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MAJOR LIBERTY

Real Name: John Liberty

Identity/Class: Human (World War II)

Occupation: Adventurer, professor of American History

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ethan Allen, Herman Blake, Captain Terror (Dan Kane), Defender (Don Stevens), Destroyer (Kevin Marlow), Green Mountain Boys, Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Toro/Thomas Raymond), Mighty Avengers (Iron Man/Tony Stark, Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne), New Avengers (Luke Cage, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Wolverine/James Howlett), Paul Revere, Rockman (Daniel Rose), Rusty (sidekick of the Defender), Sam Sawyer, Scouting troop I4-8 (Ritchie and others), Hans Stiller, Toto, Vagabond (Patrick Murphy), Hendrick Vermeer, Whizzer (Robert Frank), Young Avenger

Enemies: Doctor Drew, Headless Horseman (Paul Vermeer), Hela, Adolf Hitler, Jarvis, Nazis, Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), Mr. Reynolds, Baron von Strucker (Wolfgang von Strucker), Super-Axis (Master Man/Wilhelm Lohmer, Warrior Woman/Julia Koenig, U-Man/Meranno)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Freedom University, Connecticut

First Appearance: USA Comics#1/3 (August, 1941)

Powers/Abilities: John Liberty was surrounded by the ghosts of America's past. These spirits would empower him with a mystical and patriotic costume and also granted him a measure of enhanced strength and durability. John was also able to communicate with several ghosts of revered American citizens like Paul Revere and Ethan Allen who would help him on several accounts.

Height: 5'11" (by approximation)
Weight: 178 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Blonde

History:

(USA Comics#1/3) - John Liberty worked as a professor in American history.

(USA Comics#1/3) - John read a newspaper that mentioned a mysterious explosion at a government arsenal. Enraged by the news innocents were killed by those who sought to destroy American democracy, John was all fired up. Standing upright, he declared humankind would need the spirits of the old to keep the American freedom alive. Just then, a cloud of smoke appeared. The cloud took on the shape of a ghostly figure who declared John would be that man, because John's words had touched him so much he'd been chosen to reveal himself and bestow his gifts on John. When the ghostly apparition vanished, John miraculously found himself wearing a patriotic costume.

   A short while later he was called out by the spirit of Paul Revere. Jumping atop his horse, the men rode through the night to where trouble was afoot. Two criminals had been busy at the back of the arsenal. Moments after arriving, the ghost of Paul Revere punched the criminals in the back. When the criminals turned around they saw a giant "ghost" on the wall and ran away scared, the so-called giant ghost had been Major Liberty casting an enormous shadow on the wall because he was standing in front of a car's headlights. After disarming the bomb, Major Liberty and Paul Revere followed the criminals to their hideout to learn the men were led by Adolf Hitler himself. Next, they were joined by the ghost of Ethan Allen, head of the Green Mountain Boys, who rallied to the call of their leader. Together, the ghosts formed an invisible wall to keep the saboteurs from reaching a huge control panel used to trigger explosions. After witnessing the saboteurs' inability to penetrate the ghosts' invisible wall, Major Liberty revealed himself. He tricked the Nazis into believing a huge detachment of soldiers was on its way. The saboteurs all dropped their guns only to find their opponents were boy scouts rather than soldiers. Liberty then beat the unarmed saboteurs into submission, along with some help from the scouts.

(USA Comics#2/2) - While on a boat in the Caribbean, Major Liberty in his civilian guise was reading some documents for historical research. Just as Liberty was relaxing, the boat was attacked by a Nazi submarine that destroyed the vessel with a torpedo. Only Liberty and two sailors survived the attack. The trio managed to find land and stumbled upon a great castle. Upon reaching the building they were greeted by the lord of the castle, Mr. Reynolds and his butler Jarvis. Reynolds was happy to provide shelter for the men and during dinner explained to his guests the castle's name; Head Hunter's Heath. It was named after the former Island's inhabitants, the head hunters. Later that night, Liberty woke up hearing rifle fire. After magically transforming himself into Major Liberty, he headed towards the racket to find the two sailors had been murdered. Their killer was Reynolds who then proudly revealed he had hunted and killed the men. An infuriated Major Liberty attacked Reynolds and Jarvis but was defeated when Jarvis shot a poisoned dart at the hero. When Major Liberty regained consciousness, he found himself trapped in a cage with Reynold's gorilla called Toto. However Toto hated his master so much he wasn't even interested in attacking Major Liberty. After escaping from the cage, he made his way to the top of the castle and defeated Reynolds and Jarvis. Just then, two more Nazis arrived on the island to refuel their submarine. After throwing both Nazis off the tower, Liberty used the tower's defense systems to destroy the island's fuel supply depot that the Nazis had been using. Unaware Reynolds had sneaked up on him and was about to stab him to death, Major Liberty was lucky enough to be saved by Toto the gorilla who killed his master. Major Liberty then went on to destroy the Nazi submarine and consequently contacted to US Navy to rescue him.

(USA Comics#2/5) - Major Liberty met with the Defender and his sidekick Rusty, Jack Frost, Rockman, Vagabond, Whizzer and Young Avenger at the home of Dan Kane who was also known as Captain Terror. At the friendly gathering of these heroes they discussed how their adventures were published in the pages of USA Comics and decided that they should meet every month to swap their stories. Captain Terror suggested that the best story should be awarded with a prize, a two page text story about the story. The costumed adventures decided to start their swapping of stories now, to see which story would be published next month.

(USA Comics#3/2) - John was shocked to learn his old colleague Hendrick Vermeer had been murdered by the fabled Headless Horseman. Hoping to stop the murderer he called upon the spirits of America for their help, once again a mysterious cloud appeared taking the shape of Paul Revere. The two of them made their way to Sleepy Hollow and decided to first examine Vermeer's home. There, they saw how a man explained Vermeer's estate would be divided equally between Vermeer's nephew, Peter and the maid, Gretchen. Infuriated he had to share with a maid, Peter stormed out. Major Liberty and Paul Revere decided to follow him. After a short while, they learned Paul Vermeer had been the Headless Horseman that had killed Hendrick Vermeer. With the help of several other ghosts they managed to defeat and unmask the Horseman. While Paul was taken into police custody Major Liberty returned home.

(USA Comics#4/1) - Liberty was at the laboratory of Freedom University where he met with his friend Hans Stiller, a brilliant, native born German chemist. Stiller revealed he had perfected his super explosive and would turn it over to the US Army after a final week of trials. But after John had left, his friend was threatened by the Gestapo who hoped to get their hands on Stiller's formula. However, hearing the racket caused by the Gestapo's arrival, John returned and rescued his friend by throwing them out the window. The Gestapo officers then ran away. The following morning Stiller had disappeared (he had been captured by the Gestapo). John set out to find his friend and asked one of his students, Herman Blake, to accompany him. Arriving at the estate of Doctor Drew they were welcome to stay the night. During their stay, another shadowy Nazi tried to murder John in his sleep. John miraculously transformed into Major Liberty and easily defeated the Nazi. He then managed to find Stiller and with some help from Herman Blake rescued the chemist. With the spy-ring foiled, Major Liberty reverted to his civilian guise and took Blake to the hospital to take care of a gunshot wound.

(Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files - BTS) - Major Liberty used his powers to further his historical research, garnering first hand accounts of American history from the ghosts of those involved in the actual events. He transcribed a conversation with the ghosts of Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, who were outraged to hear that the Renegades, four men who had been sent on a mission to bring reinforcements to the besieged Alamo, had been wrongly identified as cowards who had abandoned the other defenders out of fear. Liberty then spoke to General Sam Houston's ghost, who had encountered the Renegades after the Alamo's fall, and confirmed their bravery.

(Avengers/Invaders#10, 12) - In 1943, the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) came into possession of the Cosmic Cube, which led to the creation of alternate reality Earth-93198. In this timeline, Major Liberty was one of the many superheroes who were killed and impaled on a massive wall. The same Cube was later recovered by soldier Paul Anselm who used it to resurrect the heroes. The heroes including Major Liberty combined their efforts with the Invaders and time-displaced Avengers to battle the forces of the Red Skull. When the Skull was defeated, the Cube was used to wipe the heroes' memories of the entire event.

(All-New Invaders#2 (fb) - BTS) - After gaining intelligence that Baron von Strucker had a new devastating weapon, "Happy" Sam Sawyer decided to send in the Invaders and assigned Major Liberty to the team because Captain America was busy chasing either Red Skull or Zemo and Toro was suffering from appendicitis. The American government was also interested in having the Invaders report on how Major Liberty would operate in the field.

(All-New Invaders#1 (fb)) - Major Liberty joined the allied forces and the Invaders (Human Torch, Sub-Mariner and Bucky) in an attack on Strucker and his Nazi forces. The baron had used the God's Whisperer, an ancient Kree artifact, to control the Asgardian death goddess Hela. Strucker sent her to fight the American forces. Liberty thought himself safe from Hela's might because of his link to the spirit world. He stormed Hela, claiming to be her worst nightmare. Rather unimpressed, the Asgardian deity sucked the life out of Major Liberty, killing him on the spot.

(All-New Invaders#2 (fb)) - Ultimately it was Bucky who saved the day by striking down at Strucker and taking the God's Whisperer from him.

Comments: Created by Phil Sturm (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), George Klein (inks).

In the back of Marvel Premiere#29 (April, 1976) Roy Thomas explained his thought process on picking his members for the Liberty Legion. He listed the Challenger, the Fin, Father Time and Major Liberty as ones he did not use "for a variety of reasons".

When the Invaders recalled how they had fought alongside Major Liberty fighting Hela, Bucky said the following about the hero; "bit of an ass, honestly. Way arrogant."

USA Comics#4 promised more adventures from Major Liberty but they were never published, as so often was the case back in the 1940s.

Thanks to Loki for the Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files addition.

Profile by MarvellousLuke

CLARIFICATIONS:
Major Liberty has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
USA Comics#1, p26, pan1 (main image)
USA Comics#1, p28, pan5,6 (appearance of the ghost)
All-New Invaders#1, p16, pan 3,4 (death)


Appearances:
USA Comics#1/3 (August, 1941) - Phil Sturm (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), George Klein (inks), Joe Simon (editor)
USA Comics#2/2 (November, 1941) - Phil Sturm (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), George Klein (inks), Joe Simon (editor)
USA Comics#2/5 (November, 1941) - Stan Lee (writer), Joe Simon (editor)
USA Comics#3/2 (January, 1942) - Phil Sturm (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), Joe Simon (editor)
USA Comics#4/1 (May, 1942) - Phil Sturm (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files (2006)
Avengers/Invaders#10 (June, 2009) - Alex Ross (plot), Jim Krueger (plot/script), Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter (pencilers), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Avengers/Invaders#12 (August, 2009) - Alex Ross (plot), Jim Krueger (plot/script), Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter (pencilers), Stephen Wacker (editor)
All-New Invaders#1 (January, 2014) - James Robinson (writer), Steve Pugh (pencils, inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
All-New Invaders#2 (February, 2014) - James Robinson (writer), Steve Pugh (pencils, inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 01/09/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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