Michael Desai, commonly known as the Outsider, was born in 1960. He is the only survivor of a massive sinkhole that destroyed the Indian city of Chandigarh. The cause of the three-mile wide sinkhole is unknown (presumably it was Desai himself who caused the destruction) but it killed tens of thousands of people, leaving Desai orphaned. Much like his entire biography or the extent of his powers, his birthname is unknown, as Desai is the name given to him by an orphanage that he ran away from at age six. He has a fondness for suits and gets very angry - to the point where he kills someone over it - when his suit is ruined or otherwise dirtied.
Through means unknown, Desai has managed to accumulate considerable wealth. He engages in many business ventures, not all of them legal. The profits he's made, he has turned into a massive, multinational operation that is not bound by law and morals. He has his own private army that also has little regard for national and international law and engages in battles worldwide.
However, during his career, Desai has wronged a great many people. During the events of Flashpoint someone is apparently attempting to assassinate him, sending the Rising Sun along with Mister and Mrs. Terrific (who were framed for some unknown crimes and sentenced to five years in Kyoto prison when they discovered Desai's schemes) to do the job. At first, Desai reluctantly accepted Cyborg's offer to join a team of heroes to put end to war between Emperor Aquaman and Wonder Woman but quit when Batman rejected it. In fact, Desai attended this meeting only to track down Blackout whom he has been hunting for a long time for he is the most powerful source of electricity on Earth.
He has made his post-Flashpoint debut in the pages of Justice League of America. He is a member and possibly leader/benefactor of the mysterious and villainous Secret Society. He and Professor Ivo are secretly recruiting villains. Green Arrow attempted to infiltrate their ranks on behalf of the JLA and under Steve Trevor's orders but his cover was blown as The Outsider revealed he knew he was Green Arrow, even in his guise as a villain. Green Arrow was hunted by what appeared to be the original Justice League barely surviving the encounter he managed to make it back to base to warn the others before passing out. While in a coma Martian Manhunter probed Green Arrows mind and discover the area he escaped from and was attacked in. There they discover the Justice League that attacked Green Arrow were actually powerful robotic doppelgangers constructed by, the thought to be dead, Professor Ivo. After destroying the robotic Justice League they discover a shard of stained glass and a shingle belonging to a mansion dating back to the 1800's which had somehow disappeared. The JLA decides to have Catwoman attempt to infiltrate the Secret Society by staging a battle and having her detained in Arkham, where she would easily escape then wait for contact by the Secret Society. Much to her surprise shortly after her escape she is confronted by Signal Man and Blockbuster, goons sent by The Outsider to recruit Catwoman and though instructed by The Outsider to bring her in unharmed Blockbuster knocks her out. She awakens in the usual interrogation/recruitment position other villains and Green Arrow were in but she frees herself to explore the mansion, where she finds a portrait of a man (The Outsider) and she even stumbles across a map of the batcave. While she is doing this the JLA has no idea where she is, their only clue being an unusual coin Green Arrow had previously confiscated in his prior attempt to infiltrate. Discovering the coin emits some sort of signal Amanda Waller has Arthur Light examine the coin in an attempt to pinpoint the origin of the signal, which he does. While the JLA enters the mansion at the same moment Professor Ivo confronts the snooping Catwoman. The team see more robotic Justice League members incomplete hanging from the walls but are ambushed by another Ivo creation, The Shaggy Man but while this is happening Ivo tells Catwoman their leader is waiting for her but she incapacitates him then flees only to be stopped by The Outsider and his goons. Catwoman awakens where she began, The Outsider now knows she is with the JLA and begins to communicate with Dr. Light through the coin so he could hear Catwoman being shot but the coin causes an energy fluctuation and an explosion that empowers Dr. Light. The Outsider instructs his goons to leave Catwomans body on the JLAs doorstep, as he left the room her body regenerates revealing Martian Manhunter shape-shifted to take her place. While Catwoman and Martian Manhunter attempt to detain The Outsider by fighting his pawns the JLA continue to fight Shaggy Man and the remaining Justice League robots. Martian Manhunter and Catwoman confront The Outsider she is knocked unconscious and he welcomes Manhunter to use his telepathy to discover who he is even though he has impeded telepathy in the mansion he says to The Outsider: "Like me, you watched your world die." Moments after destroying the robots And following Ivo the JLA discover the Secret Society has captured Chronos and is using him as their personal teleporter. The JLA flee and The Outsider says: "It was good to see you again J'onn."
The Outsider is next seen watch coverage of the Trinity War. Reports stating Superman has killed a fellow hero to which he comments he is the one pulling the strings and somehow manipulated Superman to kill Dr. Light in order to create the war that will leave the world in the hands of The Secret Society.
The Outsider also revealed to Madame Xanadu that he had a mole in the Justice League who was later revealed to Atomica.
The Outsider subsequently revealed that Pandora's Box which everyone was fighting over was actually from his reality: Earth-3 and is a doorway to another universe which can only be opened from someone form Earth-3. He then opened it allowing for the Crime Syndicate of America to step into the Earth-Prime universe.
Michael Desai, otherwise known as The Outsider, was created by veteran DC Comics writer James Robinson for the Summer 2011 event "Flashpoint". The name "The Outsider", his appearance, and his villainous nature are an homage to a classic 1960's storyline that ran through Detective Comics in which Alfred Pennyworth returned from the dead as the villain "The Outsider" after a scientific experiment gone wrong. The character made his first appearance in Flashpoint #1.
Powers and Abilities
Michael Desai is a skilled businessman and is presumably of high intelligence. He also appears to have metahuman powers, although they're not explained. He has demonstrated super strength with a degree of invulnerability and the ability to control stone statues. Whether or not these powers are a part of his skin condition is unknown.
It is also implied that Desai has the ability to create a massive vortex of destruction that destroyed an entire city when he was born. Whether or not this is actually a power of his is also unknown.