Saturday, February 21, 2009

JUSTICE LEAGUE PART 3: FRANCHISE TASK FORCE!
Since their 1960 inception, the Justice League have been the premiere organized crime-fighting unit. Offering selections of some of the DC Universe's finest heroes, the JL's recruitment philosophy has varied to include; regional concern, covert operations, villain-centric obstacles, and the goal to assemble the cream of the crop. The latter arguably makes up the most famous incarnation of the League, constructed to represent versions of the leading corner posts of the DCU, and colloquially known as "the big seven."

Despite their eclectic origins, the Justice League remains popularly associated with it's foundations in the United States. Last year we paused to consider what might be possible if the team were to reinstate the now defunct International branch.
Since; Final Crisis has plunged the entire DC multiverse into chaos and forced the many factions of heroes and villains to unite their powers as a single force! Each struggle provided the basis for a potential tangent in the Justice League brand. Previously we speculated on potential teams dubbed America and Resistance.

With global peril looming on a day when evil won, it's reasonable to expect the world's foremost counter-superhero agency to be prepared for the worst.
Though Checkmate as an organization was to inevitably succumb to the proliferation of Darkseid's Anti-Life Purifiers, Michael Holt was able to lead a ragtag group of survivors against overwhelming numerical superiority, utilizing a brilliant tactical mind to map the last ditch efforts to save humanity.

Today's team sets out to marry the political superheroic experience and brilliance possessed of Mr. Terrific, channeled toward missions that require a sense of tactical delicacy and discretion. With the practical implementation of heroes (and villains) who aided in the epic battle against the fallen New Gods, this patrol of heroes who faced the end become uniquely equipped to face even the most impossible odds posed by the world's super-powers with superpowers.
They are a special Task Force, coiled to spring silently into action!

Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt)
Alt. Affiliation: [Justice Society]
First Appearance: [The Spectre #54]
Year One: [1997] JLA Year: [NA]
Cumulative Rank: [#393] Win Percentage: [0%]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [DNR] 2008: [#183] 2009: [DNR]

With a decade of publication under his belt, the inheritor of the Mr. Terrific legacy continues to rack up the adventuring accolades in fast succession. As a former Chairman of the JSA and serving White King of Checkmate during Final Crisis; Holt's qualifications span far beyond his own self-made origins as a brilliant scientist and engineer. These skills proved vital in resisting the plague-like spread of the Anti-Life Equation throughout the UN organization, which left Terrific and a select few agents trapped within the bowels of Checkmate HQ.

Holt proved unwavering gaul in the face of apocalypse, dedicated enough to doom his lover, Sasha Bordeaux, in the interest of activating an army of OMAC soldiers through the techno-infection housed within her body. While this maneuver might very well have galvanized the value of Checkmate in a world of super-powers, it might also force Mr. Terrific to finally concede his senior role.

Should that happen, Holt might dedicate himself to an independent task force uniquely suited to tackling problems without the heavy lifting of political negotiation that dictated his Checkmate obligations. A team comprised of those who were there to aid him during the Final Crisis, and others, who championed the cause of humanity under their own inclinations.

The Question (Renee Montoya)
Alt. Affiliation: [Gotham City Police Department]
First Appearance: [Batman #475]
Year One: [1992] JLA Year: [NA]
Cumulative Rank: [DNR] Win Percentage: [NA]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [DNR] 2008: [DNR] 2009: [DNR]

Since her transformation from seasoned Detective with the GCPD, into Vic Sage's successor as the faceless and elusive Question; Renee Montoya has become a uniquely human force for good in a world of gods and monsters.
So valued is her experience that, in the face of destruction, Checkmate's Black Gambit to penetrate the multiverse led them to seek her out as the template of a new Global Peace Agency designed to secure an alternate world. She is the basis upon which the evolution of the OMAC is derived.

With a final solution provided by Superman, it seems unlikely that Montoya's presence in any inter-dimensional activity would be required, allowing her to return to life on Earth. Far too ingrained in The Question's way of thinking, joining Checkmate would seem unlikely, but Terrific would have every reason to trust Montoya in forming a new force suited to the Question's way of operating.

Frankenstein
Alt. Affiliation: [Seven Soldiers]
First Appearance: [Detective Comics #135]
Year One: [1948] JLA Year: [NA]
Cumulative Rank: [DNR] Win Percentage: [NA]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [DNR] 2008: [DNR] 2009: [DNR]

Rendered immune to the Anti-Life Equation by his make-up as a pastiche creature built from reanimated corpse parts; the monster called "Frankenstein" proved to be an invaluable powerhouse in the battle against Darkseid and his Purifiers. Hardly a first for a creature who has lived for more than a century, and amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge as a result of his many adventures across the entire globe.

Frankenstein abandoned his pursuit of Renee Montoya to fight on the frontlines with the last superhuman resistance. Standing along side some of the DCU's most powerful heroes, he was vital in defeating the Female Furies and liberating Wonder Woman of the veil of evil. If that isn't an act deserving of the League's respect, I do not know what is!

Atom (Ryan Choi)
Alt. Affiliation: [NA]
First Appearance: [DCU: Brave New World #1]
Year One: [2006] JLA Year: [NA]
Cumulative Rank: [DNR] Win Percentage: [NA]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [DNR] 2008: [DNR] 2009: [DNR]

A brilliant scientist from Hong Kong -- Ryan Choi arrived in America to replace Ray Palmer in his position as a staff member for Ivy University. Having worked alongside Palmer, Choi was already well versed in the fantastic realms of science, but was only brought into the fold of superheroics upon his mentor's disappearance into the multiverse. Believing himself to have been recruited by Palmer himself as his shrinking successor, Choi spent a brief career within the superhero fraternity, only to discover it all a plot conceived by Chronos.

Upon his return home, Palmer comes to accept Choi in the legacy role, but continues to adventure himself. The pair united during the Final Crisis under direction from Checkmate, using their shared knowledge of atomic physics to enable a contingency of mass interdimensional relocation.

Choi brings specialist knowledge to complement Mr. Terrific's engineering genius, while also presenting skills perfectly suited to field work in a cover capacity with this JL Task Force.

Cheetah (Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva)
Alt. Affiliation: [The Society]
First Appearance: [Wonder Woman #6]
Year One: [1987] JLA Year: [NA]
Cumulative Rank: [#316] Win Percentage: [25%]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [#98] 2008: [#373] 2009: [DNR]

Despite inheriting a role as Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis and developing a sparring rival with sometimes-hero, Catwoman, the feline villainess known as Cheetah proved to be one of the few who managed to avoid forced assimilation into the latest incarnation of the Society she had once championed.

Keen animal senses and enhanced speed obtained under the tutelage of Hunter Zolomon grant Cheetah the necessary guile to evade capture. Allowing her mystic-given skills to guide her, Cheetah acted alone during the Final Crisis, avoiding marching Purifiers during bursts around the abandoned cityscape. It was a brief series of chance encounters with Checkmate's teleporter, Snapper Carr, that brought her into the fold of humanity's last stand. The pair shared a brief liason before Cheetah was inducted temporarily into the rebellion, tasting heroism as a result of a common evil.

No doubt Barbara Ann Minerva would be a controversial inclusion into any team, but the landscape of the modern DCU has proven to be less than black and white, where terms of morality and allegiance are concerned.

Flash (Wally West)
Alt. Affiliation: [Teen Titans]
First Appearance: [Flash #110]
Year One: [1959] JLA Year: [1989]
Cumulative Rank: [#19] Win Percentage: [71.43%]
2006: [#18] 2007: [#111] 2008: [#14] 2009: [DNR]

Life's been tough for the scarlet speedster, of late.
After disappearing into uncertainty at the close of Infinite Crisis, Wally West found himself expanding his responsibilities to include a family. This, coupled with a year of displacement, left the character floating in limbo to eventually lead quality concerns in the hero's return to Flash to emerge in the fiction as a reflection of his quality of heroics.

In Final Crisis, those in touch with the speed force were positioned to escape the reality-crunching grasp of Darkseid and the fallen New Gods. West, joined by his Golden Age senior, Jay Garrick, was there to witness the long awaited return of Barry Allen; the much celebrated hero who sacrificed himself during the Crisis of Infinite Earths in the battle to save the multiverse from Anti-Monitor! The trio were ultimately vital to launching a reborn Darkseid toward a new death, validating the evil New Gods' fear of their ominous powers.

With Allen back in a senior role, and Wally West still tending to a young family, it stands to reason he might want to avoid the spotlight a little. His superhuman speed and ability to avoid detection (and conventional time and space) make him the perfect addition to a covert Task Force, and with Allen back with the JLA, time in the B-leagues could help West earn the trust of his fellows back.

Snapper (Lucas Carr)
Alt. Affiliation: [Checkmate]
First Appearance: [Brave and the Bold #28]
Year One: [1960] JLA Year: [1960]
Cumulative Rank: [DNR] Win Percentage: [NA]
2006: [DNR] 2007: [DNR] 2008: [DNR] 2009: [DNR]

The finger snapping Justice League mascot got a promotion into the big leagues himself when, amidst the crisis of Project OMAC, Snapper was brought into the fold as a deep cover agent for the international intelligence agency, Checkmate.

When the spread of the Anti-Life Equation dominated the ranks of Checkmate, Snapper Carr was among the few to escape conversion. Utilizing his teleporting skills, Carr actively pursues strategic targets of sabotage, chipping away at the organized efforts of Darkseid and his Purifiers, while evading capture. These adventures bring him into chance encounters with a free roaming Cheetah, with whom he eventually enjoys a brief affair in the field, acting as Checkmate's only contact with the outside from their last stand bunker.

Like many others on this, and other lists, Carr quickly proved his worth in the face of total domination. Already trained and versed in Mr. Terrific's methods having worked under him as a Checkmate Pawn, the inclusion of Carr into any covert Task Force is bound to be made in a snap.

2 comments:

Doc Blue said...

I would pretty happily read a comic series based on this team-up.

Mike Haseloff said...

@Doc Blue: For what ever it's worth, I would too!
I think Final Crisis really proposed potential for a lot of interesting new relationships in the DCU.