5963 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Lightning Lord (Legion of Super-Heroes enemy) (DC Comics)

Lightning Lord

(Pre-reboot version)


Context

Lightning Lord is a foe of DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes. He appeared in the 1960s – the exact year is a complicated issue due to time travel. He’s a powerful, lightning throwing psychopath.

This profile describes the pre-reboot version of the character. Just so you know: prior to the reboot of the 30th century during Zero Hour, there were two different Legion timelines. The “Pre-Crisis” timeline actually lasted into 1989.

It was followed by a minimally altered timeline introduced at DC’s instigation by Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum after a “Five Year Gap”. In addition to the Five Year Gap terminology, Legion fandom refers to this timeline as the Giffbaum Legion (for Giffen and the Bierbaums), or Glorithverse Legion (for the universe that replaces the Time Trapper with Glorith).

This writeup encompasses both timelines; there are also Previous Stats for Lightning Lord during the early Adventure Comics years.

Then in 1994 everything gets rebooted and there’s a different version of Lightning Lord. But that’s not covered here.


Advertisement


Background

  • Real Name: Mekt Ranzz.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Luc and Perla Ranzz (parents, deceased), Garth Ranzz (aka Lightning Lad, brother), Ayla Ranzz (aka Light Lass or Lightning Lass, sister), Imra Ardeen Ranzz (aka Saturn Girl, sister-in-law), Graym and Validus Ranzz (nephews; in the “Five Year Gap” Validus is named Garridan), Dacey and Doritt Ranzz (in the “Five Year Gap” reality only, nieces).
  • Group Affiliation: Legion of Super-Villains.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile throughout the UP; in the “Five Year Gap” reality, the Lightning Ring Plantation on Winath.
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lbs. Age:
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: White (originally red).


Powers and Abilities

Lightning Lord’s formidable electrical powers enable him to generate and hurl powerful lightning bolts (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Lightning). He is also able to absorb and harmlessly disperse electrical attacks (Energy Absorption).


Advertisement


If he chooses Lightning Lord can electrify his entire body, shocking anyone who touches him, as well as increasing his durability against electrical attacks (Electrical Being). The latter is useful to fortify him in his battles against his brother or sister.

When using this power he normally crackles with energy. But he can also invisibly charge the air around him with a “shock field” so that opponents won’t know he’s dangerous to approach. This often (GM discretion) will allow for a Blindside attack.

Other assets

During his long criminal career Lightning Lord has picked up skills as a thief and a pilot and has some scientific training (Scientist, Thief, Vehicles/Space). His personal charisma and forceful personality make him a leader among his peers in the Legion of Super-Villains (Leadership).

He is a vicious and powerful hand-to-hand combatant, relying mostly on rage, brute strength, and his powers rather than formal training. Using LSV technology Lightning Lord can fly and survive in space or underwater.


History

Mekt Ranzz is the older brother of Legionnaires Garth and Ayla Ranzz (Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass, respectively).

Like them, Mekt was born on the planet Winath, a colony of Earth and member of the United Planets (UP), in the latter half of the 30th century. Winath is a peaceful agrarian planet whose ecology has a strange effect on humans and other organisms. Nearly every being on the planet has a twin. Garth and Ayla followed this pattern, but their older brother Mekt did not.

The importance of the twin bond (whether fraternal or identical) is difficult for non-Winathians to comprehend. It is very common for pairs of twins to marry. Some experts attribute Winath’s celebrated serenity and stability to the emotional support and sense of belonging derived from having a twin sibling. These are the comforts which Mekt never knew.

From a psychosocial viewpoint, Mekt’s “singleton” status was akin to a deformity. The reaction of the populace ranged the gamut from curious repugnance to patronizing attempts to be consoling. Mekt sensed his status as an “oddity” at an early age. As a consequence, his behaviour became increasingly erratic.

Sibling rivalry

He continually tried to separate Garth and Ayla, displaying an almost pathological need to be included. But he could not break the twins’ bond. Mekt also never felt he was receiving the kind of acceptance from his driven, hardworking parents that his siblings enjoyed.

He believed, rightly or wrongly, that younger brother Garth was the darling of the family. Mekt grew to resent Garth’s accomplishments. He developed a spirited rivalry with him. As they grew older, Mekt’s jealousy turned into a surly hostility which few outside his family would tolerate.

On one fateful occasion, the three were allowed by their parents to travel off-world to a party. Mekt was piloting when the ship’s power cells inexplicably failed. His panicked attempts to regain control managed to steer the three right into a meteor shower. Garth took over again and managed a relatively safe landing on Korbal, “the Lightning World.”

As the three made repairs they realized that the ships’ power cells were depleted and would need to be recharged. Garth tried to lure the native lightning monsters into discharging their bolts at the ship and recharging the craft’s batteries (or recrystallizing the dilithium crystals, or something else you 21st century types wouldn’t understand).

Lightning monsters

Things did not go quite as planned. The electrical discharge from the lightning monsters struck the three teens, not the craft. But against all laws of probability, none of the siblings were electrocuted. Indeed, they were not even hurt.

Instead they were changed, imbued with electrical powers even greater than those of the Lightning Beasts. Using their new powers they easily recharged their spacecraft and returned home.

Lightning Lord (Mekt Ranzz) powered up

Intoxicated with these powers and possessed of an itch for more excitement than he could find on Winath, the alienated Mekt headed for Earth and the underworld of the galaxy. He used his powers in secret for his own aggrandizement. Over time he became more and more immersed in a criminal lifestyle. And his psychological problems grew more and more intense.

Garth heard rumors of Mekt’s criminal activities and decided to track him down. Garth’s goal was to reason with Mekt and bring him home, if possible. Heading to Earth to search for leads, Garth became involved in the Brande Incident. As a result, he became a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In a short time he had gained galaxy-wide notoriety as a legendary hero.

Legion of Super-Villains

Unfortunately Mekt, in an echo of his old rivalry with Garth, had become a super-villain. He called himself Lightning Lord to mock Garth and proclaim his own superiority. Then, Mekt was contacted by agents of Tarik the Mute. He accepted Tarik’s invitation to attend the “School for Super-Villains” run by the Legion of Super-Villains.

Mekt has been a member of every incarnation of the LSV since that time. He often acted in a leadership or deputy leadership role. He has continued to operate as a criminal in solo gambits as well.

Mekt’s imbalances continued to worsen over the years. Thus, on occasions he has tried to murder his brother, leading to a number of epic battles. In one such battle, Mekt’s red hair turned white due to the intense electrical discharges.

Part of Mekt’s hatred for Garth stems from his desire to “rescue” Ayla from Garth’s influence. Mekt’s imbalances seem to have grown to the point of trying to “replace” Garth as Ayla’s “twin”.

Thus, he has twice kidnapped Ayla and attempted to convince her to submit to being mindwiped into servitude. On the last occasion, during the LSV assault on Orando that led to the death of Karate Kid, Mekt held Ayla in chains and repeatedly threatened her. He used his lightning power to punish her when she refused to “obey” him as her elder brother.

When Ayla broke free and fought him, he prevented the other Super-Villains from trying to kill her. But that was only so he could attempt to kill her himself.

Luck Lords unveiled

Most recently, having escaped from prison on Labyrinth with the covert help of the Luck Lords, Mekt tried one last time to murder Garth. Thwarted, his mind seems to have snapped. He is back on Labyrinth undergoing intensive psychotherapy.


After the Five Year Gap

Mekt Ranzz was one of the characters who changed most during the Giffbaum run on the LSH. His early history underwent some minor retconning . It was alleged that, when Mekt first ran away from Winath, he met Laevar Bolto (who would eventually become Cosmic King) on Earth.

The Glorithverse version of the Legion of Super-Villains was mostly formed under the covert leadership of Cosmic King. He recruited many members, including Lightning Lord, by introducing them to drugs and Mordru-worship. But in DC Heroes RPG terms, none of this retroactive continuity has much effect on Lightning Lord’s stats.

During the mostly unchronicled Five Year Gap, Mekt was on the UP’s prison world, Labyrinth. He was serving time for his crimes and undergoing intensive court-ordered psychotherapy.

Therapy?

In the late 2980s, the rehabilitative sciences of Labyrinth began to unravel the causes of Mekt’s sociopathic behavior. By identifying and then confronting the many sources of his mental illnesses, the treatments allowed Mekt, over years, to work through and resolve the traumas and anxieties that had haunted him.

His family, particularly his brother Garth and sister-in-law Imra, were involved with the treatments as well. When his therapists judged it was safe for him to be paroled, he was released into their custody.

Garth and Imra’s loving support has greatly eased Mekt’s guilt as he faces up to the evils he has committed. They encourage him to view his past mistakes as a source of lessons he can pass on, and to see his status as a non-twin as part of what makes him unique and valued.

Mekt now lives with his family — including his young nieces and nephews, a trust he greatly values — on the Lightning Ring Plantation. There he is a valuable executive in charge of operations. Some have questioned his reform, but Mekt feels profound gratitude and loyalty to his family.

He proved this when he nearly died trying to protect them from the notorious Roxxas, butcher of Trom, a deadly pirate and assassin.


Description

A tall, formidably muscled man, Lightning Lord is still young but has stark white hair and piercing blue eyes. Overall, he’s an imposing figure with tremendous personal charisma, marred by the occasional deranged look in his eyes.

He’s aware that he can be both compelling and intimidating. Thus, he heightens the effect with use of his powers. One example is allowing blue-white sparks of electricity to crackle around his hands or in his eyes when engaging in Character Interaction.

His costume is a typical full-body hero suit that looks to be all one piece. The sleeves and pants are red, and there is a belt shaped like a cumberbund, also red. The tunic is green, as are the boots; the boots are trimmed in white while the tunic has a high red neck. There are white cuffs at his wrists, and white lightning bolts streaking down, one from each shoulder, to meet at the center of his chest.

During his early years (the period when the Legion appeared in Adventure Comics) his hair was still red, not white, and he wore a red cape with his costume. As noted above, his “future self” has a mustache and his hair is more neatly trimmed; otherwise he looks just like the current Lightning Lord.

During the “Five Year Gap” era Mekt wore civilian clothing — business clothes during the day, but in leisure times the near-total lack of clothing which is typical of Winathian customs.


Personality

Lightning Lord has a forceful and compelling personality, but he’s grown progressively more psychotic over the years. His family has always been very important to him — he’s been known to visit the site of his parents’ deaths on the anniversary of their death, and it’s clear that his brother Garth and sister Ayla are more important to him than anyone else.

But their importance to him is twisted and conflicted. On at least one occasion, Garth gave Mekt the opportunity to kill him and he backed down, fleeing in confusion.

But as his psychosis has grown he has tried again and again to rectify that situation and kill his brother. He also is obsessed with subverting his sister and getting her on his side. Howbeit, considering how his last meeting with Ayla went, he may well decide to just kill her, too.

Compensating for the fact that he is a singleton, he continually speaks down to Garth and Ayla, reminding them that he is the elder, calling them little brother or little sister repeatedly and demanding that they obey him.

Delusions

His delusions demand that others acknowledge his greatness and speak respectfully to him. Thus, he’s liable to blast those who don’t, though he’s never been known to deliberately try to kill anyone other than Garth. He habitually refers to people as “fools” or “idiots” and mocks their shortcomings.

He also speaks of “the lightning” and “the storm” as being a living thing. Storms “speak” to him, proclaiming his greatness, predicting the defeat of his enemies.

He has rebuked his family for daring to call him by name rather than by his chosen title. When Ayla fought him as Lightning Lass, he was shocked and infuriated that she would use lightning against him, the lord of the lightning. When she defeated him, he cried out that the storm had betrayed him.

In action

Despite his delusions, Mekt is a quick thinker and a skilled combatant. Some profiles have indicated that his lack of Legion training means he must necessarily be less skilled, controlled, or powerful than his brother and sister. This is not the case. Mekt fights intelligently, making good use of the environment around him as well as the full force of his electrical abilities.

If an opponent is shielded or immune to his powers, he shifts to blasting out the floor beneath them, or destroying the ceiling above and burying them in debris.

He has also developed applications of his power which Garth and Ayla have yet to emulate. One example is his “shock field”, an invisible electrical aura in the air around him which painfully shocks anyone who approaches. In fact he usually seems more powerful than Garth or Ayla, due to his lack of inhibition and willingness to use the full force of his abilities.

On the other hand, in their one-on-one duels it becomes clear that Garth and Ayla are a match for him when pushed to use their full power.

Rehabilitated

Once Mekt’s psychoses are successfully treated, during the “Five Year Gap”. After that he seems to have a complete turnaround in attitude and behavior. Mekt is now kind and gentle, his violent personality a thing of the past. He is unwilling to harm anyone or use his powers forcefully, even if he is endangered. His jealousy of Garth has completely evaporated.

Mekt now appreciates the numerous risks and sacrifices Garth, Ayla, and Imra made to keep giving him chances for redemption. He is very grateful, and would give his life to protect his family.

It’s also been hinted that Mekt is involved in a romantic relationship with a man named Holt. Mekt’s sexual orientation and relationships during his period as Lightning Lord have never been revealed.


Quotes

“Lightning Lord fears no one !”

Lightning Lad: “You’re a personal responsibility… I’ve been looking for you since the day I left Winath.”
Lightning Lord: “How dare you, little brother ?! You incomplete fool, talking to me as though you were my elder. I’m surprised you can even stand without your twin at your side.”

“You see, dear Ayla ? I have your welfare at heart ! So, you shall not die — and all I ask in return for your life is that you submit to a mindwipe !”

“Simpletons ! Do you think Lightning Lord is so easily taken ? My lightning will fry you long before you ever reach me !”

(After blasting Dawnstar and knocking her out of the sky) “Now, child, permit me to introduce myself. My name is Mekt Ranzz, perhaps better known as Lightning Lord.”

“Garth — Garth, where are you, coward ? Don’t try to hide behind the other Legionnaires — not from me !”

Timber Wolf: “Glad you remember me, chum. Do you also remember how I beat you the last time we met ?”
Lightning Lord: “Yes.” (Blasts him into near-unconsciousness.) “It was a mistake to presume on your luck again.”

“Go ahead, idiot… judge me by my brother’s standards. That’s a sure way to die !”

Lightning Lord: “So noble, my little brother — such a wimp. Hiding behind your ’goodness’ so you don’t have to face the fact there’s nothing in this universe you want enough to have the guts to take.”
Lightning Lad: “I prefer giving, Mekt — but since you’re in such a rush to take, take this — “ (Big zap)
Lightning Lord: “ARRRRGH !”

Lightning Lord: “I am your brother, damn you — obey me and live.”
Light Lass: “No.”
Lightning Lord: “Then DIE — and if there is a Hell for those unfaithful to their blood — may you BURN in it !”

“The storm roars its approval.”

“You are mine, little sister….No — you are sister no more. I told you that.”

Lightning Lass: “Mekt…”
Lightning Lord): “Don’t you dare call me that. I am the Lightning Lord. And the storm calls for your doom.&rdqo;

(After losing to Lightning Lass) “Ahhhh — the storm — the storm betrayed me…”

“How dare you ? You were tampering with my mind ?!”

“The Lightning Lord never surrenders !”

Prison Guard: “I informed you that the bubble shield has been coated with reflective protons to guard against your powers, Mekt Ranzz — surrender !”
Lightning Lord: “Reflective protons, Hell — see how much good they do you now that I blasted the floor out from under you ! Idiots.”

“You felt it, didn’t you, little brother ? You felt me coming for you ? My luck’s finally changed, little brother. This time, you’re mine. This time, you die.”

(After the Five Year Gap) “Come on, Roxxas ! Listen to me ! Sooner or later, you have to pay for everything ! Please, it doesn’t have to go on like this ! You can change, believe me !”


DC Universe History

The post-Zero Hour DCU has an alternate version of Lightning Lord with, as far as I know, fairly similar stats and personality. The pre-Zero Hour version of Lightning Lord now exists only via Hyper-Time. Of course, you can insert him anywhere that you need a psychotic but competent villain with electrical powers, but if you do, you really should bring his brother and sister along for the ride.

Anomalies

One interesting idea is to play with the temporal anomalies that surround Mekt in the form of his future self which has fought the Legion of Super-Heroes on occasions. In one game, set during the “5 Year Gap” or “Glorithverse” era, I had the future versions of Lightning Lord, Cosmic King, and Saturn Queen show up again.

Their status as temporal anomalies and the many mysteries surrounding them were explained by their being agents of Glorith and the Time Trapper, who had reactivated them with instructions to form the Legion of Super-Villains anew.

One of their early moves was to show up on Winath where the “present-day” Mekt was working peacefully on the family plantation, completely reformed. Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord successfully undid the conditioning and psychotherapy that had reformed Mekt, using a combination of her hypnotic talents and his ability to reach out to his temporally alternate self.

One of the keys to bringing the no-longer-reformed Mekt to their side was the fact that he now finally had a twin — his other self.

Another variation

Another variation on this theme is to say that Mekt does in fact have a twin, and always has. He just doesn’t remember or acknowledge it, possibly due to interference by Saturn Queen’s hypnotic powers, or the intervention of the Time Trapper. Lightning Lord has always been a center both of delusions and of strange time anomalies, after all.

As John suggests: “The two Lightning Lords could be twins who (somehow – maybe time-tossed interference by Saturn Queen?) aren’t aware of each other’s existence. It might be kind of amusing for the poor sap playing Garth. ’Mekt, you do have a twin. He’s standing right next to you !‘”


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Lightning Lord

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopathic
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 04 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 020 HP: 070

Powers:
Electrical Being: 10, Energy Absorption: 10, Lightning: 14

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Electrical Being is Contingent on Lightning (-1 FC).
  • Electrical Being does not have to show visible effects of being charged up (+2 FC), but using it this way requires the character to pay a 15 HP fee (as if it were suddenly a Seriously Marginal power).
  • Energy Absorption is electricity only (-2 FC).

Skills:
Scientist: 04, Thief: 04, Vehicles (Space): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Winath), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Legion of Super-Villains (High), Underworld (High), Ranzz family (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, Serious Irrational Attraction to making Light(ning) Lass into his “twin”, Serious Irrational Hatred of Lightning Lad, Serious Psychological Instability.

Equipment:
As a member of the LSV, Lightning Lord has access to purloined technology from the LSH, notably a Transuit and some form of anti-gravity flight technology (probably either a Flight Belt or an early model Flight Ring). He has some form of communications technology as well, a telepathic earplug or perhaps a simple radio. See the LSH Equipment writeup for details.

Note that this is only true from the time of Darkseid’s “Great Darkness”.


Future Shock

During the first few years of the Legion’s existence (the Adventure Comics era), they repeatedly encountered adult members of the LSV claiming to be from the Legion’s own future. One of these adult LSVers was Lightning Lord, an older man than Mekt Ranzz has yet become. He had a mustache, and seemed much more mentally stable than the current Lightning Lord, if no less villainous.

Whether this Lightning Lord truly was Mekt Ranzz’s future self is unknown, but seems likely. Stats for this version of Lightning Lord are almost unchanged. His Motivation should become Power Lust. He will no longer have any Drawbacks other than Public Identity and a Minor Irrational Hatred of Lightning Lad/Garth Ranzz.

He does have some kind of Equipment providing Flight — probably a Flight Belt or a Rocket Pack.


Previous Stats — The Great Adventure

Most of Lightning Lord’s appearances during the Adventure Comics era were visitations of his time-traveling future self, as indicated above. When dealing with the actual, contemporary Mekt Ranzz during the Adventure Comics era, remember that his psychological problems are not yet as intense as they will later become, as reflected in these stats:

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 015 HP: 050

Powers:
Energy Absorption: 10, Lightning: 14

Bonuses and Limitations:
Energy Absorption is limited to electrical energy only (-2 FC).

Skills:
Scientist: 04, Thief: 04, Vehicles (Space): 03.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Winath).

Connections:
Legion of Super-Villains (Low), Underworld (Low), Ranzz family (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, Minor Irrational Hatred of Lightning Lad.

Note:
Though not really demonstrated, it’s possible that Lightning Lord should already have a Minor Psychological Instability.

Equipment:
The LSV as a rule does not, at this time, have access to Flight Rings, Flight Belts, or LSH quality Transuits. They do have some technological resources of their own, including limited use of transporter/teleportation tech.


Post-gap stats

After the Five-Year Gap (see the History section), Mekt’s attributes become:

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Unwanted Power/Seeking Peace
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Operations Officer of the Lightning Ring Plantation
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 018 HP: 070

Powers:
Electrical Being: 10, Energy Absorption: 10, Lightning: 12

Note:
Mekt rarely uses his Lightning Power now, and doesn’t use the Electrical Being power at all.

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All powers are Contingent on Lightning (-1 FC each except Lightning).
  • Electrical Being does not have to show visible effects of being charged up (+2 FC), but using it this way is a Minor Marginal stunt (-1 FC).
  • Energy Absorption is electricity only (-2 FC).

Skills:
Scientist: 04, Thief: 04, Vehicles (Space): 04

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Winath), Leadership, Rich Family (Garth and Imra Ranzz).

Connections:
Legion of Super-Heroes (Low), Ranzz family (High).

Drawbacks:
Guilt, Minor Irrational Hatred (combat), Mistrust, Public Identity, Serious Irrational Hatred (using Lightning or any offensive power at more than 8 APs).


Design Notes

Lightning Lord is also known to spend high numbers of HPs on his AV, particularly when dealing with a particularly fast or agile opponent or when battling multiple foes. He will often combine these tactics with spending HPs on Initiative so that he can Press the Attack, giving him a further Bonus to strike his opponents.


By Chris Cottingham.

Helper(s): LSH Sourcebook v.1 and 2995 Sourcebook, Who’s Who (original and loose leaf), Who’s Who in the Legion #4, Mayfair’s Who’s Who Supplement, Andrew Lee, John Colagioia.

Source of Character: DCU Legion of Super-Heroes comics (pre-Zero Hour).

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .