A hero published by DC Comics
. Lightning Lad first appeared in Adventure Comics #247
Garth Ranzz is a native of the planet Winath. Natives of Winath usually have fraternal twins though in rare cases a single child will be born. In the case of Ranzz family, their first child was a boy named Mekt while the younger two children were Garth and Ayla. The trio were traveling in their space ship (think along the lines of a Jetsons' space craft and you will be in the area), when their ship crash landed on the planet Korbal. Finding that their power batteries were sapped during the crash, the three decided to try and get said batteries recharged by leading some of the native animals, the lightning beasts of Korbal to the ship and have them do a space aged version of jump starting their car. The three led a group of the creatures (that looked somewhat similar to purple elephants but ones that shoot electricity from their trunks) toward their ships, but found themselves struck by the bolts from the animals. Rather than being killed, all three of the siblings gained the ability to generate bolts of electricity. Powering up their ship, they returned home.
Garth Ranzz was traveling on a transport to Earth with the wealthy industrailist R.J. Brande, as well as two other teens, Imra Ardeen of Saturn and Rokk Krinn of Braal. Upon arriving, Ardeen picked up the thoughts of assassins on board who were planning to kill Brande. Crying out a warning, Ranzz and Krinn used their powers to subdue to the criminals. In thanks, Brande convinced the trio to use their powers for good and they took on code names and established the Legion of Super-heroes which Brande helped fund.
Lightning Lad has had one of the more eventful careers in the Legion. Early in his career, he was killed during one of his adventures, protecting the life of fellow Legionnaire Saturn Girl. In a move that would soon become more the norm than the exception, he was brought back to life a few issues later, when his fellow Legionnaires worked out a way to bring him back, but costing one of them their lives in return. This dubious plot line was made further improbable by the inclusion of the group standing around a glass coffin with lightning rods waiting to be struck down to bring their friend back to life. Saturn Girl seemingly pulled the short straw, but it was soon discovered that she had been replaced at the last minute by Chameleon Boy's pet, an amorphous blob named Proty.
In the years to come, Lightning Lad lost an arm fighting the Super-Moby Dick of Space and had it replaced with a metal one and later had his original arm grown back. Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl married and left the Legion for a time and had two children. One of the children was taken by the lord of Apokolips Darkseid and transformed into a monsterous foe that the Legion fought for many years: the monster Validus. The child was later returned to normal.
Since the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Legion has gone through a number of reworkings. In the present version, Lightning Lad is known as Live Wire and has again been killed and brought back to life. In this version, he was killed by former teammate Element Lad and has since returned in Element Lad's crystalline form.