|“||I lost my cohort twice; once in life, once in death to a Graecus named Percy Jackson.||”|
Michael was apparently ambitious and chose to pursue his ambitions, against the advice of the augur at the time, who told him the Prophecy of Seven was not for him. He led the Fifth Cohort north to Alaska where his hubris was rewarded with the massacre of the cohort by Alcyoneus. The eagle was lost, along with most of the legion's Imperial Gold weaponry. The Fifth has been regarded as "cursed" since the incident and labelled an outcast by the rest of the legion ever since.
Michael is working for Gaea for a second chance at life. His ghost and others of his cohort attack Hazel Levesque, Frank Zhang, and Percy Jackson. However, Frank frees Thanatos and he sends the ghosts of the former legion back to the Underworld, where they are sent to the Fields of Punishment for all eternity for their treason against the gods.
Michael appears in Odysseus' palace as a ghost brought back by Gaea and tells Jason Grace that he can't leave as someone has come to see him, just before the ghost of Jason's mother Beryl appears. Michael later battles and stabs Jason with an Imperial gold gladius. He is then defeated by Piper McLean and is sent back to the Underworld.
Michael has dark hair and sunken eyes. His tattoo consists of his father's two faces, SPQR, and six lines. His attire includes a Camp Jupiter shirt under ice covered legionnaire armor. He is adorned with a praetor symbol and the fifth cohort emblem.
- Varus means "crooked" in Latin.
- Varus was the cognomen of Publius Quinctilius, a Roman Governor (and overall military commander of the province) of Germania (part of modern day Germany), who lost three legions in the battle of Teutoberg forest, one of Rome's most famous defeats; Michael Varus' name may be a play on this other unfortunate individual.
- Michael Varus is the only mentioned Roman demigod who was at Ithaca when the heroes went there.