The Legion of Super-Villains made their first appearance when they were contacted by an incarcerated Lex Luthor to devise a plan to defeat Superman. The Legion of Super-Villains, who consisted of Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen, freed Lex Luthor from his jail cell to speak to him. The Legion of Super-Villains members each told their history to Lex Luthor, and how they all come from the distant future where the Legion of Super-Heroes have reached adulthood and continue to fight crime. They explain that they want to defeat Superman to humiliate their arch-foes, since Superman was a Legion member as Superboy. They trapped Superman in a kryptonite shield and almost vanquished him if not for the intervention of the Legion of Super-Heroes members, Lightning Man, Cosmic Man and Saturn Woman, who were adult versions of Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl, respectively.
The next time the Legion of Super-Villains take another stance against their honorable counterparts was when they journeyed into the past to join the Legion of Super-Heroes when it was being run by Dynamo-Boy, a person who cheated his way on the team to expel every rightful member. Since they journeyed from the future, no one would be aware that the Legion of Super-Villains members were actually criminals, so they would be able to join the Legion of Super-Heroes without arousing suspicion. Under the guise of fighting crime, this new "Legion" actually committed it instead. The expelled, honorable members of the Legion of Super-Heroes returned and fought the Legion of Super-Villains, chasing them off back into the future.
When Superman traveled to the very distant future, when the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes are adults and some are even married with children, the Legion of Super-Villains rear their criminal heads again with two new members: Beauty Blaze and Echo. The two Legions fight, with the Legion of Super-Villains getting the upper hand but are stopped by the powers of the descendants of both Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk, who are, ironically, heroes in the future.
Tarik the Mute's Legion of Super-Villains
Chronologically, the first Legion of Super-Villains was led by Tarik the Mute, a man who spoke through a robot. Tarik the Mute started a school to teach criminals how to hone their abilities and wanted the training guidebooks from the Legion Academy to have the edge. Tarik the Mute was able to blackmail Colossal Boy by turning his parents into fragile glass. Holding them hostage, Tarik the Mute made Colossal Boy get the training guidebooks for his Legion of Super-Villains, who included some former Legion rejects like Ron-Karr, Spider-Girl, Radiation Roy and Nemesis Kid, as well as the brother of Lightning Lad, Lightning Lord. Members of the Legion of Super-Heroes were able to infiltrate this evil school and stop Tarik the Mute from continuing his criminal endeavors. Superboy (in disguise), Chameleon Boy, and Legion trainees Chemical King and Timber Wolf comprised the team that infiltrated the school. For their efforts, Chemical King and Timber Wolf were granted full membership status with Legion.
The Legion of Super-Villains have continued to commit crimes without the leadership of Tarik the Mute, due to his incarceration. New members, including Chameleon Chief and Sun Emperor, who also had futuristic counterparts with the future Legion Super of Super-Villains, joined established members like Spider-Girl, Nemesis Kid, Radiation Roy and Lightning Lord. On one of their capers, the LSV attempted to sneak their way into the Legion of Super-Heroes' headquarters to plant a bomb that would destroy everything. Fortunately for the LSH, they figured out the ruse in time to prevent the bomb from exploding, sending the super villains back to jail.
The Legion of Super-Villains' Greatest Triumph
The Legion of Super-Villain's biggest triumph and most ambitious plan was to overtake the world of Orando, where the Legionnaire Queen Projectra rules, and send it to an alternate dimension, where they could rule the planet in isolation. The Legion of Super-Villains also made a pact that each member would have to kill a Legion of Super-Heroes member. Led by Nemesis Kid, this incarnation of the Legion of Super-Villains boasted the largest roster the team has ever seen.
The Legion of Super-Villains attacked the Legion of Super-Heroes individually or in pairs, when they were most vulnerable. Their sheer number could overtake the heroic Legion and it nearly did. They were able to defeat several members of the Legion, including Lightning Lass, Queen Projectra and Karate Kid, holding them hostage. Eventually, a large brawl occurred between the two teams, which was the perfect diversion for Nemesis Kid to enact his plan of transporting Orando into an alternate dimension, which he did with the help of Zymyr's technology.
The biggest impact that their attack on the Legion of Super-Heroes had was on the planet of Orando, when Nemesis Kid fought against Karate Kid and killed him. Queen Projectra, in a rage, snapped Nemesis Kid's neck as her brand of justice. The tides turned and the Legion of Super-Heroes were able to defeat the Legion of Super-Villains, especially without the leadership of Nemesis Kid. The remaining members of the Legion of Super-Villains were remanded to Takron-Galtos, a planet devoted to being a large-scale prison facility.
Nemesis Lad's LSV Roster:
The roster for the Legion of Super-Villains, under the leadership of Nemesis Kid, that tried to control Orando is as follows:
The original Legion of Super-Villains, consisting of the futuristic, adult Cosmic King, Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord, made a return after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. It has been revealed that all along, this incarnation of the Legion were always from an alternate reality. In order for their alternate reality to become real, Saturn Queen, Cosmic King and Lightning Lord traveled to the past and kidnapped both Batman and Superman, raising them as their own children. They also killed off some influential superheroes, including Aquaman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen and the Martian Manhunter, so they would not face undue opposition. However, Batman and Superman eventually realized their predicament and fought against their 'parents'. The Legion of Super-Villains then recruited Beauty Blaze and Echo, working with Ra's al Ghul, to stop Batman and Superman from disrupting their carefully plotted plans. However, Superman and Batman, along with some revived members of the Justice League of America, defeated the Legion of Super-Villains. Cosmic King, Saturn Queen and Lightning Lord were returned to their rightful time and place, where their version of the Legion of Super-Heroes (all adults) took them into custody.
The Legion of Three Worlds
The Legion of Super-Villains have made a return during the events of Final Crisis. They have all been freed by Superboy Prime, where it is revealed that he is the actual inspiration for the formation of the Legion of Super-Villains, much like Superman was the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes. They proceeded to destroy Takron-Galtos, the prison planet they were incarcerated on. Their goal was simple: the utter destruction of Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The genesis of this roster has spurned the Legion of Super-Heroes to seek out alternate reality versions of themselves to battle against the massive Legion of Super-Villains. The Legion of Super-Villains are given rings very similar to their heroic counterparts, but the ring bears an S that resembles the S on Superboy Prime's logo.
Superboy Prime's LSV Roster
The roster for the Legion of Super-Villains, under the leadership of Superboy Prime, that fought the Legion of Super-Heroes during the Final Crisis.
Legion of Super-Heroes - Animated Series
The lineup of Lightning Lord, Hunter, Esper, Tyr, Wave, and Ron-Karr appears in the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. They pose as heroes (much like the Thunderbolts) until they are exposed. They appear (without Lightning Lord) at the start of the second season. Their next appearance is through a memory.