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Kent Shakespeare
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Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #12 (October 1990)
Created by Keith Giffen
Tom Bierbaum
Mary Bierbaum
Al Gordon
In-story information
Alter ego Richard Kent Shakespeare
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations Legion of Super-Heroes
Notable aliases Impulse
Abilities Superhuman strength, speed, durability, and recuperative abilities.

Richard Kent Shakespeare, occasionally codenamed Impulse, is a fictional character in the DC Universe. He became a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century, during the "Five Years Later" era.


Fictional character history

Richard Kent Shakespeare is a native of the planet Earth, reared in the New Rochelle section of Metropolis. While attending medical school at the University of Metropolis, he was stricken with a virus that left him comatose. Legion of Super-Heroes member Brainiac 5 determined that the virus had actually substituted itself for Kent's natural organs, fundamentally improving him. Kent acquired strength, speed, durability, and recuperative abilities far beyond that of a normal human. During the five year period following the Magic Wars, he was inducted into the Legion under the codename Impulse. After the Dominion covertly gained control of Earth's government and the Legion disbanded, Kent fled the planet. He eventually became a paramedic on the medical planet Quarantine. While there he also tended to Garridan Ranzz, the child of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, whom Darkseid once kidnapped and transformed into the monstrous Validus.[1]

Years later, when Reep Daggle (Chameleon Boy) and Rokk Krin (Cosmic Boy) reformed the Legion, Kent joined them. He remained with the team until he was de-aged into childhood by the time mistress Glorith.[2]

Post-Infinite Crisis

No one named Kent Shakespeare appears in the Post-Zero Hour or "Threeboot" versions of the Legion. However, the events of the Infinite Crisis miniseries have restored a close analogue of the Pre-Crisis Legion to continuity, as seen in "The Lightning Saga" story arc in Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, and in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc in Action Comics. Kent was seen briefly when multiple versions of the Legion battled Superboy-Prime, the Time Trapper and the Legion of Super-Villains.[3]

Kent Shakespeare has no connection to Bart Allen, the grandson of Barry Allen (The Flash), who once used the codename "Impulse".


  1. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) Annual #3 (1984)
  2. ^ Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #53 (January 1994)
  3. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (September 2009)

External links



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