Kent Shakespeare grew up in Metropolis during the 30th Century and was a highly intelligent and shy child. Kent was bullied often and this resulted in him having a strong empathy for outcasts and a desire to defend the persecuted. While attending medical school Kent contracted a Kryptonian virus which made him gravely ill. Kent was shipped off to Colu to be treated by Brainiac 5, who discovered that the virus was actually improving Kent's body. The virus ended up increasing Kent's mass, in addition to giving him partial invulnerability, super-speed and super-strength. Brainiac 5 then asked Kent to join the Legion of Superheroes, which he did, under the code name Impulse.
Kent Shakespeare was created by Al Gordon and was intended to be a descendant of Superman.
Five Years Later
After the Legion disbanded, Kent, wanting to avoid harassment by Earthgov agents, becomes a resident on the medical planet Quarantine where Garridan Ranzz and Ivy are among his patients. When Chameleon Boy and Cosmic Boy reform the Legion, Kent is among a number of former Legionnaires who join them. He helps the Legion in their confrontations with the Khunds, the Dominators, Grimbor the Chainsman, Lobo, Darkseid, Mordru and Glorith. In the battle with Glorith, Kent is de-aged to childhood and he is not active again with the team until his timeline is wiped away during Zero Hour. This version of Kent appeared one more time in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, where he is one of many Legionnaires who show up to help in the fight against the Time Trapper.
Reboot / Earth-247
In the Post-Zero Hour version of the Legion Kent is a member of the Legion Academy. Unfortunately, the Legion is once again rebooted before he can graduate and become a full-fledged Legionnaire. His origin and powers are never fully defined in this continuity.
In Superman/Batman #80 Kent is shown to be operating as the Superman of the 31st Century, where he fights alongside another descendant of Superman: Superwoman ( Laurel Kent). Batman ( Brane Taylor) and Robin ( Tom Wayne) are also among his allies as they are all shown in battle against Epoch, the Lord of Time.
Powers and Abilties
The Kryptonian virus which transformed Kent Shakespeare's body gave him limited invulnerability, super-speed, and super-strength. He also possesses far greater physical stamina than the average human, but he's susceptible to mental fatigue and therefore requires sleep.
As a member of the Legion, Kent possessed a Legion Flight Ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to fly, the speed and range of which is determined by the wearer's willpower. It also acts as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space), a signal device, and a navigational compass, all powered by a micro-computer built inside the ring.
Weight: 697 lbs.
In the Justice League Adventures continuity, Kent Shakespeare is a reporter in the 31st Century. He is shown to be covering stories concerning the Legion of Superheroes, but it is not clear whether or not he has powers in this continuity.