Werner Vertigo (Count Vertigo)

Count VertigoNew episode of Arrow this week, new character: The Count, portrayed by Seth Gabel. The Count is a drug dealer who sells a substance named Vertigo: add up the names, and you have Count Vertigo, the comicbook villain the characters is based on. In the episode Vertigo, The Count is the boss of a drugdealers gang, who received his nickname from the marks left on the neck of his first clients: the signs left, in fact, looked like the ones from a vampire’s bite, and that’s where the “Count” comes from. In the comics, Vertigo is an actual count, and he surely doesn’t deal with drugs, even if the substance’s effects in the show reflect in some ways his powers from the comics. Let’s see together.

Werner Vertigo was the last descendant of the royal family of Vlatvia, a small Balkan country that was absorbed by Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Soviets didn’t care much of traditions and history, and, once Vlatvia became officially part of the Union, they proceeded to erase its monarchy, ordering the arrest of the Vertigos. The noble family was forced to flee to England, where they sold everything that they could take with them of their belongings during the escape. With the countvertigocomics1small fortune resulting from it, they managed to live comfortably, even if their honor was still offended by what happened back in Vlatvia. Young Werner was risen in a mood of decadence and thirst of retaliation, against the ones who robbed the Vertigos of their rightful place in the world, and against the world itself, which didn’t recognize their nation anymore. Since infancy, Werner suffered from a genetic ear defect, a hereditary flaw that affected his balance; his family invested part of its money to build for him a special device that, implanted in his temple, compensated the deficiency and solved the problem. A child gifted with a great intelligence and an innate curiosity, Werner, once grown up, started toying with his implant, and, passing the time disassembling and then fixing it, he found a way to use it on the people around him, distorting their perception and affecting their balance, so that they couldn’t tell up from down anymore, in other words, causing vertigo. Intrigued by this discovery, Werner took it as a sign that he was the one meant to rebuild the Vertigo family, and passed some years in perfecting his device, making it also able to affect machines, interfering with guidance systems, detection systems, and even all kind of vehicles, thus creating some kind of electronic vertigo. He also developed magnetic boots, that allowed him to walk over ceilings and walls, increasing the disorientation of anyone looking at him; reversing the charge, the boots also allowed him to fly.

When all the preparations ended, Werner Vertigo started his mission of rehabilitation of his family, of which he was the last living member. First of all, he looked for the jewels his parents had sold once arrived in England. He tracked them in Star City, a big American city, and he decided to steal them back for his honor’s sake: he would never have payed for having something that was his by right. Once in Star City, anyway, he was stopped by Green Arrow and Black Canary, with the latter overloading his implant with her sonic Canary Cry. Vertigo was sent to prison, meditating vengeance. Thanks to his intelligence and his infinite resources, he broke out several times, always trying to save his honor by taking his revenge against the heroes who sent countvertigocomics2him to jail. It didn’t pass much time for him to remember what his real purpose was, so he came back to his original aim. He arrived to use his powers to divert some nuclear missiles, using them to treath the Soviet Union trading Moscow for Vlatvia’s independence. Once again, Green Arrow stopped him, and handed him over to Soviet authorities. Soviets, anyway, had other plans for Vertigo, and sent him back to the States to kill a rich business man; once again, he was stopped by the Arrow. When the Soviet Union fell, Vertigo finally came back to his homeland and tried to take back his place as the rightful king; however, another pretender stood on his path, Kaligari, self-proclaimed ruler of the new Vlatvia. The clash between the two resulted in a bloody civil war, that went on for months. Everything changed in Vertigo’s life when Jim Corrigan, who had become the cosmic being known as The Spectre, looking at Vlatvia’s situation of war decided that the country was far too wicked and corrupt to hope for redemption, and erased it with a massive explosion. Only Vertigo and Kaligari survived the destruction, since the Spectre wanted to see if they would have continued to fight over a wasteland. From that moment, Count Vertigo changed his way of living, and even reformed, joining Amanda Waller‘s Checkmate and working with the former-villains-composed team Suicide Squad.

Werner Vertigo is a proud man, with a deep belief in tradition and old values. He truly loves his people and his country, and considers himself the savior and protector of Vlatvia, following a mission destined to him from heavens. As Count Vertigo, he’s a dangerous and unpredictable opponent, able to disorient anyone with his balance-affecting devices. He’s a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, who can master many martial arts, and, thanks to his aristocratic education, he’s also a matchless fencer. He has some skills in equestriantism too.



  1. […] catch also international-level criminals such as Catwoman, Captain Cold, The Penguin or even Count Vertigo, who theoretically enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The Manhunter cult kept targeting him, especially […]

  2. […] Only a personality such as Waller’s one could bend the wills of criminals such as Deadshot, Count Vertigo, Dr. Light, Poison Ivy, Bane and many others, and in this sense Amanda is the most suitable […]

  3. […] Sorrow recruited Adam Fells in his new formation of the Injustice Society of America, along with Count Vertigo, Blackbriar Tom, Killer Wasp, Tigress and the second Icicle: Sorrow led his team to an all-out […]

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