Adrian Alexander Veidt is a retired narcissistic crimefighter formerly known as Ozymandias, and the smartest man on Earth. He saved the planet from nuclear annihilation by uniting the human race through fear, and was sent to live in a paradise which nearly drove him insane. Years later, he returned to Earth to save it again, this time from his illegitimate daughter.
Adrian Veidt was born on July 2, 1939, to wealthy socialites Friedrich Werner Veidt and Ingrid Renata Veidt. They both died when he was young, and so their exceptionally intelligent son inherited their vast fortune, but he gave it away to show the world he could build something from nothing, presumably as part of his deep admiration for Alexander the Great, who did the same. Sure enough, he built a giant commercial empire of wealth and prosperity in the form of a massive, branching, multinational company known as Veidt Enterprises. Wanting more, he became the costumed crimefighter known as Ozymandias. He joined a group of crimefighters known as the Crimebusters alongside Laurie Juspeckzyk, aka the Silk Spectre, Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl, Edward Blake, aka the Comedian, Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach and the godlike Jon Osterman, aka Doctor Manhattan. He became very popular as a vigilante, eventually enough to have action figures made of him. His egotism was apparent, but he kept a reserved glee about himself, seeming very calm and reserved much of the time.
Preventing Nuclear Holocaust
At some point before 1985, Veidt realized the human race was coming close to a third world war, which, with our new atomic capabilities, would undoubtedly result in total nuclear annihilation. Seeing the opportunity to become Earth's savior, Veidt concocted a plan to create a giant mutant squid-like monster and teleport it into New York City, killing three million people and tricking the world's governments into thinking they needed to band together out of fear in order to fight this "alien invasion." Furthermore, Veidt decided to ensure the safety of his secret, 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 annihilate Doctor Manhattan by placing a disc 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. As he predicted, Doctor Manhattan arrived to stop him, but he was too late, as Veidt vaporized Manhattan by luring him into the intrinsic field subtractor. Manhattan quickly reconstructed his body, but decided to leave the squid attack a secret, and left Earth, telling Veidt, and the rest of the world, he was heading for Mars. Before he left, Veidt asked the clairvoyant 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, his true destination.
Meeting His Daughter
By 2008, Veidt had been keeping his squid rains falling regularly for twenty-four years, and the general populous still knew nothing of his achievement. His plans for a great future 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 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. 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 disc 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 retelling 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 Phillipses 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 Phillipses 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.
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 Mister Phillips and Crookshanks 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.
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 his company, 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 now thought to be dead by the world, a 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 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 to leave his hideout with Laurie and Wade in Dan Dreiberg’s Owlship. 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 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 Tulsa to formally place him under arrest.
Powers and Abilities
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the television series Watchmen and is an adaptation of Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias. The original character was created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and first appeared in Watchmen #1.
- Adrian Veidt was portrayed by Jeremy Irons.
- Adrian Veidt was publicly a Democrat, having been the party's biggest donor in the late eighties and early nineties.
- When confronted by Lady Trieu, Veidt declared that he had never given himself to a woman, and that he is like Alexander the Great.
- This is a reference to Veidt's implied homosexuality in the original Watchmen comic.
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