Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Golden Age

While their fame never rivaled that of the world-renowned Liberty League, the Emerald City-based Victory Squadron was nonetheless a vital component in protecting America’s home front from Golden Age Axis agents who learned to greatly fear the sound of the team’s “V for Victory!” battle cry and accompanying two-raised-fingers sign. The Squadron first came together in response to the June 24, 1942 attack upon Fort Breckinridge, at the behest of the Nightwatchman, they remained together as a team throughout World War II, becoming celebrated heroes. The Squadron’s membership included:

THE NIGHTWATCHMAN (James Holland): A wealthy crusading attorney by day and well-known radio commentator and playboy by night, he somehow found time to use his superior wits, fighting prowess, and arsenal of gadgets to battle injustice. He served as team leader and sponsor, and tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to resurrect it after the war until his death in a mysterious plane crash in 1950.

DREADNOUGHT (Michael Dunn III): A brilliant engineer, inventor and dwarf, Dunn’s grandfather was a Civil War era hero-turned-villain called the Ironclad. Like his ancestor, Dunn employed a suit of powered armor, battling Axis tyranny in an attempt to redeem his family name. Unfortunately an aging Dunn was replaced by a Grue during the Red Scare and ultimately died in disgrace much like his grandfather.

COLUMBIA II (Phoebe Dorin): Michael (the Dreadnought) Dunn’s longtime girlfriend who wielded a special flaming-torch weapon of Dunn’s design in her Statue of Liberty themed costume. She was brutally murdered by the Crimson Katana during World War II.

BLAZE (Mary Grindstaff): A teenager who gained flame-based powers after being accidentally caught in the explosion of an experimental Japanese weapon in 1944. The team’s sole surviving member, after the war she capped off a colorful and semi-famous life by penning a candid book about her experiences.

THE UNKNOWN (Alonzo Cheney): A seemingly superhuman master of disguise who kept his true identity and gender hidden throughout the war, striking from the deepest of covers to defeat Axis agents and acquire their secrets. He is presumed dead, but his fate is (fittingly enough) unknown. Ironically, this man of secrets is one of the team’s more famous members today, as he was outed as a bisexual after the war and is now honored by Emerald City’s gay community for his wartime service.

DR. SPECTRE (Tom Kovack): A formerly mundane man who was in involuntary contact with the spirit world, and could temporarily channel it to gain supernatural abilities. Years after the war he was eventually driven mad by his abilities and died in the Bethlehem Heights mental hospital.

MADAME CROSSBOW (Karla Miller): A bored socialite who wielded a crossbow that fired special trick bolts. Throughout the war, she managed to keep her costumed adventures secret from her husband, then retired for good after the war to raise a family.

ATLAS (Michael Forest): A circus strongman of who used his incredible physique to battle the Axis menace. Forest died of a heart attack in 1949.

THE SCARLET CYCLONE (William Schallert): Operator of an incredible armored submersible autogyro christened the Albatross, the Scarlet Cyclone was instrumental in defeating the Japanese submarine menace on the West Coast. He was assassinated by Green Dragon Society ninja after the war.

#1017 (Takei Hosato): A highly honor-bound Nisei, Takei regarded the interment of his people as such a dishonor he only answered to the prisoner number assigned to his family until he could vindicate their name. Trained in the ancient arts of the ninja, Takei used his lethal abilities to aid the Allied cause until he fell in battle with the Hinomaru.

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