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In 2009, Omni-Man was ranked as IGN's '93rd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time'. The website cited his charismatic moustache in its ranking.
Omni-Man arrived on Earth in the 1980s, where he eventually adopted the secret identity of a best-selling author named Nolan Grayson. He married a woman whose life he had saved named Debbie, and the two of them produced a son, Mark Grayson. It was later revealed that Nolan was sent to Earth as a conqueror for the Viltrumite Empire, a revelation that was in stark contrast to his previous claims that his presence was to advance human technology and protect the Earth from extraterrestrial dangers. In a confrontation shortly thereafter, Omni-Man beat Mark to within an inch of his life and then fled the planet.
It was further revealed that Nolan had found a new planet over which to rule, in the hopes offsetting some of the consequences of his earthly failure. Nolan's rise to power, however, was entirely peaceful. The custom of the native inhabitants, the Mantis Aliens (an insectoid people who live entirely within a nine month span) was to simply choose the oldest among them to act as their leader. Also, as on Earth, Nolan has taken yet another native wife, Andressa, and sired a second son. The genetic differences between Viltrumites and the mantis-people were more apparent, though, than they were with humans. This caused the child to age much more slowly than his mother's species, but much faster than his father's.
Omni-Man's attempts to appease the Viltrumite Empire ended in failure with his defeat and capture at the hands of his own people. He was held captive in a prison until the Empire was able to send the required Viltrumite executioners. His parting words to Mark were "Read my books, Mark. My books..." In a conversation with his tailor Art Rosenbaum, Mark learns that the books Nolan referred to were not his well-known travel books, but a series of failed science fiction "novels". While Arthur suspected that the stories were Viltrumite folklore, Mark quickly realized that they were in fact first-person accounts of Nolan's own missions to destroy potential threats to the Viltrumite Empire, which could provide the secrets to defeating the Viltrumites.
He's later saved on the day of his execution by Allen the Alien, to whom he agrees to reveal the "secret": Viltrumites are a near-extinct race, with less than fifty pure-blood able individuals left. Emboldened by the incredible strength shown by his ersatz ally, he begins a two-men campaign to eradicate Viltrum's supremacy.