When he was young, Monty Walsh botched a robbery attempt and was taken to jail, though he pledged to become a honest man once he got out of the slammer. But the Warden of the prison had something else in mind, he planned to turn Monty into one of the best Cat Burglars who ever lived and he did. But even the best of Cat Burglars get old and when he returned to the slammer, the old Warden had been replaced with a newer and far more honest one. When Monty got out, he told him to give up on committing crimes and try to become a model citizen.
But Monty couldn't just leave the life he had lived for so long behind without committing one final heist, one that would make him legendary. So, he decided to steal everything from the safe of a Maggia crime syndicate boss named Guido Carboni. For months, he cased Carboni's apartment and studied the insidious criminal's schedule, he learned that Carboni never left his private-owned club early. But, on the night of the heist, everything went horribly wrong when Carboni decided to come home early for the first time in months.
Monty was quickly discovered hanging from the balcony with a duffel bag full of Carboni's cash and other valuable belongings. Monty tried to apologize for his crime and returned the stolen goods back to Carboni. But, instead of being spared his life, Carboni decided to kill Monty and shot him three times in the chest. Carboni all but forgot the old Cat Burglar's existence as he plummeted to his doom or so Carboni thought, but as Monty's life slipped away, a surge of mysterious power quickly brought him back to life.
It was The Uni-Power that had not only saved him but transformed him into Captain Universe solely for the purpose of bringing Carboni's empire crashing down around his head and free the people of New York City from his tyranny. The newly revived Monty Walsh declared that he would use this power he had been granted to do just that and so Monty set out on a journey to find the primary sources of Carboni's income, both big and small. He began with a place called Auto Wreckers.
Monty discovered that Carboni's men would steal expensive cars and bring them to Auto Wreckers to be stripped of their most valuable, salvageable parts by the mechanics who worked there. Though Auto Wreckers contributed a small amount of income to Carboni's overwhelming amount of wealth, destroying the operations that went on there would still have major repercussions. After scouting the place with the Univision ability, Monty stormed into Auto Wreckers and burned the entire place to the ground.
During his conflict with the goons working there, Monty discovered he could alter his genetic structure and transform his hands into gigantic, razor-sharp claws. Which would prove to be a rather useful ability in the future, Monty continued on his journey after the police caught the goons and used his powers to stop Carboni's goons from selling off stolen TV's and Radios, going around High Schools and selling heroin, threatening restaurant owners to pay them "protection" money and doping other competitors thoroughbred horses in order to win every race.
Many newspapers including the Daily Bugle praised Monty's deeds on the front pages of their publications. J. Jonah Jameson, even praised Monty's efforts while having a discussion with Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, explaining that Monty had proven himself to be a "selfless soldier of decency...unlike that public menace Spider-Man!" to which Parker replied with a sigh. Some members of the NYPD, on the other hand, did not share the public's opinion of "Captain Universe" and considered him to be nothing more than a vigilante.
However, because Monty's actions were bringing the Police closer and closer to finally getting evidence they could use to put Carboni in the slammer, it was decided that they would keep an eye on Monty but not stop him from carrying out his vendetta against the Maggia crime boss. Meanwhile, Monty had set his sights on Carboni's last and largest source of income...The Carboni Club. A place where the rich and famous came to escape the public's all-seeing eyes and have a good time gambling away their cash and drinking their problems away.
On this particular night, New York's Senator had come to check the club out, Carboni's hopes were that he would have such a good time at The Carboni Club that they would be able to get his vote to legalize casinos in the state. But his entire plan went immediately to hell when Monty made his grand entrance and stirred up enough chaos that convinced the Senator that voting in favor of legalizing casino's in the state would be a major mistake.
Carboni attempted to assassinate the Senator but was quickly disarmed by Monty, who left his guests behind to save his own hide, losing their trust in the process. Unfortunately for Carboni, he was unable to get very far before Monty cornered him in his own private office. Just as Monty once begged for his life to be spared, so too did Carboni, but Monty decided on reminding Carboni who he was and that he had sealed his fate the moment he killed Monty.
Though he had been stunned by this shocking revelation, Carboni continued to beg for his life but the only response he was given was Monty's plans for the future. First, he would crush the life out of Carboni, he would then use the Uni-Power to commit crime after crime until he could gain control over all of Carboni's crime rackets and build his own criminal empire from the ashes of Carboni's organization.
However, Monty's plans to use the Uni-Power to create his own ideal future as well as take Carboni's life had extremely offended The Enigma Force, the entity from which the Uni-Power was spawned, who had only given Monty the powers of Captain Universe to bring Carboni's criminal empire to an end. As punishment, The Enigma Force killed Monty by removing the Uni-Power from his body. The Police arrived shortly afterward to find Carboni with a gun in his hand standing before Monty's corpse, which was now sprawled out across the former crime bosses desk.
From the darkness, the unseen Uni-Power watched in cold, deadly silence as the Police carried Carboni off in handcuffs while one of the officers made a remark about the gun having never been fired, which left both officers to wonder what exactly had happened to Monty. The Uni-Power then left the grim scene in search of its next host, while still angry over Monty's betrayal.
Monty Walsh was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Steve Ditko and first appeared in the story "The Big Time" in 1981.
Powers and Abilities
Long before he became Captain Universe, Monty's skills as a Cat Burglar were honed to perfection by the corrupt Warden who ran the prison he had been sent to when he was still a teenager. After gaining the Uni-Power and becoming Captain Universe, these skills were enhanced beyond their normal parameters, making him one of the most effective and powerful "street level" superhumans ever.
In addition to the skill enhancements, Monty was granted the Univision, which allowed him to peal back the layers of reality and see beyond walls and other surfaces. His hearing and speed attributes were increased as well, allowing him to hear what was going on inside the places he had targeted.
He could also manipulate energy into solid constructs, such as ropes, which he would use to cross over places too far for even Monty to leap in his enhanced state. One of his most useful abilities aside from the Univision was Monty's ability to transform his hands into massive claws that could tear through literally anything. The only power not granted to him was the ability to fly, hence why he had to leap across buildings and use energy ropes to swing across wide spaces.