|First Appearance:||Adventure Comics #357 (June, 1967)|
|Created by:|| Jim Shooter|
|Current Members:||List of Controllers|
|Former Members:||List of Former Controllers|
|Base of Operations:||Binary Star System of the Controllers|
|Place of Formation:||Binary Star System of the Controllers|
The race known as the Controllers were an immortal species of advanced and highly scientific beings that were descendant of the male inhabitants of the planet Maltus. On that ancient world, the Maltusians reached the height of their civilization due to the abilities given to them by the Symbionts. However, a scientist by the name of Krona conducted a forbidden experiment to view the origins of creation and thus unleashed evil on the cosmos as well as robbed it of billions of years of potential life as entropy was introduced into the universe. Thus, the Maltusians abandoned Maltus and settled on the planet Oa where they adopted the mantle of Guardians of the Universe. The early proto-Controllers were known to had renounced the use of personal force during this era. Among their initial creations was a race of android interstellar peacekeepers known as the Manhunters designed to enforce order and defeat evil. However, the machines eventually revolted against their creators leading to the thousand year old Manhunter rebellion which was ultimately defeated when the robots landed on Oa to claim the energy of the Central Power Battery which overloaded their weapons. Rather than destroy them, the Guardians exiled the androids from their surface and allowed them to return to the worlds they formerly protected and being powerless as punishment. This caused a schism to erupt amongst the Oans with some believing that this was a mistake which caused a fracture in their unity when these dissidents were asked to leave Oa which they did so with their own personal equipment.
It was this faction of Oans that became the progenitors of the Controllers who influenced their own evolution to the point that they were far different in appearance from the Guardians of the Universe. They were now far taller and possessed a pink skin as being notable factors of their new forms. These Controllers initially believed in a life of quiet contemplation and being alone in their corner of the universe but quickly realized that outside forces were capable of threatening them. Thus, they decided to combat and destroy all sources of evil which highlighted their different methodology when compared to their Oan cousins. This led to them taming weapons such as the Sun-Eaters which were to be used to destroy entire star systems that they deemed were corrupted by evil and also led them to enslaving the planet Minosyss as it was a Nexus Point allowing them to teleport their weapons into target regions in order to destroy them. Such actions were later deemed too extreme even for their standards and the planet along with its Sun Eater factory were abandoned. Another world they transformed into a factory planet for their arsenals was the Planet in Limbo located in between dimensions. Lastly, the Controllers were noted as being the greatest scientists in the universe with them converting entire planets into scientific outposts such as Laboratory World 7431. Among the greatest of their creations was the device known as the Miracle Machine that turned thoughts into reality.
This branch of the Oan species became increasingly active in interstellar activities following the Crisis on Infinite Earth's when the Anti-Monitor attempted to conquer the Multiverse. Among their outposts was one guarded by one of their kind that contained a powerful Sun-Eater weapon that was discovered by the warlord Mongul I. After his defeat at the hands of the Kryptonian known as Superman, he intended to get his revenge in the entirety of the planet Earth by destroying it. Thus, he killed the Controller guarding the Sun-Eater and unleashed it whilst he battled Superman. This actions in the timeline brought about the intervention of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th Century who battled Mongul and destroyed the Sun-Eater before it could accomplish its goal. At least one Controller also became a renegade where he resided on Maltus and attempted to create artificial facsimiles of the Triarch as part of his master plan.
By this point, the Controllers deemed that they could no longer remain outside galactic events and decided to become actively involved in the cosmos. To that end, they decided to create their own corps of interstellar peacekeepers which they called the Darkstars. Equipping these warriors with advanced suits of armor, a mass recruitment program began though the Controllers themselves did not desire to be commanding these warriors. Thus, they gave the task to NEMO and appointed Jeddigar as its Director who was ultimately subservient to the commands of the Honored Controllers. The group eventually grew and became a rival to the Oans own Green Lantern Corps with some Darkstars even operating on worlds that were patrolled by a Green Lantern. A clash eventually erupted between the Guardians of the Universe and the Controllers when the mythical Triarch emerged with both Maltusian species commanding their respective law enforcers to not interfere. However, the actions of Hal Jordan and Ferrin Colos led to these forces circumventing their superiors orders in order to defeat the Triarch after it was revealed that a Controller was masquerading as the Creator deity, Daalon. Among the problems between the Controllers and the Guardians was also over the matter over the Mosiac Worlds with a re-negotiation over the incident to be discussed. Furthermore, the Controllers offered Vril Dox of L.E.G.I.O.N. the position of Director of NEMO but he turned them down.
Afterwards, the Controllers became increasingly aware of Director Jeddigar's dissatisfaction of their command over him. Though he had authority over the Darkstars, he was subservient to the Controllers commands which led to him secretly working on a plan to become the sole authority in the cosmos. His attempts using NEMO led to him uncovering a doorway to another universe as well as a newborn universe that was ready to expand. Jeddigar desired to move to a reality devoid of the Controllers in order to establish his own rule. At this point in history, the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe were both destroyed when Hal Jordan became Parallax. The destruction of the Corps created a void in the galaxy which the Controllers attempted to fill by recruiting former Green Lanterns as Darkstars. When Jeddigar's plans and corruption became more obvious, a Controller went to meet with the depowered John Stewart and tasked him with unveiling the corrupt Directors plans. This led to an incident where both Ferrin Colos and Jeddigar seemingly died in an explosion as the two fought. In the aftermath, John Stewart was made the new head of NEMO and the Darkstars by the Controllers. As the Darkstars rose in power, the Controllers became impressed with their attributes but felt that the experiment in creating a corps of enforcers failed and thus withdrew their support from the organization in order to concentrate on alternative goals.
The Challenge of Control
With the departure of the Controllers, the Darkstars continued to operate under John Stewart's reign but was later devastated by an attack from the New God Grayven. Thus, the organization became effectively defunct with the last three Darkstars perishing in combat against the cosmic vampire known as Starbreaker. Deeming that the Darkstars were destroyed because they were too weak, the Controllers sought to create a more potent servant to aid them in their attempts at bringing control to the cosmos. Their machinations led them to abducting Martyn Van Wyck of the planet Earth in order to experiment with him. This resulted in him becoming a powerful pyrokinetic being known as Effigy who battled against the last of the Green Lanterns known as Kyle Rayner. Their conflict eventually brought the Controllers into battle with Rayner who abducted him and create an illusionary environment in his mind where the Green Lantern Corps was restored with him holding the position of Green Lantern Prime. The reason for this deception was to remove Rayner as an obstacle whilst the Controllers moved to the second phase of their plan; creating an army of Effigies to serve them where their Darkstars had failed. Kyle Rayner managed to ultimately overcome the mental manipulations and managed to use his willpower to summon his Green Lantern Power Ring where he challenged the lead Controller. This led to the Controllers unleashing their Effigy Corps that did battle with the Green Lantern but it was discovered that their lack of willpower as well as initiative made them effectively useless without their masters direction. Thus, the Controllers plans were defeated and they teleported away from the battle scene in order to contemplate the disaster.
Afterwards, an unnamed Controller journeyed to the planet Earth in order to recover a cosmic relic known as the Mephistopheles Matrix. During his time there, however, he was captured and held captive by the supervillain known as Doctor Polaris who used the powerful alien to augment his own abilities in an attempt to purge the planet Earth in order to create a better one. Polaris was ultimately defeated by the actions of the Power Company who freed the Controller and allowed him to depart after he explained his original purpose for coming to the planet as well as vowing that he would repay the Humans for their help. The next notable event came when the renegade Maltusian Krona emerged from the Cosmic Egg as a powerful cosmic being with near god-like powers. In an effort to connect with the consciousness of the universe itself, he decided to enlist the aid of the cosmos's most intelligent beings which were the Controllers. He, thus, arrived at their scientific outpost on Laboratory World 7431 where he demanded their obedience and in exchange he would elevate them as well. This led to the Director of the facility agreeing to Krona's demand where they calibrated their equipment with renegade Maltusians help. However, telepathically, the Controllers believed him to be too unstable and dangerous to associate themselves with thoguh his cosmic powers did hold their interest. At the height of the experiment, the Controllers betrayed Krona and turned their advanced technology in him in order to study his energies but his power was too great which led to the destruction of the planetoid along with the death of those Controllers.
The Search for The Orange Light
After the Sinestro Corps War and during the beginning of the War of Light, the Controllers gathered together where they concluded that they were now a dying species. Furthermore, they lamented their previous attempts at enforcing their control on the cosmos by highlighting the destruction of the Darkstars, the failure of the Effigy Corps and the inability of the Beta Platoon. Once more looking at their Oan cousins, the Controllers decided that they needed to harness the Emotional Spectrum just as the Zamarons were currently doing to make their Star Sapphires who were based on the power of love. To that end, the Controllers detected the presence of a seemingly unclaimed light in the Spectrum that was centered in the Vega System; unknown to them, this was the Orange Light of Avarice and they used the chaos of the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War to mask their activities. Thus, this group of Controllers journeyed to the Vega System in Space Sector 2828 where they tracked the source of the light to the planet Okaara and intended to claim it to serve as the power for their own power source for their own corps. This singular desire to control the light and use it to serve their purposes was what drove the Controllers to this new goal.
Upon arriving on Okaara, they discovered the Forbidden Forest of Weeds which was overrun by plans which they effortless moved through whilst they looked for the traces of the light. This led them to a temple that led to an underground palace where they discovered an Orange Power Battery resting on a pesdestal. They were unaware of what creature resided in this residence but they were confident that they were superior to any foe that they would face and wrest control of the power they desired. Its orange light attracted the greed of the Controllers who did not care what light was contained within it so long as they possessed it. As one of the Controllers attempted to claim the Power Battery, Orange Lantern Energy Constructs formed under the direction of Larfleeze who was the holder of the Orange Light of Avarice for billions of years. Angered that the apparent truce between him and the Guardians was broken, he vented his frustration on the Controllers who were consumed by the Orange Lanterns that were dispatched against them. The defeated Controllers were consumed by the Orange Light of Avarice as a result and thus became avatars of its will that Agent Orange were capable of manifesting at times he desired. Their actions, furthermore caused Larfleeze to demand the surrender of the Oans for the apparent violation of the truce. This caused the Guardians along with their renewed Green Lantern Corps to remove the ban on the Vega System and challenge Agent Orange. During the battle, Larfleeze summoned his army of constructs which included the now dead Controllers that battled against his foes.
Powers and Abilities
Cosmic-Level Energy Manipulation :
Immortality : The Controllers are immortal, and cannot die by natural means.
Telepathy : The Controllers have very potent psychic powers, and are able to penetrate the minds of most individuals fairly easily. They also used this ability to communicate with one another as seen when they did so secretly in order to hide their plans to betray Krona.
Telekinesis: The Controllers are some of the most powerful telekinetic wielders in the multiverse, able to move the cosmos itself with the power of their minds.
- Flight : The Controllers are able to fly, and employ it as their standard method of locomotion.
- Levitation : The Controllers can levitate using the power of their minds.
Genius-Level Intellect : Controllers were described as being one of the most intelligent beings in the entire universe which was the reason Krona sought their aid in order to connect with the universal consciousness of the cosmos.
- Omni-Lingual : They were capable of speaking in completely alien languages that were not known to even 30th Century translators as seen when a Controller spoke to the Armorer who spoke in a language that the Legion of Superheroes were unable to understand.
- Coming Soon
Similar to the Guardians of the Universe, the Controllers were one of the most powerful forces in the DC universe though they did possess a small number of weaknesses which were rare.
- Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum: As was the case with their Oan cousins, the Controllers held a powerful weakness to the Emotional Spectrum which was seen following the Sinestro Corps War. During that time, they attempted to claim the Orange Light of Avarice only to be consumed by Agent Orange with their bodies being transformed into Orange Lantern Energy Constructs that served Larfleeze.
- Originally, the Controllers featured in the Pre-Crisis continuity where they were seen in the Legion of Superheroes. In that continuity, the Controllers were natives of "another space-time continuum" and had no links to the Guardians of the Universe. Their background consisted of their own continuum being ravaged and almost destroyed by war which led to them undergoing a campaign to prevent such a fate from befalling the Earth-One universe. Thus, they used their mind-control abilities to prevent intergalactic war as well as unleashed powerful weapons such as the Sun-Eater to destroy troublesome civilizations.
- The Controllers were seemingly wiped out and destroyed in Green Lantern (vol. 4) #28 (2008) during the story arc leading to The Blackest Night though whether the entire species is now extinct or just the group is unknown. Presumably, the race still exists due to their actions in the 30th Century as the Miracle Machine still exists thus suggesting that the Controllers still had a hand to play in the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity.
- Coming Soon
- Type of Government: Oligarchy
- Level of Technology: Highly Advanced
- Cultural Traits: Greediness for Control, Order through Destruction
- Representatives: No Known representatives
In Other Media
- In the two-part Legion of Super-Heroes episode "Sundown", a Controller appears, voiced by David Lodge. This renegade Controller believes that the ultimate perfection comes from chaos, rather than order, and releases the last Sun-Eater to spread this chaos. His plan was foiled, with the cost of the Legion member Ferro Lad's life, and as he makes his escape, Superman warns him to never reappear again.