like mutation that was teleported to New York in the novel.
In a tongue-in-cheek, during the final confrontation with Rorschach and Nite Owl II (before Silk Spectre II and Doctor Manhattan arrive), just before Ozymandias reveals that his ultimate plan is already in action, he remarks that he is "not a comic book villain," to which Rorschach tilts his head at (the original line in the comics is "not a Republic serial villain", the old pulp films of the 1930s, but the reference might have been lost on a modern audience).
In the film, Veidt's costume is a parody of the Batman costume worn by George Clooney in the 1997 film Batman & Robin.
With most superheroes being depicted to having superhuman strength and fighting abilities, he is portrayed as the most physically powerful out of all normal heroes. He was also barely fazed when repeatedly punched by Nite Owl II, showing no pain or discomfort, as it 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. He also had great speed, 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.
“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
- Eddie Blake
- Roy Victor Chess
- Edgar Jacobi
- 10 Unnamed scientist (Film)
- 3 million New York City civilians
- 15 Phillips
- 10 Crookshanks
- Game Warden (TV series)
- Lady Trieu (TV series)
- Unknown number of Tulsa PD officers (TV series)
- "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
- "Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship"
- "She Was Killed by Space Junk"
- "If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own"
- "Little Fear of Lightning"
- "An Almost Religious Awe"
- "A God Walks into Abar"
- "See How They Fly"
- 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.