A dangerously disillusioned American dreamer, Larry Ekler was the son of Milton Ekler. In his youth, Milton was a close friend of Reed Richards, who would become famous as a brilliant scientist and as the superhero Mr. Fantastic. Reed was even present for Larry's birth; however, the two friends grew apart after college. Milton had dropped out of State University in his senior year to get married, and when his wife Carol died, he was left to raise his son, Larry, alone. Uncomfortable with his friend Reed's growing success, the financially struggling Milton became increasingly distant and Reed eventually lost touch with him. Over the course of twenty years, Milton worked a grueling factory job to provide for his son, but he never lost faith in the American dream of success and he encouraged his son to believe in it, too. After Milton died in such extreme poverty that they could not even afford a proper funeral, Larry snapped. Declaring himself the enemy of success and elitism, and styling himself the champion of the common people, he became the masked swordsman known as Everyman.
Zeitgeist was created by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck and first appeared (as Everyman) in Captain America Vol.1 issue 267 (1982).
Major Story Arcs
Everyman: A Hero for the People?
Operating out of Hell's Kitchen in New York, Everyman attracted followers, and his influence grew when he publicly challenged establishment figure Captain America to a duel at the Statue of Liberty; however, while making his televised challenge, Ekler had killed the policeman who tried to arrest him.Increasingly unstable, he broke down during his losing battle with Captain America and admitted how he secretly yearned to be a big man, taking one of his own followers hostage until Captain America finally subdued him.
A Change for the Worse
Reed paid for Ekler's psychiatric treatment, unaware that the institutionalized Larry was secretly falling under the influence of corrupt psychiatrist Dr. Faustus, who was then allied with the neo-Nazi National Force. Armed with power-draining "Absorbascann" and wearing a blank-faced mask, Larry was sent out on a rampage as Everyman, battling Spider-Man and Mr. Fantastic until his "uncle Reed" forced him to realize how badly his device was harming the common people around him. Overcome by remorse, Larry fled; however, Faustus soon used the National Force's resources to train and outfit Ekler as the South American hero-killing assassin Zeitgeist.
Becoming Zeitgeist and Death
Zeitgeist began killing Brazil's hero Captain Forsa and reportedly murdered over a dozen other South Americans such as Bandera, Condor, Defensor, Ojo Macambra and Zona Rosa. Meanwhile, Faustus had Zeitgeist infiltrate the German superhero team Schutz Heiligruppe.When Schutz Heiligruppe was called to Buenos Aires to investigate the racial motivated super-hero slayings, Zeitgeist secretly killed his own teammate Blitzkrieger. He next targeted retired American hero Angel, who was hosting a party for fellow Golden Age heroes who had fought against Nazis during World War II. Zeitgeist killed Angel's brother, tricked Captain America and Schutz Heiligruppe leader Vormund into fighting each other and hoped to pick off Angel's guests one by one, but Captain America exposed him. When Ekler tried to escape, Vormund redirected Zeitgeist's blade into Ekler's heart, killing him.
Powers and Abilities
Larry Ekler was a passionate but relatively unskilled unarmed combatant and swordsman. Though mentally unstable, he could be charismatic and persuasive when lucid. Ekler wielded a fencing foil which fired lethal electrical blasts. His "image projector" belt generated holographic illusions which altered his appearance or made him appear invisible. His time-shifting camera produced prints of photographs he was about to take in the near future (for instance, photographing the deaths of his victims before they happened). As Everyman, Ekler briefly wielded the Absorbascann, which absorbed strength from everyone in its general vicinity and fed that strength into Ekler, enhancing his natural abilities to superhuman levels; however, if the device was used for too long, it ran the risk of fatally draining its victims.