are a fictional extraterrestrial
race existing in the DC Universe
. They first appear in Adventure Comics
#357 (June 1967
), and were created by Jim Shooter
, Mort Weisinger
& Curt Swan
Fictional character biography
In their initial appearance, the Controllers came from "another space-time continuum". Their universe had almost been destroyed by war, and they determined to prevent the Earth-One
universe going the same way. They used their mind-control abilities to prevent intergalactic war, but also had powerful weapons, including the Sun-Eater
The Controllers' origins were substantially changed following the Crisis on Infinite Earths
, although their motives and methods remained the same. They were originally part of a race called the Maltusians. Later on these beings left Maltus
and colonized a new world called Oa
. Now calling themselves Oans, they feel responsible for the catastrophic effects on the universe caused by one of their own, the renegade scientist Krona
. The group argues over ways to handle the situation. (Note: in the original version of the story, this experiment was supposed to have created evil itself.) One group of Oans desires to dedicate their immortal existences to contain evil. This group eventually became the Guardians of the Universe
. Another group decides that evil should be destroyed. This group leaves the planet Oa, eventually becoming the Controllers. (A later version of the story revised the Controllers history, saying that the Controllers left over the Guardians' decision to stop using their robot minions, the Manhunters
Just as the Guardians slowly changed their physical appearances over billions of years of existence, so did the Controllers. Originally, all Oans were blue-skinned humanoids
; currently, the Controllers are pink-skinned and hairless. The Controllers move to another dimension, and dedicated themselves to creating weapons that could be used to destroy evil beings if they became too dangerous. Among these are the Sun-Eaters
, gaseous beings that can devour whole planets and stars, and the Miracle Machine, a device that can turn any thought into reality.
In recent times, the Controllers establish their own corps of interstellar
peacekeepers, called the Darkstars
, to compete with the Guardians' Green Lantern Corps
. Many former members of the Corps joined the Darkstars after the Corps was destroyed. The Darkstars are now considered defunct; most had been slain by the forces of Grayven
. In their continuing effort to create an alternative to the Green Lantern Corps, the Controllers experiment on Martyn Van Wyck, transforming him into the pyrokinetic Effigy
An unnamed Controller was featured in Power Company
issues #12 - 14, where he is a prisoner of Doctor Polaris
. The Power Company finally succeeds in freeing him. He tells the group that his original reason for visiting the earth was an attempt to re-secure a cosmic artifact called the Mephistopheles Matrix
The Controllers have recently reappeared and are now searching for the "orange light of avarice" in order to create their own Corps.
- In the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes, a renegade Controller became the villain known as the Time Trapper. (Various DC Comics reboots has since altered this timeline, which is one of many origins given for the Time Trapper.) The Controllers also ended up giving the Miracle Machine to the Legion for safekeeping.
- 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.