First appearance: Karate Kid #5-6 (Nov. 1976–Feb. 1977)
It is Veterans Day, and Karate Kid and Iris Jacobs are on the sidewalk watching the parade. Without warning, soldiers marching in the parade begin to fire at the crowd! They use the resulting panic to grab Karate Kid, but it isn't him they want ... its Iris. Suddenly, a signal device in Karate Kid's wrist band beeps. He rushes off, leaving Iris in the soldiers' hands.
Ten minutes later, in his West Side apartment, Karate Kid speaks to someone through a floating orb. He is angry because Iris might be killed. The person speaks of rules and a test that Karate Kid agreed to. One rule is to report to the monitor globe whenever the signal coil commands. The person adds that how well Karate Kid overcomes his personal obstacles to follow those rules will weigh heavily in the final judgment.
After finishing his conversion, Karate Kid heads out to try and find Iris. A man posing as an old lady leaves the hero a clue, which leads him to the Empire State Building. There he is attacked by Frederik Sanguine, a.k.a. Commander Blud, and his men. Iris, he learns, was just the bait. Blud wants Karate Kid's knowledge of the future. He has dedicated his life and resources to the art of combat, and now Karate Kid will help him further that dedication by telling him which countries will fight in the next world war. He intends on allying himself and his mercenaries with the losing side! That way, he can help tip the balance of power and prolong the conflict, giving even more men the chance to taste the splendor of battle. Karate Kid is sickened by what he hears.
Blud begins striking Karate Kid, and a battle between the two ensues. Just as it appears Karate Kid has beaten Blud, the villain shoots knockout gas out of his ring. When Karate Kid wakes up, he is bound next to Iris. They are strapped to a machine of Blud's own design. It works on principles of pain tolerance, developed from years of research into brainwashing techniques. Blud is happy to give the hero a little demonstration -- unless he wants to be smart and give Blud the information he seeks voluntarily. Karate Kid replies that Blud's insane plan would not only change history, but wipe out his own future in the process. In response, Commander Blud turns on the machine. The pain causes Karate Kid to snap and go berserk. He breaks free and begins tearing up the room in a rage, attacking all within reach.
Cosmic Boy, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and Princess Projectra arrive just in time to stop Karate Kid from killing Commander Blud. They knock out their teammate, but Blud escapes in the confusion. Upon seeing Projectra tenderly holding Karate Kid, Iris Jacobs leaves.
When Karate Kid awakens, his sanity has returned. The Legionnaires explain that their time-scanners at Legion headquarters detected someone trying to tamper with the timestream. They traced that tampering to this location. Karate Kid is angry that they let Blud escape, a man whose plans could destroy the future. He tells them to leave, but Cosmic Boy says the responsibility for stopping Blud can't be left to one man. Karate Kid storms off.
Projectra is concerned that he is not himself. Cosmic Boy has a feeling that Karate Kid has a deeper reason for coming to the 20th century other than the ones he's told them. They will have to worry about it later though. Right now they need to stop Blud.
Karate Kid is walking down the street, when suddenly he is grabbed by a large robot bird. The bird brings him to an artificial dome under the Hudson River, where he is attacked by Blud's elite cyborg corps. Karate Kid quickly defeats them all. Blud then tells the hero that he has gathered his finest robot warriors along with a fleet of submarines to take them to the site of the next world war, as soon as Karate Kid tells him where it will be.
Blud reveals that he has captured the other Legionnaires. They followed clues he left and fell right into his trap. He states that the force field holding them protects him from their powers, but also enables him to dissipate their mass. Blud activates the mechanism which causes the heroes to begin fading. Blud says they will soon disappear completely if Karate Kid doesn't cooperate.
Karate Kid rushes over to try and help Projectra. When it appears he can do nothing, he agrees to help Blud. Just then, the dome cracks and water begins pouring in. Karate Kid disables the force field and frees the Legionnaires. Suddenly, the crack and water are gone. Karate Kid had in fact whispered to Projectra to use her illusion powers, which were unaffected by Blud's force field. Blud orders his robot troops, Squadron D, to attack and destroy the outsiders, but the Legionnaires easily defeat them. Blud tries to escape in a mini-sub, but Karate Kid captures him.
Projectra asks Karate Kid to come back with them to the future. He says he can't, that his work in the 20th century is not yet done. The Legion time-projector glimmers once more and the four heroes return to their own time.