47. Black Lightning (64 points)
"The best member of the Outsiders. It doesn't feel like an Outsiders team without him."
Gold medal-winning Olympic decathlete, Jefferson Pierce returned to his old neighborhood in the Southside (Suicide Slum) of the city of Metropolis, with his wife Lynn Stewart and his daughter's Anissa and Jennifer to become the principal of Garfield High School. Southside as it was once known was where his father renowned journalist Alvin Pierce had been murdered. Guilt over this event was a factor in his decision to leave the city of Metropolis. Suicide Slum was being torn apart by a local organized criminal gang called the 100, shady corporations, and crooked local politicians like Tobias Whale. Peter Gambi, a family friend and tailor, had taught a much younger Jefferson how to suppress his inborn meta-human abilities so that he wouldn't accidentally hurt any of the people he cared about. Upon his return Gambi suggested to Jefferson that he should use his powers to help the neighborhood, and refers him to a plaque with the paraphrased Milo Sweetman quote "Justice, like lightning should ever appear to some men hope, to other men fear", the original text of which was "Justice, like lightning, ever should appear to few men's ruin, but to all men's fear. Of mortal justice if thou scorn the rod, believe and tremble, thou art judged of God." Appalled by the public murder of Earl Clifford, one of his more promising students, Pierce tried to intervene on behalf of the schoolchildren, but quickly learned that the 100 objected violently to any interference. Pierce adopts the costumed identity "Black Lightning". Years later, he would tell fellow African American superhero Mister Terrific that he chose the name Black Lightning because he "was the only one of us around" at the time, and he "wanted to make sure everyone knew who they were dealing with."
After his own series was canceled, Black Lightning lost his electrical powers, but continued fighting without them. The loss eventually turned out to be psychosomatic, a symptom of a crisis of confidence resulting from the accidental death of a female bystander named Trina Shelton during an altercation between Black Lightning and some gun-wielding thugs. Batman, wanting to recruit him to rescue Lucius Fox in Markovia, helped him regain his powers back; this eventually led him to join the Batman's Outsiders. During his time with the Outsiders, a group of villains called the Masters of Disaster captured Black Lightning at the behest of the parents of Trina Shelton to avenge the death of their daughter; however, upon learning that he still regretted what happened and was willing to be executed by them, they sacrificed their lives to save him. During INVASION, the Dominators detonated a Gene-Bomb that wreaked havoc with anyone possessing the metagene by making them lose control of their powers. Though Black Lightning survived this, a side effect of this was that he can generate his electric powers without the need of his "power belt". After the break up of the Outsiders, Black Lightning moved to Brick City to continue his solo career.
In issue #5 of the Infinite Crisis storyline, it was shown that Black Lightning was one of the eight people Batman had considered to aid him in destroying the Brother Eye satellite, which controlled the OMACs. Booster Gold, who was not on the list of eight, but knew about the candidates from his knowledge of the future, contacted Lightning before Batman did, as historical data from the future had shown who had aided Batman. Lightning accepted, arriving at the Bat cave to await orders. He then forged an uneasy yet effective alliance with Mister Terrific, combining their powers of electrical manipulation and invisibility to technology to strike the villainous AI from the inside.
After the third Society of Super Villains was formed, Black Lightning began using his status as Luthor's former Secretary of Education to gain information from super villains.
In Outsiders (vol. 3) #45, it was revealed that three years have passed since Jefferson's niece Joanna Pierce was murdered, and that upon initially learning of her death, Jefferson went after the corrupt businessman Martin Somers, the man who was responsible. He had intended to wound Somers with his lightning shot, but apparently ended up killing him. Jefferson turned himself in to the authorities. However, it is revealed that Deathstroke was responsible for Somers' death by firing a dart of toxin to Somers moments before Jefferson shot his lightning. Hence, he was dead before he hit the ground. Jason Todd discovered the truth while eavesdropping on the assassin's conversation with Lex Luthor (who was really Alexander Luthor, Jr. in disguise) and contacted Nightwing with this information. When Nightwing and Anissa told Jefferson of this in prison, he disbelieved it and intended to pay for Somers' death. Anissa herself intended to break her father out of Iron Heights Prison. Upon learning from Todd that other inmates were about to carry out a contract hit on Pierce (whose identity as an inmate had leaked to unknown parties), the Outsiders resolved to assist her. They freed him from jail and with the audio recording of Deathstroke's conversation cleared his name.
Years ago, Green Arrow brought Black Lightning to the attention of the Justice League of America, who extended an offer of membership to the protector of Suicide Slum. He turned down the offer, preferring to work as a loner and focus on street-level crime. Most recently, however, Black Lightning has joined the JLA, once again appearing with a modified costume. He appears to be primarily based in Washington DC again. Black Lightning assists the JLA with intelligence gathered from the criminal community. Many super villains still believe he is 'in' with Lex Luthor and are willing to cooperate. Jefferson also helps the team in a battle against Amazo. He was the first member of the League to respond to the recent attacks made by the Amazons of Themyscira, and he also saved the President of the United States in this event.
46. Catwoman (74 points - 3 first place slots)
"Sexy cat gal. She and Bruce deserve each other in this and any other universe."
"Selina Kylie is simply purr-fect. Sorry"
We all know who she is, so I am just going to give you the 411 of what she has been up too lately, sound good?
After the events of Final Crisis, when the new Batman takes back control of Gotham City, Catwoman remains despondent at the loss of Bruce Wayne. While contemplating her loss, and her unexplained physical weakness despite being fully recovered from her physical heart trauma, she rescues two bystanders from a new super villain-wannabe who calls himself Boneblaster. However, her physical weakness becomes obvious when she fails to fight Boneblaster effectively. Before Boneblaster can cause her permanent harm, she is rescued by the sudden appearance of Poison Ivy. Concerned at how weak Catwoman had become, Ivy takes Selina to where she'd been staying, the home of Eddie Nigma (the reformed Riddler). Selina discovered that Ivy had apparently seduced and drugged Eddie with her plant pheromones. She also discovered that Ivy had similarly taken Harley Quinn into her new sanctuary.
Selina then offered the idea that all three of them stay together to better survive in the new Gotham City. Before accepting Selina's idea, Ivy secretly paid a visit to Zatanna through her plants, to find out if she had anything to do with Selina's weakness. Zatanna suggested that the weakness was likely psychological in nature. But before Ivy and Selina can discuss the matter any further, Boneblaster returns and tries to once more make a name for himself by attacking Ivy, Harley and Selina. While Ivy and Harley distract him, Selina ends Boneblaster's threat by shorting out his gauntlets with a live electrical conduit, deducing that the villain had yet to get used to the technology, and had failed to properly insulate his gloves. As a result of the fight, Eddie Nigma's apartment is wrecked.
Selina then obtains an abandoned animal shelter as their new home from a man calling himself The Broker. Ivy and Harley move in, but before Ivy makes a final acceptance of Selina's offer, she surprises Selina and drugs her with truth serum-like spores. While Selina falls into a stupor, Ivy says that she wants total honesty between all of them if they are to trust one another. She then asks Selina to reveal the identity of the original Batman. Selina, using a mental discipline taught to her by Talia al Ghul, avoids the interrogation and gives Ivy and Harley a fabricated story about there being multiple Batmen over the years, and that she's had a personal relationship with more than one of them.
Ivy and Harley accept this answer for the moment, and Ivy tries to make amends by growing all manner of exotic fruits for Selina. Meanwhile, Harley goes shopping. Later, Selina receives a message on her phone which shows Harley posing with Bruce Wayne. Knowing that the real Bruce is dead, and that the man with Harley is really Thomas Elliot (Hush), Selina takes Ivy to the restaurant where the picture was taken. She is shocked to see a Harlequin doll at the table, its head stabbed through with a knife. Harley's phone is next to it.
45. Uncle Sam (75 points)
In 1777, Hessian soldiers who were serving in the British side in the American Revolutionary War were pursuing a wagon train bringing supplies to General George Washington's troops at Valley Forge. Without those supplies, the American cause was doomed.
One of the men accompanying the train was a courageous white-haired patriot named Sam who tricked the Hessian troops into pursuing him while the wagon train got away safely. Sam's plan succeeded, but Hessian soldiers gunned him down. As Sam lay dying, he had the vision of the spirit of American freedom, who appeared as a bearded, white-haired man garbed in the costume we now know as that of Uncle Sam. Sam's spirit rose from his body and united with the spirit of freedom, which told him, "We will be one, as you guide America through the future."
Through the succeeding decades, the being known as Uncle Sam appeared to help Americans in times of national turmoil. He fought alongside Americans on the battlefield and helped them fight for their rights against oppression within America.
In 1940 Uncle Sam, the spirit of liberty, decided to come to life again now that America was threatened by the Axis powers and by subversives such as the Black Legions. The spirit of Uncle Sam appeared to a white-haired mid-western patriot named Samuel, who opposed the Black Legions. The spirit merged with Samuel, who became the new Uncle Sam and defeated the Legions and other enemies of freedom.
Uncle Sam learned of a parallel Earth that became known as Earth-X, where America was in even greater danger from the Axis powers than on his own native Earth. Uncle Sam recruited a number of costumed heroes as members of the team called the Freedom Fighters, who fought the Axis powers on Earth-X. Eventually the Axis powers took over Earth-X, but finally the Freedom Fighters - along with the JLA and JSA overthrew Earth-X's Nazi government.
As a result of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, history was changed so that Earth-X never existed. In this new history, Uncle Sam still led the Freedom Fighters, who were a spin-off group from the All-Star Squadron. Uncle Sam still battles for the rights and freedoms of American's today.
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