Captain Universe is not one person. In one sense, it is not a person at all--it is the Uni-Power (an aspect of the Enigma Force) and a manifestation of the Universe itself, a sentient symbiotic energy field that seeks out people in great peril and bonds with them. In another sense, it is every person--it is the potential for heroism that lives in each of us. When the Uni-Power chooses a partner, it endows that person (or, rarely, persons) with the powers, memories, and costume of Captain Universe. The partner can use the powers of Captain Universe until the peril is surmounted. However, if the partner tries to use those powers for personal gain or for evil, the Uni-Power immediately deserts him or her or them.
There is no apparent pattern in Captain Universe's appearances or accomplishments. In one universe (and possibly in all universes), it is the Guardian of Eternity, the sum of all life, and is thus responsible for protecting all life in existence.
Captain Universe was born when the Enigma Force - which for untold millennia had opposed its nemesis Knull and his creations - decided to stop spreading its power among multiple hosts and instead bond to a single entity.
The first known human partner of Captain Universe was Ray Coffin of Florida. Baron Karza had come from the Microverse to menace Earth. A Time Traveler, also from the Microverse, appeared to Coffin, warned him of the danger, and offered him the Uni-Power. Coffin accepted and drove Karza away. With the mission completed, Coffin reverted to normal, and the Uni-Power passed to another.
When the proto-symbiote Mister E attempted to turn the Sun into a black star - thus killing all life on Earth, Ray's son Steve became the Uni-Power's next host and defeated the creature, seemingly destroying it.
Other partners have ranged from a dog to the Silver Surfer (see the Appearances page for a full list). Missions have ranged from facing down a bully to saving the world. Most of these partnerships have gone unreported. However, the US government has established a secret agency, Division U, to track and study Captain Universe and the Uni-Power, so far with little result. A.I.M. has been studying the same phenomena.
The Uni-Power began to experience memory and power loss and traveled to Earth in search of a willing human host. This is where it found Gabriel Vargas, who agreed to bond with the entity and travel into the Microverse in search of that which was causing these problems.
But first, the Uni-Power needed to process, replicate and download the powers of several super-humans to regain some stability. After bonding with the Hulk, Daredevil, and X-23, it went to the Fantastic Four for help.
Mr. Fantastic, not one to refuse an opportunity to study the Uni-Power up close, agreed to help the Uni-Power discover the source behind its problems before they were attacked by Gladiator of the Shi'ar Empire, who had orders to take him back to his superiors for imprisonment and study.
The Uni-Power bonded with the Invisible Woman before Gladiator could get his hands on it and a battle ensued. During this time, the Invisible Woman had the Uni-Power bond with Gladiator to make him see the truth about the current dilemma it was facing.
When Gladiator and the Uni-Power found out that Mr. Fantastic was incapable of repairing the problem, Gladiator offered to take the Uni-Power back to the Empire as a guest in the hopes that their scientists could do what Reed could not.
The Uni-Power accepted Gladiator's offer and began their journey to the Shi'ar Throneworld of Chandilar. However, as they were leaving Earth's Solar System, Gladiator and the Uni-Power were intercepted and captured by an energy-consuming tyrant named Krosakis.
Krosakis used his vampiric-like energy siphoning abilities to force the Uni-Power to bond with him. This gained the attention of the Silver Surfer, who confronted and fought Krosakis and freed the Uni-Power from his control by overloading Krosakis with the Power Cosmic.
The Uni-Power then bonded with the Silver Surfer, who infused the Uni-Power with a portion of his Power Cosmic and managed to repair its memory loss and power fluctuations.
In addition to the repairs, bonding with the Power Cosmic put in place several protective barriers that would make it impossible for anyone to tamper with the Uni-Power ever again.
The Silver Surfer then escorted the Uni-Power back to Earth, where it merged with a paraplegic Desert Storm veteran named Gabriel Vargas, whom the Uni-Power had made a bargain with following an incident that had resulted in the death of a police officer and severe injury to the Captain Universe (Ted Simmons) that had preceded Gabriel.
After getting used to the feeling of walking again for the first time in almost a decade, Gabriel, now in the guise of Captain Universe, parted ways with the Silver Surfer and began making his way into the Microverse.
Two years later after the undocumented events of Gabriel's excursion into the Microverse, he resurfaced somewhere within the confines of the Kree Empire or rather what was left of it following the First Annihilation War and attacked a group of Kree Soldiers, whom he thought were slaughtering innocent people. After learning that these so-called innocent people were actually Annihilation Wave sympathizers, Gabriel allowed himself to be taken into custody, and was imprisoned alongside Bug, Deathcry, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot while awaiting trial.
Following the initial conquest of both Kree and Annihilation Wave territories by Ultron and the Phalanx, former Lunatic Legion leader Galen-Kor was ordered by Ronan the Accuser to create a low-tech task force capable of successfully infiltrating and destroying a new version of the Phalanx Technophage Virus capable of spreading it further and faster than they would be able to via their standard methods.Peter Quill, who had accidentally handed the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, to Ultron and the Phalanx when a group of infected Spaceknights were allowed to upgrade the Kree Defense Network with a program called "A-Ware" was forced to take on the mantle of Star-Lord once more and was paired up with Gabriel and the others to create the task force Ronan desired.
Together, Gabriel and the rest of the "Dirty Half-Dozen" descended upon Hala without mercy and began viciously fighting their way through the heart of their newly conquered territories against Ultron's minions. In the process, several problems began to rise along the way, the first being the small feud between Gabriel and Deathcry, which continued to escalate until Deathcry went berserk and tried to kill Gabriel who, in self-defense, obliterated Deathcry using the Uni-Power.
Gabriel was mentally traumatized by the event after realizing exactly what it was he had done and went into a shell-shocked state of being, which he remained in until he decided to stay behind and hold off an army of flesh-eating insect-like Phalanx drones while the others made their escape. Mantis, who had cloaked herself to keep from being captured by the Phalanx along with the others, sent a telepathic message to Gabriel, who managed to survive the Phalanx onslaught and told him that he was now their only hope for victory.
After meeting back up and conversing with Mantis, Gabriel detached himself from the Uni-Power and sent it on a mission to infiltrate and hack the Phalanx Datacore possessing the cure to the new Phalanx Virus, which Star-Lord had discovered was airborne and inside the bodies of Hala's inhabitants. The Uni-Power complied and headed towards the Datacore, where it merged with one of the Phalanx Planner Drones and corrupted its programming. The Uni-Power allowed the drone to think that it was in control of the Uni-Power and that upon accessing the Datacore it would be able to replicate the Uni-Power and create an army of Uni-Powered Phalanx drones, therefore making it the most favored Phalanx of all. When its fellow Phalanx refused to allow the Uni-Powered Planner Drone to access the Datacore, it became angry and destroyed them all, thus allowing it to enter the Datacore unhindered. However, when this happened, the Uni-Power revealed its ruse and not only retrieved the data it sought but also obliterated the Datacore, thus destroying every bit of data they had collected in the short time since the conquest of Hala. The Uni-Power then merged with Gabriel once more, allowing him to fend off the Phalanx while his teammates stole a getaway vessel. After returning to base, the Uni-Power shared the data it had collected with the Kree Science Division and amicably parted ways with Gabriel.
Something Can Stop the Juggernaut
A new Captain Universe surfaced in New York City and tried to kill Juggernaut, and Spider-Man was caught in the middle of the conflict. When Spider-Man was chasing Captain Universe, he sensed the eruption of several large tremors deep under the Earth's crust and went to check out the rapidly growing problem. When he found that Earth's tectonic plates were coming undone Captain Universe began to question his true destiny, thus giving the Uni-Power itself a chance to speak and hopefully guide Captain Universe in the right direction. However, before Captain Universe could fully repair the shattered tectonic plates he sensed the Juggernaut's presence, shut out the Uni-Power's voice, erupted forth from underneath the Earth his adversaries stood upon and attempted to kill the Juggernaut once more. The new Captain Universe revealed himself to be William Nguyen, a former employee of a major financial firm that the Juggernaut tore through while attempting to outrun Spider-Man. When was about to commit suicide, William prayed for forgiveness and found those prayers answered by the Enigma Force, which imbued William with the Uni-Power and transformed him into the Captain Universe that now held both Juggernaut and Spider-Man prisoner.
Spider-Man asked whether William had fixed the fractures or not, to which William replied no and declared that killing the Juggernaut was the only thing that mattered to him. This, of course, deeply offended the Enigma Force who stripped William of his power and transferred it over to the Juggernaut. With the powers of Captain Universe at his disposal, the Juggernaut delved deep into the Earth, located the fractures and fixed them. The Enigma Force then commended the Juggernaut for his work and sent the Uni-Power on its way.
Three former hosts of the Uni-Power -- Invisible Woman, Spider-Man, and X-23 -- were all contacted by the Enigma Force once again when the Whirldemon King, a powerful entity once defeated by the time-travelling Prince Wayfinder of Ithaka and creator of the Enigma Force itself, escaped imprisonment.
When X-23 sacrificed herself to save Valeria Richards from possession by the King the Uni-Power bonded with her a second time. While trapped in the Whirldemons' prison dimension, a connection was explicitly made between a starry apparition that enabled Laura to throw off the influence of a demon attempting to coerce her into serving it, when the star-shaped mark left on Laura's palm after that encounter was recognized by the Whirldemon King as associated with the Enigma Force. Laura then used the Uni-Power to wound the Whirldemon King and sealed him back in his prison dimension, before returning her to Earth. During these events, the Enigma Force told Laura that she had been designated the future heir to its power.
The Universe is Broken
The Universe became sentient once more, as it possessed Tamara Devoux, a young amnesic woman who suffered an accident and was left in a coma for ten years. When asked why it chose her, Captain Universe explained that it chose Tamara because she was broken and dying, as it was. Captain Universe joined the Avengers, who offered to help mend both Tamara and Captain Universe.
Time Runs Out
At some point, Tony Stark found Tamara's lost daughter and reunited the two once again. Tamara seemingly retired from the Avengers to work at a diner and take care of her daughter, however, when Tony and Steve Rogers met to discuss the incursions at her diner, the Captain Universe persona resurfaced and attacked Tony, accusing him of having known all along why she was dying and not doing anything to fix it. 
When the Inheritors attacked Earth-616 and the Spider-Totems hiding there, the Superior Spider-Man, as part of his plan to defeat them, returned to Earth-13 and used the remaining traces of its Captain Universe's energies to build a device to call Captain Universe to Earth. It was indignant at the fact that someone had called on him rather than him coming to them and insulted many of the Spiders for their failures. However, Miles Morales snapped back at Captain Universe for the fact he's waiting for someone with too high of an ideal while they're trying to save the universe. This impressed him enough to bond with the young Spider. As the Spiders united to attack the Inheritors, Miles confronted Solus and used the Uni-Power combined with his Venom Blasts to keep the patriarch away from him, having learned from the last Captain Universe. When Solus became distracted by the arrival of Spiderling and her role as the Patternmaker, Miles enacted his part of the Superior Spider-Man's final plan, having retrieved Leopardon's Sword Vigor and threw it at the Inheritor, killing him for good. When the other Inheritors were resurrected without their powers and memories erased, the Enigma Force left Miles.
After Knull awakened and destroyed Klyntar, the Enigma Force approached Zak-Del who recently fought him and was left into the void of space to die, telling him to find Eddie Brock. The Enigma Force was next seen trying but failing to penetrate the barrier enacted by Knull during his invasion of Earth. The Silver Surfer was able to sense it and helped the Enigma Force to pass through the barrier. The Surfer realized that the Enigma Force wasn't there to bond with him so he let it go so it could find its chosen host, who turned out to be Eddie Brock. As the Enigma Force began to bond with him, it asked what form he wanted to take and he laughed and stated that there was only one answer.
As the gathered heroes were preparing to charge Knull, Eddie arrived and used the power of the Enigma Force to take Mjolnir from Thor and the Silver Surfer's Surfboard in order to merge them together into a Battle Axe. Eddie battled Knull in single combat and destroyed Knull's weapon, All-Black, as well as his symbiote-armor. Eddie then flew the weakened Knull into the sun and used the Uni-Power to destroy him. Eddie flew back to Earth and purged his son, Dylan, of the symbiote influence. With the threat ended, the Enigma Force left Eddie and told him that he has become more than human.
Powers and Abilities
Captain Universe's powers and power levels vary from partner to partner, presumably to meet the demands of the job at hand. The Uni-Power also enhances the powers and abilities of a host who already has such powers and abilities. Powers that remain relatively constant include:
- Uni-Vision: A sort of cosmic consciousness. Captain Universe can sense things on a subatomic level or at great distances. This power can also force someone to tell the truth.
- Matter/Energy Manipulation: Captain Universe can divert an energy flow in a different direction or convert it into a different type of energy. Diverting the flow of gravitons, for example, allows flight. Captain Universe can also change matter at the atomic level, for instance, to transmute one substance into another or to change an object's shape.
- The costume (or the Uni-Power itself) protects against extremes in temperature.
- 72 appearance(s) of Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- 3 minor appearance(s) of Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- 10 mention(s) of Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- 77 image(s) of Captain Universe (Earth-616)
- 2 victim(s) killed by Captain Universe (Earth-616)