|First appearance||Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas|
The Liberty Legion is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team was first created in 1976 and set during World War II. Composed of existing heroes from Marvel's 1940s Golden Age of Comic Books predecessor, Timely Comics, the team was assembled and named by writer Roy Thomas in a story arc running through The Invaders #5–6 (March & May 1976) and Marvel Premiere #29–30 (April & June 1976). Inspired by the Liberty Legion, a second fictional team called the Liberteens was published in 2007 as part of the Avengers Initiative.
The genesis of the Marvel Comics superhero team the Liberty Legion came in the 1970s' World War II-set The Invaders, starring a team composed of Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, and the original Human Torch, plus sidekicks Bucky and Toro, all characters that had appeared in Marvel's 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics. The Invaders #5 (cover-dated March 1976) featured cameo appearances by fellow Timely characters Miss America, the Patriot, and the Whizzer, who would go on to the Liberty Legion, and the Fin, who would not. The team was formally assembled and named the following month in Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976), with additional Timely superheroes the Blue Diamond, Jack Frost, Red Raven and the Thin Man joining. The team went on to star in two more installments of this four-story arc, in The Invaders #6 and Marvel Premiere #30 (June 1976), all written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by various artists.
Never headlining its own series except for those issues of Marvel Premiere, the Liberty Legion went on to guest-star in The Invaders #35–37 (Dec. 1978 – Feb. 1979); in the final two-thirds of a three-part story arc running through The Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-in-One Annual #1 (both 1976), and Marvel Two-in-One #20 (Oct. 1976); and in issue #3 (June 1993) of the 1990s miniseries The Invaders.
Liberty Legion (1940s)
"America's Homefront Heroes of World War II", the Liberty Legion differed from the Invaders by confronting Axis plots and influence in and around the United States as well as fifth columnists, rather than in the overseas theaters of war. It also differed by consisting of mostly obscure Timely Comics superheroes, rather than stars Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, and the original Human Torch, and sidekicks. The Liberty Legion, indeed, included only two of even the company's secondary tier – the Whizzer and Miss America, who in late-1940s comics were members of Timely's first superteam, the All-Winners Squad. In the team's modern-day retcon origin, the Liberty Legion was assembled in 1942 by Captain America sidekick Bucky, the only Invaders member to escape a brainwashing trap by the Red Skull. To rescue his teammates, he gathered:
- The Blue Diamond (introduced in Daring Mystery Comics #7, April 1941)
- Jack Frost (U.S.A. Comics #1, Aug. 1941)
- Miss America (Marvel Mystery Comics #49, Nov. 1943)
- The Patriot (Human Torch Comics #3, Spring 1941)
- Red Raven (Red Raven Comics #1, Aug. 1940)
- The Thin Man (Mystic Comics #4, July 1940)
- The Whizzer (USA Comics #1, Aug. 1941)
The Blue Diamond (a super-strong, superhumanly durable anthropologist), Jack Frost (the mythological spirit of winter), and the Thin Man (comics' first stretching hero, predating Plastic Man by just over a year) were here reintroduced into Marvel continuity, appearing for the first time since the Golden Age. Unofficial team leader the Patriot had appeared as a simulacrum projected from the mind of Rick Jones in The Avengers #97 (March 1972), but was otherwise reintroduced here. The winged Red Raven, who'd starred in the single issue of a namesake title in 1940, had re-entered the modern Marvel universe with The X-Men #44 (May 1968). The Whizzer had returned as an older character in Giant-Size Avengers #1 (Aug. 1974), relating how he and the since-deceased Miss America had married each other years before.
Art by Patrick Scherberger.
|First appearance||Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1|
|Base(s)||Pennsylvania, United States|
The Liberteens, whose name is a homophone of "libertine", is a young group of superhumans inspired by the Liberty Legion and formed as part of the Fifty State Initiative of government-sanctioned superhero teams. The group is first seen as the Pennsylvania-based Initiative team.
The team consists of:
- Team leader Revolutionary (inspired by the Patriot)
- Blue Eagle (inspired by Red Raven)
- Hope (inspired by the Blue Diamond)
- Iceberg (inspired by Jack Frost)
- Ms. America (inspired by Miss America)
- Whiz Kid (inspired by the Whizzer), who had previously appeared as the super-speedster courier for the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway in She-Hulk vol. 2
- 2-D (inspired by the Thin Man)
In public, the Liberteens use "liberty"- and "America"-based puns. In private, the group is shown celebrating victory with debauchery, with the exception of the seemingly straitlaced leader, the Revolutionary, who is revealed to be a Skrull sleeper agent involved in preparations for that shape-shifting alien race's Secret Invasion. During the invasion, upon the beginning of overt hostilities, a loosely organized band of Initiative members including the Liberteens join forces with the Skrull Kill Krew to identify and defeat the Skrulls within their own ranks, the Revolutionary among them. Afterward, Whiz Kid saves her fellow Initiative members from the Skrulls' poisonous gas, before succumbing to it herself.
- The Invaders #5 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976) at the Grand Comics Database.
- The Invaders #6 and Marvel Premiere #30 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Morse, Barry (November 6, 2007). "Initiative Initiation: The Liberteens" (Press release). Marvel.com. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Avengers: The Initiative Annual 1: 33/1 (January 2008), Marvel Comics
- Avengers: The Initiative #18 (Dec. 2008)
- Avengers: The Initiative #19 (Jan. 2009)