The Liberty League
Bowman and Arrow: Bowman and Graywing didn’t really like each other. Fletcher Beaumont disapproved of the brutality of Graywing’s initial career and was never shy about sharing his view that a Superhero has to not merely protect the community as an Urban Legend but present himself to them and serve as an ideal, an inspiration and a role-model.
Jose Santos considered Bowman to be perhaps a little naïve. He was of the opinion that what works for one superhero does not necessarily work for another – Part of the reason he refused to register, even at the request of his friend Antaeus – and that what worked in Freedom would not work in Falconcrest.
Fortunately both heroes were wise enough to see that the other had a point. Fletcher freely admitted that it had been the debut of Graywing which had persuaded him that one masked man could make a difference in the fight for Justice and Santos was in full agreement with the idea that Superheroes should be more than mere masked bruisers. While neither truly considered the other a friend, it was noted at the meetings of the League and the Liberty-Men that Bowman and Graywing were seldom very far from each other, continuing their debates on philosophy with courteous enthusiasm and sharing crime fighting methods.
Jose was positively enthusiastic about the refinements Fletcher had added to his methods and as fair return for the gadget designs Boman had presented him with, he instructed the Daring Duo in the manoeuvres that had proven so effective against the scum of Falconcrest – Although Timm Quinn was far too colourfully good-natured to intimidate anyone.
Centurion: Antaeus and Centurion, the founders of the Modern Superheroic Age, were destined to remain close for the entirety of their respective Golden Age careers: Scholars still debate who was actually the First to debut, but have generally been forced to admit that it’s too close to call. Their powers and abilities were so similar that it was commonly thought they must be brothers, or from the same planet at least. (Antaeus’ entirely truthful statement that he was ‘An alien, from what seems an entirely different world’ were somewhat misinterpreted by many)
Their inevitable meeting, when it came about, was quite the epic, the two Titans teaming up to foil the plans of a brief collaboration between the Crime League and the ‘Invisible Empire.’ Working together with the assistance of Law Enforcement, the two heroes simply crushed the vile scheme. After that their friendship was set.
The two became as close as the brothers the public assumed them to be. Antaeus, somewhat homesick even in the adopted nation which had become so dear to him, eagerly welcomed Centurion into his circle of friends and treated him like a kinsman. For Centurion it was even simpler – He had finally found a brother.
What would surprise many of the thrilled onlookers would be the differences between the two. Anthony Atlas was by far the more genial of the pair, expansive, given to exuberant displays of emotion and with a simple, faith in the American system. Centurion was far more reserved, always careful of his great strength – Even greater than that of Antaeus, though fiercely controlled given his upbringing without peers his equal in strength, something that also explains Antaeus’ greater skill – attached to his privacy and a little less naïve about the way America worked.
But in the end these were small differences and – despite their passionate debates about Anthony’s registration movement – their friendship endured even the Unmasking Massacre. Centurion said nothing, even after his caution and suspicions were vindicated. He was the only costumed superhero to attend Anthony Atlas’ funeral.
Having lost a man he thought of as family, it’s no surprise that Mark took the opportunity offered by the strange woman who stepped through a dimension-warping gate and informed him that she was his fiancée and that his father had been looking everywhere for him, leading to the first of many dimension-hopping adventures that consumed much of the early 1950s
(Note: Titan-Man was actually the superior of Centurion in popularity during the Golden Age, his genial personality and homely morality augmenting the renown of his deeds. It was only after the Unmasking Massacre and forty-plus years of persistent service to humanity that Centurion assumed his mythic stature.)
Dr Tomorrow: One of the major reasons Tom Morrow recruited the Liberty League, as opposed to simply joining the Liberty-Men is that they were already pulling their weight and more. The simple truthfulness in Thomas’ eyes as he said this was a major factor in the good relations between the two bastions of Liberty.
The other is that he simply didn’t realise they existed.
Not a single source on Tom’s home world mentioned them. While this was nothing new, he admitted – As history, for Die Weltreich, was what they wished to say had happened and foes as successful as the Liberty-Men would simply have been erased from official history and what little untainted literature on American super humans – A scrap book of old photographs and newspaper clippings - dealt with Freedom City exclusively. However, when Thomas returned to his world and after he was liberated during the Time of Crisis, he had access to verboten archives of classified American documents from before the War – and there was still not a single mention of the Liberty-Men, Liberators, Phantom League, heck, the only entry on ‘Moriarty’ concerned James the First.
He still cannot explain this – and the mystery has deepened as he travelled the cosmos. He has found the Patriots, The Liberty-Men and dozens of significant beings organisations – even entire civilisations! - to be simply non-existent on all of the other Earths he has reached to date, despite their integral parts in the Timeline of Earth-Prime.
He really would like to discover the explanation for all this.
Envoy: Sarlyn was unfailingly polite to everyone, from Presidents to Proletarians and friendly with everyone who didn’t communicate entirely unfriendly intentions towards him or others. He got along splendidly with Doc Aeon, unsurprisingly, often speaking with him at considerable length when the two crossed paths, Doc fascinated by a culture which could produce such a man and Sarlyn by the reach and humanity of Doc's mind. These conversations tended to dry up abruptly when Alexander Timmons appeared. Sarlyn admired Timmons’ skill and intellect – and yet, Alex worried him.
His views were utopian and yet not quite Utopian, much less his methods. Not one to offend if he could possibly avoid it Sarlyn simply changed from the topic of his homeland very skilfully when Alex raised it and even today Blackwing II has no idea where the invincibly polite Envoy came from. No one does, which is just the way Utopia likes it.
Freedom Eagle: Michael O’Connor (senior) got along with almost everyone. It was simply part of his nature to be interested in anything, which most people considered flattering. Eagle-Eyed Horus in particular caught his interest, given their similarities in costume and Horus Himself found the attention no more than his due. Mike was cheerfully ‘boggled in the brain’ when he found out the truth of Horus’ nature.
Jet Boy made his habitual attempt to start a rivalry with any and every hero who flew under his own power. As he put it, it was "Impossible. Rather like trying to pick a fight with a deaf and blind genius boy-scout who simply wasn’t paying attention.”
While Steel Commando and Freedom Eagle might appear similar – Scientists attempting to fight crime and injustice – Michael O’Connor differed from Jack Washington in one extremely significant way: He was a true blue Patriot, as well as taking to being a superhero with absolute and boyish enthusiasm.
Johnny Rocket: Given the close relationship between John Wade and Ink Splotch it’s quite surprising that their grandfathers simply didn’t get on very well. They were too different in temperament, Johnny truly the reckless thrill-seeker the modern media believes his grandson to be and Ink Spot a more cautious, self-effacing, quiet fellow.
On the other hand Graywing and Johnny got on like a house on fire from the first second Wade started talking about cars and tinkering with them. Siren once swore that if you set them down in a well-stocked garage and lined up customers to the end of the block half would be fixed by Kingdom Come because they would be having too much fun talking about car engineering to be interested in the real thing.
Another interesting difference between Johnny Rocket and his grandson: Johnny Rocket was a man’s man and a ladies’ man about town. While he would never chase a woman who didn’t want him, he was more than happy to catch those who did. Let’s just say Jeannette Hermes didn’t run very fast or very far and leave it there.
Lady Liberty: It has to be said, Donna Mason was not a very forceful character during the Golden Age, unfailing polite, modest and humble, perhaps to a fault. As far as Athena was concerned this simply wasn’t good enough.
Lady Liberty had the power of a Goddess; she should therefore demand the respect that came with it. Athena spent a lot of time empowering Lady Liberty – in both of her identities – empowering her, demolishing her inhibited manners and developing her confidence to extremely high levels, her project a success by the time she returned to Olympus.
Whether teaching Donna Mason to conduct herself like a Greek Goddess was a good thing or a bad thing is an interesting question.
Midnight: While Midnight and Ink Spot were often mistaken for each other, especially after George adopted an all-black costume, no-one who ever met the two of them made that mistake. Brilliant, serious, incisive and just a little crazy Travis Hunter tended to make an impression, cutting a sinister figure amongst the crooks and super criminals of the era. You either loved him or you hated him.
He was on good terms with Eagle-Eyed Horus, who found him amusingly witty and rather less so with Kung Fu King, a simple soldier who found the conversation going rather over his head. Midnight also had a good laugh with Ink Spot after seeing the younger man’s new costume revealed,
Midnight was – along with Graywing – one of the super humans who struck back against the Phantom League after the Unmasking Massacre. Whether or not this had anything to do with his disappearance is known only to him, wherever he may be.
Patriot: The Yankee formula, while in some ways a success, was something of a failure. The subject exhibited an inhuman physique but unstable mentality. With Doc Aeon kept far too busy, One of the primary goals of the Icarus-associated Project Patriot was to take the serum back to formula and attempt to successfully create an entire regiment of more stable subjects.
After some time, the brilliant Professor Josef Kurtzberg (Later the father of the Israeli Extra-human Initiative and a major supporter of the Tomorrow Society) made two major breakthroughs – First, that the root of the Manaka plant native to the Freedom City area helped to stabilise the subjects reaction to the formula and secondly, that it was as much the natural temper and psychological state of subject Yankee that had produced such a dangerous and unstable individual once enhanced. A solider would naturally be inclined to lethal violence once threatened and in an aggravated emotional state brought on by an inhuman metabolism could be as dangerous to him as to others.
The proper recipient of the Patriot serum was the subject of an ardent search, not amongst the active front-line military, but amongst policemen, first aid specialists, firemen and other such professions. They found their man in Jack Simmons, a Freehold beat cop. Administered the serum and trained by Doc Aeon himself, the rest is history, already becoming legend.
As Doc Aeon put it, The Patriot process may have been completely impossible to duplicate, but the World certainly got more than their money’s worth.
Siren: Given that she lived and operated in the Liberty-Men’s base of operations its little surprise that she worked closely with the tea on several occasions. However, she preferred to remain a member of the Liberty League, since she’d made friends there and frankly she thought it best to maintain a courteous distance from Aquarius. While they were on terms of the most cordial courtesy she was of the opinion that the fewer possibilities for an accident that would give her ‘submarine suitor and his feuding friend’ an excuse to beat even more of each others brains out, the better.
She was on terms of sisterly affection with Jenny Sprockets, recognising the girls’ disorientation in the new, giant city she found herself in. Lynn, a Charleston native who’d moved to New York, understood perfectly, taking Jenny under her fin and forming a friendship which endures to this day.
Jenny drops by the Claremont Academy to provide Thetis with some ‘Grandmothering by godmotherly proxy’ on regular occasions.
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