Easy Company

The troops under Sgt. Rock

This legendary World War II combat unit got it's start on D-day (when American troops landed on European soil). Soon after this battle, Private Frank Rock was promoted to Sergeant. Rock forged his unit—called Easy Company—into one of the most famous fighting units of the war. The longest-standing men under his command included second-in-command, Bulldozer (Horace Eustace Canfield), Little Sure Shot, Wildman, Ice Cream Soldier, 4-Eyes, Jackie Johnson, Worry Wart, Farmer Boy, Long Round and Short Round. Many others passed through and as many again lost their lives.

Immediately following the war, Rock was tapped by the U.S. government for a covert operation. Rock sprung his team from the military prison to put down Easy's arch foe, the Iron Major (who had escaped death). Among his recruits were Easy's Wildman (last name revealed as Ahmas), and men named Spanner and Barnes. The mission resulted in the Iron Major's demise, as well as the new recruits'. After the mission, Rock formally requested his discharge. It is unclear whether Wildman was returned to prison. This tale also mentions that Sure Shot was made a Sergeant. (Suicide Squad v.2 #4)

Much later, in 1959, Rock and Bulldozer were recruited for another mission. From their base, at Area 51, the pair were teamed with Rip Hunter. Hunter had discovered that Dinosaur Island was the nexus of a "rip in time." As a result of this mission, their aging was supposedly slowed. (#10)

An impostor posing as Frank Rock surfaced recently and was passed off to America as President Lex Luthor's Chairman of the Joint-Chiefs of Staff. (Superman #166) This man and another mysterious man who claimed to be Bulldozer were recruited by Task Force X to lead a new unit of the Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad v.2 #1) This Squad was short-lived and in the end, both "Rock and Bulldozer" disappeared, leaving unresolved questions about their identities. (#12)

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Easy Co. and Frank Rock: Our Army at War #81 (April 1959). Bulldozer: Our Army at War #95 (June 1960)

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Showcase #45 • Brave & Bold #52, 84 • Suicide Squad v.2 #4, 10 • Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place Graphic Novel (2003)


» SEE ALSO: Obscure Characters: Sgt. RockFanzing #36: Sgt. Rock

The Elite / Justice League Elite

Created by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke

Manchester Black • Coldcast •  Menagerie II

The Elite are a band of extremely powerful metahumans who took it upon themselves to "free the Earth of scum." They abided no laws and thus quickly came into conflict with Superman during their first mission in Tripoli, Libya. There they took out a renegade giant ape, but also thousands of Libyan troops. They quickly dispatched Superman then disappeared. Each of the Elite possesses Palmer Metahuman (PM) ratings which rival Superman:

  • Manchester Black was the leader of the group. He had near-omnipotent telepathic and telekinetic abilities.
  • Coldcast can control electromagnetism and affect matter at the atomic level. By rendering electrons inert, he can essentially stop time. This can be used to to cripple electronic devices with an electromagnetic pulse. He is also sensitive to the Earth's electromagnetic field.
  • The Hat is actually a demon known as "The Dragon." Under unknown circumstances, he was coerced into taking the human form of an alcoholic magician powered by a "runefield."
  • Menagerie (Pam, last name unrevealed) is a Puerto Rican woman who bonded herself with "an alien warrior crèche" (or symbeasts), which she could control.

They soon appeared again in Tokyo to take down the Samurai Roshu, a group private guerillas. Superman called them to a showdown on Jupiter's moon, Io. They had apparently killed the Man of Steel, but Superman returned triumphant. He poisoned Menagerie, turned the vacuum of space and super-speed against the Hat and Coldcast, and disabled the metahuman portion of Manchester Black's brain. The JLA took the villains into custody.

Their headquarters — a ship dubbed "Bunny" — was originally a sentient bacteria colony which the Elite had highjacked and enslaved. Superman freed this ship. (Action #775)

In truth, Superman had only given Black a concussion. President Luthor and his cabinet members Sam Lane and Amanda Waller implanted Black with regulatory nanites to keep him in line. Black was then made field leader of a new Suicide Squad. This team's mission was to release and reprogram Doomsday to battle Imperiex. After this, Black secretly freed himself of the nanites. (Adv. of Superman #593-594)

Now a government operative, Black began shadowing the Man of Steel and eventually discovered Superman's secret identity. He shared this information with Lex Luthor. Black betrayed Luthor and reassembled the Elite one last time. He sent them to assassinate Luthor, which Superman prevented. It was then that Menagerie revealed that the Elite were acting against their wills. Indeed, Black induced a stroke in her for her betrayal, putting her in a permanent vegetative state. Coldcast and the Hat remained at large. (Action #795)

In the end, Manchester Black tricked Superman into thinking he'd murdered Lois Lane. Black's death-wish was to trick Superman into killing him, thus proving Superman's imperfection. When this failed, Black wiped all knowledge of Superman's secret identity from Luthor's brain, and then committed suicide. (Action #796) But Black changed his mind at the last second. In a telekinetic cannonball, he uploaded his consciousness into that of his sister, Vera Lynn Black.

Vera grew up alongside brother "Chess", who took care of her in the absence of their parents. Vera lost her arms when she was a young girl and was looked after by her brother. (Justice League Elite #4) There was one particularly scaring moment when the pair encountered a house full of people whom Chess drove to torture themselves. Vera watched on and was deeply scarred by the sight. Thus did Manchester's evil nature flourish at a young age. At some point the two parted ways — physically and ideologically. When Manchester continued his path towards an Elite, Vera was fitted with a half-billion dollars worth of cybernetic arms which give her heightened senses and the ability to alter other's perceptions. She signed on with at least one international undercover operation, headed by the Naif al-Sheikh.

After Manchester's supposed death, Vera Lynn took it upon herself to clear the family name and reassembled the Elite as a force for good. As Sister Superior she convinced the Dragon to once again become the Hat. Coldcast sought to atone for his misdeeds under Manchester; and Menagerie's sister Sonja (Menagerie II) assumed control of the alien crèche. Vera then approached the JLA with a proposition…

It seems that the Hat had sensed a powerful chaos emanating from the Earth's very being. The mother goddess, Gaea, was awakening and in her anger she threatened to destroy humanity. Vera concocted a plan that would hopefully unite the world against a common threat and prove the human race's worth to the goddess. Though Superman was understandably hesitant to ally with the new Elite, the JLA's Manitou Raven and Major Disaster both confirmed Vera's prophesies. The JLA and the Elite subsequently staged an elaborate battle whereby it appeared that the Elite were unstoppable and would completely enslave the world. The JLA then convinced all the world's nations to band together against this threat; Gaea awoke and did indeed concede that humans were worthy of inheriting the planet.

Vera Black • Naif al-Sheikh • Kasumi • Manitou Raven • Dawn

After this, Sister Superior boldly proposed the formation of a sort of "black ops" JLA team: the Justice League Elite. With her deep cover experience, Vera envisioned a team that could use unconventional means to combat unconventional threats. Both Superman and Batman denied Vera membership in the League, which angered several of their teammates, including the Flash. He, Raven and Disaster all believed that Black had proved herself worthy and allied with her in this new venture. (JLA #100) Thus the Justice League Elite became a sort of "not-exactly-sanctioned don't-ask-don't-tell covert operations unit. Their mission was to hunt and eliminate extranormal threats to the Earth before they went public. (JLA Secret Files 2004)

Flash, Green Arrow, Manitou Raven and Major Disaster officially joined Vera's League (Flash would serve on both teams). This new undercover branch of the League was barely tolerated by the main team and operated out of a secret base in New Jersey called The Factory. To help keep them in check, Vera recruited Naif al-Sheikh to be their coordinator. Al-Sheikh was a man also driven by the desire to do good yet held super-heroes in great contempt. Only Vera's history with the mastermind convinced him to join them. Al-Sheikh held the clout to address an assembly of powerful world leaders would agree that "the Elite do not exist." The Elite were also to be kept in check by another member, Kasumi, who was actually Batgirl — secretly planted on the team by Batman. (JL Elite #1)

In their first mission, they infiltrated The Blood Brothers, an organization of assassins. The Blood Brothers led the Elite to a foreign terrorist called Sundeath (Richard Atwa). Strangely, both teams aimed at putting an end to Atwa, but the Brothers' plan extended to the nation's genocidal leader, Hi-Shan Bhat. The Brothers enlisted another freelancer called, Wolfwood, who was also working undercover. With his heightened senses, he compromised Vera's disguise as Deathstroke. (#2) The Elite ditched their cover and took down both the Blood Brothers and Bhat's regime; Atwa was taken to the U.S. for trial.

But what happened after this would taint the Elite for good. With Bhat in custody, Manchester Black began asserting some control over his sister, who blacked out while Bhat was being held. In her unconsciousness, Menagerie secretly coaxed Coldcast to kill Bhat. Coldcast retained no memory of the act, and no other members were present. (#3) Vera knew this bode poorly for their future; upon their return, she defied protocol and avoided debriefing the team on Bhat's death, while al-Sheikh raged over the mysterious circumstances of the dictator's death. Because the Elite were in complete control, and Vera could sense external lifesigns and teleport signals, suspicion was of course cast on the team itself — someone on the team was obviously responsible for Bhat's death.

The JLA stepped in and attempted to shut the Elite down, but Vera strapped on Wonder Woman's lasso as a test of truth (but the lasso was actually around her cybernetics), and avoids further inquiry. This bought the team more time, pending an investigation. (#4)

Coldcast then paid a visit home to his mother and brother Christopher. Chris introduced him to his new posse: part of the gang called the Aftermath. (#4) At Coldcast's urging, the Elite infiltrated Aftermath. Kasumi used the Shadow Theif's belt, Vera became "Miss Morphine" and the Flash "Supersonic". They discovered that Aftermath used aliens and metahumans to carve out a new kind of drug trade. They also discovered that another group was on Aftermath's trail: the Justice Society! (#5)

During the brawl, Black Canary recognized Green Arrow's equipment, but didn't put the pieces together in time. The battle ended badly when Major Disaster (who had begun drinking heavily) used his powers to send Coldcast out of control. This caused Kasumi to accidentally impale Hawkgirl with her blades. After things quieted down, Batman ordered her to end her affiliation, but she defied him and rejoined the team to finish their mission against Aftermath. Aftermath had actually tipped off the JSA and staged the whole battle as a test to the Elite's worthiness. They were finally invited aboard Aftermath's interdimensional ship where they met the organization's leader, Aftermath himself. And his associate — Wolfwood. (#6)