Real Name: Lar Gand
Other Aliases: Valor, M'Onel
Occupation: Legionnaire, Explorer
Place of Birth: Daxam
Marital Status: Single
Group Affiliation: The Legion
History: Lar Gand was born on the planet of Daxam, to Kel and Marisa Gand. He grew up a happy child, one with a particular interest in adventure and discovery, particularly interstellar exploration. His family was respected, his parents of high station.
Though a technologically advanced planet, especially in the area of biotechnology, Daxam was never particularly interested in interstellar expansion, and would keep more-or-less to itself until the Dominion created a coalition of space-powers to invade Earth under the pretense that the burgeoning population of super-powered individuals on the planet was a threat to galactic peace. Daxam would send six observers with the fleet, and one of those observers was Kel Gand.
It is theorized that the people of Daxam share a common ancestor with the people of the dead world of Krypton. But whether one planet or the other is the 'home world', or if both races are offshoots of the same species and colonized different planets is unknown. Daxam, like Krypton, orbits a red sun, and as the Daxamite observers would discover when they were exposed to the yellow sun of Earth, being infused with its energies granted them tremendous powers. They would bring these powers to bear against Superman, when he attacked the Dominion flagship they were stationed on, but after emerging into Earth's atmosphere they would discover that their race also possessed a lethal Achilles heel - a deadly allergy to the base metal Lead, which Earth's atmosphere is laden with.
Seeing that the Daxamites were dying before his very eyes, Superman saved their lives, and thus showed the observers that Daxam supporting the invasion of Earth would be a mistake. One Daxamite would sacrifice his life, willingly perishing from lead poisoning to send a message to Daxam that the Earth was not the enemy and its people needed their support. That Daxamite was Kel Gand.
Back on Daxam, Lar heard about his father's noble sacrifice, and was intrigued, and determined that he would carry on in the wake of his father's honorable act. He would journey into space, not just to discover why his father gave his life to protect some planet that had always been seen as a backwater, but to explore the universe himself and uphold galactic peace and battle injustice everywhere he went.
In order to serve the Galactic good, Lar signed up to join L.E.G.I.O.N. under Vril Dox. Dox even synthesized a serum that would protect Lar's body from the effects of Lead, and preserve his powers even when exposed to red sunlight. However, Lar's naïveté and idealism didn't mesh well with Dox's Machiavellian tactics. Vril considered Lar a constant threat to his plans, because the Daxamite's honesty and idealism would interfere with his methods. After his very first mission, Vril would fire Lar from L.E.G.I.O.N. But he did get to beat up Lobo before he left.
After leaving L.E.G.I.O.N. Lar would finally journey to Earth. There he would take the name Valor, and begin a successful, if short-lived heroic career.
Ultimately Valor would come up against the same race that masterminded the invasion that ultimately cost his father his life - The Dominators. This time, the malevolent yellow-skinned aliens had kidnapped a large group of humans and irrevocably altered them, to the point where they could no longer survive on Earth. Valor found these poor souls, and out of a sense of mercy and compassion he not only rescued them but found each group of altered humans a planet that suited the needs of their new metabolisms. After completing this task, Valor's whereabouts became unknown until he arrived on Earth again, struck by amnesia and dying of lead poisoning.
A criminal named Gamboli found the stricken hero, and set up a fight between Lar and Superboy in order to reap the profits. In the course of the battle, as Valor slipped closer and closer to death from lead poisoning, he regained his memory. Superboy attempted to help him off-planet, but this endeavor met with failure. In a last-ditch effort Kon-El used a stasis-device that he had taken from a super-villain. Though he was successful, the strain on the device from transporting a human-sized figure was too much for the projector, and it was irrevocably damaged. Valor was trapped in the Stasis Zone, lost to the universe at large in a bodiless limbo where he could look out but no one could reach in to contact him. He would remain so for one thousand years...
Lar would remain trapped in the stasis zone until the Legion of Super-Heroes would go to his homeworld of Daxam to battle that world's native White Triangle xenophobic terrorists, a following that had taken root on Lar's native world in the thousand years that he had been absent. Saturn Girl saw him in this partial portal, and the surges would make the portal stronger and stronger, until ultimately Lar could communicate with the Legion directly and tell them about his predicament. Brainiac 5 quickly assessed the situation and determined that there was no way for the Legion to retrieve Lar from the Stasis Zone without help - So the Legion went back in time to seek aid from the same person who placed Valor in Limbo in the first place - Superboy.
Despite some initial mishaps, including Superboy stating out loud that they intended to use the Stasis Zone projector to free Valor, who in a thousand years time had come to be revered as a full-fledged deity by the civilizations who had sprung forth on the planets that he had 'seeded', the Legionnaires managed to open the portal and retrieve Lar in secret, to prevent a religious upheaval from striking the united planets.
Not wanting to deal with the ramifications of being a messiah, Lar did what any sensible person would do - He tried to lay low. Unfortunately being connected to the Legion of Super-Heroes didn't do much to facilitate this, and when emergencies struck he felt duty-bound to come out of hiding and lend a hand. The response of young architectural intern Chuck Taine discovering him convinced Lar that there was no way he could go public as Valor, and yet... at the same time, he found himself unable to stay on the sidelines.
Eventually Lar decided he couldn't hide within the confines of Legion HQ any longer, or so he claimed, and he left without alerting anyone except for Triad. In reality, he was performing a covert mission at Cosmic Boy's request. Though he had no identity, Lar also performed some superheroing on the side. He would then hook up with Live Wire and the Legion Rescue Squad when the group went head-to-head with the Fatal Five in order to save the Legion and protect the moon of Titan, which is the homeland of Saturn Girl (this is not hard to figure out).
Once U.P. president Chu was exposed as a crook and arrested, restrictions on membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes were lifted, and Lar was officially invited to join. Though he wanted to become a member of the Legion, he also wanted the freedom to explore the cosmos. Also, revealing himself as Valor was out of the question. The Legion therefore granted Lar a special membership- He was free to come and go as he pleased without restriction, and is always welcome amongst the Legion's ranks. To solve the dilemma of his identity, RJ Brande, the entrepreneur who provides the primary financial backing behind the Legion, offered him a new one. He gave him the name 'M'Onel', an ancient Martian word which means 'He who wanders', or more succinctly just 'Wanderer'. With a new identity, Lar was free to once again travel and serve as a superhero openly, without worrying about sparking the religious clamor that the revelation of Valor surely would have ignited.
When the Emerald Eye of Ekron took control of Legionnaire Shrinking Violet and used her to send a group of Legionnaires back in time to the 20th century, Lar took it upon himself to find Violet and put a stop to the Eye, though in reality it wanted to take control of him and manipulate M'Onel to its own ends. The eye would disappear when the Legion battled the evil sorcerer Mordru, after which Lar would continue his habit of exploring the uncharted, wandering from place to place, and righting wrongs and battling injustices wherever he found them. Eventually the Legion would be contacted by an apparition of Lar's fellow Daxamite, Sister Andromeda, who was supposed to be exploring the area between galaxies as self-imposed punishment for mistakes she had made. Lar followed the call to the Fires of Creation, but ultimately rejected what that place offered him.
Things are rarely so peaceful, and a threat the likes of which hadn't been seen in a thousand years would come in the form of an alien menace known as The Blight.
The Blight hit hard and they hit fast, using space-faring plants called the Doda. In their hunger for life energy, the Blight crossed paths with the Legion, and thus a source of energy the likes of which they had never encountered before. They learned how to use the transportation energy they sucked from the Doda to manipulate the Stargates that the United Planets used for transportation.
In a lightning strike, the Blight invaded and conquered Earth, capturing most of the Legion - Including M'Onel. They soon developed a special plan involving the Daxamite. They prepared a machine that would use him as a sort of ignition switch, creating an energy pulse that would react with the Doda and gather all the Life-Energy in the universe to them. This would result in nothing less than a complete extermination of all life in the universe.
The Legionnaires weren't so easily defeated, though. Some of them had been away, some of them had been captured but escaped- Seven were free, and Seven plotted to strike back and cripple the Blight.
Meanwhile, Lar was being held within the Blight 'Stem' on Earth, at the 'Mercy' of the Race's master, Atrophos. A link had already been forged between Lar and the Doda, but Saturn Girl turned it to a different use than the evil alien intended. She freed the Doda from the Blight's taint, and they blossomed, flooding the Blighted worlds with Life-Energy, which also had the effect of blasting the Blight, exterminating it.
Though the Legion was victorious over the Blight, the very fact that the invasion had happened in the first place was a crippling blow to both the group and to the United Planets in general. Some planets left, and RJ Brande lost his position as president. Due to the fact that they could no longer be considered safe, the Stargates were shut down, bringing travel between the United Planets to what essentially amounted to a standstill. The worst was yet to come. When approximately half of the Legionnaires were dispatched to investigate a spatial rift that had formed near Pluto, disaster struck - The rift destroyed the Legion Outpost, and at the half of the Legion's standing membership was seemingly killed.
Some of the Legion's best and brightest, snuffed out like a candle-flame. Lar was devastated by the loss, just like all the surviving Legionnaires. They were his teammates. They were his friends. When the new president of the United Planets, Leland MaCauley, disbanded the Legion the blow didn't hurt that much. The Legion was no more. Half its heart had been ripped out when that rift had taken their friends. You can't live on half a heart.
Everyone went their separate ways. Lar can't speak for most of them. Everyone's free to make his or her own decisions in this life. Lar himself, or rather M'Onel, had an offer made to him by President MaCauley - He accepted, and remained on Earth as a member of the President's Oversight Watch. Things are tighter now, and stricter. Lar's not really sure that he likes it very much. Something about MaCauley makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. But it's something, and Lar likes to think that right now this is the best thing that he can be doing. The people still need someone to protect them.
But sometimes he can't help but turn his eyes to the stars... and wish that he was there with his friends.
Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 201 lbs.
Known Superhuman Powers: Lar's cellular structure is similar to that of humans. However, a certain chemical makeup in Daxamite ribosomes (organelles responsible for protein synthesis) is capable of absorbing solar energy and storing it. Once the ribosomes achieve saturation levels of this radiation, they begin to re-radiate the energy in the form of a bioelectric forcefield. Each individual cell within the field's radius becomes reinforced in such a way that the cells are not only protected from external harm, but internal forces as well. It is this last which is key to Lar's great powers. Since the individual cells are wholly invulnerable, they are capable of operating at levels of efficiency that would destroy normal humanoid cells. These "super-cells" lend an enhancing effect to all bodily systems...muscular, metabolic, nervous, and so forth. The continual absorption of solar energy provides a constant power source for these enhanced systems. Thus, Lar Gand is capable of incredible feats.
Naturally, the basic forcefield effect renders him invulnerable to large amounts of damage. Unlike a human, Lar's body has more than simple cohesion and adhesion holding his tissues together. The bioelectric forcefield has a set tolerance for how much stress occurs before it reacts energetically in opposition to the external force. The tolerance for how much stress occurs before Lar's tissues counteract it varies according to tissue type. His bones allow virtually no compressional or tensional strain (deformation in shape) and his fleshy tissues remain supple under soft pressure, but under stress react to restrict any further deformation in shape. Since the strength of Lar's cellular forcefields greatly exceeds the cohesive force of any substance, no ordinary object can puncture his skin.
Lar can withstand a 1-megaton nuclear explosion without ill effect, and has been able to tolerate the molten conditions in the Earth's core with only discomfort. He could not, however, survive the conditions inside a star, but can safely approach to within several miles of Earth's Sun, probably due to a feedback loop of solar energy powering his bioelectric field. Lar can easily survive conditions in deep space, but he does need to breathe, eat, sleep, and excrete. He can hold his breath for a maximum of twelve hours, and requires two hours of sleep a night to function at peak mental efficiency, as well needing to dream at least half an hour a night, or experience the psychological effects of sleep deprivation as would any other person who missed a night of sleep. When his solar energy is depleted, his resistance to physical punishment drops to approximately one-quarter the normal amount. Withstanding large amounts of damage continuously over time will rapidly deplete his solar reserves.
Lar's cells provoke one another into releasing their respective energy when one begins to threaten the integrity of the other. Because of a certain degree of constant pressure, there is a continuously emitted radiance of the bioelectric field reaching slightly beyond his body, a sort of aura that protects items near his skin e.g. his costume. The aura also protects Lar's teeth, however his hair and nails are only partially protected due to certain cellular properties they possess. They are invulnerable to fire, however they can still be cut.
Due to the highly charged nature of his solar storage systems, his immune system deals with most normal poisons and diseases quickly and with no ill effect. Radiation and similar harmful energies are similarly neutralized.
His physical strength is greatly magnified by the combination of his more-efficient muscular system and the enhancement of his skeletal system's structural integrity, but is primarily augmented by the sheer force of his solar forcefield. When Lar appears to be lifting a weight, he is actually holding and pushing it with the bioelectric field. His energy stores push not from himself, but from the shielding that surrounds him. So the shielding is controlled on the highest level and simulates strength. He can lift 100,000 tons with serious effort. The conjectured upper limit of his physical strength has been determined to be approximately 250,000 tons with great effort, and causing strain damage to himself equivalent to an average adult human male lifting 500 pounds. Continual exertion will deplete his solar energy, and greatly exceeding his normal lift will drain him more rapidly. At the level of complete solar depletion, Lar can lift/exert no more than 100 tons of weight or force.
Similarly, Lar's enhanced metabolic rate, muscular speed, and nervous system grant him incredible speed. His Daxamite structure and the solar energy paths that course along his neurophysical structure allow him to react at many times normal human speed. He can read a complete encyclopedia set in seconds, wash a sink full of dishes in the blink of an eye, or run from New York City to Paris in a matter of minutes. He can move faster than the human eye can perceive if necessary, but this requires extra effort. His reflexes are quick enough to allow him to dodge incoming automatic laser fire. Lar's perceptions are similarly rapid, allowing him to see individual bullets fired from high-speed automatic weaponry in flight and outrace them easily. Moving at extreme speeds for extended periods of time rapidly drains his solar reserves. In a full drained state, his reflexes are only sufficient enough to dodge semi-automatic projectile weapons and read the encyclopedia set in under 10 minutes.
The enhanced structure of Lar's sensory organs combined with the increased capacity of his nervous system provides for the greatly enhanced senses. His range of hearing extends from the subsonic through to the point where signal modulation in broadcast communications can be sensed and demodulated into "sounds" if he concentrates. Lar can distinctly hear soft sounds anywhere on Earth if he is listening for them. He has perfect pitch. Lar has, on occasion, sat and perceived every sound on Earth as a symphony of a living planet.
His visual reception range covers the entirety of the electromagnetic spectrum. The difference between human and Lar's vision is that Lar has the capability to see a much wider band of the electromagnetic spectrum; while humans only sense a very narrow band of the spectrum we call visible light. Lar can change the spectrum he perceives at any given time, by changing the chemical receptors in the rods and cones of his retinas. He can adjust his photovoltaic detection as an act of will to sense longer wavelengths down to the infrared, and higher energy light, up to X-ray and gamma radiation.
Daxamite muscle tissue when super-charged with solar-energy, can generate a powerful gravitational field. These fields in combination with Lar's personal bioelectric field give him the ability to negate gravity, allowing him to fly. When in flight, he's fully suspended by this energy, almost completely repelling a planet's gravimetric influence over him. He becomes his own center of gravity, and no longer has to physically leverage against the gravity of whatever planetary body he's on, or any object. By instinctively utilizing a precise muscular control, Lar is able to control the pull and force of his personal gravitational field, allowing him to essentially fall forward in a direction and speed of his own choosing. Through sheer force of will, he is capable of Mach speeds in excess of Mach 10 in atmosphere. Lar can fly to the Moon in minutes, but faster than that outside of atmospheric interference. His control of his flight is perfect and he can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying.
Lar can use the gravitational fields generated by the muscles in his eyes to produce a gravity lens, allowing him to focus far beyond the range of the human eye. Combined with his sensitivity to light, he can magnify an image a virtually countless number of times. Lar can see through solids objects by using a combination of these telescopic and microscopic visual abilities to see through the atomic structure of an object and focus past it, as a camera focuses beyond the dust on a lens. Certain dense materials, notably lead, obstruct this ability.
Lar has the ability to expel stored solar and electromagnetic internal energy in the form of focused beams of radiation from his eyes. He emits light along various frequencies in high energy bursts that flash-melts materials in seconds, weaken structural integrity over a smaller area, such as melting the barrel of a gun but leaving the handle untouched. Lar can control his heat vision and direct it wherever he wants to. He directs it with his eyes.
In actuality, Lar could not emit the beams directly from his eyes. The energy is actually built up on the surface of the bio-energetic field surrounding his body and emitted from there. This allows his body to be protected from the energy and absorbing stray electromagnetic energy back into his body. Lar's energy reclamation aura is so efficient that any radiation, even those emitted from him, once in the environment are able to be reabsorbed.
The heat beams are psionically controlled and that control is reflexive, so he can shut it off without accidentally damaging anything that he does not want to. Lar can emit the radiation visibly or invisibly at lower settings. His energy has a high visibility profile if emitted at higher levels.
Lar has the power to release gale-force winds from his lungs. He can create ice blocks from his breath, as well as freeze objects and opponents. The psionic portion of his powers are made evident by these depictions. The only way for objects to freeze is if their molecular composition slows down in motion at an incredible rate. The application of intense winds from Lar's breath is actually not sufficient to freeze things. Since he can agitate molecules to increase in motion, he can do the reverse. Lar is using the same effect that amplifies converted solar energy in reverse. He is using it as a catalyst to access higher-order energies through an unknown physical mechanism. That same amplification mechanism is reversed to dampen or neutralize energies in the environment to produce freeze breath. Additionally, his vast lung capacity is not physically possible given the dimensions of the humanoid physique. However, his super-breath includes tesseract-type properties.
Both Lar's Daxamite physiology and the fact that his engrams are stabilized by a solar-frequency hologram reinforcing his neural matrix allow him near-perfect recall of events he pays specific attention to or that have emotional significance or are particularly striking.
Lar is a talented mimic, and can reproduce most sounds that he can hear. He can modulate his voice to transmit on radio or microwave/radar frequencies, and can expel a minute amount of air in space at a warm enough temperature and speed to carry sub-vocalized sound directly to one or more targets.
Lar requires solar energy to function at peak capacity, or his powers fade to greatly reduced levels, some disappearing entirely if his solar reserves are empty. He cannot absorb energy from the lower frequency orange O-class stars and cannot process the higher-frequency White K or blue F classes. Blue B and yellow G type stars are ideal.
Lar's body stores and processes solar energy at a rapid rate and for a variety of effects, which are explained in his other powers. His storage capacity is sufficient to let him function at full capacity for up to 14 days depending on his physical condition and state of rest. While under a star of the right class (G-type dwarfs in the blue-white through yellow spectrum are ideal) and within a planetary atmosphere, he replenishes energy at a constant rate.
If forced to expend large amounts of energy over a relatively short time, or to maintain constant exertion over longer periods of time, he tires and his power begins to diminish. Constant exertion will revert him to normal humanoid levels after 14 days without rest. The power recovers at the rate of normal rest, and a full recharge can be accomplished with two days of no more than moderate, normal-level exertion. A process of solar recharge is also known, but requires massive amounts of fusion energy of solar/light-based superpowers.
Weakness: The fatal flaw in Lar's Daxamite cellular physiology is that common elemental lead, in the most minute amounts, can react catastrophically with the very ribosomal chemical that grants a Daxamite powers. The briefest contact can strip Lar's powers, and further begin a fatal poisoning that totally shuts down cellular activity in the affected areas. As lead makes its way through the bloodstream, it would eventually reach all parts of the body and bring death as the body's immune system attempts to expel the deadly toxin.
A chemical formula can counteract this effect by creating a far less harmful reaction with the ribosomes that renders them non-reactive to lead.
Further, the radiation signature of the red sun of the Daxam system (and similar F-class stars) instantly causes the ribosomal structures to lose their stored energy, reducing a Daxamite to normal humanoid levels.