Kid Quantum

+ Proty I + Proty II + The Soul of Antares

Created by Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum
Jazmin created by Tom Peyer, Tom McGraw and Lee Moder

NAME + ALIASES:
James Cullen of Xanthu

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed parents, Jazmin Cullen (Kid Quantum II, sister)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Uncanny Amazers, Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Original: Legionnaires #0 (Oct. 1994)
Legion 2: Legion of Super Heores v.4 #62 (Nov. 1994)

Kid Quantum II

NAME + ALIASES:
Jazmin Cullen of Xanthu

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed parents, James Cullen (brother, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Uncanny Amazers, Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Legion of Super Heores v.4 #82 (July 1996)

History

The best-known Kid Quantum is probably the second, the powerful female Legionnaire Jazmin Cullen, from the "Legion 2" (Earth-247) era of Legion continuity. In that timeline she was preceeded by her brother.

The original Kid Quantum was an invented Legionnaire who was retroactively added to Legion continuity during the Legion v.4 series.

The Legion's Pals, Proty

Proty gives his life to revive Lightning Lad — or did he? From Adventure #312 (1963); art by John Forte.
Proty II as the Weirdo Legionnaire. From Adventure #341 (1966). Art by Curt Swan.

The Proteans of Antares II

In original Legion tales, there were two members of the Protean race who befriended the Legion during their early years. Proty and Proty II hailed from Antares II, and a race of small, amorphous creatures that were blessed with telepathy and shape-changing abilities.

The first Proty came to Earth at a time when their race was regarded as somewhat less than sentient by many. He befriended Chamleon Boy, a kindred spirit since they were both shape-shifters. But even Cham regarded Proty as his "pet." Proty had appeared after the death of the Legionnaire Lightning Lad (Adventure #308), and afterwards he became fond of Lightning Lad's girlfriend, Saturn Girl. When the Legionnaires performed a ritual to revive Lightning Lad, Proty sensed that Saturn Girl was going to sacrifice herself. He tricked her and sacrified his own life instead. (Adventure #312)

Later, a second Protean, Proty II, also befriended the Legion. He joined a group of intelligent animals were asked by the Legion to guard their clubhouse. This Proty underwent a series of trials to prove his worthiness and joined the Legion of Super-Pets. (Adventure #322) It was soon clear that the Protean race was fully sentient, certainly far more intelligent than Earth animals. Like his predecessor, Proty II was selfless and quick to enter dangerous situations. When one of Triplicate Girl's three bodies was slain by Computo, Proty II attempted to distract Computo by posing as the Weirdo Legionnaire. (Adventure #341)

Proty II ultimately found the "pet" designation degrading, and pursued the campaign for equal rights for all sentients. He occasionally still attended Legion events. (Legion v.2 #300)

Kid Quantum (Legion 1.5)

Hiding out on Yal, as "Rouvin." From Legion v.4 #33 (1992). Art by David A. Williams.
Prisoner of Leland McCauley (and his Emerald Eye). From Legion #39 (1993). Art by Keith Giffen.
Restored to glory. From Legionnaires #11 (1994); art by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story.

In post-Crisis continuity, an ongoing subplot in Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 cast the Protean race in a mysterious drama that included a never-before seen Legionnaire called Kid Quantum. Kid Quantum was retroactively inserted into Legion history; he was the savior of the Protean race, known as the "Soul of Antares."

When the Protean race was discovered on Antares II, explorers also found a goldmine of historical relics and scientific knowledge. The Proteans were an ancient race who learned their telepathic and shape-shifting abilities from a master race of galactic "stewards" called the Llorn. The Llorn left imprints of their peaceful reign across the entire galaxy. As eons passed, the Proteans, and Antares II were some of the only remaining links to Llorn culture and history. (2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook)

The Proteans granted the United Planets permission to explore their ancient artifacts. Two archaeologists, Niles and Esther Cullen of Xanthu, befriended them while was Dr. Norm Eldor was less friendly. Eldor was sent to prison for stealing artifacts and notes.

When the evil Glorith learned of their race, the empress of Baaldur annexed Antares II and planned to enslave the Proteans. The Proteans had been unwittingly betrayed by one of their own, one who let their secrets be coaxed out by Glorith's charms. Before she could take over, this Protean realized his error and alerted his people of the danger. The entire race amassed their collective consciousness and placed it inside of a humanoid shell, one which could not change shape. This so-called "Soul of Antares" would hide from Glorith until the threat passed. Only seven Proteans remained sentient in their original forms, in order to shepherd the souls back one day. The Proteans entrusted the Soul to the Cullens, who disguised it as their son, "James Cullen."

After staying with the Cullens for about a year, James decided that the newly-formed Legion of Super-Heroes would be a better place for him. Using one of his Protean relics — a Time Stasis Belt that incorporated the technology of the legendary Llorn race—he applied and was accepted as Kid Quantum. Shortly after this Glorith learned the Proteans' secret, and Quantum was forced to take desperate action. He and the Proteans staged a fight on Mars, where Kid Quantum pretended that his belt overloaded and disintegrated him. The Legion believed him dead, and he was mourned as the first Legionnaire ever to die in the line of duty. (To prevent further such incidents, the Legion instituted a rule that would deny admission to anyone whose powers are based on outside devices.)

Quantum went so deep underground that even the Proteans didn't know where he went. For clues, one of the Proteans maneuvered itself into the Legion—as Chameleon Boy's pet, Proty. Proty grew attatched to the Legion and apparently sacrificed his life to revive Lightning Lad. (Adventure #312) In truth, Lightning Lad's essence did perish and Proty's soul was transferred into Garth's body. Proty became the consciousness of Lightning Lad. Proty/Garth preserved this secret for decades, only ever revealing the truth to his sister, Ayla (Lightning Lass), years later. (Legion v.4 Annual #3) From Protean oral history:

Fair Titanese telepath, whose lifejoy was crushed
She searched for a means to loosen death's grip

Till finally terrible machine was discovered
To restore life to the dead, but at dreadful price

Brave Protean awakens, sees through human eyes
His mind suddenly skulled, his form frozen dry

Universe would not release soul of the dead
But human again breathes, with Protean soul
(2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook)

A second Protean, Proty II, befriended the Legion, too, but neither found any clue to the Soul's location.

Finally, Proty II confided in the Legion's financier, R. J. Brande (who was also a shape-shifter locked in a human form), and convinced him to spearhead their search. Brande and his son, Chameleon Boy, eventually converged on the far-off world of Yal, where Kid Quantum had been hiding. They prevented the Hunter from capturing Quantum for the Dominion. But then another player swooped in to kidnap the prize: Brande's nemesis, Leland McCauley IV, who possessed the Emerald Eye. (Legion v.4 #33) The Legion soon freed them and Kid Quantum returned to Antares II. (#39)

After his return home, Antares II was invaded by the Khunds. As fate would have it, a group of Legionnaires crashed on that planet and found the captive Kid Quantum. (Legionnaires #10) The Proteans needed help to restore the souls contained within Kid Quantum, and turned to the magicks of the Legionnaire Dragonmage. They completed the ritual to restore their race. The humanoid shell that was Kid Quantum was preserved by Dragonmage, who also managed to internalized the time-stasis powers. The resulting Kid Quantum entity contained just one soul — that of the Protean who had betrayed their secrets to Glorith. Kid Quantum chose to leave Antares for Earth, and to serve in the Legion. (#11)

NOTES: Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Kid Quantum: His time in the Legion was shrouded in secrecy and the shame of a terrible personal secret (he was the Proty that unwittingly betrayed his race and caused its near-enslavement by Glorith). Guilt and regret have turned James into a being of enormous conscience and gentle wisdom. The Gandhi of the team. —Interlac (2000)

Kid Quantum of Earth-247 (Legion 2)

Just like his pre-Zero Hour counterpart did, Kid Quantum bites the dust early in the Legion's career. From Legion v.4 #62 (1994); art by Lee Moder.
In the Second Galaxy, Kid Quantum II rose to the challenge. From Legion Lost #120 (2001); art by Olivier Coipel.
Lucky at leadership… and love. From Legion v.4 #62 (1994); art by Lee Moder.

James Cullen was the proud possessor of a belt that created a time-stasis field which could paralyze anything inside of it. When the Legion of Super-Heroes was forming, he was one of three contestants vying to become the champion of the planet Xanthu. (Legionnaires #0) His hopes for that title were dashed when the Xanthan government chose him instead to represent the planet as a Legionnaire. As Kid Quantum, he grudgingly met his new teammates on Earth and immediately alienated them with his arrogant attitude.

His pride was a detriment during his first Legion mission, against an alien insectoid called Tangleweb. James ignored Leviathan's orders and tried to take on the creature himself. He managed to catch Tangleweb in a time-stasis field, but while he stopped to brag about it, the strain of it shorted out his belt. Tangleweb broke free and snapped James's neck. Kid Quantum was the first Legionnaire to die in action. (Legion v.4 #62) After his death, his funeral was harrassed by White Triangle terrorists, who booby-trapped his coffin. Legionnaire XS saved everyone in the vicinity from its blast. (Legionnaires #19)

Xanthu soon replaced James in the Legion with Star Boy, one of Cullen's rivals in the champions' competition.

Xanthu's government led his sister, Jazmin, to believe that the Legion's incomptence had caused his death. She took her brother's codename and joined a new team of Xanthu's own heroes, the Uncanny Amazers. When the Amazers met the Legion, she learned that his death had been his own fault. (Legion v.4 #82)

Kid Quantum II

Jazmin Cullen was, like her brother James, born with the ability to create a limited time-stasis field, a power which they augmented with a power-belt. Her brother died when his belt malfunctioned, which led Jazmin to undergo a process to internalize the power fully. She studied the biophysics behind her powers and worked with Xanthu's scientists to increase her powers so that she'd never need to rely on external devices. The government of Xanthu then selected her to succeed James in joining the Uncanny Amazers.

After James' death, the government of Xanthu spun the story to make it seem that the Legion's own incompetence led to his death. Deep down, Jazmin suspected the truth: that her brother's arrogance had led to his demise. Still, upon her first meeting with the Legion, she bore a heavy grudge. On the Legion's first visit to Xanthu, the two teams were challenged to a friendly competition, and Jazmin was asked to "fix" the results in the Amazers' favor. During the bout, Jazmin overheard a Xanthan official admit that James had been a public relations "problem"; by defeating the Legion in this bout, they hoped to restore their reputation. Jazmin was incensed; she didn't care that her brother had disobeyed orders, only that he'd died in battle. (Legion v.4 #82)

When Xanthu was invaded by the Natra Dellons, Xanthan Legionnaires Star Boy and Monstress returned home to help repel them. Afterwards, Star Boy invited Kid Quantum to join the Legion, and she accepted. (#102) She was soon confirmed by an official vote. (Legionnaires #60)

In the Legion, Jazmin's star rose rapidly. Not long after joining, Earth was attacked by the Blight. The battle against the Blight ended in the creation of a spacial rift, into which Kid Quantum and other Legionnaires fell. (Legion v.4 #125) They spent time in a so-called "Second Galaxy," and there Kid Quantum's confidence and leadership ability matured. They fought hard to return home (The Legion #1), and when the Legion was reformed, Jazmin was elected as Legion leader. What's more, she found herself in a budding romance with Cosmic Boy. (#10, 26)

Kid Quantum was an effective leader, even applying her quantum powers to retard the accelerated growth of Apparition's infant son. (#19) She remained in that post, even after her Legion's universe was destroyed in the Infinite Crisis. After participating in an adventure involving the Legions of three universes, she led her team back into the multiverse, wandering in search of other survivors. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5)

Notes

Olivier Coipel on Jazmin: People have asked about Kid Q's haircut and truth is, I couldn't draw the old one anymore! I like her new tough and sexy look, along with her costume, but it still isn't easy to show her powers at work! —Comic Book Resources

+ Powers

James Cullen had the abiltiy to generate a "stasis field" from a belt.

Jazmin Cullen had those same powers incorporated into her body. Xanthan genetic engineers were able to graft the powers of the original Kid Quantum's belt to her. She now has a natural command of the quantum field and uses it to create stasis and force fields, null gravity, null time, and concussive force. As she's gained experience with her powers, Jazmin has become potentially one of the most powerful Legionnaires. Not only can she speed and slow time, she has even used her powers to travel through time.