Title: Liberty League
Description: Protectors of Freedom City and the US
Headmaster - September 29, 2008 01:11 AM (GMT)
The Liberty League
America and the world’s premier team of heroes in the Golden Age were the Liberty League, assembled by the intervention of Dr. Tomorrow and the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The League has inspired generations of heroes to come, but during World War II they were starting their own careers, taking part in the adventures that will become so famous.
Although the Liberty League was formed by Presidential order and serves the cause of America, the team was not beholden to the government. Its members were patriotic and gladly followed the directives of their President, but later years clearly show that the Liberty League didn't answer to either him or the U.S. government, something that caused concern in the U.S. Congress and other departments. The Patriot was a government agent because of the way in which he acquired his powers, but other members of the League were not.
The Liberty League Mansion, c. 1942
(L-R) Johnny Rocket, Freedom Eagle, the Patriot, Midnight, Lady Liberty, Siren
(L-R) Centurion, Envoy, Doc Tomorrow, Arrow, The Bowman
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:11 PM (GMT)
Newspaper publisher Fletcher Beaumont grew up respecting the power of the free press as well as admiring his childhood hero, Robin Hood. He became publisher of the Freedom Ledger and dedicated himself to being a community leader as well as a good businessman. Unfortunately, even the freedom of the press was threatened by criminal elements in Freedom City. The Mob was a powerful force in Southside, and papers that tried to uncover their dirty dealings suffered “unfortunate accidents.”
One such incident took place during a charity costume ball, which Beaumont attended as his bow-wielding idol. After using some well-placed arrows to deal with the crooks, Beaumont chose to put his talents as an investigator and an archer to use. Wearing his costume and mask, he flushed out criminals in Freedom City even as his newspaper carried stories of the exploits of the mysterious “Bowman,” the city’s newest hero. His adventures quickly honed an innate talent for archery, and Fletcher found he enjoyed the freedom his costumed persona gave him. Not long after he began his costumed career, Beaumont took in an orphaned boy named Tim Quinn. He revealed his dual-identity to Quinn and agreed to train the boy as his junior partner. Tim adopted the identity of Arrow, and soon the Daring Duo became famous throughout the city and the country. They were among the first to volunteer to join the Liberty League and help fight the Axis and protect America. Despite their relative lack of powers, Bowman and Arrow were steadfast members of the League throughout the war. The Beaumont family fortune served the League well in providing a headquarters and financial resources, securing their independence.
The same independence Fletcher Beaumont helped provide, however, turned into a drawback for the Liberty League in the post-war years. An increasingly suspicious U.S. government grew mistrustful of the team since it could not exert control through material resources. Bowman was a strong advocate of the League ,s independence, considering it as important as a free and independent press. After the HUAC hearings forced the Liberty League to disband, Fletcher Beaumont decided to hang up his mask. He focused his attention on his newspaper; the Freedom Ledger was one of the most vocal and powerful critics of Senator McCarthy, who tried and failed spectacularly to have Fletcher branded as a Communist. Fletcher, though into his nineties, still enjoys the vigor of a man 3/4's his age and looks with pride on his grandson, Fletcher III, the fourth Bowman.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:14 PM (GMT)
Tim Quinn’s father was Matt “The Mighty” Quinn, a middleweight boxer considered a contender for a national title. Matt Quinn raised his son alone after Tim’s mother died of influenza, the family too poor to afford medical care. Young Tim grew up in and around gyms and boxing rings in the Southside of Freedom City, watching his father's matches when he wasn’t running around playing stickball or Cowboys and Indians.
The Mighty Quinn did well in his bouts; a little too well, in fact. When Tim was twelve, his father was up for a big title fight. The Freedom City Mob approached Matt with an offer he couldn’t refuse: throw the fight and make some money, or else. Matt found he just couldn’t throw the fight with his son cheering him on, looking up to him as an example. He fought hard and won, and the Mob lost a lot of money. They took it out of Matt Quinn‘s hide. Even he couldn’t block a bullet, and was gunned down in an alley.
The battling Bowman took down the killers, although he couldn’t link the murder back to their boss. Upon learning that young Tim had no other family, Bowman “made arrangements” and wealthy newspaper publisher Fletcher Beaumont took Tim in as his ward. Sensing in the boy a tremendous drive and a thirst for vengeance, Beaumont revealed his secret identity to Tim and agreed to train him as his partner, channeling his anger toward constructive purposes. Tim became Arrow, the boy-bowman, and proved as handy with his fists as he was with a longbow. Despite his youth, Arrow was a valued member of the Liberty League, and the envy of every boy in America. Among other things, it was Bowman’s junior partner who invented their famous “boxing glove arrow,” originally using one of his father’s gloves (later an inflatable capsule built into an arrowhead). He also became a capable pilot (before he was even old enough to have a driver’s license) and mechanic working with his mentor, Freedom Eagle, and Johnny Rocket.
Tim Quinn was in his twenties when Fletcher Beaumont retired as the Bowman following the HUAC hearings and the disbanding of the Liberty League. Unwilling to see the legacy of the Bowman die or to knuckle-under to paranoia and suspicion, Quinn adopted the Bowman name and costume with his mentor’s blessing. He eventually trained Fletcher’s son, Fletcher II, as the new Arrow, and still maintains sporadic contact with Ethan Keller, with whom he empathizes a great deal despite the estrangement between the former Arrow and the former Bowman.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:16 PM (GMT)
Although some masked “mystery men” had appeared before him, the Centurion was Freedom City’s first true superhero. He was born on a parallel Earth where the Roman Empire never fell, a far more technologically advanced civilization than any on twentieth-century Earth. Invading forces from the Terminus were on the verge of conquering that Earth when one of its leading scientists placed his infant son in an experimental dimensional capsule and sent it across dimensions to another world to save his life. Exposure to powerful cosmic energies changed the infant, giving him the potential for tremendous powers.
A “shooting star” seen above Freedom City streaked westward and came quietly to rest in Wharton Forest. Tom Leeds found the capsule with the baby boy inside. Concealing the life-pod, Leeds and his wife Mabel turned the child over to the Danvers Orphanage in the city and adopted him soon thereafter, naming him Mark. The Leeds raised Mark and, as his powers matured, taught him to use his gifts responsibly. Young Mark Leeds later learned the truth about his origins, the existence of the Terminus, and the world from which he came from a recording device in his life-pod. Fashioning a Romanesque costume to conceal his true identity, he adopted the sobriquet “Centurion” and used his powers to fight crime and injustice. In his secret identity, Mark Leeds was a grad student studying history at Freedom City University (specializing in the Roman Empire, naturally enough).
The Centurion was among the first heroes to respond to President Roosevelt’s call to form the Liberty League. He was also quick to turn down any offer to lead the team, deferring to Dr. Tomorrow and Freedom Eagle. Instead, he was a stalwart supporter of the team, looking out for those of his teammates less impervious than he (which is to say, all of them). Centurion was an earnest man, raised with belief in American values of justice and fairness. He takes the responsibility that comes with his considerable power seriously. Dr. Tomorrow had observed that Centurion would probably jump in front of a bullet to save one of his teammates even if he wasn’t invulnerable. Visitors from the future could see in him the potential for the great hero he would later become.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:19 PM (GMT)
Like the Centurion, Tomas Morgen came from an alternate Earth; one where the Axis powers won World War II. Born in 1971 and raised as a “poster boy” of the long-established Nazi regime, Tomas grew up as the shining hope of his government, the Nationalist States of America. Few who knew him ever learned he was the product of an advanced eugenics program to breed the perfect Aryan. Tomas was a tremendous success: athletic, handsome, brilliant, and genetically perfect in every way. Fortunately, he was also smarter than his Nazi creators gave him credit for. Tomas encountered the underground American Resistance to the Nazis and learned the truth about atrocities his creators committed. He joined the Resistance and helped them to survive against the Nazi commandants of America. In 2002 on his Earth, Tomas led a raid on a Nazi lab and stole an experimental time-travel device, using it to go back into the past, to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, to prevent the Axis from winning the war. Nazi scientist Dr. Ernst Geistmann attempted to stop Morgen and was apparently disintegrated, atomized into the time stream.
Tomas arrived in Freedom City the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He became Thomas Morgan to hide his German background and adopted the code name “Dr. Tomorrow.” In this identity, he met with Franklin Roosevelt and convinced the President of the dangers of the Nazis and their plans for the world. Of all of Doc’s allies, only FDR, Centurion, and the Freedom Eagle ever learned his true origin. Within 24 hours of his arrival back in time, Dr. Tomorrow forged the Liberty League with the president ,s blessing to fight the Axis. What Doc didn’t initially know was the Dr. Geistmann was not killed in the activation of the time-device. The doctor was atomized, but his consciousness survived somehow, cast adrift on the currents of time, until eddies created by Tomas Morgen’s wake drew him to the early 1940s. His Nazi counterpart neutralized a great deal of the advantage Dr. Tomorrow’s foreknowledge offered the Allies, and kept the Liberty League out of much of the action in the European and Pacific Theatres of war.
Dr. Tomorrow (“Doc, “ “Doc Morrow,” or occasionally “Tom” to his friends) was literally a man out of time. He carried a heavy responsibility, to prevent his own history from coming to pass. He truly didn’t know enough about temporal mechanics at this point in his career to say whether or not his actions would cause him to cease to exist, one of the reasons he preferred to keep his true history secret (the other being shame at his Nazi origins and upbringing). Doc was awed by the historic figures looking to him for leadership, and he had sworn to do right by both them and the future.
The day after VJ Day, Dr. Tomorrow used the time travel device to attempt to return to his own time, but to his horror discovered that all of his work had been for naught; his home dimension and timestream was an alternate reality. Though captured by the Nazi regime, he was later freed by a mysterious group of heroes and soon after was made one of the Masters of Time by Chronus, the lord of the Timestreams. He now fights battles across alternate dimensions and timelines with Dr. Geistmann and others who would manipulate the past or future for their own ends.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:22 PM (GMT)
Sarlyn was born and raised in an advanced, peaceful, and isolated culture on Utopia Isle. Like most Utopians, he grew up vaguely aware of the outside world, but also knowing its inhabitants were dangerous and primitive, and better left to their own devices. As a young adult, Sarlyn encountered some of the first outsiders ever known on Utopia, when some American planes were lost in the Bermuda Triangle and found their way into the dimensional rift to Utopia. The Utopians learned of war developing in Europe and the Pacific, a war that threatened to engulf the entire world, and that might, in time, even threaten their hidden island. When the Utopians decided to send an envoy to investigate and learn more, they held a series of tests to decide who was the worthiest. Sarlyn competed and won.
Sarlyn made his debut helping save American lives in Pearl Harbor, immediately after the Japanese attack. The name “Envoy” stuck when he explained who he was to the surprised soldiers. Although the War Department was frustrated by Envoy’s consistent refusal to reveal exactly where he came from, he earned the respect and trust of America and the Allies with his willingness to risk his life to protect freedom and democracy. In turn, Sarlyn came to care for and respect the people of the outside world.
There’s little doubt the Envoy was a stranger in a strange land. He came from an idyllic world where there is no crime, hatred, prejudice, or war, into a wider world filled with all these things and people in need of his help and guidance. While Sarlyn might not always have known to cross with the green or appreciate a “great set o’ gams,” he was an earnest and sincere champion of the ideals of his people. On the rare occasions when he needed to adopt a civilian guise, he used the name “Hans Arlyn” and pretended to be a European refugee (to explain his slight foreign accent). At the end of the war, Sarlyn returned home to the accolades of his people, and now serves as a member of the Council of Elders, the Utopian ruling body.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:24 PM (GMT)
Although he went to school and learned to build airplanes, what Michael O’Connor most wanted to do was fly. He was fascinated by avionics and the development of flight from the time he was a boy, and quickly became a respected, if somewhat maverick, young designer of aircraft. O’Connor worked to push the envelope, dreaming of jet-rockets, ornithopers, and more, but never dreaming of the opportunity that would find its way to him. At first, he thought the old folio from the junk shop was a reproduction of a da Vinci or similar Renaissance model of flight, but it didn’t match any known drawings. The technical specifications also involved ideas unknown in da Vinci’s day, particularly certain rare earth elements. On the other hand, the physical design was almost primitive, albeit ingenious, little more than feathers affixed to frameworks with wax. Mike immediately set about seeing if he could improve upon it.
It was little more than a hobby, an affectation on the part of a curious engineer. It became more than that when O ,Connor discovered the design really worked! An individual flight system, with speed and maneuverability exceeding most planes, it was the discovery of a lifetime! Unfortunately, certain fifth columnists thought so, too. When they discovered Mike O’Connor’s discovery, they attempted to steal it, and then to extort it from him when that failed. Donning a costume to hide his identity, O’Connor captured the criminals as the Freedom Eagle. Although the incredible rarity of the element that made the flightsuit work made it impossible to produce in quantity, O’Connor kept his invention a secret to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. He used the power of flight and mechanically augmented gauntlets to capture criminals and save people in distress, and responded to the President’s call for mystery men to safeguard the nation when the United States entered the war.
It wasn’t until many years later that Mike O'Connor discovered the notes he built his design from originally belonged to Daedalus (an improvement on the wax-bound wings he built in Ancient Crete). The flight-suit’s gravity-defying element was a small quantity of daka crystal from Africa. Michael O'Connor has long since retired, raising a family in Freedom City, the place he loved all his life. His son is none other than Mayor O'Connor.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:28 PM (GMT)
Johnny Rocket I
Johnny Wade loved cars from the moment he first saw one. As a teenager in Freedom City, he became a skilled mechanic with dreams of opening up a garage of his own eventually; dreams that were cut short unexpectedly. Johnny was driving (dangerously, as he often did)down Bayview Heights when a big truck came barreling the other way, followed by a carload of criminals attempting to hijack the tanker. Both the truck and Johnny crashed, spilling the experimental rocket fuel the truck carried. Soaked in chemicals and choking for air, Johnny managed to pull himself from the wreckage. There was a spark and a ball of fire blossomed from the fuel tank . . . in slow motion.
Running from the blast as fast as he could, Johnny Wade found himself well over a mile away before the blast rose into the sky and the dull boom caught up with him. He initially allowed the criminals to believe he’d been killed, following the other car at the scene to their hideout, where he used his new super-speed to apprehend them. The crooks heard the “mystery man” call himself “Johnny” and one said, “He moved like a rocket!” The Freedom City press quickly joined the two up and headlines wondered about this new hero “Johnny Rocket.” Johnny responded to the President’s call for heroes to join the Liberty League and was the League's youngest official member (second-youngest after the team’s “mascot,” Bowman’s junior partner Arrow). He fought alongside his teammates and quickly earned a reputation for “moving faster than he can think,” as Dr. Tomorrow once put it. More than once, the Liberty League hauled Johnny’s fat out a fire when he ended up in some Nazi deathtrap or the like. Still, exasperating as his exploits sometimes were, the Leaguer’s considered Johnny Rocket a true hero and friend.
John Wade retired from super-heroics not long after the Liberty League disbanded, finally realized his dream to become a full-time mechanic and business-owner. He married and, although his son demonstrated no evidence of having inherited his powers, his grandson and namesake John did, carrying on the family legacy as a member of the modern Freedom League.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:30 PM (GMT)
Lady Liberty II
Donna Mason, daughter of Virginian Senator William M. Mason, could have found a life of luxury simply by marrying well. Donna was her father’s daughter, however, with a keen mind and a desire to do some good in the world. She became a secretary working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assigned to the dashing agent Dan Bradley. Although she was careful not to upstage her boss, Donna’s keen investigative skills helped Agent Bradley crack many a case. One such involved a cell of fifth columnists in the nation’s capitol, where Donna deduced that their target was in fact the Bureau itself. She tried to warn Agent Bradley that he was walking into a trap, but she only succeeded in being shot and left for dead as the spies abducted her boss.
While lying there, close to death, Donna experienced a vision in which the Spirit of Liberty came to her and offered her a choice: save herself or Agent Bradley. She chose another’s life over her own without hesitation and the Spirit of Liberty proclaimed her worthy. Donna awakened healed and filled with newfound power, dressed in the red, white, and blue of Lady Liberty! Lady Liberty saved Agent Bradley and busted up the spy-ring. She continued to show up from time to time when Dan Bradley was in danger or needed her help, and he never noticed that his whip-smart secretary, Donna, was never around when Lady Liberty was on the scene. The Damsel of Democracy was quick to sign-on with the Liberty League, offering to serve as its first recording secretary, despite being one of its most powerful members. This humility was a hallmark of Lady Liberty’s career.
Lady Liberty remained active after the war for longer than any Leaguer except Centurion, her lifespan and vitality maintained by her powers. Even her amazing powers eventually faded, though, and with them her heroic career. Donna Mason eventually retired from the hero game, her ultimate fate a mystery to everyone.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:33 PM (GMT)
Chemist Travis Hunter hadn’t planned on becoming a crime-fighter. His invention of “midnight mist,” a chemical gas able to efficiently block out light, was an accidental discovery. Travis first intended to show it off at a Halloween party, dressing up in a dark suit with a cloak and wide-brimmed hat, along with a compact gas mask fitted with infrared lenses that allowed him to see through the mist. The partygoers heard Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre broadcast of “War of the Worlds” and, like many that night, mistook it for evidence of an actual alien invasion. Their fears were confirmed when Martians showed up to take seize everyone’s valuables! Travis slipped away under the cover of darkness and confronted the Martians as the mysterious Midnight. He showed they were nothing more than thugs dressed up in costumes, taking advantage of the broadcast to carry out their crimes. Once he saw the potential of his discovery, Travis chose to continue using it as Midnight, fighting against organized crime in Freedom City.
The more he saw, the deeper his dedication to justice became, and Midnight quickly became known as the scourge of the underworld. Travis Hunter dedicated himself to police work and forensics in his daylight hours, spending his evenings wielding his famous “night gun” and wearing his featureless mask. Midnight’s muffled and filtered voice struck fear into the hearts of criminals and saboteurs everywhere as it emerged from the shadows, just before it seemed to reach out and engulf them in darkness.
Midnight served with the Liberty League from the team’s formation until its dissolution, although he tended to keep to himself and revealed fairly little to his teammates. Midnight was among those who refused to retire following the HUAC hearings. He continued to operate as Midnight even as the Freedom City Police Department branded him a vigilante. Months after the disbanding of the Liberty League, Midnight vanished from the public eye, never to be seen again. The ultimate fate of Travis Hunter and his dark-clad alter ego are left as mysteries for a future generation to solve.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:34 PM (GMT)
Boston police officer Jack Simmons was among the many men who volunteered for Project Patriot, a secret government program to produce a super-soldier. The Patriot Serum included an extract of manaka root, a rare North American plant. Simmons was the program’s only successful subject. The serum apparently activated a latent genetic potential within him, making Simmons a near-perfect human specimen. Combined with the training he received, the Patriot became a formidable foe of fascism everywhere.
Patriot served nobly alongside his teammates in the Liberty League. Although not as powerful as Centurion or Lady Liberty, nor as brilliant as Dr. Tomorrow or Freedom Eagle, his never-say-die attitude and devotion to the cause made him a valuable asset to the team. Patriot’s devotion to the U.S. government and the Patriot Program were never issues during the war. After all, what hero wasn’t devoted to the American Way? It wasn’t until after the war that Patriot’s loyalties came into conflict. When the U.S. government began investigating the Liberty League, Patriot was expected to report any “suspicious activities” on the part of his teammates. He did so reluctantly, but was willing to do what was necessary to safeguard his country. When the rest of the Liberty League discovered this, it created a rift between them. Patriot chose to resign from the team not long before the League was forced to disband.
Jack Simmons was later named the first Director of AEGIS, and served dutifully for a number of years until he succumbed to cancer, a potential side effect of the Project Patriot program and exposure to radiation during the war. His consciousness was transferred via engram technology to the Patriot android, and the man who was Jack Simmons now serves his country dutifully once again. His grand-daughter, Allegra Katt, aka Alleykat, was a former member of Claremont Academy's student body.
Headmaster - April 14, 2011 02:35 PM (GMT)
Lynne Sidon worked as a lounge-singer in clubs and bars in New York City. Like many attractive young women, she came to the city with dreams of fame. Unlike most, she achieved them, at least for a time. People flocked to hear her sultry torch songs; there was talk of recordings and radio gigs. Her career was blossoming when she was invited on-board an Atlantic cruise as a guest and headline performer.
Her dreams of stardom were further away than she realized, though. A German U-boat targeted and torpedoed the ship, which quickly sank. Although many on-board managed to reach the lifeboats, Lynn was not among them. She quickly grew numb in the icy waters and sank into darkness. The last thing she saw was a strange light and a handsome face looking curiously at her from the depths. Although she didn’t expect to awaken, Lynn did, on a fine bed in a palatial chamber... underwater. To her great shock, she discovered she was able to breathe. The handsome stranger from her vision entered the chamber and explained he was Prince Thallor of the lost city of Atlantis. Often curious about the surface world, he observed the ship and heard Lynn’s singing. He rescued her and recognized in her an ancient prophecy about a siren of the surface world. He took her to a deep-sea cave, a hidden Atlantean temple where the prophecy was fulfilled and the power of the Sirens infused her body.
Although grateful to Thallor, Lynn wished to return to the surface world. The Atlantean prince faced difficulties in his own kingdom; civil war raged in Atlantis, and so they were forced to part. Sidon returned home with a story of a miraculous rescue at sea and began using her powers to fight crime and saboteurs as the sultry Siren. Following the war, Lynne and the new King Thallor I were married, and though her husband passed away several years ago, Lynne still acts as a moderating influence in Atlantean politics, the grand dame of the Atlantean royal family, as Queen Mother, while the city's rule itself is overseen by her son, King Thallor II.