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Comic Book / Karate Kid

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Funny... I really enjoyed this mission. First time in years I've felt whole. It was like rediscovering that I'm someone special— Not just another one of the Legionnaires, but a hero in my own right... And this world! I almost forgot that there was an age when people did things! Maybe this is where I belong...
Karate Kid, Issue #1.

Karate Kid is a 1976 Spin-Off from Legion of Super-Heroes, featuring the titular Legionnaire. Lasting for 15 issues, the series was made to tie into the martial arts craze of the 1970s, and was eventually cancelled during the so-called "DC Implosion".

The series featured the Legionnaire being sent from the 30th Century to present day on a mission, and deciding to stay. There he befriends school teacher Iris Jacob and continues his crime-fighting adventures.

For tropes relating to Karate Kids outside of this series, see Legion of Super-Heroes: Silver Age.

For the unrelated film franchise that began in 1984 see The Karate Kid.

Karate Kid contains examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: Val's fight with Nemesis Kid at the beginning is mistaken for guerrilla filming by the local police who approach him to ask the whereabouts of the director who they want to give a citation for filming without a permit. Val has no clue what they're talking about.
  • Casual Time Travel: The Legion maintains their usual near ridiculous blasé attitude about time travel, showing up for the first issue to help with a fight and then taking off back to the future in a huff after telling K.K. he'll come to them to ask for help sooner or later and they'll see him then.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: He does not really understand the social and technological differences between his own time and the 1970's, but he really likes it there since less stuff is synthetic and there are things like actual human teachers.
  • Mistaken Nationality: While the police officers in the first issue quickly figure out Val isn't a local they assume he's a Kung Fu star brought over from Asia to star in some movie and ask him to point them to the director since they're "filming" without a permit. They realize they've made some mistaken assumptions once Val flies away upon hearing he's not in any trouble.
  • Nice Guy: Cosmic Boy is kind, compliments KK's actions and tries to get him to still feel like an integral part of the team when Val says he feels unneeded and out of place in the Legion. Val doesn't really care, and his feeling of being out of place is cemented when Brainiac 5 opens his mouth with a sarcastic comment. When Val throws Cos's humility back in his face and asks to be returned to the '70's Cos just asks him if he's sure that's what he wants before sending him back. However when Val gets brainwashed into taking lethal action Cos attacks him violently enough to give the team pause, partly because if he tried to take it easy Val would murder him.
  • Pun: The cover of issue 14 proclaims Diamondeth is Forever!