NAME + ALIASES:
Xao Jin of Earth
Legion of Super-Heroes
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #33 (Sept. 1992)
Reboot: Legionnaires #43 (Dec. 1996)
The Original Dragonmage
Xao Jin was born in China and his sensitivity to the forces of magic was apparent shortly after his birth. His powers seriously threatened his family's safety during the Magic Wars (Legion vol. 3 #60-63), he became the apprentice to Chu Hua, a master magician. He studied under him until the Dominators took him and his teacher captive.
Xao escaped the Dominators' underground chambers thanks to Danielle Foccart, who sensed their impending destruction and freed him, along with April Dumaka and Bobb Kohan (Crystal Kid). (Legion vol. 4 #33)
His spells, which usually manifested with dragon-shaped holograms, proved useful while the four were on the run. But he was not completely trained in the use of his power, and was easily rattled. Nonetheless, he was inducted into the New Earth team of Legionnaires upon its formation, (Legionnaires #1) where he worked to master his concentration and skills. (Legion vol. 4 #41)
He gained confidence from helping the Legionnaires restore Kid Quantum. Xao used magic to help the Protean race revive Quantum, and to stabilize him while he restored the Proteans he held within his form. Kid Quantum would have died without Dragonmage's help. Instead, Quantum was fully restored after the procedure. Dragonmage's magic also made Quantum's time-stasis powers powers internalized (they had previously been the product of technology). (Legionnaires #11)
The Legionnaires' mentor, Reep Daggle (Chameleon Boy) described Jin as "Quiet and unassuming. Needs more self-confidence to be effective in battle. … Extensive training reqiured." (2995: Legion Sourcebook)
This era of post-Crisis Legion continuity ended with the onset of Zero Hour. (Legion vol. 4 #61, Valor #22)
In the Retroboot era, the events of Legion vol. 4 were ignored, so the Legion never met Dragonmage. However, he was mentioned by the evil sorcerer Mordru, as one of the magicians that he had killed and absorbed. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2)
Co-creator Tom Bierbaum said of Dragonmage: "We had a pretty involved back story for him, but he's basically just a very talented mystic, born with so much power that the problem was never not having enough power but always having too much and trying to harness it. … Dragonmage was pretty strongly based on a couple characters we'd created earlier for fan fiction projects."
And more: "He's actually a version of a Franklin Richards character from a story Mary was involved in her early APA days. Later Mary and I updated that 'New Fantastic Four' into our 'Vagabond IV' APA fiction series."
Dragonmage is a mystic who can generate a wide variety of spells. His magic often manifests with the image of a green dragon.
Reboot: Dragonmage II
Xao Jin of of Earth-247 (the post-Zero Hour Legion), was a master of the mystic arts. As Dragonmage, he tried out for Legion membership, shortly after seven Legionnaires were thrown back in time by the Emerald Eye of Ekron. He was rejected for membership because the Eye had made the Legionnaires leery of anything magical. He left angrily, vowing to show the Legionnaires the full power of his magic. (Legionnaires #43)
He discovered magical power emanating from a recently-vacated crypt on the planetoid Yuen, but before he could tap into it, he was caught by the witch Mysa. She knew of the crypt's former prisoner, the sorcerer Mordru. (#46) Xao went to try and warn the Legion about Mordru's coming, but they ignored him because of his hysterics; he left with a contempt for the disbelievers. (#47) Jin returned to Mysa to help her prepare to fight Mordru (#48), and both of them ultimately joined forces with the Legion. (#49)
Dragonmage drained some of Mordru's power during the battle, but Mordru lashed out at him, injuring him badly. Mysa finished the job and then took Xao Jin as her apprentice. She was especially fond of him because he resembled a man she once knew and loved. (#50-52)
On the Sorcerers' World, Mysa instructed Dragonmage to regain control of his power. But Dragonmage was impatient and sought a more expedient path. He discovered scrolls which described the power of "Elementals" that were imprisoned on the planet Zyzan. Xao went to tap their powers and ignored the warnings other sorcerers. (#70) The Elementals were too powerful for Dragonmage to control, and they escaped. Mysa found Dragonmage unconscious and brought him to Legion headquarters on Earth to heal, while she and the Legionnaires battled the Elementals. (#71)
When Dragonmage awoke, Star Boy was there and told him what the Elementals had done. They argued, but a mystic blast from Dragonmage restored Star Boy's powers to normalcy, so they made peace. Dragonmage transported them to asteroid JS-1967, where the two of them were instrumental in stopping the Elementals. Dragonmage was severely injured again. (#73) While recovering, Dragonmage admitted his responsibility for unleashing such evil, and vowed to redeem himself. He turned himself over to United Planets authorities for punishment, of which Mysa approved. (#74)