Monday, July 30, 2018
The Other Karate Kid!
I guess folks these days think of a certain trilogy of movies from the 80's when the name Karate Kid is brought up. I don't. Being a child of the 60's and 70's I first think of the 30th Century warrior Val Armorr, better known to his Legion of Superhero allies as Karate Kid.
Jim Shooter is given credit for creating Karate Kid, as one more of many interstellar heroes who were part of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes. He debuted in Adventure Comics #347 and 348 in a two-part tale. He went on to become a stalwart of the team, getting a costume revamp by Dave Cockrum (as did most of the Legion) when the series was revived in the early 70's.
So when the Kung Fu craze swept across the United States, it was natural that Karate Kid, DC's already custom-built martial arts hero would be a feature. But it didn't happen, that is it didn't happen for many years, after the craze had begun to fizzle out that Karate Kid left the future for the then modern DCU and became a solo star. The book was above average, but like most DC product at the time, I liked it but most other folks apparently did not. Eventually the titled was cancelled and Val Armorr went back to the future to take up his place in the Legion once again. But it was fun while it lasted.
Here are the covers of the Kid's run.