"The Lightning Saga" is a comic book crossover story arc that took place in DC Comics' two flagship team books: Justice League of America and Justice Society of America. It was written by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns, and illustrated by Ed Benes, Dale Eaglesham, and Shane Davis. It is notable for re-introducing the Legion of Super-Heroes in the post-Infinite Crisis era.
This crossover would also be the beginning of DC's three year reinvention of the Legion, with the next part occurring in the Action Comics story "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes," and culminating in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds.
|"The Lightning Saga"|
|Publication date||April – June 2007|
|Title(s)||Justice League of America vol. 2, #8–10|
Justice Society of America vol. 3, #5–6
|Main character(s)||Justice League of America|
Justice Society of America
Legion of Super-Heroes
|JLA Vol. 2: The Lightning Saga||ISBN 1-4012-1652-8|
A captured villain, Trident, is under the control of a Starro drone. Batman performs a DNA scan, and discovers that it is really Karate Kid of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Karate Kid awakens, and fights Batman, almost defeating him, until Black Lightning steps in. Meanwhile, Starman reveals to the JSA that he is also from the future.
Batman, Sandman, and Geo-Force are called to Arkham Asylum, where Doctor Destiny is manipulating Dream Girl into creating horrific illusions. Starman manages to free her by saying "Lightning Lad" in Interlac. Dream Girl then reveals that there are other Legionnaires in the present. The JSA and JLA decide to team up and search for the time-displaced Legion members.
Superman, Stargirl, Cyclone, and Red Tornado go to the Fortress of Solitude where they discover Wildfire, frozen among statues of various Legion members (Superman has the statues because, for the first time since John Byrne's The Man of Steel (1986) reboot of the Superman mythos, he is described as a member of the Legion since his youth). When Superman says "Lightning Lad", Wildfire unfreezes, and disgorges what looks like Batman's Utility Belt from within his body. At the Batcave, Batman, Starman, and Black Lightning talk to Karate Kid, who is insisting that he is a member of the Trident Guild, until Starman says "The Magic Words", and his memory is restored.
Jay Garrick, Vixen, Hal Jordan, and Ted Grant, and Tom Bronson enter Gorilla City, where they find Timber Wolf and restore his memory. Meanwhile, Red Arrow, Power Girl, Hawkman and Hawkgirl head for Thanagar in search of Dawnstar, only to find that she has already left for Earth. The rest of the Legion members remove miniature lightning rods from the utility belt and proclaim "One of us has to die". Superman finds one of the rods, and realizes they are planning a "Russian Roulette", just as they once did to restore Lightning Lad to life, though at the expense of one of their own.
The JSA and JLA converge at the old Secret Society of Super Villains base in Slaughter Swamp, looking for the final Legionnaire, whom they believe to be Triplicate Girl, and are attacked by a rogue mechanism named Computo. As they battle, Superman realizes that he has been through a battle exactly like it before, and realizes it to be the work of his old future friend Projectra aka: Sensor Girl. Before anyone can do anything, she is rescued by her fellow Legion members, and they fly off into a lightning cloud.
While the Society races to stop the Legionnaires, intercepting each of their positions, Batman and Hal Jordan recognize them as the place Barry Allen gained his powers, the mansion where he appeared to Batman during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Titans Tower. Despite the Society and League's best efforts, the Legion's plan goes ahead, with Karate Kid being the one struck, only just surviving. Within the crater caused by the strike are Wally West, his wife Linda, and their two children, who returned by "riding" the lightning. The Legion return to the future, except for Starman, who says that he is needed (see: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds), and Karate Kid, who is joined in the present by one of Triplicate Girl's 3 bodies. In the 31st century, Brainiac 5 dismisses Wally's return as a side effect, stating that they got who they wanted. A close-up of the lightning rod Karate Kid was using shows it to have someone trapped inside.
This story also contains a subplot in which the Ultra-Humanite's brain is removed from the body of Delores Winters and taken to the future by Per Degaton and Despero. Where the brain is placed into a new albino ape body- somewhere within Gorilla City. These events later resume in The All-New Booster Gold (vol.2) series, where the three of them are plotting to erase the heroes of the present, by tampering with the timeline of the past via time travel technology.
As illustrated in the special All-Flash #1 issue (one-shot), at nearly the exact moment lightning struck the rod and Wally West returned with his family, the then-Flash Bart Allen was killed by Inertia and the Rogues. It was later revealed that Bart was, in fact, the person that the Legion "wanted". Therefore, trapping him in the lightning, was the only way he could later be resurrected; back through the rod in his own proper, future time-line. See: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #3.
A follow-up storyline, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Action Comics #858–863) ties up some of the loose ends presented in this storyline (such as why the Legion never visited Superman again after the original first Crisis).
The "Lightning Saga" ramifications reach its penultimate chapter in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, followed by its subsequent Superboy (Conner Kent or Kon-El) return, which takes place in Adventure Comics (2009)#0, 1–3 & 6-7/ (Legacy numbering) #504–506 & 509–10. Where another Legionnaire- named Element Lad resurfaces in Smallville as Conner's science teacher. The "Lightning Saga" then takes its final twist into Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton (Originally named "Brainiac and the Legion of Superheroes") where it concludes in its entirety, revealing its final secrets in Adventure Comics #514 (May 2010). While Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl's further 21st century adventures are detailed in the Countdown to Final Crisis series.
The Lightning Saga, as well as three additional issues of Justice League of America (#0, 11–12) were collected in the hardcover volume Justice League of America Volume 2: The Lightning Saga (ISBN 1-4012-1652-8), which was released in 2008. The collection features a written introduction by actor and comedian Patton Oswalt.
Atmos is a fictional character in the future of the DC Comics Universe. Atmos was the champion of the planet Xanthu, where the planetary government provided him with a headquarters and training facility.Brainiac 5
Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) is a fictional character who exists in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Universe. He is a long-standing member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Brainiac 5 is from the planet Colu.The first live-action version of the character appeared as a regular character in the fifth season and a recurring character in the seventh season of Smallville, played by James Marsters. Brainiac 5 is introduced in the third season of Supergirl, portrayed by Jesse Rath. He became part of the main cast in the fourth season.Characters of the Final Fantasy XIII series
Final Fantasy XIII - a role-playing game released by Square Enix in 2009 - revolves around the struggles of a group of humans over a predestined fate. The game's two sequels, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, build on the first game's story and mythos. In video game publications and among the staff at Square Enix, the three games have come to be referred to as the "Lightning Saga", and the core concepts they contain are drawn from the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. The visuals of the original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura and Nao Ikeda, while many later characters were created by other designers, including Hideo Minaba, Yusuke Naora and Toshiyuki Itahana. Their original stories were created by Motomu Toriyama and written up by Daisuke Watanabe.
The series' central characters are Lightning, a former soldier and the core character in all three games; Serah Farron, Lightning's sister; Snow Villiers, an optimistic young man engaged to Serah; Hope Estheim, a young man who develops a strong bond with Lightning; Sazh Katzroy, a former airship pilot; Oerba Dia Vanille and Oerba Yun Fang, two women who inadvertently set the first game's events in motion. Three further characters appear in XIII-2: Noel Kreiss, a hunter who sets out to change his bleak future; Caius Ballad, a man from Noel's past who wishes to bring about a predestined apocalypse; and Paddra Nsu-Yeul, a seeress reincarnated through history. In Lightning Returns, two more are added: Lumina, a doppelganger of Serah; and Bhunivelze, the main deity of the Final Fantasy XIII universe.
The characters in the games have been the basis of several pieces of merchandise produced by Square Enix, such as statues, action figures, apparel, and jewelry. They have been subject to mostly positive reviews; most observers favorably compared the characters to those in the previous games and praised the voice acting, however some critics have stated that the plot line of the characters have been confusing when introduced. In XIII-2, the shift to new or secondary characters and the change in importance and story role of the previous game's main cast grated with some reviewers, while others applauded the new characters' development and interactions. In Lightning Returns, the characters' stories were often criticized for being underdeveloped, or simply included for the sake of ending their stories.Devlin O'Ryan
Devlin O'Ryan, occasionally codenamed Reflex, is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He became a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, during the "Five Years Later" era. Creator Tom Bierbaum said this about Devlin's origin: " My original sketch when I conceived of Devlin had him with a similar emblem with three stars in a row across the middle of the circle (inspired by the "belt of Orion" section of the constellation) and the early depictions of Devlin had the three stars, but it later was simplified to a single star, probably by Keith, maybe when he was doing quick thumbnail layouts for Jason Pearson."Ferro Lad
Ferro Lad (Andrew Nolan) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero and member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century of the DC Comics Universe. He is Andrew Nolan of Earth. He is known in Post-Zero Hour continuity simply as Ferro.Interlac
Interlac is the designated communication language of the 30th century United Planets in the DC Comics fictional universe. It is also the name of a similarly-used language in the TV series Babylon 5.JL8
JL8 is a webcomic by Yale Stewart based on the characters of DC Comics' Justice League. Having started in 2011 under the title Little League, the webcomic presents the members of the Justice League as 8-year-old children. Stewart has used JL8 to raise funds for charities, and the webcomic has been positively received by critics.Kent Shakespeare
Richard Kent Shakespeare, occasionally codenamed Impulse, is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He became a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, during the "Five Years Later" era. Prior to New 52 continuity, he was the Superman of the 31st century.Kid Psycho
Kid Psycho is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He became a reserve member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century.Kono (comics)
Kono is a fictional character in the DC Universe. She became a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, during the "Five Years Later" era.Legion of Super-Heroes
The Legion of Super-Heroes is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino, the Legion is a group of superpowered beings living in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Comics Universe, and first appears in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958).
Initially, the team was closely associated with the original Superboy character (Superman when he was a teenager), and was portrayed as a group of time travelers. Later, the Legion's origin and back story were fleshed out, and the group was given its own monthly comic. Eventually, Superboy was removed from the team altogether and appeared only as an occasional guest star.
The team has undergone two major reboots during its run. The original version was replaced with a new rebooted version following the events of the "Zero Hour" storyline in 1994 and another rebooted team was introduced in 2004. A fourth version of the team, nearly identical to the original version, was introduced in 2007.Legion of Super-Heroes (1958 team)
The 1958 version of the Legion of Super-Heroes (also called the original or Preboot Legion) is a fictional superhero team in the 31st century of the DC Comics Universe. The team is the first incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and was followed by the 1994 and 2004 rebooted versions. It first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958) and was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.Legion of Super-Villains
The Legion of Super-Villains is a team of fictional supervillains that appear in comic books published by DC Comics. They are adversaries of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the future. They first appeared as adults in Superman #147 (1961) and as teens in Adventure Comics #372 (1968).Luornu Durgo
Triplicate Girl (Luornu Durgo) is a fictional character, a superhero in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Comics Universe and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. She has also had the aliases Duo Damsel, Triad, Una, Duplicate Damsel and Duplicate Girl.Magnetic Kid
Magnetic Kid (Pol Krinn of the planet Braal) is a fictional comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. He has the superhuman power of generating and controlling magnetism. He first appeared as a child in Adventure Comics #335 (August 1965), and joined the Legion of Super-Heroes in volume 3, #14 (September 1985). His brother was the Legionnaire Cosmic Boy.Ol-Vir
Ol-Vir is a fictional character, a supervillain in the future of the DC Comics universe. He first appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #294 (December 1982), and is often depicted as a member of the Legion of Super-Villains.Tharok
Tharok is a DC Comics supervillain and an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He is the leader of the Fatal Five. Tharok and the Fatal Five were introduced in Adventure Comics #352 (January 1967), and were created by Jim Shooter.Yera Allon
Yera Allon, also known as Chameleon Girl, is a fictional character, a superheroine and Legion of Super-Heroes member in the DC Universe's 30th and 31st centuries.
|In other media|