How Vartox acquired his vast array of psychic powers in not known. He began to use them in order to protect his home planet, Valeron, in the Sombrero Galaxy, 7.5million light years from Earth.
His first great love was Syreena, who proved to be secretly a criminal. Vartox had to arrest and imprison her - the first, but not last, tragedy he would incur. Some years later, Vartox met and married Elyra. They were happy together until her mysterious death. She was somehow linked with a young woman on Earth in Metropolis, who was her bionic twin. When the Earth woman was shot and killed in a robbery by the criminal Frank Sykes, Elyra died too.
Using an invention called the Time-Scanscope, boosted with a shot of hyper vision, Vartox was able to identify Sykes as his wife's murderer. He then mentally projected what would happen if he went to Earth and took Sykes from jail: it would have led to a battle with Superman, ending in the death of Lois Lane.
Instead, Vartox tricked Sykes - who had been released on a technicality- into accompanying him voluntarily to Valeron, where he served a 60 year sentence for murder in minutes. Sykes was returned to Earth by Superman as a decrepit old man.
Tragedy struck again when Valeron exploded. Vartox came to Earth, where Superman set up a secret identity for him as Vernon O' Valeron, a security officer at Galaxy Communications, where he fell in love with Lana Lang, and began a romance that was doomed to fail.
After this, Vartox went in search of a new world to protect, and found Tynola, where he was kept busy fighting menaces. He soon discovered that the menaces were created by the people themselves with a strange chanting power in a plot to secretly fill him with a type of energy that would make it possible to sacrifice him to a space-creature which was the source of their power. With the help of Superman, the thing was sent away for good, and Vartox remained to help the people who truly needed him.
Vartox's first love Syreena had also survived Valeron's destruction and she tried to get revenge on her former lover by attacking Lana Lang. Syreena could not go through with her plans and released Lana at the cost of her own life.
In more recent years, Vartox came into conflict with Power Girl. At first they fought, but it turned out that Vartox wanted Power Girl to help him repopulate and reinvigorate his species. At first she refused, but it turned out that his species reproduces using very different means, and she eventually agreed.
Vartox has appeared in Action Comics. He is a member of Studio 52 as a sports broadcaster
Vartox had his origins in a 1974 film called Zardoz, a critically-blasted science fiction adventure that featured Sean Connery as the lead character named Zed in a costume disturbingly close to the one worn by Vartox.
The post-Crisis, pre-New 52 Vartox exhibited strength, durability, and speed to match Power Girl. He described his powers as ""...freeze breath, the ability of flight, invulnerability, super strength and senses, telekenesis, telepathy and energy projection, astral projection, and the ability to transfer these powers to others."