Karate Kid (Val Armorr) is a fictional character, a superhero in the future of the DC Comics universe, and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He is a master of every form of martial arts to have been developed by the 31st Century. The extent of his skill is so great that he can severely damage various types of hard material with a single blow and was briefly able to hold his own against Superboy through use of what he called "Super Karate".
Val Armorr was the son of Japan's greatest crime lord, Kirau Nezumi, also known as Black Dragon. When he was born, his mother, the American secret agent Valentina Armorr, tried to hide him from his father, but she failed and was killed for her affront. Japan's greatest hero Sensei Toshiaki (the White Crane) eventually killed Black Dragon for his crimes and adopted the infant Val. He raised Val as if he were his own son, and trained him in all manner of the martial arts. Val became the youngest warrior ever to earn the title Samurai, and he went to work for his local shogun. However, after trying his best and failing to please his supervisor, he quit and searched the galaxy for new forms of battle to master.
When Val returned to Earth, he found that the Legion of Super-Heroes was searching for new recruits to battle the Khund. He applied, and, although he had no superhuman powers, was accepted when he challenged Superboy to single combat and so impressed the Boy of Steel that Superboy vouched for his admission to the Legion (Adventure Comics #346 clearly shows that though Superboy was surprised by the Kid's skill, strength, and speed, Val clearly had bitten off more than he could chew and could do Superboy no harm). His Legion career almost ended ignominiously when fellow recruit Nemesis Kid framed him for betraying Earth to the Khunds, but Nemesis Kid's own treachery was discovered in time, and Val went on to become one of the greatest Legionnaires ever. As Karate Kid, Val was the Legion's leader for one term and once took on the entire Fatal Five single-handedly, clearly defeating the Persuader, Emerald Empress, and Mano (though Mano was largely a matter of luck as the Kid admitted to himself). At one point or another he launched solo flying kicks at villains whose power level far exceeded Superboy, including Validus, Mordru, Omega and even Darkseid. Though they had little effect, they showed the degree of his fearless courage.
Val fell in love with Princess Projectra, who joined the Legion at the same time he did. In order to prove his worthiness of the princess' hand, he took a leave of absence and spent about a year in the primitive 20th century. (During his visit there, Karate Kid was featured in an eponymous, short-lived comic book series: Karate Kid #1 debuted in March 1976 and lasted for 15 issues.) He returned to find Projectra's father dead. With Val's and the other Legionnaires' help, she won the throne from her cousin Pharoxx. Val officially became Projectra's consort soon afterward and resigned from the Legion.
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