The Legion of Super-Villains

Created by Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan
Lightning Lord •  Saturn Queen • Cosmic King

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Historical, mentioned (adult): Superboy v.1 #86 (January 1961).
First appeared (adult): Superman v.1 #147 (August 1961).
Teen, canonical/current: Adventure Comics #372 (Sept. 1968

+ History

The Adult Legion of Super-Villains

There are two distinct Legions of Super-Villains, one which is considered "official," or canonical to the original Legion timeline, and one which is considered to have been an "alternate version" of that timeline. The "alternate" LSV is considered so because they made all their appearances in the "Adult Legion" series of stories which first appeared in Superman #147 (1961) and continued sporadically through 1967. These adventures all happened in Superman's time, not Superboy's. It's safe to say they were from a parallel universe, and were destroyed with the first Crisis, as the Superman/Batman arc suggests. (Though the adult Saturn Queen still survives.)

The reason the adult LSV and Adult Legion are considered so questionable is that they depicted events in the Legion's future that never did come true, or seemed unlikely to occur as Legion history unfolded: the Adult stories predicted that Ayla Ranzz (Light Lass) and Brin Londo (Timber Wolf) would marry, and that Quantum Queen would become a Legionnaire; and that the Legionnaires would all change their names to "Man" or "Woman." Some Adult Legion predictions did come true: the marriages of Cosmic "Man" to Night Girl and the deaths of Chemical King and Reflecto.

+ The Alternate-Timeline/Adult LSV

Superman meets the adult Legion of Super-Villains. From Superman #147 (1961).

This Legion of Super-Villains was formed a decade after the Legion of Super-Heroes, when the LSH had grown to adulthood. They were:

Cosmic King, Laevar Bolto of Venus. Bolto was an inventor who discovered a ray that would transmute elements. He accidentally stumbled into the ray's path and was imbued with this ability himself! Excitedly, he took this discovery to his planets governors, but was cast out. You see, transmutation was considered evil, natch.

Lightning Lord, the admitted brother of Lightnitng Lad, Mekt Ranzz. Mekt shared the same super-origin as his twin siblings Garth and Ayla. On the planet Korbal, they were attacked by lightning beasts. The attack left them not dead, but with the power to weild lightning themselves.

And Saturn Queen, Eve Aries of Titan. Eve grew tired of the idyllic crime-free life on Saturn's moon. She ventured out in search of adventure and quickly settled into a life of crime with the LSV. Like all on Titan, she had formidable telepathic abilities. NOTE: Later tales reveal that Saturn Queen was a young woman from the teen Legion's era, and had been coerced into working with Lightning Lord and Cosmic King. It is unclear whether any of her appearances were actually the adult Saturn Queen, from the adult Villains' era.

Their first recorded caper involved the manipulation of Douglas Nolan, the twin brother of the deceased Legionnaire, Ferro Lad. Nolan, who was under the mental domination of the Villains, attacked on their behalf. When the adult Legion and Superman freed Nolan of this control, the villains retreated to plot again. (Adventure #354) They returned with reinforcements, new members Echo and Beauty Blaze. This team of five was quite formidable, but the Legionnaires were rescued by benevolent 30th-century descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk. (Adventure #355)

The Villains ultimately concluded that they were doomed to failure against the adult Legion of Super-Heroes, and took their crimes into the timestream instead. Their subsequent campaigns mostly included attempts to conquer the 20th century, during the time of Superman.

In Superboy's time, the young Lex Luthor once speculated that "if a Legion of Super-Heroes will exist centuries from now... then a Legion of Super-Villains probably exists in the future, too!" He vowed to one day contact them to help him destroy Superboy. (Superboy v.1 #86) A decade later he eventually succeeded. After Superboy had become Superman, and Luthor had grown into his biggest enemy, Luthor succeeded in contacting the three original Villains, who agreed to help Luthor with a plan to defeat Superman. (Superman v.1 #147)

But Superman called in his own reinforcements: the adult Legion of Super-Heroes. Superman won this battle by cueing into something that Saturn Woman said: that her life of crime had begun only after she left Titan. Superman took a guess and moved some of the debris from Saturn's rings to Earth. Eve was miraculously rid of her evil urges, and turned on her teammates. She vowed to return to Saturn and reform. NOTES: The Super-Villains in this case told Luthor that they were from the 21st century, but then Lighnting Lord went on to say he was Lightning Lad's brother. The LSV made their next appearance in one of Superman's dreams. (Action #286) There were even a few early LSH appearances in which they claimed they were from the 21st century. (Action #287)

Without Saturn Queen, the remaining Villains filled out their ranks with two new members: Chameleon Chief and Sun Emperor. This time they were defeated by Supergirl, with help from Jimmy Olsen. (Jimmy Olsen #63) The next time they returned, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and the LSV attempted to brainwash Jimmy into killing Superman. (Jimmy Olsen #87)

   
Beauty Blaze •  Echo • Chameleon Chief •  Sun Emperor

The Legion's trophy gives Superman the clue to defeating Mr. Mxyzptlk. The adult Legion of Super-Villains appears on the scene to gloat, but the villains flee when they realize they may be injured. (Action #583)

Why were the Legion of Super-Villains so persistent in their attempts to invade the 20th century, despite their repeated failure? Perhaps it was because during the so-called "Crisis on Infinite Earths," they got a glimpse of their own fate. When the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wave swept across the multiverse, all time periods collapsed on top of one another and the LSV found themselves battling alongside the 20th century's Lex Luthor and Brainiac in an army of super-villains. (Crisis #9) Surely this must have been an eye-opening experience for Lightning Lord and Cosmic King. They witnessed the fragility and near destruction of their own timeline from ground zero itself. As a result, did they redouble their efforts?

+ The Latter-Day Adult LSV

   
Lightning Lord • Saturn Queen • Cosmic King

Whatever the motivation, their final plan was specifically designed to ensure the survival of their own timeline. To this end, the adult Legion of Super-Villains made one last appearance in the distant past. Somehow they concluded that in order for their own timeline to survive, they would need to dramatically alter past events. This time Lightning Lord and Cosmic King brought Saturn Queen back into the fold and traveled to the 20th century — to murder the parents of Batman and Superman and raise the heroes as their own. (Superman/Batman #14)

The Legion of Super-Parents. From Superman/Batman #14 (2005).

They also sabotaged and murdered those who were destined to become Earth’s other major heroes — Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Barry Allen, Martian Manhunter. The LSV raised Superman and Batman as their children. While the parents remained mostly in their moon-based home, their mighty sons subjugated the Earth completely. Their reign was eventually challenged by Princess Diana and a band of Freedom Fighters. Diana slayed Batman, and was slain in turn by Superman. Batman's death set the LSV's carefully executed time-tinkering into a spin. (#15)

Following this new change to the timestream, Superman and Batman began reliving their deaths throughout numerous realities. In one of these realities, Superman and Batman met Metron, Darkseid, and an alternate Superman (from the same universe as the LSV). These three convinced Batman and Superman of the truth — that their “parents” had orchestrated their entire existence for their own ends. The only way to stop the time fluctuations was to restore the damage at the source: at the LSV's initial departure from the 31st century.

The Villains were very savvy time travelers, and escaped back into their future to devise a new ploy. Here, the absence of a Batman resulted in Ra's al Ghul's global domination. The LSV allied with Ra's and also summoned their past members Echo and Beauty Blaze to help defend against the return of their "sons." (#17) Superman and Batman were victorious and returned the villains to their proper time—at a moment before their initial departure. There they also met the adult Legion of Super-Heroes, who were waiting to take the LSV into custody.

After the heroes had left, the villains' worst fears became reality. Superman and Batman had succeeded in cementing their own timeline — one which did not lead to the LSV's. As a result of Superman and Batman's efforts, the adult Legion of Super-Villains' timeline gave way to the antimatter wave of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and ceased to exist. (#18)

Ever resourceful, Saturn Queen somehow managed to also survive this "crisis event." Like very few others, she slipped through the cracks when the new multiverse was created, and wound up in the shrunken city of Kandor. There she teamed with another cosmic survivor, Ultraman of Earth-3, to take over the city. They found themselves in conflict with Supergirl, to whom Saturn Queen gave information about the fate of her Kryptonian home, Argo City. (Supergirl v.5 #6-8) Saturn Queen and Ultraman remain at large.

+ Notes

The adult LSH and LSV made one other appearance in Superman's final pre-Crisis storyline, which was billed as an "Imaginary Story." It was Superman #423 (Sept. 1985) — written by Alan Moore — and Action #583 (Sept. 1985). The Superman from this imaginary timeline also appeared in the story arc from Superman/Batman #14-18.

Legion v.2 #300 (1983) paid homage to the Adult Legion stories. In this tale, the Legion watched the dreams of the teen Douglas Nolan, which showed glimpses of possible futures.

The LSV's Superman/Batman appearance brings up an important point for DC continuity — it is totally centered around events that occur during the lifetimes of Superman and Batman. From Superman's perspective, he is constantly encountering strange visitors from the future. And they're different every time. Before the Infinite Crisis, Superman first met a Legion in which Blok was a member. (Superman v.2 #8) Later, he met the original three founders. (Adventures of Superman #476) The next time the Legion came to his era, they were younger, and Lightning Lad was called "Live Wire." (Legion v.4 #85) He will most certainly meet the current Legion as well. What would Superman conclude? That the future is constantly changing based on the course of events taken in his own time period.

+List of Members

Name (Aliases) 1st app. LSV Affiliation Final Status
THE ADULT LSV (from an alternate future)
Cosmic King I (Laevar Bolto of Venus) Superman v.1 #147 Superman v.1 #147 From an indefinite future; status unknown
Lightning Lord I (Mekt Ranzz of Winath)
Saturn Queen I (Eve Ares of Titan) Superman v.1 #147 Active in the 21st Century "Kandor"
Chameleon Chief I (unrevealed) Jimmy Olsen #63 Jimmy Olsen #63 From an indefinite future; status unknown
Sun Emperor I (unrevealed)
Beauty Blaze (unrevealed) Adventure #355 Adventure #355, Superman/Batman #18
Echo (unrevealed)

 

The Canonical, Teen LSV, and Its Kin

Ironically, the canonical Legion of Super-Heroes encountered the canonical Legion of Super-Villains as adults (2976), three years before they encountered them as teens (2979). This group was strangely familiar, with counterparts to the Legion's own founders: Lightning Lord, Cosmic King and Saturn Queen. Allegedly, this group came from "ten years in the Legion's future." They claimed that the Legion in their era was too hard to conquer, so they decided to see if they'd have better luck against a younger, more inexperienced Legion.

Dynamo-Boy
Lightning Lord
Saturn Queen
Cosmic King

On their only recorded excursion into the teen Legion's time (and the only recorded apperance of Saturn Queen), they answered the call of a boy space-pirate — Vorm, the Dynamo-Boy. Vorm conned his way into the Legion, then engineered the expulsion of all other members and named himself leader. (Adventure #330) To fill out the ranks of his new Legion, he began screening for members with villainous potential. From nowhere, the Legion of Super-Villains (Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen and Cosmic King) appeared! Their partnership with Dynamo-Boy was fruitful — too fruitful. They grew jealous of Vorm's success and accolades among his pirate-people. They betrayed him, tricking him into a space ship that stranded him a trillion years into the future. With Vorm gone, the teen Legion returned full-force and sent the Villains packing back to their own era. (Adventure #331)

Not long after this, the Legion met the teen version of the Legion of Super-Villains. These villains were organized by a man called Tarik the Mute. Benno Tarik had been the victim of a stray bullet fired by the Science Police. The bullet left him without a larynx, and embittered towards law enforcement. He formed a school for super-villains and recruited young applicants in much the same fashion as the Legion. When he and his LSV kidnapped Colossal Boy's parents, the Legion sent several members, including its brand new recruits Chemical King and Timber Wolf, undercover to take Tarik down. They met several villains, some of whom would eventually become their most terrible enemies and some who would become allies: Nemesis Kid (a rogue Legionnaire himself), Radiation Roy, Ron-Karr, and Spider Girl. (Adventure #372)

Tarik the Mute
Nemesis Kid
Radiation Roy
Ronn-Karr
Spider Girl

Two years later, in 2981, Lightning Lord took command of the LSV's next incarnation. He recruited the teen Chameleon Chief and Sun Emperor (in addition to Nemesis Kid, Spider Girl and Radiation Roy). (Superboy #208) They were handily defeated. Lightning Lord continued to resurface over the years, (Superboy #172, Legion v.2 #241, 302) but the LSV laid dormant for quite some time.

Chameleon Chief
Sun Emperor

+ The Super Rejects

That same year, a similar group called the Legion of Super-Rejects rose to challenge the LSH. The Rejects were made up of heroes who'd been turned down for Legion membership. Some of these applicants were so incensed that they turned to crime (Esper Lass, Magno Lad and Micro Lad) Others either went on to more productive careers (Calorie Queen), or were never heard from again (Chameleon Kid and Phantom Lad). (Superboy #212)

Calorie Queen
Chameleon Kid
Esper Lass
Magno Lad
Phantom Lad
Micro Lad

The League of Super-Assassins

Likewise, in 2983, the League of Super Assassins was formed by disgruntled teens from the planet Dryad. These teens were manipulated by the Dark Man into believing that the Legion was responsible for the destruction of their homeworld several years earlier. The League—Blok, Lazon, Mist Master, Neutrax, Silver Slasher and Titania—swiftly took out some of the most powerful Legionnaires. (Superboy & the Legion #253) They were defeated by Brainiac 5 and the Legion of Substitute Heroes. (#254) Blok went on to repent and join the Legion. The others later joined in Nemesis Kid's mission.

Lazon
Titania
Silver Slasher
Mist Master
Neutrax
Blok

When at last they returned, the Legion of Super-Villains would boast a membership that finally truly mirrored the Legion in strength and numbers. In 2985, Nemesis Kid began adding considerable heft to their numbers, which included Lightning Lord and other past members. He also recruited the better part of two other groups of Legion foes: the Super-Rejects and the League of Super-Assassins.

The LSV freed the rogue Daxamite, Ol-Vir, from Takron-Galtos; they allied with terrorists Zymyr and Terrus; they recruited the Legion's old foes, The Hunter II and Tyr (Legion v.3 #1); and Nemesis Kid found a promising new ally in Cosmic King of Venus. (#2)

Dream Girl foresaw this epic clash — and the death of a Legionnaire. (#1) But before she could really warn her fellow Legionnaires, the LSV struck hard and fast. They chose the planet Orando for their staging grounds and captured its resident Legionnaires, Projectra and Karate Kid. From there, they began stealing key items from around the galaxy. Earth's polymer shield was erected around Orando and various stolen power sources helped them actually move the planet into another dimension.

The Hunter II
Ol-Vir
Terrus
Tyr
Zymyr

Meanwhile, the Legion had its hands full with a full-scale attack by LSV members freed from the prison planet, Takron-Galtos. But one key attack had unforeseen results. Light Lass was captured and electrocuted by her brother, Lightning Lord. Instead of harming her, the attack restored her original lightning powers. She freed herself and the other captive Legionnaires on Orando. Karate Kid was mortally wounded when he engaged Nemesis Kid, and decided to sacrifice his life to destroy the LSV's dimension-warping equipment. (#4) In retaliation, Projectra killed Nemesis Kid; without their leader and their technology, the LSV was soon defeated. (#5)

+ Post-Infinite Crisis

The following applies to the continuity of New Earth following the Infinite Crisis.

... (Legion of 3 Worlds)

+ Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths

The following applies only to Legion 1.5 continuity—following the Crisis on Infinite Earths. These events are no longer in mainstream Earth-0 continuity.

The adult Legion of Super-Villains had always claimed they were from 10 years in the Legion's future. This could be true in some way. Though undocumented, it is generally assumed that in 2989 (ten years after the teen LSV's first appearance), Lightning Lord and Cosmic King recruited Eve Aries of Titan to join them as Saturn Queen. Eve was actually a member of the royal family of Titan. Her personal mission was to recover her family's Hypno-Stone which was stolen by Universo. Eve hoped that an alliance with the LSV would help her find the Hypno-Stone. These three Villains tried their hand at time travel and joined with Dynamo-Boy and tried to destroy the Legion from a decade prior. (Adventure #330-331)

This was the end of the LSV. After returning to 2989, the LSV found Earth increasingly under control of the alien Dominators. Mekt Ranzz was imprisoned again and began a regimen for criminal rehabilitation on Labyrinth. (Legion v.4 #10) Two years later, he was released and returned to live with his brother on Winath. He never returned to a life of crime. (#3)

Saturn Queen continued on her quest to restore the Hypno-Stone of Ouranos to her family on Titan. She learned that the stone had been stolen by the thief Magpie for Prince Evillo of Tartarus. But because of a disagreement, Magpie hid the stone from Evillo. (Legion v.4 #49) Eve traveled to Tartarus and became Prince Evillo's twelfth wife. As Queen, she had the resources needed to track down the Stone. While there, she also met the former Legionnaire, Tenzil Kem (Matter-Eater Lad). Tenzil was imprisoned by Evillo but escaped and ultimately destroyed his realm of darkness. (#14)

After this, Evillo's power was greatly curtailed and Eve finally found the Magpie's hiding place for the Hypno-Stone. But Evillo was watching. He snatched it from her hands and used it to enslave his world once again. Eve reached out mentally for Tenzil's aid again, and he helped her to overthrow Evillo for good. Back on Titan, Eve's family was on the brink of losing the throne. For her to resume leadership, she would have to marry immediately. For better or worse, she chose Tenzil as her husband. (#50)

Cosmic King's final fate was unknown.

Notes

There was also a large group of villains who opposed the 20th century L.E.G.I.O.N.
» SEE: L.E.G.I.O.N.s of Super-Villains

List of Members

This list reflects only current New Earth continuity.

2nd TEEN LSV FORMATION
Name (Aliases) 1st app. LSV Affiliation Final Status
THE ADULT LSV (from the future)
Dynamo Boy (Jeem Rhetu) Adventure #330 Adventure #330-331 Status unknown
Cosmic King II (Laevar Bolto of Venus) Adventure #331;
as teen:
LSH v.3 #2
Adventure #331, LSH v.3 #1-5 Killed by Variable Lad, Adventure #529
Lightning Lord II (Mekt Ranzz of Winath) Adventure #331;
as teen:
Superboy #147
Adv. #331, 372, Superboy #208, LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
Saturn Queen II (Eve Ares of Titan) Adventure #331 Adventure #331 Active
THE TEEN LSV
Tarik the Mute (Benno Tarik of Earth) Adv. #372 Adv. #372 Deceased Best of DC Digest #24
Nemesis Kid (Hart Druiter of Myar) Adv. #346 Adv. #372, Superboy #208, LSH v.3 #1-5 Deceased LSH v.3 #5
Radiation Roy (Roy Travich of Earth) Adv. #320 Adv. #372, Superboy #208, LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
Ron-Karr of Neptune Adv. #314 Adv. #372, LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
Spider Girl (Sussa Paka of Earth) Adv. #323 Adv. #372, Superboy #208 Active
Chameleon Chief II (Jall Tennuz) Superboy #208 Superboy #208 Active
Sun Emperor II (Nigal Douglous of Earth) Superboy #208 Superboy #208, LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
LEGION OF SUPER-REJECTS (the last three later joined the LSV)
Calorie Queen (Taryn Loy of Bismoll) Superboy #212 Never joined the LSV Active on Bismoll
Chameleon Kid (Toog Lintens of Durla) Status unknown
Phantom Lad (Solon Darga of Bgtzl) Status unknown
Esper Lass (Meta Ulnoor of Titan) Superboy #212 LSH v.3 #1-5 Status unknown
Magno Lad (Kort Grezz of Braal) Status unknown
Micro Lad (Lalo Muldroon of Imsk) Deceased Legion of Super-Villains #1
LEAGUE OF SUPER-ASSASSINS (all but Blok later joined the LSV)
Blok of Dryad Superboy #253 Never joined the LSV Active in the Legion
Lazon (Chey-Nu of Dryad) LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
Mist Master (Yer Sti-Tuan of Dryad) Active
Neutrax (Wi Kan Muur of Dryad) Active
Silver Slasher (Ki-Lan of Dryad) Active
Titania (Titania of Dryad) Active
2nd TEEN LSV FORMATION
Hunter II (Adam Orion of Simballi) Superboy #199 LSH v.3 #1-5 Active
Ol-Vir of Daxam LSH v.2 #294 Active
Terrus LSH v.3 #1 Active
Tyr of Tyrraz Superboy #197 Active
Zymyr of Gil'dishpan LSH v.3 #1 Active
In Legion of Three Worlds, nearly every Legion villain appeared as a member of the LSV, including the likes of Universo and Mordru.
Legion v.6
Akka of Sklar Legion of Super-Villains #1 Legion of Super-Villains #1 (May 2011) Killed by Saturn Queen Legion v.6 #14
Questor (Xart Prax of Colu) Legion of Super-Villains #1 Active
Sun Killer (Kodama of Earth) Adventure #522 (Mar. 2011) Active

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Adult:

  • Action Comics #583
  • Adventure Comics #331, 354-355
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #9
  • Jimmy Olsen #63, 87
  • Justice Society of America v.3 #4 (cameo)
  • Superman/Batman #14-18

Adult Saturn Queen:

  • Supergirl v.4 #7-8

Teen (in continuity):

  • Adventure #372
  • Legion v.3 #1-5
  • Legion v.6 #11-16
  • Legion of Three Worlds #1-5
  • Legion of Super Villain #1
  • Superboy #208
   

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» SEE ALSO:

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