- "You're like my father; weak. Vandal Savage has taught me many things, including what a killer looks like. You're not a killer."
- —Per Degaton to Rip Hunter[src]
Per Degaton (c. 2133–2152) was the future ruler of the Kasnia Conglomerate, a country-corporation that rose to power following the dissolution of traditional governing bodies during the 21st century. He killed his father at the behest of his tutor, Vandal Savage, who later used Per to unleash the devastating Armageddon virus and kill billions of people.
Per was born to Tor Degaton, the ruler and leading shareholder of the Kasnia Conglomerate, around the year 2133. Tor attempted to teach Per to be benevolent and merciful, knowing that his son would one day inherit his shares and thus control of the Conglomerate; however, the elder Degaton mistakenly hired Vandal Savage as Per's private tutor, apparently unaware of his immortality or thirst for power. Over the years, Savage became a high-ranking adviser to the Conglomerate's leadership, all while privately filling Per's head with violent aspirations and mistrust in his father. Per, meanwhile, was in awe with the breadth of knowledge that his tutor displayed, and soon trusted Savage completely.
Events of 2147
After he and his team arrived in 2147 via time travel, Rip Hunter, with assistance, kidnapped Per while he was being escorted by guards to one of his lessons. Though Per was rendered unconscious and taken aboard the Waverider, Rip and his team discovered that their actions had no significant impact upon the timeline; Rip, out of desperation to save his son Jonas from Savage, took Per aboard the jump ship and away from the Conglomerate, planning on murdering the child in the hope that doing so would alter the future. When Per finally awoke, Rip took him to a secluded lake, where he pulled his gun on the youth. Per, however, believed that Rip was incapable of killing him, proudly stating that Savage had taught him what the eyes of a killer looked like and that the Captain lacked the drive to pull the trigger. Ultimately, Per was right, and Rip reluctantly returned him to the Conglomerate, warning the boy that he was being manipulated by Savage. By the time they returned to the Waverider, the ship was under siege by Kasnian forces led by Tor and Savage in an attempt to rescue Per. Though Savage managed to disarm Sara and threatened to kill her, Rip was able to save her life by exchanging her for Per, along with a promise from Tor that his team would have safe passage to leave the Conglomerate. Per, convinced by Savage that this was yet another sign of his father's weakness, was coerced into assassinating Tor in his sleep, after which he inherited his father's shares and appointed Savage as regent until such a time as he was ready to rule himself. As a result, Savage was able to release the Armageddon virus five years earlier than was possible in a previous timeline, just days after Rip and his team left the era.
Start of World Conquest and Death
After the Armageddon virus outbreak has decimated the world's population, Per Degaton, with the tutelage of Vandal Savage, started a grand campaign of world conquest. In 2152 Per Degaton was betrayed and murdered by Vandal Savage, who usurped Per Degaton's control over what was once Kasnia Conglomerate completely and continued his conquest of the world. Fourteen years later some people, like Cassandra Savage, would come to believe that Vandal Savage was a savior of the world from Per Degaton's tyranny and the wanton use of the Armageddon virus, rather than a man complicit in the outbreak.
Per Degaton is easily manipulated young man, willing to listen and believe everything Vandal Savage told him. Due to Savage's influence, he became a ruthless and immoral, but also unafraid, and capable of reading people. He was able to determine that Rip Hunter is not a killer. Vandal eventually turned him into a killer, when he manipulated him to kill his father. In the end, Per Degaton was also gullible; he didn't see until it was too late that the man who tutored him would eventually betray him, even though the Legends had warned him Savage would betray him eventually.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In the DC Comics of the 1940s, Per Degaton is a time-traveling enemy of the All-Star Squadron and the Justice Society of America, as well as their children and successors, Infinity Inc.