|First appearance||(Pre-Zero Hour) Adventure Comics #352 (January, 1967)
(Post-Zero Hour) Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 4) #78
|Created by||Jim Shooter
|Alter ego||(Pre-Zero Hour) Garridan Ranzz
(Post-Zero Hour) None
|Team affiliations||Fatal Five
Legion of Super-Villains
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and durability,
Fictional character biography
In the latter half of the 30th century, an entity known as the Sun-Eater threatened to consume Earth's sun, thus destroying the solar system. Desperate to stop the Sun-Eater's efforts, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes recruited the aid of the Fatal Five. They discovered that Validus was among their ranks, but had no idea of his true parental heritage. The Fatal Five reluctantly agreed to help the Legion, and the Sun-Eater's efforts were averted. Validus remained a loyal member of the Fatal Five, always ready to do Tharok's bidding. During one memorable altercation with the Legion, Validus killed Lyle Norg, the original Invisible Kid.
It was later revealed that Validus' origin supposedly stemmed from a diabolical plot by a powerful Legion foe. As revenge for his defeat in "The Great Darkness Saga", Darkseid kidnapped one of the identical twin children of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl at birth. He then sent the newborn back in time, cursed with a monstrous body and near-mindlessness (that made him easily controlled by the likes of the Emerald Empress) with the idea that either the parent or the child would kill the other.
Years later, Validus fell under Darkseid's influence yet again. He manipulated Validus against Lightning Lad, placing him in a situation where the Legionnaire would be forced to kill him to save the life of his other son, Graym. Thanks to the efforts of Saturn Girl however, the plot was averted and both parents discovered that Validus was their child. Soon after, Validus reverted to his normal, human condition. His parents soon renamed him Garridan.
During the "Five Years Later" era chronicled in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4), it was revealed that Darkseid's tampering with Garridan's body chemistry had spawned a new virus which Brainiac 5 dubbed "The Validus Plague". Only natives of Winath and Titan (the homeworlds of Garridan's parents) were susceptible to the disease, but for them it was fatal. As a result, Garridan was forced to wear a containment suit, allowing him mobility yet keeping him in perpetual medical quarantine. His replacement in the reformed Fatal Five was a similar enigmatic behemoth named "Mordecai" by Leland McCauley IV.
After the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, Legion continuity was rebooted entirely, and Validus' origin was changed considerably. He was no longer the child of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, Darkseid had nothing to do with his creation, and he was also significantly weaker. In the "Threeboot" continuity, Validus was the name of a nature spirit in the folklore of the planet of Winath, known as the Lord of Lightning. Mekt Ranzz was a member of a cult that worshipped him. Since the Ranzzes gained their powers and left the planet the cult has grown considerably, seemingly granting everyone on Winath lightning powers. This was later revealed as the product of nanomachines in their blood.
On the cover of Justice League of America (vol. 2) #13, it shows Validus as a member of the latest incarnation of the Injustice League. However, in the actual issue, he does not appear.
Validus (alongside the other Fatal Five members) were among the villains in Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains. However, Garridan Ranzz (along with his twin brother Graym) was recently depicted as a young child living with Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad. Thus, it appears that Validus and Garridan are not the same being in current continuity; or that this Validus is from a different moment in time.
Powers and abilities
The classic Validus possessed tremendous superhuman strength, enabling him to easily overpower even the Silver Age Superboy; in fact, on one occasion, it took the combined strength of Kryptonian-level heroes Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy just to knock him down, and on another, Superboy estimated that Validus possessed twelve times his strength. Validus was shown to be strong enough to tear an entire planet apart with his bare hands. In addition, Validus could fire energy bolts from his brain that were powerful enough to incapacitate a Kryptonian or Daxamite with a single hit. He was extremely resistant to all forms of harm and sometimes seemed not even to notice super-powered attacks against him by members of the Legion. He was able to fend off even the Sun-Eater in order to rescue Princess Projectra (showing that he was not innately evil). He was also capable of flight through space and was immune to telepathy. His first appearance did define some limitations to his power: He could be held in a cell with thick inertron walls, and it was believed that he could be executed with a bombardment of "anti-energy" (although that was not demonstrated). Depictions of Validus' strength and intelligence were not consistent over time.
In other media
- Validus has appeared in "Far From Home", an episode of Justice League Unlimited with the other Fatal Five against the Legion. He had a robotic body in this series.
- Validus is a member of the Fatal Five in the Legion of Super Heroes TV series with the other Fatal Five. No mention is made of Lightning Lad being his father. This version is vulnerable to telepathy, as Saturn Girl mind-controlled him in the pilot episode "Man of Tomorrow". In Season Two, Validus was eventually recruited by Imperiex when he released him. Imperiex appears to perfectly understand Validus' seemingly incoherent grunting; in "Message in a Bottle" he answers the brute's question as if he had spoken clearly. In the two-part Season Finale, Validus was turned into computer data by Brainiac (in Brainiac 5's body) when trying to help Imperiex. It is unknown if he was restored to normal like everyone else was.