Adrian Veidt, otherwise known as Ozymandias, played a large role Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ original work. While many of the heroes the duo created were nothing like the heroes that fans had come to expect, Ozymandias took things just a bit further. There’s this old philosophical quandary called the trolley problem. One finds oneself in the perfect space to divert tragedy. Standing at a lever that controls whether or not a runaway trolley makes a meat smoothie composed of five people or a just single serving.
Often there are many questions that come to mind for the person in the experiment, “Who are these people? Do I know anyone? What happens if..?” But for Ozymandias, “the smartest man on the planet”? Well, the answer is simple. But just how did he come to his conclusion? What led him there? Let’s find out.
10 Adrian Veidt: Humanitarian, Geneticist, & Vegetarian
While Adrian Vedit may always be remembered as the man the dropped a gigantic telepathic squid in the middle of New York, before he came up with his final solution to end all war, he was actually a pretty good guy. For starters, donated a literal fortune to help humanitarian causes all over the world. He managed to create both a large telepathic squid and a red and black striped lynx named Bubastis through his work in genetics, and the dude’s even a vegetarian. Talk about doing all you can for the betterment of the planet.
9 It Is The Wise Man That Plays The Fool
While it’s no secret that Adrian Veidt is an incredibly brilliant man, especially with his title as the “smartest man on the planet”, Adrian knows precisely when to assert himself as the smartest man in the room. Throughout the Watchmen comics, readers watch time and time again as Adrian plays the fool to the masked heroes around him in order to further his plans.
However, even before this, Veidt had spent much of his time becoming a public figure, marketing his image rather than over-stepping and possibly hinting at his plans to build a utopia that had long been in motion.
8 From Something To Nothing To Something
While heroes like Batman chose to keep their inheritances to themselves after their parents died, so that they could build weird cave-dwellings, crazy cars and dress like a creepy bat, Adrian Veidt had a very different idea. See, despite how he ended up, Veidt was always rather dedicated to doing what he could to create a perfect world for mankind to live in. So when his parents died when he was just seventeen years old, rather than keep their money to himself, Veidt gave the entirety of their substantial fortune away to charity in order to better create a name for himself. But sure Bruce, pay for some elaborate cosplay or whatever. It’s not like Gotham needed a solid infrastructure, social welfare programs, or better schools. A dude dressed as a bat, that’s what Gotham really needed. Solid plan, Bruce.
7 Alexander The Great < Ramesses II
After giving away the sum total of his parents’ wealth, Veidt decided that much like his then idol, Alexander The Great, he needed to go on a vision quest to better understand his role in the universe. However, on this excursion through the middle east and Egypt, Veidt got a little too high after eating a ball of hashish and saw visions of the past. Through this experience, Veidt came to the realization that Alexander The Great was merely the poor man’s Ramses II, or as he was referred to in Greek texts, Ozymandias.
6 Ozymandias: An Introduction
After Veidt’s vision quest, the man came home with a plan and a renewed sense of purpose. He dedicated his time to training his mind and body to perform at peak human condition. In 1958, at the age of nineteen, Ozymandias makes his debut by exposed a criminal drug ring in the heart of New York City. He makes a name for himself as a masked vigilante that uses both his immense strength, acrobatic ability, as well as his mind to bring down the criminals of a New York that severely needed his help.
5 The Bullet Catch
Having trained his body to peak physical condition and his mind to top human form carried with it many benefits for the budding vigilante. While he was capable of some truly impressive feats both physically and mentally, perhaps none of them were as impressive as the bullet catch. A feat that requires an incredibly fast reaction speed, along with a mind capable of analyzing where the bullet was aimed while controlling the momentum of the bullet is truly impressive. And while his first attempt at the bullet catch cost him three of his fingers (on a hand he later replaced entirely with a bionic prosthetic), he was able to perform the feat after his initial (partial) failure.
4 Superhero No More
Adrian Veidt, for as long as he has lived, has been a man on a quest to do the most good that was humanly possible. While he had originally assumed that through his work as a superhero he would be able to truly change the world, after years of doing the same thing over and over again, fighting the same crimes, throwing the same types of people in prison, he began to realize that the work of a vigilante was not something that would ever truly create a change in the world, because no hero could stop the looming nuclear apocalypse. So in order to truly be an agent of change in the world, Veidt would have to change himself. And that’s when he began to develop a plan.
3 I Am Adrian Veidt
Veidt had correctly foreseen that the masked vigilantes would fall out of fashion and just before the Keene act was introduced Veidt made his secret identity known to the world at large. For Veidt, there was no longer a reason to stay in the shadows, conversely, his master plan actually worked much better now that he had resigned himself to the spotlight. With his identity known, Veidt used his past antics as a masked vigilante to profit off of his own image and to create vast sums of wealth, which would go towards funding his secret projects.
2 A “Logical” Solution
By now, even people that haven’t read the original comics are aware of Adrian Veidt’s villainous plot to create world peace by faking an interdimensional telepathic giant squid attack. But what many fans might not realize is the time, the resources and the manpower that went into bringing this plan to fruition. There were artists and creatives hired for the sole purpose of dreaming up a monster that would frighten anyone that laid eyes on it. There was the genetics company that was tasked with not only creating a gigantic squid, but giving that squid telepathic powers that would devastate anyone in proximity of it. There was the failed dimensional teleportation company which would create a massive explosion due to the mass of squid taking up the same space as the mass of the building in New York. All steps that may seem illogical to anyone but Ozymandias.
1 Adrian Alexander Veidt: The Anti-Hero
In a world where the heroes are rarely what they seem and the villains aren’t people, but governments and collective, Adrian Veidt is at the very least keeping it relatively simple. While he may not be the hero that he once was, his intentions were, in his mind, pure. With the threat of nuclear war looming, Veidt enacts his master plan before any of his former colleagues even has the chance to confront him. By the time they realize what is happening, Veidt utters one of the most infamous lines of dialogue in all of comics history, “ I did it thirty-five minutes ago.” And with those words he’s locked his friends in place, having created a perfect utopia, a world free of war. It’s over, right? Right..?