|SONAR I (Bito Wladon)||BIOGRAPHY|
|Created by John Broome and Gil Kane|
Real Name: Bito Wladon
Occupation: Ruler of Modora
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: grandfather, father, mother (all unnamed); possible son
Base of Operation: Modora
Weight: 168 lbs.
First Appearance: Green Lantern Vol. 2 #14 (July 1962): "The Man Who Conquered Sound!"
Creators: John Broome and Gil Kane
Bito Wladon, a native of the tiny European nation of Modora, became the super-villain Sonar to take control of his homeland and get it on the world map. Using advanced sound-mastering technology (including a powerful "tuning-fork gun", Sonar battled Green Lantern on several occasions. Eventually, Sonar managed to become the ruler of Modora, as which he was defeated by the Elongated Man. Still later, Sonar mentally controlled members of the Rocket Red Brigade, the Justice League, the Justice Society, the Global Guardians, and a horde of super-villains to gain control over big parts of Russia and Europe. He was once again defeated by the Elongated Man and the Justice League. Sonar had a weak spot for Elongated Man's wife Sue Dibny, and even proposed marriage to her.
Nestled in the mountains of south eastern Europe lies the tiny Balkan nation of Modora. With a population of four hundred, Modora was relatively unknown to the rest of the world and subsited on the wool of peculiar brown sheep only found in that small area. Modora was sealed off from the rest of the world by Fando the Mad, a leader who believed Modora should be frozen in its past. He burned bridges and barricaded roads to the outside world while maiking all decisions for his countrymen. One man, Bito Wladon, was determined to change that.
Wladon's parents were deaf, which was a mark of Satan to the superstitious Modorans. By Modoran beliefs, they were not to be killed or hurt, they were to be shunned. Young Bito was a pariah as well, even though he could hear, he was the son of deaf parents. The cruel actions of his community built resentment towards his parents and the outside world. Bito Wladon would hide from the rest of the world in a barn, in which he one day discovered a cache of books, hidden by his peddler grandfather against the orders of Fando.
Bito Wladon became an apprentice to a clock maker, while he secretly embarked on a brilliant career working on the mastery of sound. By using an invention of his, the "nucleo sonic motor" which could use any sound source to power it, Wladon discovered he could nullify gravity or concentrate sound as a destructive force. As talented as he was, Wladon used sound as a means to an end. His fanatic patriotism to Modora had made him a dangerous man. Believing the greatest nations on Earth were also the most powerful, Wladon chose to make Modora great by supplying it with the "nucleo-sonic bomb," a weapon based on supersonic energy.
Unfortunately, his homeland was not technologically advanced enough to support his efforts. Wladon was slipped out of Modora for the United States. Many of the items he needed were classified equipment. Wladon would lead a life of crime to get the resources for his sonic weapons. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #14, Justice League Europe #48
Wladon designed a regal, military costume to befit the future of Modora. When he appeared in the United States, the media dubbed him "Sonar" because of his mastery of sound.
Returning home from a cosmos-wide meeting of the Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern of Earth Hal Jordan visited the nation of Modora to get a stamp for Tom Kalmaku's stamp collection. The emerald warrior was surprised to discover Modora was so small it did not have a post office. Modorans were within walking distance of any of their fellow citizens. While he was searching for a stamp, Green Lantern learned of Bito Wladon from the clockmaker and returned to the United States as soon as possible.
Sonar knew of the hero of Coast City and was prepared for their encounter. A punch thrown into thin air sent out a concentrated burst of supersonic waves that knocked out the ring wielder.
Despite his victory, Sonar was still disturbed by Modora's lack of representation in the media. He needed one more robbery to gain the components to his nucleo-sonic bomb. Sonar prepared for his next skirmish with Green Lantern by creating a tuning fork gun. The odd looking weapon used super sonic vibrations tuned to human brain waves to create mental effects in a target.
Sonar's tuning fork gun made Green Lantern see everything as yellow. The sudden change acted on his willpower, weakening him. Green Lantern believed he could not act, as the world was yellow and therefore could not be affected by his power ring. It took tremendous effort for the emerald gladiator to remove the illusion from his mind.
Sonar traveled east, crossing the Atlantic on his way home to Modora. He did not realize his tuning fork gun left a faint trail of radiation the ring wielder could track. Green Lantern's ring created a waterspout to defeat his foe.
Though he was stripped of his weapons and stolen technology and then imprisoned, Sonar was proud his exploits had made newspapers all over the world. The people of Modora showed their gratitude to Green Lantern by creating a Modoran postage stamp for the hero which he in turn gave to Tom Kalmaku. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #14
Fando knew Sonar was a threat to his power, but Wladon appealed to Fando's greed and fear and soon came to believe Sonar would help him keep his power. -Justice League Europe #48
Weeks later, Sonar was released from prison by a legal loophole. Using an old Modoran law, Sonar was granted his freedom due to his help in the annual harvest.
Fando hired Sonar to build a sonic arsenal, but Sonar then used the opportunity to take over the Modoran military. Sonar was enraged by newspaper reports which focused on the Soviet Union and the United States. There was no mention of his beloved Modora. Instead of taking on the entire world, Sonar decided to start out small by adding neighboring Granaco to Modora. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #19, Justice League Europe #48
He met with his highness Casino De Granaco and laid out his plan to the monarch. Sonar wanted to combine the two tiny nations of Granaco and Modora into one small country. Needless to say, De Granaco would not be content as an assistant to Bito Wladon. Sonar was unceremoniously kicked out of Granaco. Despite his brash action, De Granaco was concerned for his nation's safety. He contacted Green Lantern through Tom Kalmaku.
Green Lantern arrived in Granaco in time to defend the tiny nation from the villain. Sonar once again used his tuning fork gun on the ring wielder. Green Lantern was able to dissolve the mental images created by the tuning fork gun. A sudden problem with his power ring prevented Green Lantern from pursuing Sonar.
The emerald warrior stayed to protect the Grand Palace of Granaco while Sonar plotted their next battle. Realizing Green Lantern was standing between him and the greater glory of Modora, Sonar improved his tuning fork gun. Sonar made his way back to Granaco, observing his fellow Modorans. Though he thought for a moment he was doing too much for his nation, he had already chosen his destiny.
Once more, Green Lantern found his ring had failed him. The supersonic vibrations of the tuning fork gun shattered the emerald gladiator into pieces. Sonar was startled to see a bubble of green energy envelope his foe and restore him. Protected by the emerald power, Green Lantern was able to punch out his Modoran enemy.
Green Lantern would later learn the momentary failures of his power ring were due to the dense radiation of a "cosmo-storm" surrounding the Earth. Fellow Green Lantern Tomar-Re of Xudar had been attempting to warn Jordan of the strange effects the storm would have on his power ring. It was Tomar-Re's messages which gave Jordan the idea of having the energy bubble near him during the fight with Sonar. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #19
Later, Sonar became an unwitting puppet in a fight between Hector Hammond and Green Lantern. Hector Hammond planted a suggestion in Green Lantern's mind to learn how he would defeat the master of sound. Once Hammond had his answer he was ready to guide Sonar to victory.
Adding his mental power to Sonar, Hammond was able to effect an escape for the Modoran villain. Sonar never learned of Hammond's involvement, but he had the odd feeling he knew exactly what Green Lantern would do.
Green Lantern encased himself in a vacuum rendering the sonic weapon useless. Sonar was unable to harm Green Lantern with sound so he used electro-magnetic waves to heat the power ring and force the hero to take it off. Before he did, though, Green Lantern willed the ring to take Sonar's weapon from him. The tuning fork gun was still vibrating from Sonar's last shot and left Green Lantern temporarily vulnerable. With his hands protected by the abestos material in his glove, Sonar was able to take the power ring for his own uses. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #25
To Be Continued...
For a definitive list of appearances of Sonar in chronological order click here
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #21 (November 1986)
Who's Who in the DC Universe #5 (December 1990)