Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence is the masked hero Liberty Belle. A star athlete, given further powers by the peal of the Liberty Bell, she was chair of the All-Star Squadron during the war. She later married teammate Johnny Quick and had a daughter, the second Liberty Belle.
Libby Lawrence wins the American Intercollegiate Girls Athletic Tournament and receives a bell-shaped medal made from a piece of the original Liberty Bell. Years later, she becomes a member of the American team at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where she wins gold medals for competitive swimming.
World War II
When the Second World War began in 1939, the young Libby Lawrence was in Poland acting as personal secretary to her father, Major James Lawrence. On the same day that he was killed in an air raid by Nazi fighter planes, she meets Rick Cannon, and by the end of the month, she is given safe passage to Amsterdam by Colonel Krupp (in truth, a disguised Cannon). Once there, she reports all she had witnessed in Poland to the military and political leaders. Months later, after Amsterdam falls into Nazi control, Libby again is met with by Cannon who arranges for her to be smuggled into France. At the Battle of Dunkirk, she again is saved by Rick Cannon when he gets her safely into a boat headed for England. The boat is shot out of the water by a German Stuka, but Libby has already jumped overboard. She swims the breadth of the English Channel to England. Once safe, she runs to the nearest military base and reports in, confirming her survival of the attack. She is hailed by both English and American papers as the "Miracle of Dunkirk" and she also meets with Winston Churchill. After reporting all the atrocities she witnessed, she is sent back to America. Libby is received with a ticker-tape parade on New York's Fifth Avenue and is shortly thereafter given work at a daily news syndicate, and then as a radio reporter, and she even has a television program (suspended only after the events at Pearl Harbor).
In the autumn of 1941, Libby is living in her hometown of Philadelphia. Upon visiting Independence Hall, she meets Tom Revere, a guard there. While he is polishing the Liberty Bell, it seems to peal loudly and the small replica of the bell, which Libby always keeps with her, resounds in tandem. She is leaving the Hall feeling very strange, when she overhears a plot being discussed by men with German accents, and one who certainly is Rick Cannon. Although her first instinct is to call the FBI, she instead crafts herself a bright costume and a blue domino mask, takes the name Liberty Belle and drives to where the spies said they would be. Although certain that Rick Cannon is a Nazi and traitor to America, she discovers that he is actually working for Army Intelligence. He is overtaken by the true saboteurs, however, and it is Libby (as Liberty Belle) who rescues him. She gives as her contact the name of Tom Revere and she later returns to that guard and tells him everything of her adventure and her desire to continue as a mystery-woman.
Now a mystery-woman, Liberty Belle happens to be in the right place and the right time to become involved in the founding of the All-Star Squadron. On December 8, 1941 she is present with a handful of other mystery-men in the White House when President Roosevelt announces his order that the Justice Society of America mobilize all American costumed heroes into a single unit, an All-Star Squadron, responsible directly to the President. Their first mission is to fly to the West Coast, search out any saboteurs and prevent a Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland.
With this All-Star Squadron Liberty Belle travels to San Francisco, just in time to help defeat the villain Per Degaton (a time-traveler from 1947). That adventure brings more heroes together and they travel to Pearl Harbor. Later she goes to Mexico and helps save Shiera Sanders. By January 1942 she is back in the United States protecting British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the likes of Nazi super-soldier Baron Blitzkrieg.
As Roosevelt's personal bodyguards, Libby and the Atom are present when an eye-shaped craft flies over Washington D.C. and from it, there materializes a tall being who claimed to be Akhet, an alien representative of the space-faring Binary Brotherhood. This is all a trick orchestrated by Hath-Set (in his reincarnated identity of Dr. Anton Hastor). This "alien" and alien ship appears over various cities and locations the world over and the message was always the same: All Earth's nations must surrender to Akhet, as emissary of the Brotherhood. All who resist will be obliterated. For a brief moment in the history of the terrible World War, all the leaders unite against a common threat. Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo all send word to Roosevelt and Churchill that they were ready to join in common defense against the alien. This union never came about, however, for various heroes of the All-Star Squadron were able to discover the masquerade and defeat Hath-Set.
Soon after, the core members of the All-Star Squadron, including Libby, begin the process to elect other mystery-men for membership. During the meeting, Libby speaks out and sums up the mission of the All-Stars: "Every group is doing what it can: businessmen are working as dollar-a-year men... labor had pledged no strikes for the duration... can we do any less? ...we on the Home Front can play an important part, too, against saboteurs, against powerful Axis foes like Baron Blitzkrieg, against any criminals who'd try to take advantage of the situation..." Though membership is not resolved at that meeting, the matter of electing a permanent chairman was decided, and Liberty Belle receives the majority vote.
At the end of this same month Libby is present when Robotman is taken into the custody of the New York Police Department, the focal point of a legal battle over whether Robotman is property or an independent "person". Libby uses her time on the nation's airwaves to address the issues and the need to follow the legal procedures. At the hearing she comes as Liberty Belle, though she does sign an affidavit under her true name of Libby Lawrence which is presented to the judge.
At about this time the world comes to know the mystery-woman they called Wonder Woman (in truth a time-traveling Queen Hippolyta). Libby, Wonder Woman, and the Phantom Lady while on duty in the Perisphere, hears reports of Nazi saboteurs at Freedom Works Aviation. They are joined by the Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) and discover not only saboteurs but a secret super-plane. By night's end the super-plane is destroyed and sinking into the Atlantic while the Nazis and Nazi sympathizers had been arrested.
With some members of the disbanded JSA missing, Liberty Belle calls an emergency meeting of the All-Stars whom she could find, as well as having invited the Tarantula. The meeting is interrupted by an attack by a crazed 'Fairytales' Fenton and after he is dealt with, Libby and the All-Stars head over to the grounds of the 1939 New York World's Fair where a mysterious threat is being broadcast in Morse Code. This results in Libby and the others meeting, for the first time in combat, the Brain Wave. Within the Perisphere the group finds the comatose bodies of the JSAers and were given an ultimatum – enter into the dream world crafted by the villain and save the heroes from within, or else be killed. Libby and company accept the challenge but fail as quickly as did the JSAers. Only the timely intervention of the Green Lantern saves the heroes and destroyed the dream machine. After Brain Wave's defeat, and at Libby's suggestion, the group choose the Trylon & Perisphere as their new HQ.
This adventure quickly leads into the next as Libby and those with her are attacked by human and sub-human villains, minions of the Ultra-Humanite. The battle is decided in favor of the villains when the Ultra-Humanite appears himself, housed in the body of the actress Delores Winters. Libby is taken captive along with some other heroes and is discarded only after the intervention of Robotman. Robotman is taken captive while Libby was left alone. Libby arrives with the Green Lantern at New York Harbor after the Normandie (a huge French oceanliner) is attacked by the Ultra-Humanite. This is followed by a terror threat and ultimatum on the villain's behalf, and the All-Stars traveling to three separate cities in danger of disaster. Libby and Commander Steel go to the Brooklyn Naval Yard and met up with the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion. In the end, the All-Stars win the day.
February 20, 1942 sees the first meeting of the full roster of the All-Star Squadron, a meeting presided over by Liberty Belle.
Army Intelligence alerts the All-Stars of possible saboteur activity in California. Liberty Belle takes with her a small contingent of mystery-men (most mystery-men being centered on the east coast, California is a long ways from home) and head to a scheduled meeting with Captain Rick Cannon in Santa Barbara. By the time they arrive, Capt. Cannon has been kidnapped by agents loyal to Imperial Japan. Libby and her comrades saved Capt. Cannon and in the process met and fought the scientifically altered Japanese agent Tsunami. Some of the All-Stars are captured by the Japanese submariners who are in secret off the Californian coast, but they are rescued by Liberty Belle and Firebrand. A second attack by Tsunami is averted only by the intervention of Neptune Perkins. The Japanese American community is in confusion over the action of the Japanese loyalists, but a full scale rebellion of Japanese Americans never unfolds. At the conclusion of the mission Libby told Rick Cannon that, although she has feelings for him, Johnny Quick is the man for her. She also lets Johnny Quick know her feelings for him.
The end of February brings trouble for the African-Americans living in Detroit. A faction of whites do not want a group of blacks moving into what was being hailed as a new Negro housing project — the Sojourner Truth Homes. Libby and the All-Stars enter into the fray when they see a newsreel showing the Olympic athlete Will Everett held hostage by a group of whites. That same newsreel show the young man turn from flesh-and-blood to hard iron and make his escape. They recognize him immediately as the pawn of the Ultra-Humanite called Amazing Man. After cross burnings and vandalism, after a mob riot and a near-lynching, the All-Stars are able to calm the masses of both black and white, as well as deal with the key initiator of the unrest: a robot pretending to be a mystery-man by the name of Real American, and the man controlling the robot – the proprietor of Smiley's Diner. What the All-Stars do not learn was that the robot (way ahead of its time in terms of technology) comes from a mysterious person called Monitor.
The first week of March 1942 brings special agents of Imperial Japan to New York and a sneak attack on the All-Stars in their own HQ. Prince Daka leads Tsunami, Kung, and Sumo the Samurai with the mission of stealing the gravity rod of Starman. Though the main objective is not accomplished Libby is taken captive by the Japanese while the All-Stars had capture Tsunami. Prince Daka offers a swap – Tsunami and the rod for Liberty Belle. The All-Stars accept and go to the Bronx Zoo for the exchange. It is a trap, however, a double-cross involving a small bomb. A battle ensues and in the end the Japanese agents are forced to flee without the rod.
Days later, Libby returns to Philadelphia to visit with her friend Tom Revere. Independence Hall is attacked by Baron Blitzkrieg, Zyklon and Major Zwerg. In the battle, Tom Revere is killed while Major Zwerg is badly injured, the two other Nazi agents escape with the Liberty Bell. Afterward, full of grief, Libby resigns as All-Star chairman and hysterically gives up being Liberty Belle. Once her hysteria recedes, she makes a visit to the hospital and the room of Major Zwerg, after threatening his life, she learns that Baron Blitzkrieg wanted the bell to bring back his sight, by using it in an experiment. Libby puts her Liberty Belle uniform back on, joined with Hawkgirl, and the two intervene. During their fight they are joined by Johnny Quick and the Flash. The experiment is accomplished, with Libby holding some of the electrified equipment. The Baron regains his sight and Libby gains the ability to manipulate sound waves. The two Nazi agents, though, escape yet again.
In the last week of March, Johnny Chambers proposes to Libby Lawrence and she accepts. That same week Metropolis is menaced by Funny-Face who has a machine that brought comic strip characters to life. Libby and the All-Stars come to the city and are able to defeat the villain.
April 1, 1942 Libby marries Johnny Chambers in Boston, Massachusetts, it is a small ceremony with a Justice of the Peace witnessed by Shiera Sanders and Tubby Watts. Libby does not change her name to Chambers, however, and news of the nuptials were not made public.
Libby is present in the Perisphere when Mekanique arrived and attacks the All-Stars... and on April 12 Libby chairs the general session to discuss the matter of missing JSAers, and to decide whether Robotman should return Mekanique to the care and custody of the All-Stars. The ayes won out and a small contingent of the heroes went to Robotman's laboratory. Libby remains in the Perishpere and is present when the missing JSAers return from what they called a different dimension. Mekanique also comes back to the Perisphere, with Robotman, and tells a tale of coming from the future: Mekanique speaks of a war-wracked future and the need to save a little girl. Not knowing that Mekanique is only telling half-truths, the Green Lantern and Firebrand save the girl.
By mid-April Libby is still practicing her mental generation of sound waves, the Hawkman had agreed to co-chair the All-Star Squadron with Liberty Belle, allowing her more time to be Libby Lawrence and wife of Johnny Chambers, and Libby even tells the tale of her origin to Mr. Jonathan Law for a book he was planning on writing after the War is concluded.
Finally Libby and Johnny are able to go on their honeymoon and left New York for sunnier & warmer Miami, Florida. When they returned to NY they bring with them Miss Helena Kosmatos, Johnny's "niece". Even on the day of their return to the Perisphere, it is attacked by the group Axis Amerika. The attack is repelled and two nights later Libby co-chairs another general meeting in which President Roosevelt himself attends (his very first). Present also are Neptune Perkins, Helena Kosmatos, Arnold Munro, Flying Fox, and Miya Shimada; the President recommends that –since they had assisted the All-Stars in the defense of the Perisphere— they should be admitted to the Squadron and go on a special War Bond Tour across the entire US. Libby suggests they first engage in a trial membership, as they are all younger than 21 years of age. So, along with Dyna-Mite and Sandy, they come to be called Young All-Stars.
05.1942 - After the Young All-Stars return from the west coast, they participate in a pre-game exhibition for scrap metal. Libby is present, though she doesn't play due to her still-broken arm. The highlight of the exhibition is a surprise appearance by Babe Ruth.
Shortly thereafter, the Green Lantern seems to turn traitor against the US and a special hearing is called by the President. Libby is present in the Perisphere when Alan Scott prepares to turn himself in as well as his power ring. This became unnecessary after a change of heart by the other All-Stars (especially the JSA contingent). At this same meeting Libby introduces the assembled All-Stars to Miss Paula Brooks alias the Tigress, she announces that the young woman wishes membership as an All-Star. She is voted in as a trial member, another Young All-Star. Libby and her co-chair Hawkman then send the Young All-Stars on another war bond drive, this one in Colorado.
Mid-May Libby has to deal with Helena Kosmatos' possession by a Greek Fury, as well as the return of the Ultra-Humanite within the body of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. These problems are dealt with by the Young All-Stars though they have been ordered to not interfere. May 23 sees a general meeting of the Squadron to decide if the Young All-Stars should be expelled for their disobedience of Liberty Belle's orders. After the Young All-Stars walk out the villainous Mekanique put into play its plan to destroy the members of the Squadron, it shrunk them to doll-size and attacked. Only the intervention of Helena Kosmatos and the other teens save Libby and the rest, and it appears that Mekanique is destroyed (in truth the machine's head is secretly preserved by Per Degaton).
Libby leads the All-Stars to the Amazonian nation of Rioguay where an attack of "supermen" is occurring. At the battle's conclusion and the retreat of the Sons of Dawn, Liberty Belle announces the dissolution of the "Young All-Stars" and invites the members to take on full membership as All-Stars. They accept.
She and Johnny married and they had a child whom they name Jesse and begin raising a family In the 2000s, Libby improved her relationship with her daughter and even the JSA members. She attended at least one of the annual Thanksgiving dinners put on by the JSA/JLA, and she attended in costume.
Libby put on her uniform again during the Infinite Crisis. Libby was fighting against Baron Blitzkrieg and other members of The Society when, in the words of Jay Garrick, "her powers just... exploded." Libby described her powers as having failed, she went to Philadelphia and attempted to increase her power levels by repeatedly ringing the Liberty Bell. For unknown reasons this did not work, and Belle was trapped on the bell which was producing massive damage via sonic waves. The JSA tried to help her and in the end she was saved by Stargirl. It is unclear how her powers were affected.
One year after the Infinite Crisis and as the Justice Society of America was being reformed, Vandal Savage began a program to systematically murder various Golden Age mystery-men and their progeny. Libby was in Philadelphia when Captain Nazi (a member of Fourth Reich) attacked her.
Powers and Abilities
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- Libby is a Washington Redskins fan.
- At the beginning of Libby's career she did not have powers. She only had a belt made from the same metal of the actual Liberty Bell which sometimes gave her an adrenaline rush.
- According to Wildcat, Libby once passed gas in the Perisphere and blamed it on the Atom.
- 181 Appearances of Elizabeth Lawrence (New Earth)
- 21 Images featuring Elizabeth Lawrence (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Elizabeth Lawrence (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Elizabeth Lawrence (New Earth)
|All-Star Squadron member|
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Justice Society of America member