Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Who's Who: Light (ning) Lass

Lightning Lass, aka Light Lass
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Ayla Ranzz
Super-Power(s): As Lightning Lass, the ability to project electrical bolts from her body in various levels of intensity. As Light Lass, the ability to nullify gravity around objects so that they were temporarily weightless. 
Planet of Origin: Winath
Legion Seniority: Lightning Lass came to Earth to take her brother Lightning Lad's place in the Legion. She is Legionnaire #20. 

Legion Log 
Lighting Lass made her debut in Adventure Comics #308 as Lightning Lad's twin sister. It was revealed that she, he, and their older brother Mekt (later Lightning Lord) all gained lightning powers when they were blasted by lightning monsters on the planet Korbal. When Garth left Winath to try to track Mekt, Ayla stayed behind. However, as twins were the genetic norm on Winath, she missed Garth and went after him. When she found that he was in a death-like coma, she joined the Legion to try to bring him back. After he returned to consciousness, he convinced her to stay with the Legion. They were running a campaign to rewrite the Constitution so that both could remain members even though they shared the same power. However, at about this time Dream Girl used her Naltorian science to alter Ayla's lightning powers into gravity-nullifying abilities. This allowed the newly re-named Light Lass to stay in the Legion. Then she met Brin Londo, aka Lone Wolf aka Timber Wolf. After she convinced him to join the Legion Academy, and eventually the Legion, she was happy to serve with the two most important men in her life. 

Light Lass stayed with the Legion for several years, serving with distinction on several important missions. During this time she sometimes dyed her ginger-red hair blonde, but eventually went back to her natural hue. She was an important asset in defeating The Dark Man, for example, and sponsored Blok for membership. In Year 12, however, when Darkseid attempted to take over the entire universe, Light Lass felt surrounded by death and resigned in order to try to lead a simpler life. She begged Timber Wolf to leave with her, but he refused, and they broke up. 

Unfortunately, her brother Lighting Lord and his Legion of Super-Villains eventually tracked her down. Through torture they restored her lightning powers as well as her will to do good. They convinced her that she had to use her powers to help the weak and defenseless, and she rejoined the Legion. At this time her brother was on a leave of absence, so the duplication of powers problem never came up. She refused to get back together with Timber Wolf after her return, believing that his maturity level did not match hers. Instead she started to spend more time with Shrinking Violet and Magnetic Kid. Her other close friends in the Legion were Blok, her brother, her sister-in-law (Saturn Girl), Sun Boy, Chameleon Boy, and Princess Projectra. 

During and after the five-year gap following the Magic Wars, Ayla Ranzz returned to Winath to manage the family plantation and help feed a starving galaxy. During this time, she enters into a relationship with Violet, and both women rejoin the Legion when it reforms. At one point, a confrontation with Glorith resulted in the reversal of her body's natural aging, granting her youthful vitality. On the run from false treason charges with the rest of the Legion, she changed her codename to Pulse. Her true age was restored in a battle with Glorith and Mordru. Soon after, she merged with her SW6 temporal clone as the time line collapsed.

Light Lass (i.e. Ayla with that power set) was also one of the members of the SW6 Legionnaires, and appeared in Legionnaires when it was spun-off into its own series, adopting the codename Gossamer.

After the Reboot, Alya Ranzz's origins are much the same, though she keeps her abilities a secret from her parents while her more hot-headed twin brother goes off to become one of the founding Legionnaires; at least until she wins celebrity status by saving Winath's presidents from an assassination attempt. Winath chooses her, not Garth, to join the Legion on its behalf, and she does so as Spark. She was one of the Legionnaires shunted to the 20th century, during which time her powers were transformed from lightning projection to anti-gravity by the Source. After she returned to her time, her new powers made her ill because she was now out of synch with her brother's biology. This eventually killed her, but Live Wire was able to resuscitate her and restore her powers to greater levels than before.

When part of the Legion was lost in another galaxy, Spark returned to Winath to see her other brother Mekt trying to reform. She rejoined the Legion when they returned, though Live Wire was among those who didn't come home alive. Devastated, she inadvertently sewed the seeds of her twin's resurrection by building a memorial to Element Lad on Trom with crystals imprinted with Garth's mind. She is currently one of the Wanderers scouring the Multiverse for other characters whose time lines have been erased in one Crisis or other.

After the Threeboot, despite being involved in the same incident as her brothers, Light Lass gained antigravity powers. She joined the Legion alongside Lightning Lad, and is known as the most flirtatious member of the team, having dated Ultra Boy, Sun Boy and Timber Wolf, and simply flirted with Karate Kid; even the tyrant Ikilles of Velmar V killed his own lover for a chance to woo her.

After Infinite Crisis, Lightning Lass' original history has more or less been re-established. Though reconciled with Timber Wolf, she is involved with Shrinking Violet, and still serves as a member of the team. While Earth enforced xenophobic policies, she acted as the secret Legion HQ's power source.

Ayla Ranzz has had a non-speaking cameo on the Superman Animated Series in the episode New Kids in Town. In The Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, she is seen in flashback as Lightning Lad's twin, but the accident makes her disappear. She returns years later as an energy being, a condition her brothers cure her of, but she is still a young child and it is not known whether she has her brothers' powers. She was voiced by Kari Wahlgren.

Important Light(ning) Lass Stories: 

Adventure Comics #308
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Lightning Lass makes her debut, joining as her brother's replacement

Adventure Comics #317
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Dream Girl scientifically alters Lightning Lass' power

Adventure Comics #318
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Light Lass makes her official debut, but hasn't changed her uniform yet

Adventure Comics #322
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Light Lass' first costume (with a cloud icon) makes its debut

Adventure Comics #327
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3)
Light Lass' second costume (with a feather icon) makes its debut

Adventure Comics #327
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3)
Light Lass meets and falls in love with Timber Wolf

Adventure Comics #355
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
 Light Lass meets and saves Lana Lang (Insect Queen) 

Action Comics  #378
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9)
Light Lass helps Timber Wolf battle his addiction

Superboy #172
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10)
Light Lass' origin is re-told as the Ranzz siblings battle for the first time

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #202
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10)
Light Lass' Dave Cockrum designed uniform is showcased

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #207
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11)
Light Lass' parents are killed 

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #215
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12)
Light Lass taunts Cosmic Boy into committing suicide 

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #219
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12)
Light Lass uses her purse against Mano

Limited Collectors' Edition C-55
Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes 
Light Lass is upset when her brother is kidnapped on his honeymoon

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #241
Lightning Lord kidnaps Light Lass for the first time

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #269
Light Lass fights off Validus and the Persuader

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #284
Light Lass convinces Timber Wolf to abandon his feral appearance

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #288
Light Lass begs Saturn Girl to help rescue Timber Wolf

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #295
Light Lass quits the Legion after facing Darkseid

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #1-3
(reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
Light Lass kidnapped and tortured by Lightning Lord

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #4
(reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
Light Lass regains her lightning powers

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #6
(reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
Spotlight issue on Lightning Lass

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #7
(reprinted in The More Things Change TPB)
Lightning Lass rejoins the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #22
Lightning Lass starts a friendship with Shrinking Violet

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #23
Lightning Lass deepens her friendship with Shrinking Violet

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #24
Lightning Lass still loves Timber Wolf

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #45
Spotlight issue on Lightning Lad features Ayla and Mekt, too

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #51-53
Lightning Lass has the hots for Magnetic Kid

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #3
Ayla Ranzz spent the Five Year Gap on Winath; is now
in a relationship with Violet

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #25
Batch SW6 has Light Lass among their number; she becomes
Gossamer with #41

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #52
Ayla uses her history with Timber Wolf to bring him to his senses

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #55
After an encounter with Glorith in #53, Ayla starts quickly aging backwards and 
takes on the codename Pulse

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #60
Ayla's normal age is restored after another encounter with Glorith

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #64
The Reboot Lightning Lass joins the Legion as Spark

Legionnaires #30
Spark helps defeat her evil brother Lightning Lord

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #97
While in the 20th century, Spark's powers are modified by the Source

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #101
The Legion struggles to restore Spark's life and powers

Legion Worlds #2
While the Legion is Lost, Spark returns to Winath

The Legion #3
Spark learns of her brother's death after the Legion returns to our galaxy

The Legion #5
Spark builds the memorial to Element Lad that will lead to her brother's resurrection

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26
The Threeboot Light Lass engineers a family reunion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) #44
Light Lass' feminine charms draw the unwanted attention of an alien tyrant

Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) #45
Brainiac 5 uses Light Lass' powers to save the solar system from an intruding planet

Action Comics #860
After Infinite Crisis, Lightning Lass keeps the Legion HQ going

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1
Lightning Lass keeps the Phantom Zone portal open while her team mates rescue Mon-El

Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) Annual #1
Lightning Lass and Shrinking Violet are on vacation together as a couple
and fall afoul of the Emerald Empress on Orando

Superman: The Animated Series
and The Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
Left: Lightning Lass' cameo in New Kids on the Block
Right: Young Ayla Ranzz from the LSH cartoon


  1. My second favorite Legionnaire and definitely the one I think is the hottest.

    This was a fantastic walk down memory lane looking at all the incarnations.

    My favorite period is Baxter through 5YL. Such a strong presence.

  2. Yay! Someone else who's on Team Ayla! I date my affection for the character to the early Baxter series when she regains her lightning powers, but the very moment is that shot of her using her Lightness powers in martial arts. So badass.

  3. Count me in for Team Ayla as well. Always a favorite, even as Light Lass. When she came back in the Baxter series she rocketed to the top of my list. Great character...!!