By Ben Morse
leap into action!
Once upon a time during the Golden Age of Marvel (or Timely if you prefer), while the Invaders took the fight to Hitler and his cronies overseas, another team protected America's shores during World War II: the noble men and woman of the Liberty Legion!
In AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE ANNUAL #1, on sale November 28, get set to come face-to-faces with the new and improved 21st century incarnation of the Liberty Legion, the Liberteens: young, hip and just as virtuous as their old school counterparts.
We've got your first glimpse at Pennsylvania's Fifty State Initiative team, courtesy of INIATIVE ANNUAL writer Dan Slott and artist Patrick Scherberger, along with a guide to how the Liberty Legionnaires paved the way for these young punks to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of rocking out!
Oh, and by the way, this issue is an official :Secret Invasion: Infiltration: tie-in featuring multiple stories in addition to the Liberteens' debut, so…who do you trust?
OLD SCHOOL: MISS AMERICA
lovely for liberty
Madeline Joyce didn't gain her title of Miss America in any Donald Trump-sponsored beauty pageant, though like Paris Hilton she did possess fabulous wealth as a teenage heiress. Maddy supplemented her super-wallet with super-strength and the ability to fly after fiddling with a superpower-granting device created by the brilliant Professor Lawson. Joyce would be the only young lady to benefit from Lawson's device as, tragically, the professor found the girl unconscious and, rather than check for a pulse or something, assumed his device had killed her and committed suicide. Undaunted by the taint of death surrounding her origin, Joyce went onto a decorated career with the Liberty Legion as Miss America, later marrying teammate the Whizzer and giving birth to the radioactive mutant Nuklo.
NEW SCHOOL: MISS AMERICA
With the spunk and pep to match her incredible power, the new Miss America represents the irrepressible spirit of American youth.
"She's 100% Grade-A U.S.A.," boasts Slott. "Her superpower is all-out American awesomeness!"
OLD SCHOOL: JACK FROST
Stealing Captain America's "dude frozen in ice with no memory" routine before the Star Spangled Avenger even went into deep freeze, the mysterious Jack Frost emerged from the Arctic to become one of the Liberty Legion's charter members. Seemingly carved from ice, the cryogenic crusader vanished in the waning years of WWII only to resurface briefly in the modern age, long enough for Thor to proclaim him a frost giant.
NEW SCHOOL: ICEBERG
There's a cold front moving in for those with evil intentions and Iceberg is his name! With the strength of a high-grade blizzard to match his frosty disposition, the Liberteens' resident bruiser hits like an avalanche.
"He's the team's strong man, made of ice," explains Slott. "From his name, he may also be Jewish."
OLD SCHOOL: BLUE DIAMOND
The Blue Diamond
Elton T. Morrow, an archaeologist on an expedition to Antarctica—probably the opposite side from where Jack Frost hung out—had a close encounter of the awesome kind, finding a blue crystal shard of the alien Lifestone Tree intended to power the "Chosen Eight of Fate." A German sub torpedoed Morrow's trip back stateside, but the doc survived when the explosion shattered the diamond into his chest, giving him super-hard skin and making his body virtually invulnerable. The Blue Diamond
became a valued Liberty Legionnaire and also came out of retirement years later to fight alongside the Fantastic Four's Thing.
NEW SCHOOL: HOPE
The only thing more stunning than Hope's crystalline appearance is her rock-hard right hook, ready to knock any opponents of freedom for a loop. Possessing the ultra-dense skin of her predecessor, this diamond in the rough also brings a touch of class to the proceedings.
"Hard as a diamond, but with a heart of gold," Slott says of Hope.
OLD SCHOOL: THIN MAN
The Thin Man
puts his weight
Another Indiana Jones wannabe, explorer Bruce Dickson—not to be confused with rock legend Bruce Dickinson—uncovered the lost Himalayan civilization of Kalahia. Availing himself of advanced Kalahian technology, Dickson gained eternal youth and the ability to transform his body into a flat, malleable form. The newly rechristened Thin Man and his Kalahian love, Olalla, ventured out of the mountains and back to America where he joined the Liberty Legion. After years of inactivity, Dickson reunited with Captain America, revealing that Invaders enemy Agent Axis had destroyed Kalahia and killed Olalla. An increasingly bitter Thin Man murdered Axis and later took on questionable missions for shadowy forces within the U.S. government.
NEW SCHOOL: 2D
2D: a new
The Liberteens' pliable power player can not only maneuver through physical obstacles with his flat form, he has figured out how to utilize his abilities in exciting and creative new ways.
"The two-dimensional man is brimming with depth," assures Slott. "He's also the smartest guy on the team as he can flatten his brain, making it a superconductor that processes information faster than the average mind."
OLD SCHOOL: RED RAVEN
An unnamed European child rescued from a crashing plane by a group of bird-like Inhumans who had left Attilan years earlier, the boy who became Red Raven earned his wings training in the use of mechanical wings alongside his adopted people and when Nazis encroached on their way of life, he fought back. Red Raven gained a reputation as a force for good and joined the Liberty Legion, but later learned the shocking plans of his people to invade humanity and thwarted them at the cost of sending the entire race, himself included, into suspended animation. The X-Men and later Namor temporarily revived Red Raven, but the first time he returned he and his people to their slumber, while the
takes aim from
second went mad after an earthquake killed the others, destroying their island home and himself in a rage.
NEW SCHOOL: BLUE EAGLE
Like the noble avian with whom he shares a name, Blue Eagle carries the pride and spirit of America on his mighty wings. A marksman of skill second to none who has mastered the use of all manner of firearms, the Eagle utilizes his airborne agility to deliver justice from above, protecting the masses below.
"Teen spirit meets the National Rifle Association," crows Slott of Blue Eagle's persona.
OLD SCHOOL: THE PATRIOT
a real American
Brooklyn-born Jeff Mace forsook a life of stickball and oversized pizzas to become a reporter during wartime. As he covered the exploits of Captain America, Mace became inspired and, sick of watching from the sidelines, donned a colorful get-up to become the masked Patriot. Despite a lack of powers, the Patriot proved a potent force for good and instrumental in the founding of the Liberty Legion. During the period in which Captain America went missing following the war—in actuality he had fallen into his Arctic deep sleep—Mace subbed as a temporary Cap, doing the uniform proud.
NEW SCHOOL: THE REVOLUTIONARY
Charged with leading the Liberteens into battle, the Revolutionary shoulders a heavy burden, but his broad shoulders can handle that and more. Trained by the best the U.S. of A. has to offer, Revolutionary is a peak-level athlete and finely honed fighter who can hold his own with the nastiest of baddies.
"He's the team leader with a revolutionary idea," teases Slott. "This idea could change the world as we know it."
OLD SCHOOL: THE WHIZZER
On an ill-fated trip to Africa with his doctor father, Robert Frank suffered a potentially lethal cobra bite, leading his dad to go with the ultra-sanitary move of injecting his kid with mongoose blood. Yes, he was a DOCTOR. The…mongoose blood…triggered a latent mutant gene within young Robert and gave him superhuman speed, which he would quickly put to good use as the Whizzer, a member of the Liberty Legion. Whizzer married teammate Miss America but nearly lost his mind with grief when she died giving birth to their son, Nuklo. Robert would return to action alongside the Avengers for several missions, but later died defending his son from an old enemy.
NEW SCHOOL: WHIZ KID
You know her and love her as the super speedy courier for the famed law firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway, but Whiz Kid has stepped out of the rat race and into the marathon for justice as a member of the Liberteens! The Kid's quick thinking on her feet and ability to back it up with hyper-velocity moves makes her an invaluable asset to the nation's top teens.
"The super-speedster from the pages of SHE-HULK is racing her way to the big leagues," proclaims Slott.
Whether the world is ready or not, the Liberteens are on the march and coming to a comic outlet near you November 28 as part of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE ANNUAL #1.
And did we mention, this issue also gives away the secret origins of four members of the ongoing INITIATIVE title AND is an official "Secret Invasion Infiltration" tie-in? Watch your back…