Template:Articleissues Lightning Lass (also known as Light Lass and Spark) is the name of a comic book character owned by DC Comics whose adventures take place in the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
There has been more than one version of this character; these versions are separated by events the Zero Hour limited series. This page discusses both the pre-Zero Hour and post-Zero Hour versions of the character.
Ayla Ranzz, also known as Lightning Lass, and at different times in her history as Light Lass, is a fictional character, a superheroine in the future of the DC Comics universe. She is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Ayla Ranzz (of the planet Winath, where twinning is normal) first appeared in Adventure Comics #308, (May 1963). She is the twin sister of fellow Legionnaire Lightning Lad and the younger sister of the villainous Lightning Lord. All three gained their lightning powers after being attacked by creatures called lightning beasts on the "lightning world" of Korbal. She originally joined the Legion disguised as her brother Lightning Lad, claiming to be her brother back from the dead, after Lightning Lad's apparent death at the hands of Zaryan. Her imposture was soon discovered, but she was admitted into the Legion as Lightning Lass.
For many years she was called Light Lass, after Dream Girl used the science of her homeworld Naltor to change Ayla's lightning powers with the ability to make objects super-lightweight, or anti-gravity powers (The Light Lass powers were explained both ways over the years).
Years later, Ayla left the Legion for a time, disillusioned with her Legion career and having ended a lengthy romance with fellow Legionnaire Timber Wolf. She broke up with him following a misunderstanding when she saw Timber Wolf embracing her sister-in-law Saturn Girl when both were stranded on a frozen asteroid. Eventually returning to Winanth, Ayla was kidnapped by her brother Lightning Lord and a faction of the Legion of Super-Villains. When Ayla refused to join them, her brother tried to kill her by sending millions of volts of electricity through her body. However, Ayla survived and discovered that her original lightning powers had been restored. After the LSV was defeated, she rejoined the Legion as Lightning Lass.
Later Ayla entered into a relationship with Shrinking Violet.
During the "Five Year Gap" following the Magic Wars, Earth fell under the covert control of the Dominators, and withdrew from the United Planets. A few years later, the members of the Dominators' highly classified "Batch SW6" escaped captivity. Originally, Batch SW6 appeared to be a group of teeange Legionnaire clones, created from samples apparently taken just prior to Ferro Lad's death at the hands of the Sun-Eater. Later, they were revealed to be time-paradox duplicates, every bit as legitimate as their older counterparts. After Earth was destroyed in a disaster reminiscent of the destruction of Krypton over a millennium earlier, a few dozen surviving cities and their inhabitants reconstituted their world as New Earth. The SW6 Legionnaires remained, and their version of Ayla Ranzz (possessing the Light Lass powers) assumed the code name Gossamer.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Ayla originally joined the Legion as a replacement for her twin brother Live Wire, as their planet Winath decided to choose her rather than Garth, who had been classified as a runaway. Eventually, the "one member per planet" restriction was lifted, and he rejoined.
She was one of the Legion members stranded in the 21st Century for a time as a result of the Emerald Eye's machinations. Her team helps the modern superheros the crisis called Final Night, where Earth's sun is slowly being devoured. Spark personally provides the electricity to Guy Gardner's Warriors facillity when the power went out while it was being used for a hospital. Some time after the sun was restored, she travels into the Source, which replaces her electrical powers with anti-gravity powers (although she did not change her codename). Upon returning to her native 31st Century and reuniting with her brother, however, she began to experience debilitating headaches when using her powers; the headaches were diagnosed as psychosomatic. Apparently, she couldn't handle having different powers than her brother. In a desperate attempt to restore her old powers, she returned to Korbal, the planet where she and her brothers originally gained their powers after being shocked by a "Lightning Beast" (which, at the time, had left them in a coma for months). Her altered genetic structure left her unable to take another blast, however, and she was killed. Shortly afterward, her brother and some of their teammates, who had followed her, arrived. In grief, Garth let off a huge blast which temporarily revived her, and Doctor Gym'll theorised that a greater blast could properly revive her and restore her electrical powers. By channelling a huge amount of atmospheric electricity, Garth succeeded. Shortly afterward, she became romantically associated with fellow Legionnaire Chameleon, who had a longstanding crush on her.
Later, the Legion was disbanded after the apparent death of several of her teammates (including her brother and Chameleon) and she returned to Winath. However, when these teammates returned, Garth was not among them, having apparently sacrificed himself so the rest could return home. After Chameleon broke this news to her, she apparently did not resume her relationship with him. She briefly took the name Live Wire after this, but shortly before his return, she was convinced by the second Kid Quantum that she'd be better honouring her brother by being herself.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Spark has the ability to generate electricity, and direct bolts of it accurately (the exact mechanism in her power which prevents the bolts taking the path of least resistance to Earth is not understood), which she commonly refers to as "lightning." She briefly possessed the ability to reduce objects' density, but has shown no sign of this since the restoration of her electrical powers.
Following another reboot of Legion continuity, Ayla Ranzz is again called Light Lass, and has gravity nullifying powers. In Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26, it is revealed that she, like her siblings, had previously gained lightning powers after the accident on Korbal before another unspecified accident gave her gravitational powers.
Light Lass has a reputation as the Legion's "party girl", and has had relationships with Ultra Boy, Timber Wolf, and Sun Boy. Brainiac 5 has commented that he finds it aggravating that the ability to negate one of the fundamental forces is in the hands of someone who treats things so flippantly. However, she has been shown to take some things seriously, most notably dealing with her brother Mekt.
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The events of the Infinite Crisis miniseries have apparently restored a close analogue of the Pre-Crisis Legion to continuity, as seen in "The Lightning Saga" story arc in Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, and in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc in Action Comics. Ayla Ranzz is included in their number, possessing her original powers as Lightning Lass.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, Lightning Lass made a cameo appearance in the episode "New Kids In Town".
- In the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, Ayla (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) makes a cameo in a flashback to the accident on Korbal when Lightning Beasts attacked the three Ranzz children. Instead of gaining powers, she disappeared. She is later discovered in a space storm that Imperiex is siphoning to power a weapon. With help from Mekt and Garth, she is returned to the way she was before the Lightning Beast attack.
- ↑ Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 4) #38, Late December 1992.