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This DC Villain Faced Off Against Captain Kirk On Star Trek: The Original Series

Summary

  • Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5 revealed Vandal Savage and Flint to be alternate versions of the same immortal character.
  • Emperor Vandar, a third version of the character, is the central threat in the crossover, having used the power of Q to become a galactic conqueror in his timeline.
  • The disparity between Flint’s peaceful nature and Savage’s desire for power is explored, highlighting the contrast between the two characters, as well as their similar stories, creating a meaningful climax to the story as a result.


A notorious DC villain once encountered the crew of the Enterprise, in an iconic Star Trek: The Original Series episode. The Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes crossover revealed perennial DCU antagonist Vandal Savage to, in fact, be an alternate universe version of the immortal Flint, from the TOS episode “Requiem for Methuselah.”

Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5 – written by Chris Roberson, with art by Jeffery Moy, ink by Phillip Moy, lettering by Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and lettering by Chris Mowry – explained the fascinating connection between the two characters, building an organic connection between the Star Trek galaxy and the DC Universe.

Ultimately, a third version of the character, Emperor Vandar, proved to be the central threat of the crossover story, turning this insightful connection between Trek and DC lore into the lynchpin of the narrative.

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Star Trek’s “Flint” And DC’s Vandal Savage Are One & The Same

Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5, Captain Kirk explains the backstory of Flint from TOS

“Requiem for Methuselah,” was one of the final episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. It featured the Enterprise crew’s encounter with “Flint”, who claimed to be an immortal from Earth, who had previously been a number of famous historical figures, including the eponymous Methuselah, and Alexander the Great. Vandal Savage first appeared in 1943’s Green Lantern #10, where he explained that he was a prehistoric man who had been made immortal by contact with a fallen meteor. 2011-12’s Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes crossover exploited the parallel between the two characters to create its villain: Emperor Vandar.

Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5 revealed Savage and Flint to be alternate universe versions of the same individual. Vandar represented yet another version, one that had somehow been able to capture Q, harnessing his power to become a galactic conqueror. Whereas Flint swore off violence, and Vandal Savage is an undeniable rogue, but with a limited power set, Vandar truly became the worst possible version of himself. This synthesis of a classic DC villain with a memorable early Trek character displayed a creative awareness of how the two properties could coexist, resulting in a meaningful climax to the crossover.

Vander Is Who Vandal Savage Wants To Be

Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5, the history of immortal Vandal Savage

Kirk recaps “Methuselah” in Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes #5, explaining that Flint was, in fact, responsible for much of Earth society’ greatest culture, as:

“…eventually overwhelmed by the horrors of war, he turned his back on violence and conquest. He became a thinker, an inventor, an artist. Da Vinci, Brahms, Pollack – through a hundred lifetimes and more he created timeless art that would have outlived any mortal man.”

Vandal Savage diverges from this character by having never come to realize how meaningless violence and power through conquest are. Meanwhile, the crossover’s Vander represents Savage, if given the ability to achieve his desire for power with near-omnipotent ease. As Shadow Lass, a member of the Legion, noted: “Vandal Savage was many things, but he was never an artist.”

The Multiversal connection between Vandal Savage and Flint is the highlight of Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes. An otherwise fun collusion of two iconic ensemble casts, the series is elevated by its melding of lore from each franchise into its antagonist. The parallel was there to be built upon, and the crossover’s creative team seized upon the opportunity. It is worth studying for writers of future crossovers, who should prioritize finding organic connections between the properties mingling. Making DC’s Vandal Savage and Star Trek’s Flint the same character is a prime example of this.

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