Liberty Bell by Joel Priddy

Character: Liberty Belle
Publisher: DC Comics
Artist: Joel Priddy
Reviewer: Vito Delsante

Libby, as she was known to other members of the All-Star Squadron, was never really one of my favorites. I think she was even the Chairman of the Squadron when I was reading it (around Crisis on Infinite Earths). She was best fleshed out in The Golden Age, by James Robinson and the great Paul Smith. Let’s take a look at what Joel did…

First, lets tart with the head…while she isn’t wearing a mask (as she did in the comics) Joel touched on something that is key to the character (as well as key to just about any Golden Age-themed heroine) and that is the Veronica Lake archetype. Libby, Black Canary, Red Masque…all have their roots, pardon the pun, with the original blonde bombshell. It’s the hair, the way it sweeps down over the eye. It’s quite possibly something that is easily overlooked, and I commend Joel for catching that.

The Eisenhower jacket is a perfect accessory/costume element as well. Shortly after the War, women were wearing these left and right and while the fashion trend is about 10 years to early (in the sense of character continuity) it fits perfectly. Her pants and her boots are pretty much standard issue, but I think another great add here is the bell and hammer. Can anyone tell me what Libby’s powers are? No one? Don’t Wiki it…when the Liberty Bell is rung in Philadelphia, she gets a rush of adrenaline. Also, she has some level of sonic powers, but I think that was retconned in after they took Black Canary out of the Squadron and put her into the JSA (and she went to Limbo, fought Raganarok…blah blah blah). But, in her original origin, she was given a replica of the Liberty Bell by a guy named, no kidding, Paul Revere. Joel has taken that and gone a step further and possibly even given her a weapon.

It’s a safe assumption that Jesse Quick (Libby’s daughter) will be taking up her mother’s mantle in the new JSA series. It’d be a great treat to see her in this costume. We can dream, can’t we?

12 comments to “Liberty Bell by Joel Priddy”
  1. The costume is top-notch — updated while maintaining a feeling of period.

    I like the hammer as a weapon, but the bell seems pretty useless. Great for a pin-up, but I couldn’t imagine a hero lugging it around all day.

    Maybe the hammer was once used to ring the Liberty Bell and now, when used it naturally causes items to ring at their harmonic frequency and shatter?

    Haven’t seen that before. I’m goingto go cheat and Wiki her. I haven’t read Golden Age in years, and that’s my only real connection to the character.

  2. nice… without knowing anything about her I like the look for this reto characer. Retconned origins and powers make it hard to pin down what a character is about and what continuity to stick to when doing a redesign, but I like the idea of the hammer as a weapon and power activator. Thor-ish.

  3. She looks like an aviation hero of the period – cross Valkyrie with Veronica Lake and a dozen or so serial heroines of the period. Linda Stirling anyone?
    If I remember correctly she was a world class athlete who swam the English Channel out of France…

    Might be interesting to revisit her with a retconned origin – she gets invulnerability & strength when the Liberty Bell is rung? I’d also like to see her with goggles. That might be fun.

  4. Quite possibly my favourite redesign I’ve seen here yet. I’d add a mask, as Libby Lawrence was a media peronality, but apart from that, this is tops. It would be too much to ask for this toi end up being the new Liberty Belle uniform.

  5. Thanks, guys! Yeah, a mask wouldn’t be a bad idea. My thinking was that this Liberty Belle would split her time between tough-‘n-gritty service on the front lines and being used by the Army for PR purposes. So this would be an extension of her media personality, rather than a tangent. I explain a little more of my thinking re: Belle on my blog, including why she’s carrying a big honkin’ bell.

    On the theory that all real superheroes need an extensive cast of variations on their theme hanging out in the wings, I’ve designed a Chinese counterpart for Belle. I’ll post her pretty soon.

  6. top notch design. really captures the look and feel of the era and brings a progressive twist to the character. well done. nice touch with the background, as well.

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