Legion of Super-Villains
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance(as adults)
Superman #147 (August 1961)
(as teens)
Adventure Comics #372 (September 1968)
In-story information
Chameleon Chief
Cosmic King
Esper Lass
Lightning Lord
Magno Lad
Micro Lad
Nemesis Kid
Radiation Roy
Saturn Queen
Spider Girl
Sun Emperor
Sun Killer

The Legion of Super-Villains is a team of supervillains who appear in comic books published by DC Comics, primarily as enemies of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[1] They first appeared in Superman #147 (Aug 1961).[2]

The team originated at a time when Superman editor Mort Weisinger was consciously adding new elements to the "Superman mythos" over a period of years, building an extended cast of supporting characters who could provide new story opportunities. The creation of the Legion of Super-Heroes was part of that plan, and in the Legion's fourth appearance ("The Army of Living Kryptonite Men" in Superboy #86, Jan 1961), it was suggested that Lex Luthor would someday lead a group of super-villains.[3] This would come to fruition seven months later, in Superman #147's story "The Legion of Super-Villains".[3]

Fictional team history

Pre-Crisis, the Legion first appears when Lex Luthor creates a radio to contact the future, hoping to send a message to a Legion of Super-Villains, feeling there must be an evil counterpart to the Legion of Super-Heroes.[4] He is broken out of jail by a gun, flying belt, and force-field helmet being sent into his cell. He then meets the trio of villains, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen, who tell him of their origins. They cause trouble for Superman and finally an illusion cast by Saturn Queen succeeds in luring him to a planetoid, where a Kryptonite field holds him. He is told the origins of the LSV, and sentenced to death in a parody of the way the Legion of Super-Heroes voted him in, but the adult Legion of Super-Heroes appears and battles their foes. Luthor threatens to kill Superman, but Saturn Woman offers herself in his place. Superman asks for a tribute to her and is released after promising not to rescue her. He uses part of Saturn's rings to create a ring round the planetoid, causing Saturn Queen to hypnotize the villains before they can kill Saturn Woman, as it is revealed Saturn's rings somehow make the inhabitants stay good. Saturn Queen is given a fragment to make sure she stays good, and the other villains are jailed. However, they would battle Superman at other points, such as during Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, where they aid Brainiac in assaulting Superman at his Fortress of Solitude. They also kill Lana Lang, before fleeing back to the future when Superman brutally attacks Lightning Lord.

Pre-Crisis, the Legion of Super-Villains was founded by Tarik the Mute, who had suffered irreparable damage to his vocal cords during a battle with the Science Police and subsequently developed a pathological hatred of law and order. He founded a school for supervillains, which served as the headquarters and recruiting grounds for the Legion's first incarnation, and blackmailed Colossal Boy into joining as a teacher.[5]

Several other incarnations of the group formed over the years, led first by Sun Emperor[6] and then by Nemesis Kid.[7] In the last incarnation they conquered the low-tech planet of Orando, the homeworld of Princess Projectra, and slipped it into another dimension as a base of operations. Each villain was sworn to kill one Legionnaire, but only Nemesis Kid succeeded, fatally wounding Karate Kid.[8]

In Post-Crisis continuity, some of the members of the Legion of Super-Villains attempted to remake the universe by tampering with the origins of Superman and Batman and adopting them as their own "children", eventually transforming them into the dictators of Earth, and eliminating other members of the JLA to stop them from interfering. Superman and Batman managed to overcome their brainwashing, however, due to the Darkseid of another reality telling them what had happened; they restored the timestream to its proper course, and took the villains to the 31st century to be imprisoned, but kept the memories of their lives with the villains.[9]

Five Years Later

During the fourth volume of Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion of Super-Villains has disbanded, and some of its members had actually reformed. Echo joined the Legion during the Five Year Gap, but resigned after the events of Black Dawn.[10] Lightning Lord reformed and went to work on his family's plantation on Winath.[11] Ron-Karr joined the Legion of Substitute Heroes[12] and Spider Girl joined the Legion,[13] nursing some feelings for Jo Nah and changing her identity to "Wave" when the Legion went on the run.[13] Saturn Queen married Matter-Eater Lad and reformed after retrieving her family's hypno-stone from Prince Evillo, ultimately becoming queen of Titan.[14] Radiation Roy, however, was kidnapped by the Dominator-controlled Earthgov and almost mindwiped as a soldier for the Dominion.[15] These events were all wiped out by Zero Hour.[16]

The Lightning Saga

Manifestations of the LSV based on the nightmares of Dream Girl appeared at the end of Justice Society of America vol. 3 #4 (2007), where they kill the guards of Arkham Asylum.

Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes

In Action Comics #859 (2008), Spider Girl and Radiation Roy are shown to be members of the xenophobic Justice League of Earth, along with other rejected Legion of Super-Heroes applicants Earth Man (formerly Absorbency Boy), Eyeful Ethel, Tusker, Golden Boy, and Storm Boy. Spider Girl is now in a relationship with Earth-Man, the League's leader, and traded the Legionnaire White Witch to Mordru, in return for his staying off the planet. Roy now has to wear a containment suit, since his radioactive powers have caused him to develop tumors all over his body, specifically one dominating the right side of his face. Defeated by Superman and the Legionnaires, the Justice Leaguers are sent to the prison planet Takron-Galtos.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds

Main article: Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds

The Legion of Super-Villains appear in the Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds miniseries which runs from August 2008 to September 2009.[17] This incarnation of the Legion includes Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen, Cosmic King, Sun Emperor, Beauty Blaze, Ol-Vir, Tyr, Zymyr, Hunter, and Chameleon Chief as well as other Legion of Super-Heroes villains Black Mace, Universo, Dr. Regulus, Grimbor the Chainsman, Mordru, Esper Lass, Magno Lad, Micro Lad, Echo, Terrus, the League of Super-Assassins (Silver Slasher, Lazon, Neutrax, Mist Master, and Titania), the Fatal Five (Tharok, Emerald Empress, Persuader, Mano, and Validus), and the Justice League of Earth (Radiation Roy, Tusker, Spider Girl, Golden Boy, Storm Boy, and Earth-Man). In addition, the group is led by Superboy-Prime.[18] The villains are broken out of Takron-Galtos by Superboy-Prime, and reveal to him that it was he who inspired them to band together.[19]

Each member is later given copies of the Legion of Super-Heroes' flight rings bearing Prime's "S" symbol. The Legion of Super-Villains later appear on Sorcerer's World as Mordru is trying to stop Dawnstar, Wildfire, Blok, and Green Lantern/Legionnaire Rond Vidar from rescuing the White Witch. The White Witch manages to create a stargate, but Rond forces them through and is left to fight the Legion by himself. After Vidar has fought off several Legion members, Saturn Queen gets inside his head and starts to hinder his willpower. When Prime grabs Rond by the neck, Saturn Queen tells him to wait, since Rond is Universo's son. Universo shows no care for Rond and only wants his power ring. Rond mocks him, telling him it can never be his, and spits in his face before Prime snaps his neck. Universo tries to take his ring, but it flies off to Oa. Mordru is then offered membership in the Legion, telling him it can only be temporary, which is the same case for the Fatal Five and the Justice League of Earth. Earth Man sums it up by saying that, as much as the various villains dislike each other, they all want the Legion of Super-Heroes dead. They head for Earth and launch an attack on the Legionnaires.[20] Eventually, the tide turns against them as the White Witch uses Mordru's spell "Aufero magus infusco!" to absorb him and his magic.[21]

Post-Legion of Three Worlds

In Adventure Comics vol. 2 #3 (2009), it was revealed that the Legion of Super-Villains has sent an espionage squad back into the 21st century.

It has also been revealed that Saturn Queen reformed the group to bring anarchy back to the universe, starting with the destruction of the worlds that house the immortal beings that represent will (Oa), faith (the Rock of Eternity), and wisdom (Utopia, the World of the Wise, homeworld of supporting character Harmonia Li).[22]


The members of the Legion included:

The remaining villains are members of the League of Super-Assassins:

The following joined the group during the Final Crisis storyline:

In other media

The Legion of Super-Villains appear in Legion of Super Heroes, consisting of Lightning Lord (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), Hunter, Tyr (both by Khary Payton), Esper Lass (Tara Strong), Ron-Karr (Shawn Harrison), and Wave, who has no dialogue. This version of the group are extortionists and assassins led by Lightning Lord in the first season and Tyr in the second season. Additionally, Ron-Karr possesses shapeshifting abilities and Lightning Lord sports white hair and glowing blue eyes, both of which he acquired during the incident that gave him his powers. First appearing in the episode "Lightning Storm", the group masquerades as a superhero team called the "Light Speed Vanguard" to outperform the Legion of Super-Heroes before their true intentions are exposed. In the two-part episode "The Man from the Edge of Tomorrow", Imperiex breaks the Legion of Super-Villains save for Lightning Lord out of prison to help him and the Fatal Five battle the Legion of Super-Heroes. In "Chained Lightning" and "Who Am I?", Lightning Lord and Ron-Karr respectively leave Imperiex's service for separate reasons and assist the Legion in foiling his plans.


  1. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 396. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 203–204. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  3. ^ a b Eury, Michael (2006). The Krypton Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 9781893905610.
  4. ^ Fleisher, Michael L. (2007). The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Volume Three: Superman. DC Comics. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4012-1389-3.
  5. ^ Adventure Comics #372 (September 1968)
  6. ^ Superboy starring The Legion of Super-Heroes #208 (April 1975)
  7. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol 3) #3 (October 1984)
  8. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol 3) #4 (November 1984)
  9. ^ Superman/Batman #14-18 (January–April 2005)
  10. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #28 (April 1992)
  11. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #3 (January 1990)
  12. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #16 (March 1991)
  13. ^ a b Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #54 (February 1994)
  14. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #50 (Late November 1993)
  15. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #27 (March 1992)
  16. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #62 (November 1994)
  17. ^ "Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5 (of 5)". DC Comics.com. December 15, 2008. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
  18. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (April 2, 2008). "Geoff Johns: Legion of 3 Worlds, I". Newsarama. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008.
  19. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 (October 2008)
  20. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (November 2008)
  21. ^ a b Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (September 2009)
  22. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes #15 (July 2011)