MEMBERSHIP: Dr. Lou Denham, Daimon Hellstorm (undercover agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.), Lightning Lord, Carlos Santos, unnamed pilot, others;
    the Lords of Living Lightning are divided into a number of cells, including ESPer, Logic, and Metaphysics.

PURPOSE: To conquer the U.S.A.
    Some members had the intent of abolishing war and hatred, while others (such as the Lightning Lord) sought power for its own sake. They were also described as a doomsday cult that sold hi-tech weaponry to terrorists to help trigger apocalyptic war after which they could then rule.

AFFILIATIONS: Redshirt, Minions' International Liberation Front (MILF), the Org;
    brief alliance with A.I.M., Black Choppers, Cyber-Ninjas, Hydra, Militiamen, Secret Empire, Sons of the Serpent, Trenchcoat Mafia, Ultimatum
    formerly Hellstorm; the Hulk; Merlin

ENEMIES: Howling Commandos (S.H.I.E.L.D. supernatural unit), Hulk, Mercedes Merced, Merlin, Betty Ross, Gen. Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, Col. Glen Talbot, Taskmaster, U.S. Army

ALIASES: Legions of the Living Lightning, Lightning Legion, Living Lightning Legion






BASE of OPERATIONS: A base within the Santa Ana mountains, about an hour east of East Los Angeles; also a base offshore in a mountainous volcano

WEAPONRY: The Living Lightning (or Lightning Machine) was a powerful machine that could fire devastating bolts of electricity (sufficient to drop the Hulk). The Legion also used portable lightning rays, which either had power transmitted from the Living Lightning or, more likely, they were charged from the Living Lightning. They also used jets, missiles, trucks, and a "Truth Inducer."

    Their base could be opened by a special fingerprint glove placed within a lightning triangle imprint just outside the base.

FIRST APPEARANCE: Tales to Astonish I#97 (November, 1967)








HISTORY: The origins of the Legion of Living Lightning, their base, and their technology are unrevealed.

(Tales to Astonish I#97/2) - The Hulk unwittingly collided with one of the Legion's ships in mid-leap, causing the ship to crash. After the Hulk saved the pilot, he was convinced to accompany the pilot back to his base where they would accept him as one of their own. The man passed out from the shock of the Hulk's final leap, but the doors to the mountain then opened, revealing the Living Lightning. The Hulk felt he had been led into a trap as lightning bolts from the lightning machine began to strike him, but even his great power could not save him from being eventually incapacitated. Once the injured pilot recovered, he explained why he had brought the Hulk there, and the Lightning Lord freed the Hulk from the restraining current. Playing on the Hulk's desire for companionship, the Lord calmed the Hulk with regards to the recent attack and convinced him to join them.
    Soon enough the Hulk was doing heavy labor for the Legion. Col. Glen Talbot discovered the Legion's base, but he was captured and brought before the Lord. Talbot's hostility towards the Lightning Lord convinced the Hulk to fight for the Legion, and the Lord sent him to destroy the nearby U.S. Army missile base.

(Tales to Astonish I#98/2) - The Hulk assaulted the missile base, which was under the command of Gen. Ross. Taking Talbot with him, the Lighting Lord led the Legion to follow the Hulk in their jets, and they soon arrived to attack the missile base as well. Via their lightning rays, the Legion quickly fought their way past the soldiers who were already weakened and distracted from battling the Hulk. The Hulk ended up succumbing to a gas attack and was captured, but by then the Lightning Lord had already taken over Ross' command post. The Legion commanded the base and cut off all radio contact with the outside world, and the Lord had Ross' daughter Betty tossed in with the Hulk. The Lightning Lord commanded Ross to surrender the base to him in a nation-wide radio broadcast before Betty could be hurt by the Hulk.

(Tales to Astonish I#99/2) - The Lightning Lord made the mistake of telling the Hulk that Betty was his enemy and that he must destroy her. Trusting Betty, the Hulk instead tossed the Lightning Lord against the wall, leading the Lightning Lord to command his troops to attack the Hulk. The Legion used their lightning rays on the Hulk, and the repeated blasts caused the Hulk to turn back into Banner. However, while a Legion guard was distracted by the battle, Talbot tackled the man, stole his costume and uniform, reopened radio contact, and then used the lightning ray against the guards holding Banner and the Rosses. As reinforcements arrived, the Lightning Lord took a small group of the Legion with him as he escaped, leaving the rest to be captured. Realizing the Hulk was their only chance of defeating the Legion at their base, Ross allowed Banner to use his gamma ray device to turn back into the Hulk.
    Back at the Legion's base, the Lightning Lord commanded the others to follow Plan M, launching all of their missiles at the military base, a final act of defiance to destroy their opponents. The enraged Hulk arrived in time to stop the missile launch, and he proved capable of shrugging off the portable lightning rays long enough to hurl a crane at the Living Lightning generator, causing an explosion that blew up the base.

(Avengers West Coast Annual#7 (fb) - BTS) - Legion member Dr. Lou Denham either survived the base's destruction or was absent when the base was destroyed. Possibly he was one of those captured at the missile base.

(Avengers West Coast#63 - BTS) - Miguel Santos, son of Legion member Carlos Santos, located the Legion's former base. Using his father's fingerprint glove, Miguel entered the base. He tried to reactivate the Living Lightning device and was electrocuted. The energy transformed Miguel into an electrical being, and he took the name Living Lightning.

(Avengers West Coast Annual#7/5 (fb) - BTS) - Lou Denham heard of the Living Lightning, figured out his true identity, and realized he was the son of one of his former teammates.

(Avengers West Coast Annual#7/5) - Denham attempted to convince Miguel to bring him to the base and show him how he had gained his powers, intending to make an army of such warriors to restart the Legion. Miguel refused, at which point Denham's agents tried to force him, even taking Miguel's mother hostage. Miguel defeated Denham and his men and turned them over to the police.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (fb)-BTS) - The Legion of the Living Lightning renamed themselves the Lords of the Living Lightning.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#6 (fb)-BTS) - Daimon Hellstorm was sent in by S.H.I.E.L.D. to infiltrate the Lords.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 - BTS) - The supernatural S.H.I.E.L.D. outfit Howling Commandos stormed the base of a cult that was utilizing technology supplied by the Lords of the Living Lightning.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#3) - When Merlin was freed upon the world, it caused both S.H.I.E.L.D.'s and the Lords' ESPer units to die from overload. The Lords sent Hellstorm to Merlin to bargain an alliance.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#4) - While Hellstorm courted Merlin's favor, Merlin's supernatural agents stormed the Lords' base and forced them into his service.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#6) - After Merlin's defeat by the Howling Commandos, he retreated and went to the Lords' base, where he presumably took over.

(Taskmaster II#1) - The Legions of the Living Lightning were amongst 15 terrorist organizations who had targeted Taskmaster for the billion-dollar bounty on his head, apparently offered by the Org (actually Redshirt in an effort to usurp the Org). Taskmaster killed all those sent against him on the initial raid.

(Taskmaster II#3) - Redshirt rallied his Minions' International Liberation Front (MILF), which included non-senior members of the Lords of the Living Lightning.

(Taskmaster II#4) - Redshirt and his alliance attacked the former S.H.I.E.L.D. base where Taskmaster was hiding. Those involved in the attack were either killed by Taskmaster and Mercedes Merced or fled.

COMMENTS: Created by Smilin' Stan "The Man" Lee, Madcap Marie "The She" Severin, and Howlin' Herb Trimpe.

A lot of 'literation in this little Living Lightning Legion profile...

The Taskmaster II tpb includes a very short entry on the Legions/Lords of the Living Lightning.

The Legion of Living Lightning has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.

Profile by Snood.

The Legion of Living Lightning has no known connection to:

Lou Denham


A member of the Legion, he either survived the base's destruction or was absent when the base was destroyed. Possibly he was one of those captured at the missile base. He later learned of Living Lightning (Miguel Santos) and sought to replicate his power to form an army to re-form the Legion. Assisted by his agents Paolo and Raoul, he attempted to learn the secret of the Living Lightning's powers, even having his men attack Miguel and take Mrs. Santos hostage. Miguel told him that he obtained his power from a special St. Christopher's medal, which he tossed to Lou. However, Miguel had used his power to super-heat the medal, and it burned Lou's hand, distracting Lou and his men, enabling Miguel to take them out with a lightning bolt without hurting his mother too badly.

--Tales to Astonish I#97 - BTS, Avengers West Coast Annual#7  (97-99 - BTS, Avengers West Coast Annual#7 (fb) - BTS, Annual#7



Lord of the the Living Lightning


    A.k.a. the Lightning Lord, Lord of the Lightning, etc.


    He led the group and was apparently slain in the base's destruction. He seemed more megalomaniac than "benevolent revolutionary" as Carlos was supposed to be. He also was more than willing to sacrifice his own men to save himself.


--Tales to Astonish I#97 (98, 99








Carlos Santos

The father of Miguel (Living Lightning), he came up from Mexico and joined the Legion, hoping to conquer the USA to save it from people who didn't love America as much as he did. He was apparently killed in the base's destruction.

He was never identified

--Tales to Astonish I#97 - BTS,  Avengers West Coast#63 - BTS (98 - BTS, 99 - BTS


Unnamed pilot


The Hulk accidentally leapt into the path of his jet, smashing it and causing it to crash. The Hulk rescued the man, fashioning a crude splint for his broken leg (yes, really). Realizing that the Hulk could be manipulated to serve the Legion, the pilot promised that the Hulk would find acceptance with the Legion. The Hulk brought him back to the base, where he explained his reasons to the Lightning Lord, who successfully convinced the Hulk to join.

 --Tales to Astonish I#97 (98 - BTS, 99 - BTS

images: Hulk story pages only, not including ads
Tales to Astonish I#97, p3, panel 6 (pilot)
        p4, panel 3 (lightning triangle)
        p4, panel 4 (Living Lightning)
        p6, panel 1 (Living Lighting vs. Hulk)
        p7, panel 4 (Lightning Lord face)
        p8, panel 6 (Lightning Lord body)
Tales to Astonish I#98, p7, panel 2 (Legion)
Avengers West Coast Annual#7 (Living Lightning story) p5, panel 2 (Lou Denham)

Tales to Astonish I#98 (December, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Marie Severin (pencils), Herb Trimpe (inks)
Tales to Astonish I#99 (January, 1968) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Marie Severin (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks)
Avengers West Coast#63 (October, 1990) - Roy & Dan Thomas (writers), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers West Coast Annual#7 (October, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), M.C. Wyman (pencils, Keith Williams (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (December, 2005) - Keith Giffen (writer), Eduardo Francisco (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#3 (February, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Dan Norton (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#4 (March, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Derec Aucoin (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#6 (May, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Mike Norton (penciler), Derec Aucoin & Norman Lee (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Taskmaster II#1 (November, 2010) - Fred van Lente (writer), Jefte Palo (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Taskmaster II#3-4 (January-February, 2011) - Fred van Lente (writer), Jefte Palo (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)

Last updated:06/08/11.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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