The Time Trapper is a unique in being a singularity, existing as fundamentally the same being throughout Legion history, although his role in shaping reality has risen and fallen with changes to the timeline.
Iron Curtain of Time
[Fake Trapper, Crisis tampering so that there would still be a Superboy]
[Conspiracy, ends with apparent "death"/vs Mon-El/Mordruverse/Glorithverse]
[End of an Era/Zero Hour (inc. New Titans globe messages, since they were sent from this period)]
After reality was restored again, a robed figure was seen at the end of time, long hair spilling from the cloak. If this was the Time Trapper, where it falls in the Trapper's personal timeline is unknown.
Regardless, the Trapper was indeed restored along with reality, with full knowledge of the previous timelines - and the mistakes he had made that had led to their unravelling. With the rebirth of the timeline, although Valor still seeded the worlds, there was no longer a need for the singular figure of old to cause a Legion to rise, and he retreated beyond the new timeline, creating pocket universes to keep himself occupied rather than interfering with the main timeline - until a new Legion was born fpr the new timeline without his aid.
He first encountered one of the new Legionnaires when he elongated XS' return to her home time through several time periods, revealing himself to her when she reached the Linear Men's base, Vanishing Point, before wiping her memory of the encounter and returning her home.
Old habits beginning to reassert themselves, he interfered again, removing the Legionnaires stranded in the 20th century and placing them in a replica of 1950s smalltown America with all but Gates' memory erased, while posing as "Mr Swan", their teacher and a beacon of tolerance, in an attempt to see how they dealt with the xenophobia of the time. After they "passed", he returned them to the 20th century.
He then plucked Legionnaires from both the 20th and 30th centuries, depowered them, and placed them in a replica of World War II with analogues of some of their friends. Again, they "passed" his test and he returned them to where he had taken them from.
Finally, he took the whole Legion out of time, transforming most of them into the first Legion he had met - briefly involving Superman to preserve a journey he had taken before the timeline reset - and placed the Legionnaires without direct, living analogues in the crowd, along with Lori Morning. These Legionnaires - Kid Quantum (Jazmin Cullen), XS, Gates, Kinetix, Monstress and Ferro - and Lori, began to remember fragments of their real lives in short order, until seeing a memorial statue of "himself" broke Ferro's fake memories, which in turn revived the others' real memories until , on visting the timeline's Rond Vidar at Lori's suggestion, he pulled them into the timestream (whereupon their costumes reappeared). By combining their powers, XS and Kid Quantum pulled the group out of the timestream, but found themselves still in a Pre-Crisis-like timeline, albeit some time later. Confronted by "native" Legionnaires, they fled, until Lori pushed buttons on a console, which ended by launching them into the presence of the Time Trapper himself.
The Time Trapper's actual identity is not only uncertain, but possibly in actual flux.
- In Adventure Comics #338 (October 1965), he was originally said to be one of the Controllers (a splinter group from the Guardians of Oa that lives in another dimension).
- The Legionnaires Three mini-series shows that the Time Trapper captured in the #280s and defeated by one of Darkseid's minions was actually one of his agents, a decoy that fell in disgrace due to his failure and defeat.
- Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #50 (September 1988) and Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #4 (February 1990) show him believing himself to be somehow a personification of Entropy itself.
- Books coming right before Zero Hour, most particularly Legionnaires #18 (September 1994), Valor #23 (September 1994) and Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #61 (September 1994) state that he is the future of Cosmic Boy; the same is also said in one of the issues of Zero Hour.
- The very last panel of Zero Hour suggests that there is a new Time Trapper, apparently a female (Lori? Glorith?)
- Legionnaires #64 (September 1998) says that he is in fact Lori Morning.
- Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #4 (May 2009) shows him as Superboy-Prime.
- Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5 (September 2009) does however state that he is somehow a sentient alternate timeline.
Chronology and Appearances
- Wonder Woman v1 #101, October 1958: Possible first appearance, as Ty. M. Master, a one-time Wonder Woman foe with some similarities. In Super Friends v1 #17 Wonder Woman posits that the Time Master and the Time Trapper must be one and the same.
- Adventure Comics #317, February 1964: First mention.
- Adventure Comics #318, March 1964: First inequivocal appearance.