From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Ulysses - A Hero Lost
When Marcus Cole, the man who would become known as Statesman, journeyed to the Well of the Furies, he started a new super powered heroic age; what few realize is there were heroes active already. During WWI one such hero worked for the United States government. His name was Stephen Ulysses Jones. A captain in the U.S. Army, Jones was instrumental in a variety of intelligence gathering operations. His exploits helped guide the creation of the OSS during the next world war. A number of operations took place far from the eyes of the news reels that helped determine the outcome of the war and Captain Jones was at the center of nearly all of them. Recent declassified documents have revealed that the bulk of Jones's operations were directed against Nemesis or his agents.
Upon his return to the States, Jones was promoted to Major. He subsequently volunteered for a government super agent program. The program saw the power of Marcus Cole and hoped to capitalize on it. The exact cocktail of drugs, radiation, and other science used on Jones is still a classified secret. What is known is that Jones was endowed with greater than average physical attributes, even his size increased, growing from 5'10" to 6'6"! More importantly he gained telepathic and telekinetic abilities. These were sought after powers for covert agents, and Jones quickly became one of the most invaluable assets the agency had at its disposal. Over the next two decades Jones developed fine control over his abilities, enabling him to project protective force fields and perform amazing feats of strength. Many early UFO sightings were actually Jones learning to propel his body with a crude form of telekinetic flight.
During the WWII, Jones, now a colonel, went back overseas. Again he participated in numerous covert operations. Occasionally he would return stateside to deal with various domestic issues, but the bulk of his time was spent in Europe fighting super powered Axis agents. At this time, Jones first met the Chinese agent known as Water Snake. While China was not nearly the super power it is today, a small group of futurists insisted on allocating resources to the fighting in Europe. One of these assets was Water Snake. For the most part the two fought to gain the upper hand while opposing one another. Occasionally they were on the same side. Throughout the years, she has remained Jones's most complex relationship.
Once the war was over, Jones returned to the United States ... just in time to face off against Nemesis and his plot to seize control of the United States. Working alongside hundreds of heroes, Jones, who had adopted the costumed identity of Ulysses by this point, drove back the automatons and helped free Washington, D.C. from the clutches of one of his most persistent rivals.
Unlike others who fought against the Might for Right act, Ulysses was a dedicated agent and undertook operations around the globe without question or complaint. It was only during the Vietnam Conflict that the relationship with his handlers became tense. Jones undertook various missions of high secrecy. At the conclusion of what would be his last assignment, Jones was honorably discharged from service. Why such an asset was released is unknown; Freedom of Information Act requests have been denied due to the secrecy of the mission. The end result was that Jones was free to pursue his life on his own.
Whatever process gave him his abilities also extended his natural life. Still in his prime due to the process that granted him his powers, and wishing to use his abilities to safeguard the lives of others, Jones fought on as the hero Ulysses. Basing himself in Paragon City, Ulysses became a frequent sight fighting gangs and corruption. He fought for the safety of the citizens for Paragon City for nearly thirty years ... then the Rikti arrived.
There was a great need for information and intelligence regarding the alien invaders. Calling upon decades of experience and his astounding powers, Ulysses infiltrated Rikti bases seeking key information that could lead to their defeat. It would turn out he would never get the chance.
Unknown to all, Jones had married and started a family. He kept them hidden to keep them safe. They had a home in Baumton. When the Rikti destroyed the neighborhood, Ulysses was home with his family. He was the only one of them to survive. When he was fished out of the rubble by rescue teams, he had lapsed into a coma. He spent the rest of the war and the next four years in that coma.
His body healed. The process that granted him his powers and extended his life saved it. The cost of his returned life was his power. Awakening from his coma, Jones was devastated to learn his family was dead. Without the power to avenge them, he spiraled into bottle after bottle. His life was ruined.
The Journey for Revenge
After a year in the bottom of a bottle, Jones received a reason to change his ways. Water Snake had been captured by Arachnos and was being tortured for information on Chinese government operations by Captain Mako. Mako wanted to expand his control to the South China Sea and had marked Water Snake as his inroad.
A former friend in the CIA got word to Jones about Water Snake's situation. Officially the U.S. government would not move against Mako, it was for the Chinese to do. However it was well known that Water Snake had burned a few bridges and was considered to not have intelligence worth protecting. Being strung up by her government, without hope of rescue, Jones saw a life lost, like his. He could not stand idly by.
Using his old network of informants, years of covert operations training, and stolen Arachnos technology, Jones infiltrated the Rogue Islands and tracked Mako. He found the arch-villain in an abandoned warehouse. Mako was interrogating Water Snake, but aside from the two of them and Jones, hiding in the rafters, the place was empty. Jones moved.
Armed with an Arachnos mace, Jones jumped Mako. While he fought the piratical mutant valiantly, and even surprised Mako with his prowess, the battle was a forgone conclusion. However, Mako had counted out Water Snake herself. The chinese agent quickly seized on Jones's arrival, freeing herself. Once she joined the battle, the odds were a little more even. While they could not defeat Mako outright, they were able to maneuver the villain into a position to allow them to escape.
Once they were safe, back in Independence Port, Water Snake revealed the truth to Jones; she had allowed herself to be captured, seeding the rumor of what she knew and her capture to Mako and the ones that would contact Jones. She had seen what he had become and wished to help stir him to action. "I cannot have my sin ling ban lyu be in such a state. We will meet again once you are more what you should be." With those words, she left Jones by the docks.
From there, he decided to do something to regain his former life. Rumors of the truth of the Lost reached his ears. The remaining Rikti forces were scattered throughout Paragon City. Those that had taken his life from him were out there and his family cried out for revenge. He sobered up and began to make plans.
Using what few contacts he had left, Jones made in roads at M.A.G.I. He researched the Well of the Furies, the source of power that lead to Marcus Cole becoming Statesman. It was a source of immense power and one that was never fully understood. All that was known is that it opened the way to all the super powered beings in the world.
It would be his salvation.
Jones left Paragon City and followed in the footsteps of Cole. The journey was difficult, as any notes kept by Cole on how to locate the Well were not made public. It took Jones nearly a year to get close, and even then he would never quite reach his destination.
The Path to Redemption
On his way to the Well of Furies, Jones was contacted by a long forgotten power. Quirinus, an ancient god of the early Roman empire, manifested before the fallen hero. The deity had watched the world of man, forgotten and nearly powerless. It had seen the Rikti and the effect of magic, faith in ancient powers, prove strong enough to defeat the invaders. It had seen the power of the Greek pantheon, embodied in Statesman, save the world. It had seen all this and desired to make in impact in the lives of mortals once more.
Quirinus and Jones spoke at length. For nine days they spoke about loss and regret and a wish to make a difference. At the end of the discussion a pact was formed.
Quirinus would bestow Jones with new power, enhancing his level of ability to that which he could not have reached previously. In return, Jones would wield his power in Quirinus's name, using it to repel the Rikti and restore faith in the old ways. Where there were two beings hoping to make a difference, now there was one focused hero ready to defend the Earth.
Ulixes - A Hero Reborn
Returning to Paragon City, Jones re-dubbed himself Ulixes, after a more archaic Latin spelling of his name.
Ulixes has been spotted throughout Paragon City. Traveling throughout the city, and even to other worlds with the help of Portal Corporation, the reborn hero has not been too picky when it comes to wiping out the criminal element in Paragon City. While the bulk of his rogue's gallery were no longer in operation, or for that matter, of consequence, Ulixes began to make new enemies. Tackling the Tsoo, or disrupting the plots of the Carnival of Shadows, the Impervious Immortal was back with a vengeance. Ulixes has even had a few encounters with his old foe, Nemesis.
Vanguard - A Return to Active Duty
Also, while the Rikti had returned, so had a veteran of the first war. Now empowered with mystical energy to surpass his previous mental abilities and granted immortality as an avatar of an ancient god, Ulixes threw himself into battle against his hated enemies. Sometimes described as reckless abandon, Ulixes simply wishes to ensure no one has to suffer again like those who suffered before.
It was not long before he was tapped by the Lady Grey and Vanguard. Ulixes was reinstated to the rank of colonel. Now an operative for the United Nations organization, as much as he was an intelligence operative so many years before, Ulixes races through the War Zone around the mothership and brings the fight right to the Rikti. He has fought the leader of the Rikti, Lord of War: Hro'Dtohz, causing major setbacks to the warlord's plans. His modified uniform incorporates Roman design elements, but it all high technology Vanguard issue. Made of Impervium, the armor is designed to allow Ulixes to not only take the fight to the Rikti on Earth, but in space as well.
While Traditionalist factions seem to the be answer to defeating the invading forces, Ulixes is wary with teaming with any of the aliens. Perhaps the greatest battle he will have to fight is forgiving the entire race of Rikti for the acts of a few.
Hero Dawn - No Longer Alone
Aside from his membership in Vanguard, Ulixes has also joined the ranks of Hero Dawn, one of the most active and powerful supergroups in Paragon City. With his teammates, he has fought Praetorian Archvillains, defeated the rulers of the Shadow Shard, and stopped Requiem from taking over the past ... just to name a few. Their affect on his psyche is calming, directing his rage and power at concrete objectives and foes.
Some ask if he is mentally stable, but those same rumors surround Statesman himself. Regardless, his power is needed and it is growing. His abilities are quite different and Ulixes is having to learn his strengths all over again. When his full potential is reached, none will be able to stand against him ... and that concerns some of his old handlers. Ulixes is currently being watched by the intelligence community and it is hoped their fears will never need to be acted on.
As the hero Ulysses, Ulixes developed quite a rogue's gallery.
Ulixes's greatest foe, Robber Baron has transformed throughout the years from a brilliant thug to a full fledged mastermind of a vast criminal organization. Born Robert Barron, the villain-to-be was a member of local gangs in King's Row. Upon reaching puberty he began to realize his potential; Barron was a powerful telekinetic.
By the 1960's Barron had grown tired of the petty theft of gangs and created the identity of Robber Baron. He terrorized Steel Canyon and King's Row, brutalizing the unfortunate denizens and stealing vast amounts of money from high technology companies and local factories alike. Over the next 40 years, Robber Baron and Ulixes clashed numerous times, usually with Ulixes coming out on top.
During the Rikti War, when Ulixes was sent into a coma, Robber Baron vanished. Investigators believe Baron had made enough money, but was simply seeking venegence on his rival in recent years. With Ulixes no longer an issue, Baron seemingly retired.
Current Whereabouts: Unknown. It is presumed Robber Baron is near the Rogue Islands, but all attempts to locate the arch villain have been unsuccessful.
Powers: Robber Baron is a powerful telekinetic. Combined with a vast amount of wealth and an army of subordinates, he has been deemed a threat just shy of Lord Recluse or Nemesis themselves. Towards the end of his public activities, Robber Baron used an army of robots instead of human soldiers; apparently the upkeep costs were less and the versatility of the robots was far superior.
Notable Encounter: Just prior to the Rikti War, Robber Baron had invaded Portal Corporation. With an army of mercenaries and robots, the Malevolent Mastermind planned to seek out all possible realities in which he had triumphed over the heroes of the world. By working with the other 'Baronies', as he noted them, he would be able to work with his other selves to rule all of creation (he figured he would simply kill his other selves once all the universe was conquered).
Robber Baron had, of course, foreseen Ulixes's interference, and banished him to an empty reality where all the heroes were dead. However, Ulixes was able to find an unlikely ally in that reality's Zhultaar (see below). There the Undying Light of Desolation was replaced by the Everliving Shadow of Order. While still a zealot, Zhultaar could not stand to see the chaos caused by Robber Baron and his plan.
Leading a huge task force of followers of the Everliving Shadow of Order, Ulixes and Zhultaar were able to drive back the numerous Robber Barons and their armies. While this world's Robber Baron was able to escape capture, Portal was able to lock access to all worlds where he was in charge. Shortly after this, the Rikti invaded and Robber Baron has not been seen since.
Brute force personified, City Smasher is a nearly unstoppable juggernaut of destruction. Concerned only with his personal gain, and gaining revenge on Ulixes for numerous defeats, City Smasher is Ulixes's most persistent adversary.
Current Whereabout: Recently escaped Ziggursky Penitentiary, last seen on Mercy Island in the Rogue Islands.
Powers: Psionic manipulation of matter and energy; usually limited to elements found in an urban environment such as concrete or street lighting. Usually used to construct weaponry. Body constantly discharges ionic energy, which has been used by City Smasher for defensive purposes. D.A.T.A. believes City Smasher could be far more powerful, due to the nature of psionic matter manipulation, however City Smasher is limited by his below average imagination.
Notable Encounter: City Smasher's finest hour occurred when he managed to invade the Zig, hoping to break out hundreds of Skulls, Hellions, Outcasts, and Warriors. He planned to create his own faction to vie for control of the city's gangs. These future "Avalanches" were to be City Smasher's army, bringing him on par with the likes of Lord Recluse himself (or so City Smasher thought).
While he was able to cause massive structural damage to the Zig, and hundreds of gang members escaped, City Smasher's plans did not go quite according to the mental blueprint City Smasher had. The gang members fought each other, trying to use their rivals as means of escape. No one would follow City Smasher himself, they merely took advantage of the chaos he had caused.
Ulixes was able to bring City Smasher in, and all told, only a handful of gang members escaped. It was the closest City Smasher has come to being classified as a major threat. For all his power, City Smasher's ability to carry out complex plans has limited his noterity.
Ulixes's original rival, this Chinese femme fatale played many games of cat and mouse when Stephen Jones worked for the CIA. Though many of their missions were at cross purposes, not all were. Occasionally they were ordered to work together to undermine global threats to security. Rumors persist to this day they were once more than rivals or friends, but neither Ulixes nor Water Snake have commented on any alleged romantic relationship between them.
Current Whereabouts: Presumed mainland China
Powers: Olympic level athlete; master of hand to hand combat, traditional Chinese weapons, hi-technology combat; world class espionage agent
An extraterrestrial terrorist only concerned with converting all living beings to the worship of his 'god' the so called 'Undying Light of Desolation'. Before the Rikti invaded Earth, Zhultaar tried to claim it for his 'god'. Five times the alien has come to Earth and five times Ulixes has thwarted his plans. Never able to capture the alien for an extended period, Zhultaar regularly escapes back to the depths of space to conquer other worlds. Ulixes is ready for the next time Zhultaar returns; he's a different hero now and he's looking forward to the look on his enemy's face.
Current Whereabouts: Deep space
Powers: Cosmic energy manipulation, Class 100 Strength, increased durability, can survive the vacuum of sapce, flight
A soviet-era super villain and one of the most dangerous that Ulixes has ever faced. Originally a KGB agent, Vladimir Petrovich volunteered as a test subject for the USSR's super soldier program. After being transformed into a living nuclear reactor, Petrovich rebelled against his superiors and began to plague the world at large.
Analysts believe this Soviet experiment may be tied to the Nuclear 90, though this has never been confirmed. The Living Reactor attempted to destroy the United States Government many times, and regularly freelances for global terrorists. His favorite target has been Terra Volta, for obvious reasons. Ulixes has managed to stop him, though each encouter sees the Living Reactor's power becoming more potent and volitile.
Current Whereabouts: - Presumed dead during Rikti War. The Living Reactor had attempted to assimilate the radioactive core of the Rikti Mothership. His body was never found and he has not resurfaced since.
Powers: Living nuclear reactor capable of absorbing and manipulating all types of radiation for a variety of uses, including blasts, flight, and healing.
At first glance, Cryo-Flash is the least powerful threat ever faced by Ulixes. A mutant with the ability to absorb heat, Cryo-Flash is a former member of the Outcasts gang. Breaking off to pursue his own financial wealth, Cryo-Flash has been a persistent thorn in Ulixes's side. Cryo-Flash's biggest advantage is his lack of a megalomaniacal ego. Always willing to cut and run, Cryo-Flash has eluded Ulixes more than any other villain, simply because Cryo-Flash would rather live to steal another day.
Current Whereabouts: Unknown
Powers: Psionic ability to dispel and absorb heat, resulting in the ability to freeze matter, living and unliving alike.