43 years ago - Werner Vertiz is born the crown prince of Vlatava. He recieves a cybernetic implant to compensate for his deafness.
16 years ago - 27-year-old Werner engineers the death of his father to become king.
10 years ago - 33-year-old Werner Vertiz is deposed by his people. He retreats to America in exile, while his younger sister takes the throne. He goes to Star City where William Tockman pays to alter his implant, granting him broad-spectrum disorientation abilities. He has diplomatic immunity as a royal member of a foreign government, but still regularly clashes with Green Arrow as Count Vertigo as he works with Tockman.
7 years ago - 36-year-old Werner Vertiz's diplomatic immunity is removed and he is finally imprisoned by Green Arrow.
4 years ago - 39-year-old Werner Vertiz's sister dies, leaving his young niece as the new Queen of Vlatava.
3 years ago - 40-year-old Werner Vertiz attempts an assasination of the young queen. He is stopped by the new Green Arrow, and he is again imprisoned.
1 year ago - 42-year-old Werner Vertiz is freed from prison by Gorilla Grodd. He joins the Legion of Doom, having his implants again modified to allow for even broader implementation of his abilities.
DC has literal armies of highly useful villains like Count Vertigo; singular concepts that were designed for stand alone stories and then put into a backlog of characters for different writers and artists to dig out and retool over the decades. In time the characters whose look or design caught those writers attention more often got more attention, and Vertigo is certainly that. While it's only in the last decade or so that he's really been evolved into a character that can carry a story on his own, he's long been recognized for his look, his powers, and the general utility of his design. Still, there IS a complete character in there, and we don't even have to look to hard to find him.
Count Vertigo's Comic History
Count Vertigo is an invention of Gerry Conway, appearing in 1978 in the anthology series World's Finest Comics in a Black Canary story. (alongside a Batman/Superman story called "Invasion of the Deathless Brain") The story was drawn by Trever Von Eeden, and did some very clever things with the panel layout as a way to depict Vertigo's powers. It introduced Vertigo as a more sympathetic character in some ways; his family were the ancestral rulers of a European nation that had fled their country when it was taken over by the Soviet block. He was embarking on a criminal career to recover his families extensive collection of jewels.
From here, the character would appear occasionally a fairly generic baddie until he was brought into the John Ostrander's Suicide Squad. His role in the book started small, but over time developed him into an extremely sympathetic character suffering from manic depression. This part of his character was never really picked up again as he would quickly go back to being a more traditional generic baddie, but as a stand-alone character arc it's really good, just like the rest of Ostrander's work.
Vertigo has become a mainstay of the DC rogues gallery as a whole, and of Green Arrow specifically. He's often adapted into other media as an extremely competent threat against certain types of characters.
Our Count Vertigo Story & Costume
There is a lot of great utility in a character like Vertigo. First of all his powers are just broad enough to really challenge characters of a certain type through an entire story. For the Black Canaries or Green Arrows of the world, he's basically able to take them completely out of the fight. This works in stories where he's the sole villain, but also means he fits into groups of villains exceptionally well. This adaptability even works with his personality; he can be the enemy in low-stakes, single issue stories where he's persuing his own interests, but he can just as easily ally himself with other more powerful baddies for entirely self-serving purposes.
That level of arristocratic arrogance is what makes the character really work. Weirdly, the bulk of Vertigo's comic appearances seem to skip over the most interesting thing about him; his status as deposed royalty. Instead he was usually presented as a more traditional superhero baddy; just a dude with a cape and a reasonably good superpower.
It's in his animated appearances where his backstory is really allowed center stage. He's never just a guy with a cape, he dresses like a color-conscious vampire and behaves much less like a generic comic book vilain and more like a cruel dictator who can actually walk into a place and truely believe he can just do and take whatever he wants.
Those animated stories have even informed the way's we're using him in our timeline. His attempt to murder his niece to reclaim the throne was told twice, once in the first season of Young Justice, and also in the absolutely stellar animated short DC Showcase: Green Arrow, a little story that nails both Oliver and Werner better than they've ever been done in any other format. This is 100% the take on Vertigo we'll be using.
Of course, we also brought him into our Legion of Doom. Vertigo is absolutely a joiner and a great addition to a group threat for a team of heroes.