Superman and the Legion of Superheroes is right around the corner and the latest figure shown for this set is Rare #41 Universo. The version of Universo we’re being given is a Master Hypnotist from the 30th Century and one of the Legion of Super-Villains that oppose the Legion of Superheroes (like I had to point that out) He is Rond Vidar’s Daddy and former owner of Rond’s Green Lantern Power Ring (he was stripped of his title by disobeying the Guardians, bad boy) This is also the first time we’re seeing this character as a click and I think this is definitely the right era for his debut.
The costume they chose to show Universo in is from the third run of Legion of Superheroes in the 1980’s, which is much better looking than his awkward magenta getup from his first appearance in the ’60’s. The sculpt itself makes him look pretty badass with his bright colouring ripped right out of page from the comics. The pose leaves a little to be desired but when your main ability is to hypnotize and control others there’s not much you can do (at least he’s not doing the constipated head ache pose most of the Marvel mind controllers like to adapt) The bright splash of energy behind him would suggest it’s his hypnosis powers being amplified through his amulet.
Universo is available to play at 71 points, which puts him at a good price point to fit into the 300pt Tournament Play. He’s sporting the Legion of Super-Villains keyword which is sure to get a boost with this set, along with generic Cosmic and Future and the Calculator Team Ability. His combat symbols are all standard fair and he’s got a 7 range with one target. Universo has 6 clicks of life which for 71pts nowadays is pretty good.
His opening click isn’t much at first glance until you start looking at what his Special White Powers do for him. He’s got 10 movement with Hypnosis, 9 attack with no powers, 17 defense with Master of Misdirection and 3 damage with Shape Change. The first thing you’ll notice is that he’s not a heavy hitter, but he doesn’t need to be, he’s got your opponent’s characters for that.
His White Movement power Hypnosis gives him Mind Control as if he had 3 targets, which on it’s own is pretty good but it gets even better. When using Mind Control he’s able to increase his attack value by 1 for each character he targets. He’s now got the potential of a 12 attack on that opening click and to add even more icing onto his Hypnosis cake, after actions resolve he can heal 1 click for each character with the Legion of Superheroes Keyword he hit (this is one part that you’re likely not going to see as much use out of but damn, if he goes up against a Legion team he’s going to be beastly) Now with this you do have to keep in mind your sequencing, any damage he heals will happen after he’s taken Mind Control damage for controlling over 150pts worth of characters which means if you’re up against the Legion you have no fear of Mind Controlling Cosmic Boy, Lightening Lad and Saturn Girl together as you’ll just heal that damage back. His White Defense power grants him Energy Shield/Deflection and Super Senses which will make him annoying to try and hit especially combined with his Shape Change. At range that 17 defense suddenly becomes 19 and if he misses his 1 in 6 chance of stopping you from targeting him he now has a 1 in 3 chance of evading the attack. Overall this leads to an incredible first click that you may end up seeing more than once in a game.
As he takes damage (which he’s likely to, given that he may be hard to hit but has no damage reducers) his movement drops rather quickly from a 10 to an 8 and then later a 6. His attack goes up to a 10 on is second click (matched with his Hypnosis gives the potential for 13 attack!) then drops to 9, bounces to 10 once more before staying at 9 for the rest of his dial. His defense bounces around as well dropping to a 16 on his second click then back up to a 17, then dropping to a 16 once more before finishing off at 15. His damage is 3 for his first click and then 2 for the rest of his dial but as I said, he’s not meant to be dealing damage anyway. His power set for his second click is the same as his first. As the dial turns his Master of Misdirection is traded for standard Energy Shield/Deflection and his Shape Change turns into Outwit on his third click. On click 4 we’re introduced to a new White Attack Power I’ve Learned a Few Things which gives him Incapacitate and a free action to Smoke Cloud afterwards. This power works nicely in his favour with the change to Smoke Cloud (characters -1 to their attack when occupying smoke cloud unless they can use the power themselves) though given the fact that he’s still got Hypnosis at this point you’ll likely be saving it for his last 2 clicks where we finally see a loss of Hypnosis, which is replaced by Stealth. On clicks 5 and 6 his Energy Shield/Deflection turns to Super Senses and we see a return of Shape Change.
Universo is a one trick pony there’s no denying that but it doesn’t mean it’s not a damn good trick. He’s going to have a huge target on his head but hopefully he’s done his job by the time he gets taken out (which may only be a few rounds in depending on how much damage your opponent is doing) He’ll likely see the height of his potential in sealed and against Legion of Superhero teams. His keywords are a little limited but with his low cost and wild card team ability he’s likely to find is way onto a few other teams. I don’t think he’ll replace Brother Voodoo in the Mind Control department any time soon even at 8 points less but he’ll definitely be a good alternative at that price point.