Bialya

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Bialya
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Justice League #2 (June 1987)
Created by Keith Giffen
J.M. DeMatteis
In story information
Type Country

Bialya is a fictional country appearing in multiple comic book series published by DC Comics. It was featured in issues of Justice League International as written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. It originally appeared in Justice League #2 (June 1987)

Fictional history[edit]

It has existed as a country since at least during the Vietnam War. It is north of its neighbors, real-life countries Saudi Arabia and Iran.[1]

Originally ruled by the buffoonish Col. Rumaan Harjavti, the country was taken over by the ruthless femme fatale Queen Bee. She was eventually killed by Harjavti's brother Sumaan, who was in turn replaced by Beatriz, sister of the first Queen Bee. She, in turn, was deposed by forces unknown. After the disaster with Black Adam (see below), a "President Rashid" is seen in power.

Rulers[edit]

Under the reign of the Harjavti brothers and Queen Bee, members of the United Nations superteam known as the Global Guardians became members of the Bialyan military, causing friction with their replacements in the Justice League International.

Around this time, the survivors of the Champions of Angor, separated from their home dimension, visit Bialya during a mission to rid the world of nuclear bombs. Rumaan Harjavti manages to convince them that he is on their side, and convinces them to attack Russia. The hero known as Wandjina stops a meltdown and seemingly dies in the process, but his body is taken care of by Bialya, and his reanimated body is later used in one of the country's many coups. Despite this, Wandjina come to be revered as a national hero by the country's citizens.[1]

During Rumaan's rule, he opens the borders to known supervillains. Dozens go there for refuge, to enjoy the casinos, gambling and the pleasant beaches. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle attempt to stop this by infiltrating the country and making it seem as if the villains were stealing from Rumaan. When this fails, Batman leads a team and fools the villains into thinking Rumaan is stealing from them. In the ensuing chaos, Rumann is forced to officially ask for help from the Justice League. He also foils a coup attempt by his assistant, Geoffrey Foukes, who was trying to take advantage of the fact that Rumaan did not understand the English translation of the press briefing he was reading. Rumann, who had simultaneous translation, kills Geoffrey live and on-air. Rumaan is later killed by the reanimated Wandjina, paving way for the Queen Bee's takeover of Bialya.[2]

Soon, the Queen Bee has managed to brainwash most of the Global Guardians into serving her. Many international incidents arise when the Justice League cross Bialyan borders against the express wishes of the current ruler and the United Nations. Once such incident is after a multi-month media blackout ends and Bialyan stands terra-formed into a green-covered tourist-friendly resort destination. This is when Captain Atom, Sarge Steel and Rocket Red investigate.[1] Finally, the Queen Bee's plans are thwarted by the combined might of the Justice League's American and European branches, as well as the no longer-brainwashed Global Guardians. In the ensuing chaos, the second Queen Bee is killed by Sumaan Harjavti, brother of the deceased Rumaan.

Another incident happens when the fourth Queen Bee (sister of the second) gathers volunteers for an army based on the villains known as the Extremists. The members of Extreme Justice invade the country and defeat what would turn out to be cyborg versions of the villains. Captain Atom discovers facilities to make an army's worth and destroys those too. This incident leads to a disbanding of all three JLA groups.[3]

In the series Young Justice, Red Tornado's adopted daughter Traya Sutton is revealed to be half-Bialyan. Traya was the victim of hate crime at her private school after a fellow student's parents were killed in a terrorist attack in Bialya. She was rescued from such attacks by her roommate, Cissie King-Jones, aka the former Young Justice member Arrowette.

Under the influence of an outside telepathic force, the current ruler of Bialya, a male, helps to draft a merger between his country and Qurac. The Justice League later neutralizes this outside force, a telepathic entity which had been inhabiting the mind of the Martian Manhunter.

Black Adam[edit]

Found guilty by Black Adam of collaborating with Intergang and serving as a base of operation for their technology-created Horsemen of Apokolips, two million innocent Bialyans were the victims of a total genocide perpetuated by Black Adam. This retaliation for the murders of Isis and Osiris and many citizens of Kahndaq, apparently results in the death of most life in the country, millions of men, women, and children, as well as animals and insects.

Surviving Black Adam[edit]

A flashback sequence in 'Checkmate' #22 reveals there are a quarter of a million survivors of Black Adam.[4]

In 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #1 (October 2007), it is revealed President Rashid, the de facto ruler, has refused all but the basic humanitarian aid. Some of such is being supplied by WayneTech and S.T.A.R. Labs. Several instances of more basic crimes are focused upon, such as a food stealing ring and a doctor using injured Bialyans simply to pad his resume.

The legendary Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have re-manifested inside the borders of Bialya. It is thought by the creator of the Horsemen, Dr. Veronica Cale, that the forms built with technology from the distant planet Apokolips served simply as vessels for the biblical Four Horsemen. She further opines that they will return.

The first re-manifestation, which calls itself Yuurd the Unknown, representing Famine, formerly 'Sobek', possesses Reese Taylor, the corrupt WayneTech employee who is selling food shipments. He slays many Wayne-Tech employees, kills a guard, injures many others, including Bruce Wayne and Superman, and escapes into the ruins of Bialya. Another horseman is seen manifesting far from the refugee camps.

Many more humanitarian aid employees and Biaylan citizens are killed in the resulting chaos, their bodies taken by the Four Horsemen in order to build new battle-forms. Later Superman scans the country and indicates that all within its borders, with the exception of Snapper Carr and Batman, have died.[5]

Later, a Bialyan terrorist group, moving weapons, is busted by the J.S.A.[6]

Blue Beetle scarab[edit]

In Blue Beetle #8 (December 2006), co-written by Keith Giffen and John Rogers, it was revealed that Dan Garrett, the original Blue Beetle, discovered the scarab which gave him his powers in Bialya. This is apparently a retcon on earlier depictions setting the discovery in Egypt.

Other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Bialya is used as the primary setting of the Young Justice episode "Bereft". The members of Young Justice are initially sent to Bialya (here described as a rogue Middle-Eastern nation under the control of the Queen Bee) on the border of Qurac by Batman after the Justice League detects a massive spike of extraterrestrial energy in the country's desert. In "Image" the plot revolved around Queen Bee attempting to unite Bialya and Qurac as a single country under her rule. It is also featured in the episode "Beneath". This is notably the only media depiction to feature the Queen Bee as the ruler of Bialya.
  • The assassination a Bialyan president is briefly mentioned in Arrow episode "The Huntress Returns".

Film[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Captain Atom Annual #2 (1988)
  2. ^ JLA Incarnations #6 (December 2, 2001)
  3. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008), "Extreme Justice", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 117, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  4. ^ Checkmate (vol. 2) #22 (March 2008)
  5. ^ 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #3 (December 2007)
  6. ^ J.S.A. vs. Kobra #2 (September 2009)