It’s the Fourth of July weekend in the U.S., and that means parties, barbeques and general celebrations of national pride. With that in mind, it seems fitting to think of those heroes who not only serve their country but also use patriotic outfits and monikers. So, here’s a list of some great U.S.-themed super-heroes.
UNCLE SAM: In the DC Comics Universe, a spiritual avatar of the United States was brought into being through an occult ritual. As the years passed, this spirit would alter its form and identity based on the era. During the Revolutionary War, he called himself the Minute-Man. During the Civil War, he split into twin entities known as Johnny Reb and Billy Yank. In 1870, he was reborn as Uncle Sam, his most powerful form.
Since his mystical abilities ebb and flow based on how much faith Americans have in their country and themselves, Uncle Sam learned the value of having allies and so, during WW II, he formed a team of superheroes called the Freedom Fighters and led them in battle against several Nazi menaces. In the modern-day, he was forced to fight a dark twin who was concerned with money rather than people and later became leader of a new version of the Freedom Fighters.
LIBERTY BELLE: Granddaughter of the hero Miss Liberty, reporter Libby Lawrence came into possession of a mini-replica of the Liberty Bell. When the true Bell was rung, the replica in Libby’s possession endowed her with superhuman strength and speed, along with later sonic powers. As Liberty Belle, she was not only one of the first female super-heroes but also became leader of the All-Star Squadron, a grouping of all of America’s super-heroes that was active during World War II.
Libby later married the super-hero Johnny Quick and they had a daughter Jesse who inherited both their sets of abilities. Originally, the girl used her father’s super-speed to become a hero called Jesse Quick but recently she has joined the Justice Society of America as the second Liberty Belle.
WONDER WOMAN: Before Wonder Woman was born, her people, the Amazons of Themyscira, were aided by an American pilot named Diana Trevor. Since Trevor had sacrificed her life to help them, the Amazons adopted her U.S. military insignia as their own, believing it was her coat of arms. Thus, years later, when Wonder Woman was given the battle-armor she would wear as a superhero, it had a noticeably American quality.
Though she is not native to the U.S., Wonder Woman’s star-spangled suit and eagle breast-plate (which also forms the famous “WW” insignia) -- along with her love of democracy and habit of beating up Nazis and Neo-Nazis - marks her as a very American hero.
MISS AMERICA: While visiting the Statue of Liberty, Joan Dale was kidnapped and made the test subject of an experiment to grant super-powers. When the experiment seemed to fail, Joan was released dazed and confused, even hallucinating that the Statue of Liberty was speaking and promising her power. Later on, she was shocked to discover that she now had the power to re-arrange matter at a molecular level. Believing she had been chosen by providence to protect the U.S., Joan became the World War II super-hero Miss America and joined the Freedom Fighters.
Thanks to her powers, Miss America retained her youth into the modern-day. Recently, she was lethally injured in battle but used her matter-control powers to create a new body for herself, taking on the new name of Miss Cosmos.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: A kid from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Steve volunteered for “Operation: Rebirth” in the 1940s and was transformed into a super-soldier. Circumstances led him to be placed in suspended animation in 1945 and he did not awake again until decades later, becoming a “man out of time” but determined to still fight for the ideals he believed America stood for (even if he no longer trusted the government itself).
Three years ago, Steve was believed to have been killed in the streets of NY and his young partner James “Bucky” Barnes has taken up the mantle. But recent evidence has shown that Steve may actually be alive, lost in space and time, so fans expect him to return in time for his upcoming live-action film.
Who are your favorite star-spangled heroes? Any characters you'd add to your own list? Share them in the comment section!