Nemesis Kid (Legion of Super-Heroes enemy) (DC Comics)

Nemesis Kid

(Pre-Crisis version)


Nemesis Kid is one of the more notable foes of DC Comics’ original Legion of Super-Heroes. His super-power is particularly redoubtable.

He first appeared in 1966. This profile covers all his appearances until the original Legion of Super-Heroes continuity ended, in 1994.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Legion of Super-Villains.
  • Base Of Operations: 30th Century.
  • Height: 5’11″ Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Nemesis Kid can instantly adapt a specific power that can enable him to defeat any given opponent. For example, he can turn into living kryptonite to fight a Kryptonian. When faced with more than one opponent simultaneously, his power either allows him to flee or fails him.

As a resident of Myar Nemesis Kid also is an expert alchemist. Lastly, he has some training as leader being with the Legion of Super-Villains.


On the world of Myar, which was noted for its alchemists, a young man developed a secret formula. It gave him the unique ability to adapt whatever power or powers he needed to defeat any one opponent. At least, that was the story Nemesis Kid provided when he applied for and won membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes in the latter half of the 30th century.

Nemesis Kid destroys a training robot

Immediately after Nemesis Kid joined – along with other new members Ferro Lad, Queen Projectra and Karate Kid – the Khund empire attacked Earth. In the course of defending Earth, suspicion arose that one of the new members was a traitor. After his attempt to frame Karate Kid was discovered, it was revealed that Nemesis Kid was the traitor.

The Legionnaires defeated the Khunds, but Nemesis Kid escaped.

The anti-Legion

Nemesis Kid reappeared as one of the earliest members of the Legion of Super-Villains. He ultimately became the group’s leader.


In the LSV’s most ambitious scheme, they transported the planet Orando out of its natural dimension in search of an entire dimension to conquer. While attempting to thwart that scheme, Karate Kid fought a single combat with Nemesis Kid and was mortally wounded. His wife, Queen Projectra, avenged him by managing to personally execute Nemesis Kid despite his superior powers.

His ultimate fate was to have his corpse piled up with ashes and gutter garbage, unburied, to be food for the carrion crows.


Nemesis Kid is a young alchemist with blond hair and blue eyes. Although he’s had no actual combat training he appears to be quite well trained. He usually wears a full body skintight supervillain costume in green and yellow. Only the head and hands are unprotected. His trousers are all in yellow and the usual pants outside the trousers are green as are the boots.

Nemesis Kid kicks Karate Kid

The upper body suit is mainly colored green except for the waist part and his sleeves which are in yellow. The chest part has the colors drawing an X in which the top (up against the throat) and the bottom (against the abdomen) are in yellow. The shirt also has pointy clothing stuff each side of the head in green like many magicians or higher noblemen carry.

All in all it looks like a basic villain suit with a slight touch of mysticism. He certainly doesn’t look as deadly as he is. Nemesis Kid believes his powers make him immune against anyone and it shows in his slightly cocky style of movement.


Nemesis Kid is all about gaining power. In addition to this drive, one notes:

  • His fierceness in combat.
  • His arrogance.
  • His ability to seem quite charming.
  • His extreme vindictiveness.
  • His ability to hold a grudge for a very long time.

He joined the LSV mostly because he wanted revenge against the Legion for foiling his plans. He chose Orando for the planet-stealing scheme because he hated Karate Kid especially for his downfall. He could have picked any planet, but hated Karate Kid especially.

Once he even led his team against new dimensions in search of an entirely new dimension to conquer. He also believes himself to be unbeatable and that he can defeat any opponent at any time which basically is true.

In combat he can be very fierce and often uses the opponent’s own power against him in an attempt to kill him.

When he wants to he can be quite a likeable guy, but this is a rare occurrence. Most often he is a really arrogant, smarmy bastard, though, and that is how he should mainly be played.


“I’m Nemesis Kid, from Myar, the Alchemists’ Planet ! I use my alchemical skill to give myself the power to defeat ANY opponent. To prove it, I’ll challenge an atomic robot ! Fewer than a dozen super-heroes have ever beaten one ! As he approaches, his powers cause mine to react, giving me just the abilities I need to lick him !”

“I admit it ! I wrecked the towers ! I destroyed the Legion weapons ! I’m the spy !”

(During the first Khund invasion) “Any moment, they’ll open fire… leveling cities, forcing Earth to its knees ! The Legion will die, as will all other defenders of Earth ! I will be richly rewarded, and YOU will perish !”

(After his first capture) Superboy : “What are we going to do with him ?”
Nemesis Kid : “You’re not doing anything with me, my friends !”
Lightning Lad : “He’s breaking loose !”
Nemesis Kid : “I can develop the super-powers needed to defeat anybody ! I’ve never tried it on more than one foe, but I’m ready to make a stab at it now !”

“Ahh ! I can feel my body adapting…taking on the power I need to beat you ! My strength has become double yours…you’ve had it, Superboy !”

Nemesis Kid: “Oof ! It can’t be ! No mere girl can take Nemesis Kid ! Uhh !”
Duo Damsel: “Duo Damsel can ! Your power can’t work on two of me !”

Ron-Karr : “I never thought we’d do it, Nemesis Kid.”
Nemesis Kid : “Your lack of confidence is disappointing, my friend. True, our Legion of Super-Villains has had failures—but now we are our enemies’ equal… and more, Ron-Karr.”

“Ever since I found my abilities I have allied myself with those in power to gain power—the Khunds, the Super-Villains—now at last I shall be a power unto myself ! My power to humble any one opponent in battle will be trivial—compared to the authority of an emperor of a universe !”

Ron-Karr : “What a wonderful triumph, Nemesis Kid ! You are the greatest Leader the Legion of Super-Villains could ever wish for !”
Nemesis Kid : “Fool.” (Punches Karr in the eye.) “I am the ONLY Leader this Legion will ever have.”

“I knew it would come to this, ever since the day we both joined the Legion, Karate Kid. Your crude physical powers against my invincibility…the prize my alchemy gave me—to adapt the powers I needed to defeat any one foe. Remember that as you die—you are only a man—ONE man—for all your training—and that your death will open my reign over Orando…and a universe that waits !”

Nemesis Kid gloating under the rain

(To Karate Kid) “It took you a lifetime to gain your power, and me only seconds to acquire and better it.”

“What pride ! What stupidity ! You’ve seen my adaptations before. I’ve been outnumbered—but never beaten. You know I could defeat Superboy…kill Mon-El. What makes you think you’re so tough, Karate Kid ?”

“You presume to deny me ? I’ve beaten you, fool. Your Legion flight ring on my hand. My fist in your face. You’re dying. Your—life—is—over !”

“You’re really amusing, Projectra—I believe you’ve gone mad. I killed Karate Kid bare-handed—my Legion of Super-Villains has moved Orando out of your universe, beaten the Legionnaires—and you expect to scare me away ?”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Nemesis Kid

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Alchemist
Inf: 07 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 06
Init: 018 HP: 055

Adaptation: 28, Detect (Powers, Skills, Physical Stats, Limitations and Attack Vulnerabilities): 28

Bonuses and Limitations:
See the “Incredible Power of Adaptation” section below.

Charisma: 06, Occultist (Occult Knowledge, Ritual Casting, Create Artifact): 08

Expansive Headquarters (variable), Genius, Leadership, Scholar (Alchemy).

Legion of Super-Villains (High), The Khunds (Low).

Arrogant, Possibly Secret Identity.

Design notes

HP increased to 55, new Bonus to Adaptation added, Occultist rewritten and decreased, plus Scholar added instead, Headquarters text changed, Leadership added, added ALL offered quotes, Arrogant Drawback added, Personality section expanded, no changes to Adaptation mechanics since Adapted Powers can be used for many purposes not only fighting, Adaptation Bonus rewritten to proper form.

Charisma Skill increased, Detect Power added with description since Adaptation was doing things it is not supposed to do, History section expanded and All Boni and Limitations moved to a separate section for clarity.

The Incredible Power of Adaptation

The Bonuses & Limitations for that Power of Nemesis kid are as follow :

  • Nemesis Kid’s APs of Adaptation need not be split up between different Powers, Skills and Attributes (hence he can have several separate abilities up to a max value equal to his APs of Adaptation each round)(+3).
  • All effects of Adaptation are instant.
  • Adaptation does not copy powers or skills ; during the first Phase, Detect automatically analyzes them and then, using Adaptation, gives Nemesis Kid the ability to counteract them (+1 FC). Typical results: Nemesis Kid might gain DEX and BODY scores equal to 3 APs higher than his opponent’s along with one power, such as an attack form that is 3 APs above his opponent’s (such as STR or Martial Artist).
    Or he might gain an immunity that is 3 APs above his opponent’s attack (Iron Will vs Control, True Sight vs Illusions, and so on). Other forms the power can take include transforming himself into anything his opponent has a vulnerability to – or if several foes are present to flee the battle.
  • Nemesis Kid can allow his Power to automatically detect weaknesses and adapt appropriately, and is most effective when he does so. However, his overconfidence can sometimes lead him to consciously control the Adaptation process – which can sometimes lead him to choose poorly, if he underestimates an opponent.
    For example, this is what happened with Princess Projectra. He only chose to get True Sight, and didn’t bother enhancing his physical stats. By the time he realized he’d screwed up, she’d Intimidated the hell out of him, and he didn’t have a chance to pick something different.
  • For this is his great weakness: Adaptation requires concentration, and he cannot use it if he’s Intimidated or somehow distracted (-1).
  • Furthermore, he can only adapt the abilities of one target at a time (-2) ; if he is forced to use Adaptation against more than one opponent the power is subject to Serious Power Burnout (-2).
  • His ability to detect the abilities of an opponent are short-ranged and hence his Detect only has a Range of 0 APs (-3).

By Peter S Piispanen and Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Legion of Superheroes comics.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, 1st Ed Legion Sourcebook, Who’s Who Volume XVI June 86, Dan.