This page is for the original Karate Kid, Val Armorr.
For the Karate Kid II, see: Myg
When the Japanese superhero The White Crane killed Black Dragon in battle, he decided to raise the crimelord's orphaned son as his own. Retiring from his superhero career, he became known as The Sensei. Residing in the 31st century in the Japanese sector of a united Earth, The Sensei trained Val Armorr in all Martial Arts techniques as well as peaceful creative practices such as meditation, sculpting, and painting. Val became a master of all martial arts forms taught to him, many having their origins on different worlds. He left his Sensei in search of new forms of fighting to master. In his travels he developed his own style known as Super-Karate. When Val returned to Earth, he found that the Legion of Super-Heroes was in need of new recruits to help fight a creature of great power known as Sun Eater. He applied for the Legion and although he had no superhuman powers, he was accepted when he challenged Superboy to single combat. His skill, strength, and speed impressed Superboy greatly.
Karate Kid was created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan. DC Comics granted Columbia Pictures permission to use the "Karate Kid" name for the movie series starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. However, these films did not bear any significant resemblance to the comics version of the character. There is a thank you to DC Comics for allowing the use of the name at the end of the credits.
Val fell in with his fellow Legion recruit Princess Projectra, he follow Projectra to her homeworld of Orando. Where Val is set on a quest goes back to the 20th Century Earth by the king to win the princess' hand in marriage. While in the past, he meets and befriends schoolteacher Iris Jacobs, and encounters teen heroes Superboy and Robin. He battles numerous villains, including Nemesis Kid, Major Disaster and the Lord of Time. Eventually, he returns to the 30th century, just in time to assist his fellow Legionnaires during the Earthwar. He took a leave of absence and spent nearly a year proving his worth to her father, King Voxv. When he returned, he put delivered the ultimate proof of his worth by saving the King himself from the new Black Dragon, Sadaharu. After this, Val marries Princess Projectra and retires from the Legion with her to Orando. . But he and the Princess, now Queen, were taken prisoners by the Legion of Super-Villians. He was able to escape and help the other Legionaries who were captured also. At the end of their escape Val sacrificed himself to save his love, her world and end the villains plot to destroy the Legion.
Five Years Later
Mordru rise an army of living dead, which include a undead Karate Kid. Jeckie was forced to sent him back to land of dead.
Five Years Later / Batch SW6
A younger version of Val is found with several other young Legionnaires, called Batch SW6. Originally believing themselves just to be clones. It was later revealed that Val was time-paradox duplicates of his older counterpart self. Val is killed in the explosion of the Dominion underground chambers during the effort to rescue the resistance troops, together with the SW6 Princess Projectra and Chameleon Boy.
Reboot / Earth-247
Val Armorr is one of the greatest martial arts of the thirtieth century, he has dedicated his life in mastering as many different forms of fighting as he can. Val joined Leland McCauley's Workforce as Karate Kid to have the opportunity to travel to different planets and learn new disciplines. Despite the knowledge that McCauley's values were far different from his own. He was able to live with those differences, until McCauley attempted to profit from an anomaly in space. Which to Val it represented something purely beautiful, like divine creation. Unable to reconcile his employment with his conscience any longer, he destroyed McCauley's anomaly-tapping machine and fled with McCauley's men chased him. He asked for the Legion's protection and they provided it. Legion works out a deal with McCauley in which he renounced any claim against Val and he became a member of the Legion.
Threeboot / Earth Prime
Val never known who his parents, he was raised by various martial arts teachers who trained him since his birth. He became a master of many varied disciplines of martial arts, he is one the Legion's most skilled fighter. He also taught the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes various self-defence techniques and trained Ultra Boy how to better control his powers. He started dating Shadow Lass, who possesses a similar warrior spirit, but they broke up. He had feeling for Phantom Girl, but she was two places at once didn't notice his infatuating for her. He and Light Lass became close after spending the night with one another. When planet Velmar V is overtook by the Peril Men, the Science Police' s intervened with Val and group of Legionnaires. They are captured and the Legion attempted a rescue. While there Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl are recruited for a strange mission by visitors from another time. Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl left with these strangers and Val leaves behind a sign reading "OKKK."
Retroboot / New Earth
Val reappeared in the 21th Century as the villain Trident working for Solomon Grundy, he Black Lightning and was defeated. Black Lightning revealed Trident as Val Armorr and under the control of a robotic Starro, Black Lightning takes Val to Batman in the Batcave. Val wakes up and fights Batman, during the fight, Superman's files are shown listing Val as a Class 15 fighter and Batman as a Class 12. Val is stopped when blasted by Black Lightning while Batman distracts him. Karate Kid and Starman are two of seven Legionnaires currently in the present. Starman mentions that Val once died, which is consistent with the character's pre-Crisis history. When being interrogated by Batman, Karate Kid is still disoriented and identifies himself as "Wes Holloway, a member of the Trident Guild." After the remaining Legionnaires are found, they use Lightning Rod to bring back Flash and his family to Earth. While the rest of the Legion returns to the 31st Century, Karate Kid and and one of Triplicate Girl's bodies stay behind on a secret mission. Val dies from the "Morticoccus" virus during this mission.
Months after the events of Legion of Three Worlds, Karate Kid mysteriously reappeared outside of the Legion Academy and reunited with Sensor Girl, who had sensed his return. Later he goes with Sensor Girl on a mission to stop the Fatal Five.
Legion Of Super Heroes (2019-present series)
Karate Kid makes his first full appearance in the first issue, facing off against Mordru and his group of criminals. He now sports a bald head and has more Asian characteristics than previous incarnations.
Major Story Arcs
The Death of Karate Kid
When Orando is attacked by the Legion of Super-Villains, Val battles Nemesis Kid in single combat. Nemesis Kid copies Val Karate skills and use against him and nearly beats to dead. Val wanted to continue to fight so that he could die in battle — the ultimate honor by his cultural standards. But at Projectra's urging, Val instead used his remaining strength to destroy the power source for the machines that were moving Orando into a strange dimension. In revenge, Projectra killed Nemesis Kid soon afterward. A memorial to Val was built on Shanghalla.
After Val death, Timber Wolf learned that he was the heir to Karate Kid's estate. He and the Sensei traveled to the planet Lythyl to honor Val's last wishes. There they met a young man named Myg, who possessed superior martial arts skills, like his predecessor Val. Myg eventually came to Earth where he entered the Legion Academy and became the Karate Kid II. He also became a member of the second Legion of Substitute Heroes while training in the Legion Academy.
Val Goes to Steeple
After the Legion disbanded, Val chose to study the Haplashar pacifists on the planet Steeple. What he did not foresee, that this world would be cut off from the rest of the galaxy for ten years because of black hole activity. As they were preparing to leave, Steeple came under attack by Nadir. Ferro took a critical blow from Nadir and Val was forced to choose to stay on Steeple to tend to Ferro's health. They missed the window and were stranded on Steeple. When Brainiac 5 finally found a moment, he set about trying to establish a stargate to retrieve Val and Ferro from Steeple. This plan succeeded and they were rescued by Shikari and Sensor while the Legion's is battle with Universo, they helped turn the tide of battle. Afterwards, Val escorted Universo to Steeple, where the Halpashar agreed to watch over the villain (now forced into a sort of "mental coma").
Karate Kid meets Karate Kid
Earth-247 Karate Kid and Legion battle a hundreds members Fate Five from other dimension, after the battle Legion seemed to fade from existence. He reappeared back on Earth-247 fighting the coming crisis on Earth. The Earth-Prime Karate Kid somehow returned to the team, he and his team are pull to New Earth where they help that world Legion to fight against Superboy Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains. He meets his counterpart from Earth-247 during a fight, after battle he and his are sent to their Earth. Earth-247 Karate Kid and other Legionnaire under the guidance of Shikari go back into void. They takes the name " the Wanderers" and decides to travel the Multiverse to look for survivors from the various alternate universes that were destroyed.
The Death of Karate Kid
As the Legion returned to their own time after the Lightning Saga, Val was told by Sensor Girl that he had to remain behind in the 21st century. He was alone though, because one of Triplicate Girl's bodies, calling herself "Una," stayed with him. The two visit Barbara Gordon, where it was revealed that Val was dying. They are sent to see a Mr. Orr, who declared that he had the answers that they sought. Upon arriving at Orr's compound Karate Kid briefly battled Equus, until Orr arrived on the scene and told them that Karate Kid's illness was similar to the OMAC virus. Under the order of Desaad (a lackey of Darkseid), Orr told them to visit Buddy Blank in Colorado. Equus and a misunderstanding with the cops and Supergirl delayed the trip. Val then met Buddy Blank and his grandson, who took them to see Brother Eye. The entity scanned Val, informing him that he was infected by the "Morticoccus" virus, and directed the group to what was once Blüdhaven. Brother Eye had detected a similar strain there. In Blüdhaven, the group encountered the Atomic Knights and Firestorm. When Val's sickness reaches a breaking point, Brother Eye freed itself, and traveled to Blüdhaven, and turned it into its new base, and used the Atomic Knights and Firestorm as power sources. He was later transported to Apokolips, as Brother Eye intended to assimilate the Morticoccus during Apokolips' assimilation. As the attempts failed, Brother Eye was forced to assimilate Una instead, having her carry Val inside himself for vivisection.
As Brother Eye was defeated, both Val and Una were freed, but Val was now grievously wounded, with Una pleading for his life as the other assembled heroes considered the idea of killing him before the virus spread. When the group arrived on another of the 52 Earths, Val is taken to Project Cadmus and died as Dubbilex examined him. During the autopsy, the Morticoccus was released, and spread its infection into the air. Because of assimilating Val's 31st-century blood, it was practically immune to any form of treatment.The bodies of Val and Una were eventually discovered by the Gotham City Police Department on New Earth, and Superman and the visiting Lightning Lad mourned their passing. It was later revealed that their bodies were planted there by the Time Trapper.
Powers and Abilities
Val is immensely strong for a normal human, able to defeat Daxamites and Kryptonians at times.
He is very fast, able to dodge lightning and lasers.
Karate Kid has no super powers, yet he is master of every form of martial arts to have been developed up to the 30th Century. He also possesses the ability to sense the weakest spot in an object. His skill in hand-to-hand combat is seemingly superhuman, allowing him to simulate super-strength blows. His prowess was so high that he was able to take on Superboy when he auditioned for the Legion of Superheroes. Val Armorr is the youngest warrior ever to earn the title Samurai. The computer in the Fortress of Solitude has him ranked as a class 15 whereas Batman is only ranked as a class 12. Although this rating was given by Superman, who Batman loved to prove wrong.
Val is also very skilled with melee weapons but does not like to use them.
Karate Kid's training included mental discipline which makes him more resistant to mind control, as well as giving him a limited control of his body's functions, such as being able to control vomiting or being nauseous.
As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Karate Kid possesses a Legion Flight Ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to fly, the speed and range of which is determined by the wearer's willpower. It also acts as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space), a signal device, and a navigational compass, all powered by a micro-computer built inside the ring.
Weight: 160 lbs.
Karate Kid has died and been resurrected many times. His wife, Princess Projectra, who has psychic and mystical powers, has referred to him as an "Eternal Champion". After his last death, she said that she was just waiting for him to be reborn again, like the last time. This aspect of his character has not been fully explored, and is still a mystery.
In the 2995 Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook, this Haiku was printed under his profile and offered some hint of his ability to be reborn:
Seek the fatal flaw; Each vessel has its weakness, Even endless sleep. -- Q.D.
Karate Kid is a member of this Legion.
Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31th Century
Karate Kid is a member of this Legion.
Superman & Legion of Super-Heroes
Karate Kid appeared in the the Season 2 episode titled after him of Legion of Super heroes. He is pretty much influenced by the Karate Kid original movie trilogy Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Machio) . He was voiced by Keith Ferguson.
Justice League Adventures: Trapped in Time
Karate Kid appear in the is a direct-to-video animated film JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Val and his companion, aspiring legionnaire Dawnstar travel through time to stop the machinations of Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom, joining the Justice League.
This version of Karate Kid, unlike other, showed paranormal abilities, such as being able to perceive stress points, fracture planes, or weaknesses in objects as well a Ki based attacks in addition to his fighting skills. The visual design of Karate Kid is heavily influenced by the Superfriends character Samurai. He is voiced by Dante Basco.