Protector of a city built to be hopeless, and born to fight a god. Aztek is one of those heroes from the 1990s that isn’t well remembered. Seemed like a good time to bring him up and explain this guy who isn’t wearing a starfish on his head. So who is Aztek? Let’s find out!
There once was a man named Emilio, he had an interesting life, he was part of an organization called the Q-Society, a secret and ancient order training vessels who can be possessed by the god Quetzalcoatl. This was so he could fight Tezcatlipoca to save the world like he has in times past. Emilio was trained to be this vessel, but then he found love and ran away with the mother of his child. Sadly, the Q-Society found them and they only let the child survive; this child was named Uno.
Uno would be raised by the Q-Society to be the new vessel, and he would be sent to the strange city of Vanity. This city was literally designed with strange architecture to build a city of hopelessness; the city is known for having a high suicide rate because of it. Uno was given the helmet of Quetzalcoatl, which granted him an array of powers and the knowledge of all those who wore the helm before him.
The first villain Uno would come across is known as the Piper, Doctor Curt Falconer. The criminal had been forced to commit his act because a gang had kidnapped his daughter and blackmailed him to do their bidding. Vanity already had a “hero” of its own, the dangerous Bloodtype; a city of hopelessness breeds a dark hero it seems. Uno is forced to kill Bloodtype when Bloodtype kills the Piper and almost hits others. The people are grateful to Uno for saving the day, and name him Aztek due to his helmet’s design.
Aztek would claim the Piper’s secret identity and go on to work as a doctor; his Aztek training made him pretty much good at everything anyway. He’d befriend fellow doctors, one who would be trusted with Uno’s secret, and another who would turn out to be watching over Uno for the Q-Society.
Aztek would get to help many other heroes and fight a variety of villains. He’d even go on to join the Justice League after proving he was more than capable of helping the team. Uno was already becoming wary of the Q-Society, and this became disgust when he learned one of its biggest backers was Lex Luthor, who wanted Uno to be his inside man on the Justice League. Though he loved helping the team, he couldn’t risk being used in such a way when he realized Luthor had been planning Uno’s entry into the League from day one of his heroic career.
Though he’d quit the Justice League, that didn’t mean he was no longer fighting alongside them. When the villain Mageddon came to threaten the whole world, it was revealed that this was Tezcatlipoca’s latest form, and the time had come for the final battle between Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca. Uno would be blinded, but still able to work with Superman to put an end to Mageddon once and for all; however, he’d die in the process. The Q-Society’s champion had completed his mission and saved the world.
Unlike many heroes and villains who die, Aztek has not been one of the kind who comes back to life. It’s been a long time, so who knows if we’ll ever see another Aztek again. It is a mantle, so maybe we can get a new one, maybe a young woman? Who knows what DC could do with the character. I’d like to see that old helmet around again.
Aztek: The Ultimate Man