19 years ago - 18-year-old Garth Ranzz appears in Smallville along with Rokk Krinn & Imra Ardeen to save Clark Kent from a time-displaced Brainiac 6.0.
2974 - Garth Ranzz is born on Winath.
2989 - 15-year-old Garth and his siblings Ayla Ranzz & Mekt are stranded on the barren planet Kirbal, his parents dying in the crash. They battle rare lightning beasts & try to use them to send an SOS. They are rendered comatose, but awaken in hospital months later.
2990 - 16-year-old Garth begins traveling to find his runaway brother Mekt. He, Irma Ardeen & Rokk Krinn save RJ Brande from an assassination attempt, and decide to form the Legion of Super-Heroes. He becomes Lightning Lad.
2992 - 18-year-old Garth participates in Querl Dox's temporal experiment, going back in time to stop Brainiac 6 from killing Clark Kent.
2994 - 20-year-old Garth battles Mekt and loses his arm. He gets a bio-synthetic replacement.
2997 - 23-year-old Garth leaves the Legion of Super-Heroes to find Mekt. His sister Ayla Ranzz takes his place on the team. He battles his brother again, and is jailed.
2998 - 24-year-old Garth is summoned by Irma Ardeen. He escapes prison to save the United Planets from destruction, earning his pardon.
3000 - 26-year old Garth is stranded in a distant galaxy with a group of Legion of Super-Heroes members. He sacrifices himself to save his teammates and send them home. Irma Ardeen finally tells him she loves him before he dies, and takes his name posthumously.
Mantaining a single personality across the many iterations of the Legion is no mean feat, and it's a real testament to the original concept of Lightning Lad that he's remained such a dynamic character for so long. The Legion membership becomes absolutely sprawling over the years, so managing to stay the team's resident bad-boy is absolutely fascinating.
Versions of the character exist that are heavily defined by his relationship to his siblings, and that's exactly what we've done here. His membership on the team is actually a secondary focus for him after finding his errant brother. In a lot of ways this gives him a certain energy reminiscent of some of the fan favorite X-men like Wolverine or Gambit, that he has his own ongoing story and adventure. In fact, given his long-time unrequited interest in Saturn Girl, who is very much the Legion's Jean Grey...
Wow. I'm just now getting how deep the parallel runs...
While we're keeping to Garth's ongoing focus on finding his brother, we're also bringing in one particular story that, at least to me personally, really defines exactly what it means to be a Legion. The title "Legion Lost" has been put on quite a few story arcs, often when members of the Legion are sent back in time to current times... but the absolute best version of that story is when a small group of Legion members were lost in a distant galaxy fighting 'The Progenitor'. It's a great arc.
And one of the best parts of the story features Garth's selfless sacrifice to save his teammates. We're totally using that moment because it's so awesome, and also making it the moment when Imra finally accepts his affection. It might be a little sad to have her take his name only after he dies, but honestly, it feels like the sort of epic story scope the Legion was made for.