In an alternate reality, the Controllers were a civilization of sentient humanoid lifeforms. In this reality, the Controllers were an old species that had branched off of an ancient breed that was the first humanoid inhabitation of the universe. With pale pink skin coloration, the Controllers have pupil-less eyes and glowing orbs on their foreheads and chests.

By this reality's 30th century, the Controllers were noted by the United Planets for their predilection for attempting to control humanoid life, with several previous attempts to police behavior in the galaxy.

In another reality created by a time-distortion, the Controllers were regarded as a danger to the Imperial Planets, a 23rd century organization with an agenda of galactic oppression and domination. The Emperor of the Imperial Planets of Terra gave a speech to his subjects about the Controller threat, how his government had saved Terra by encouraging rivalry between the Controllers and the Organians. With both advanced species involved in complicated negotiations on how to properly assess the need to reign in the empire, neither side would be able to follow suit and police the evil behavior of the Humans. (TOS - Legion of Super-Heroes comic: "Issue 2")

The Legion's universe became crossed with the Star Trek universe due to a time distortion, so it is not clear if there is a Star Trek universe version of the Controllers. In the original DC Comics reality, the Controllers branched off of the Oan civilization, which in turn descended from the original Maltusians, the universe's first humanoids. Their attempts to impose order on the galaxy included the Manhunter androids and the Darkstar law enforcment agency.

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