The Controller was born as Basil Sandhurst. As a young child, Basil suffered from meningitis, leaving him bedridden. It was during this time that his true nature was revealed, as Basil desired to control his surroundings as a coping mechanism.
As an adult, he found work as an electromechanical/chemical research scientist, but his obsession with maintaining control of every aspect of his work, combined with steadfast refusal to abide by ethical standards and practices, resulted in his being banned from most legitimate research labs.
His brother Vincent Sandhurst, a lawyer, found employment for Basil at Cord Industries, a competitor and rival business to Stark Industries. While trying to calm one of Basil's bouts of rage, Vincent accidentally cased a lab explosion that scarred and crippled Basil. Wracked with guilt over the incident, Vincent embezzled money from Cord Industries to build his brother a personal automated lab.
Basil would go on to create an exoskeleton that could provide him with the mobility and strength needed to take back control of his own life. Paired with a Mental Wave Absorbatron, the suit was powered by draining and absorbing mental and psychic energies. The Mental Wave Absorbtatron necessitated the use of "slave discs" which, when attached to a person or persons, could broadcast their mental energies (the latent psychic power found in all humans) to the suit. Thus equipped, the Controller proceeded to seek mastery not only of himself, but of the world. His first attempt would be to take over New York City; an endeavor stopped by Iron Man and SHIELD.
The Controller, also known as Basil Sandhurst, is a Marvel comics character and made his first appearance in Iron Man #12 released in 1969. He was created by writer Archie Goodwin and artist George Tuska.
The Controller has not only been a reoccurring Iron Man villain, but has had many confrontations with different heroes throughout the years. He has worked for Thanos, when he fought Captain Marvel and the Avengers; for the Master of the World; and has fought against Heroes for Hire. The character, like many of Iron Man's classic foes, has had his technology updated and improved over time in order to stay relevant with modern ideas and technology.
Major Story Arcs
Having been defeated by Iron Man more than once, the Controller found himself imprisoned. He engineered his own escape by manipulating the minds of his prison guards and transferring himself to a sanitarium. Manipulating the minds of the staff and patients, the Controller rebuilt his Mind-Wave Absorbatron and sought revenge, subsequently being defeated once again by Iron Man. After this time, he encountered Thanos, who gave him Titanian technology with which to upgrade his suit. This allowed the Controller immediate access to those embedded with slave discs instead of relying on the relay from the Absorbitron.
In exchange for this technological upgrade, the Controller magnified his strength and invaded Avengers Mansion. After initially defeating the Avengers and Captain Marvel, a later confrontation with Mar-vell ultimately resulted in the Controller's defeat.
The Controller took part in the first Armor Wars. Recently Basil has joined the Hood's Gang during the Secret Invasion and Dark Reign story arcs where he, among other members of the gang, constantly challange the Hood's leadership.
Powers and Abilities
As a civilian, Basil was and continues to be a highly skilled chemical and mechanical engineer. Initially, the Controller had no superhuman abilities aside from his cybernetic power suit, which not only provided mobility and strength but also added durability in the form of micro-surgically grafted armor. However, the abilities both of and granted by the power suit and Mind-Wave Absorbitron have evolved over time.
Psychic Abilities: The Controller's Mind-Wave Absorbitron and associated slave discs power his suit by draining up to 85% of a victim's mental energy, leaving said victim in a zombie-like state. If the victim has inherent psychic or psionic abilities, these abilities may also be drained, providing more power than a standard mind. Said powers may even be used to a lesser extent by the Controller. Notably the Controller once obtained control of the powerful psychic Sarah Jessup, which allowed him to control the minds of others. In a resulting battle with Iron Man, Sarah was killed. Aside from Sarah, the minds of other psychic/psionics he has absorbed have granted him limited abilities to control weak-willed persons without the use of the Absorbitron, psychokinesis, and telepathy.
Slave discs: Slave discs are needed to power the Controller's suit. Originally they were used via the Mind-Wave Absorbitron, but the technological upgrade from Thanos now allows the Controller to absorb energy directly from a slave disc to his power suit. In addition, slave discs enhance the Controller's domination of victims to the point that he can control an individual's actions. This ability has been shown to work for up to hundreds of people at a time. He can telepathically communicate to anyone wearing a slave disc, and has been shown to be able to co-habit the body of some victims.
Power Suit: The Controller's power suit is an exoskeleton that has been micro-surgically grafted to his body. It provides mobility and enhanced physical attributes in geometric progression to the number of victims wearing slave discs. Among these attributes are the following:
Strength: Under normal circumstances the suit allows the Controller to lift approximately one ton of weight, with all the implications thereof. eg: The Controller can easily beat a normal human to death, throw him into walls, crush metal and stone, etc. At full power the Controller has been known to lift up to 50 tons of weight. The strength associated with this has impressed even Captain Marvel, who once described the Controller's punches as almost enough to decapitate him.
Durability: As an exoskeleton, the power suit provides the Controller with substantial amounts of added durability. While not bulletproof, the suit allows the Controller to brush off many attacks that a normal human would not be able to withstand. In particular, he is strong against blunt force and impact damage. By draining more slave discs, he can enhance this ability, notably in order to withstand full blast damage from Iron Man.
Stamina: The suit is significantly more efficient than normal human musculature, allowing the Controller to work at maximum output for several hours before experiencing fatigue.
Mental Blast: The headpiece of the suit can project a bolts of pure energy, likely converted from the harvested mental energy of his victims.
Flight: While the Controller has occasionally exhibited the ability to levitate, his primary means of flight are a pair of jet-boots built into the power suit. It is estimated that he can fly up to 10 mph.
Molecular Negatizer: This beam weapon once allowed the Controller to slice apart virtually any material by breaking molecules apart.
Miscellaneous Weaponry: The Controller has been depicted as using a variety of added weaponry, including but not limited to image inducers, stun mists, hormonally-modified cyborgs serving as combat drones, and other technology as needed.
Intelligence: As previously stated, the Controller is an experienced and accomplished inventor/scientist specializing in chemical and mechanical engineering.
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 565 lbs.
Iron Man (1994)
The Controller appears in Iron Man's 1994 animated television show appearing in the episode Armor Wars. The character is very similar to his mainstream comic appearances, his slave discs are based on Iron Man technology, which he uses to control people, however he is defeated by Iron Man who uses manages to negate his powers. The Controller is voiced by Jamie Horton.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures (2009)
The Controller appeared in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. He was an A.I.M. scientist who tried to use Tony Stark to create "slave discs" and enslaved his friends. He also took control of the Hulk. Controller is also who activates MODOK, however MODOK, turns on Controller, unconvinced of his dedication to AIM. He is voiced by Michael Kopsa.
Iron Man (2008)
The Controller appears in the video game based on the successful 2008 Iron Man movie as an agent of A.I.M. He is in command of a group that attacks a US military ship in the Arctic. He is defeated by Iron Man.