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Interlac font table

In the DC Comics fictional universe, Interlac is the designated communication language of the 30th century United Planets.

In its basic form it is a simple one-to-one substitution cipher. The Interlac alphabet corresponds perfectly to the twenty-six letters of the Latin alphabet and the numbering system corresponds to Earth Base-Ten form. Although nominally protected by differences in font spacing, the numbering system itself suffers from a minor stylistic flaw due to the potential for confusion of 6 and 7 with 41 and 42, respectively. Anyone writing it by hand could certainly introduce an error when read by another, and this could create problems with handwriting recognition, as well.

As the official U.P. language, Interlac is taught in schools throughout the system and is the common form of communication between most sentient United Planet races." (After "Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1" - DC Comics 1988)

The first reference to Interlac as the "intergalactic universal language of the 30th century" was in Adventure Comics #379 published March, 1969. It was also frequently referred to in the Super Friends comic book series (in which all of the Super Friends, including Wendy and Marvin, speak it) as a token explanation of how the Super Friends could understand the language of visiting and/or invading extraterrestrials. The Interlac alphabet was codified years later by writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #312 (June 1984).

In the Babylon 5 universe, Interlac is also referred to as a universal language most often used in first contact situations because it is easily translated. It is easily translated due to the fact that it is a language based on pure mathematics.[1] In this context, it is normally used only in first contact situations until such a time as a more common understanding between two new species becomes available. Unlike the DC Comics version of the language, the common trade language in the Babylon 5 universe is English.


Recent usage

In the "Lightning Saga" crossover in Justice League of America (vol. 2) and Justice Society of America (vol. 2) Interlac is spoken by the character Starman and others as a trigger. They say "Lightning Lad" in Interlac, freeing other Legion members from the mental blocks that have been put in place.

The individual chapter titles are also printed in Interlac:

  • Chapter 1 "Lightning Lad"
  • Chapter 2 "Dreams and Fire"
  • Chapter 3 "Suicide"
  • Chapter 4 "Three Worlds"
  • Chapter 5 "The Villain Is The Hero In His Own Story"

Interlac is also shown to be the language in which the Guardians of the Universe write the Book of Oa.

See also


  1. ^ JMSNews

External links



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