Alan Varley (originally known as Gold Guardian, and later Commander Varley) is a former member of the Knights and leader of Omega 8. As Gold Guardian, he was well known as a powerful warrior and battle strategist.
Varley was born in 1925 in North Edison, North Carolina. His parents quickly realized that he was growing far faster than the children around him, both in size and intellect. He grew to six feet by the time his was nine, and became a local hero for his strength and physicality. When he was old enough, he signed up for the Marines, hoping to use his abilities to do some good.
In early 1942, after only a year in the Marine Corps, Varley was called into a meeting with Supreme Commander. He was asked to join a new team called the Knights, and was won over by Supreme Commander's enthusiasm. Varley became Gold Guardian, and he fought with the Knights throughout World War II. He eventually became Supreme Commander's closest friend, and they made many plans for the future of the Knights.
After many of the Knights were killed by Crimson Dragon toward the end of the war, Varley found himself unable to cope with the trauma. His depression strained his friendship with Supreme Commander, who was determined to find a place for the Knights to continue. Disillusioned, Varley retired as Gold Guardian and vowed never to fight again.
When the Knights settled in Queen City, Varley moved into town at Supreme Commander's request, but refused to rejoin the team. He took a position with the Montag Corporation as head of their Omega Project, and became the first member of Omega 8, but only as an advisor.