Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Who's Who: Lightning Lord

Lightning Lord
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Mekt Ranzz
Super-Power: Ability to project bolts of electric energy similar to lightning.
Planet of Origin: Winath
Relationship to Legion: Arch-enemy to, but also elder brother of, Legionnaires Lightning Lad and Light(ning) Lass. 

Legion Log
Lightning Lord is the older brother of Legionnaires Lighting Lad and Light(ning) Lass. As a non-twin on the planet Winath (where twins are the norm), Mekt Ranzz grew up lonely and dejected, feeling as if he was permanently sidelined from society. After his younger brother and sister Garth and Ayla were born, he enjoyed a few years of peace as their literal "big brother." When the twins reached their teens and began to inch closer and closer to maturity and independence, Mekt's anti-social tendencies returned and grew.

It was in this family dynamic that Mekt, Garth, and Ayla happened to crash their space-ship on the planet Korbal. Hoping to get the dreaded Lightning Beasts to re-charge their ship's batteries, the three siblings attracted the animals' attention to them. Instead of blasting the ship, however, the Lightning Beasts blasted the Ranzzes. For some reason, this gave each of them lighting powers.

After returning home, Mekt almost immediately left Winath. He headed out to make his criminal fortune with his new found power. Garth soon left Winath to search for his brother, eventually founding the Legion. Later, Ayla followed her brother's foot-steps, joining the Legion as Lightning Lass (then as Light Lass, then as Lightning Lass again).

Meanwhile, Mekt was keeping a low profile as a criminal. He eventually surfaced on Earth, as a student  at the Academy for Super-Villains. Now using the name Lightning Lord, Mekt was one of the founding graduates of that academy and a founding member of the Legion of Super-Villains. Although he as captured during his debut appearance, he soon escaped. This time Lightning Lad, Light Lass, and Timber Wolf went after him and caught him. During this battle, his orange hair turned white.

Lightning Lord continued as a member of the Legion of Super-Villain, but also fought his siblings on several occasions. He gradually became more and more mentally unstable until he began to hold conversations with "the Storm," which told him to either convert his sister to evil or to kill her. In fighting back against him, Ayla regained her lightning powers.

Lighting Lord was undergoing psychiatric analysis on the prison planet Labyrinth when he was freed by the Luck Lords in a complicated plot to destroy the entire Universe. Luckily, Lighting Lad was able to stop him again and send him back for additional psychiatric care.

Lighting Lord's debut appearance was actually as an adult as a member of the Legion of Super-Villains fighting against Superman. It was close to eight years later that he was introduced into "current" Legion continuity as Garth and Ayla's older brother.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap... Lightning Lord had been imprisoned again and begun a regimen for criminal rehabilitation on Labyrinth. Two years later, he was released and returned to live with his brother on Winath. He never returned to a life of crime. In this time frame, we are also introduced to his male lover.

After the Reboot, Lightning Lord was relatively unchanged, although he now hated his siblings and there was no Legion of Super-Villains. He was also directly responsible for Garth losing his arm and was defeated when his siblings combined their powers into one massive burst, seemingly shorting him out and removing his powers. He was then rehabilitated and spent the rest of his chronicled life working on his parents' farm.

After the Threeboot... Mekt (who does not call himself Lightning Lord) is the leader of a group of "black ops" superheroes called the Wanderers. He recruits his sister, Karate Kid, Ultra Boy, Star Boy, and Mon-El to fight an incoming invasion of Dominators. His anti-social personality is replaced by a suicidal one. It was later revealed that he was part of a cult on Winath which worships the nature spirit Validus, also known as the Lord of Lightning; local superstition has it that singletons are the children of Validus. This cult sent him to Korbal to gain the power of the lightning beasts as part of a prophecy. However, when his siblings also gained powers, the cult rejected him, as the prophecy did not mention this.

After Infinite Crisis, Lightning Lord's original history has presumably been more or less been restored but with a significant twist: he may not have been a single birth, and his parents covered up this fact. Whether his brother Garth an uncover the truth or not has yet to be chronicled. Mekt was a member of Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains during the Final Crisis, and joined Saturn Queen's version of the LSV in her bid to bring Chaos to the universe.

The Adult Legion of Super-Villains, including Lightning Lord, made a final appearance in the 21st Century, trying to drastically alter the past by attempting to murder Superman and Batman's parents to raise these heroes themselves, while also sabotaging other heroes' origins. They managed to create a timeline where their powerful children rules over Earth with an iron fist, but were defeated by Princess Diana and her rebels. Batman's death created a parodox however which, through a sequence of timey-wimey events caused the real timeline to be restored and cemented. The LSV were taken into custody by the Adult Legion.

The Legion of Super-Villains has appeared in the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. Lightning Lord was voiced by James Arnold Taylor.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #1-6
(reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
As part of the newest LSV plot, 
Lightning Lord vows to kill his brother

Important Lightning Lord Stories:

Superman #147
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 1)
The debut of Lightning Lord (and the Legion of Super-Villains)

Adventure Comics #331
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 4
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 2)
The first appearance of Lightning Lord in current Legion continuity

Adventure Comics #354-355
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
In the Adult Legion continuity, Lightning Lord still hates his brother

Adventure Comics #372
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 4)
Lightning Lord is a member-in-training of the Legion of Super-Villains

Superboy (v1) #172
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 4)
The Ranzz brothers confront each other for the first time

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #207
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
The Ranzz brothers mourn their dead parents
(Ayla was home sick)

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #208
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
The LSV returns with a new plot to destroy the Legion

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

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #302
Lighting Lord demands to know where Light Lass has gone
after she has quit the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #1-5
(reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
Lightning Lord shows specific signs of psychosis as he attempts to kill his siblings

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #6
(reprinted in The More Things Change TPB)
Lightning Lass defeats her older brother in battle

Action Comics #583
 (reprinted in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow TPB)
In the last "Silver Age" Superman story, 
Lightning Lord helps murder Lana Lang and Jimmy Olsen

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #45\
Lightning Lord confronts his brother again, this time as a tool of the Luck Lords 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #3
Five Years Later, Mekt Ranzz has reformed and is working on Winath

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #10
Roxxas attacks the Ranzz farm and meets opposition from Mekt

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) Annual #3

We are introduced to Holt, Mekt's boyfriend
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #73

The Reboot Lightning Lord first appears when Garth finally finds his brother

Legionnaires #30
Lightning Lord shockingly dismembers Live Wire

Legion Worlds #2

It is revealed that Lightning Lord reformed after harming Garth 
and returned to Winath to work on the family farm

The Legion #25
Mekt tells his story in his own words

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #25-31
The Threeboot Mekt Ranzz is the leader of the Wanderers

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #32-33
Mekt is part of the cult of Validus

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2
Lightning Lord is a member of Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains during Final Crisis

Adventure Comics (v2) #2
From prison, Lightning Lord tasks his brother with the mission to find his missing twin
(this is never resolved) 
Legion of Super-Villains #1
Lightning Lord joins Saturn Queen's Legion of Super-Villains

Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) #12-15
The Legion fights to prevent the LSV, including Lightning Lord, from bringing Chaos to the universe

Superman/Batman #14-18
The Adult Legion of Super-Villains creates a timeline in which they rule
the 21st Century through their "Super-Sons"

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
The Legion of Super-Villains appeared on the animated show with Lightning Lord as its leader,
voiced by James Arnold Taylor

1 comment:

  1. Luthor must have the lamest dialogue in Superman #147 as he sits in his prison cell on a homemade time traveling radio ...

    "Arch villain Lex Luthor calling the Legion of Super- Villains in the future... Need help am a prisoner...."

    Or when he is listing to Lighting Lord telling his origin gasps in surprise " YOU DIDNT DIE ?"

    I'm shocked Lighting Lord didn't electrocute him for being so stupid!

    At age ten I was shaking my head !