Liberty Belle Johnny Quick Jesse Quick

Liberty Belle created by Don Cameron Chuck Winter
Johnny Quick created by Mort Weisinger
Jesse Quick created by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck

Liberty Belle I

NAME + ALIASES:
Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence Chambers

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Major James Lawrence (father, deceased), Johnny Chambers (Johnny Quick, ex-husband, deceased), Jesse Belle Chambers (Jesse Quick, Liberty Belle II, daughter), Rick Tyler (Hourman II, son-in-law)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Boy Commandos #1 (Winter 1942-1943)

APPEARANCES:

  • All-Star Squadron, 67 issues (1981-87)
  • Boy Commandos #1-2
  • Star-Spangled Comics #20-68 (May 1943–May 1947)

Johnny Quick

NAME + ALIASES:
Johnny Chambers

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence Chambers (Liberty Belle I, ex-wife), Jesse Belle Chambers (Jesse Quick, Liberty Belle II, daughter)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
More Fun Comics #71 (Sept. 1941)
Sidekick "Tubby" Watts: More Fun #71 (Sep. 1941)

APPEARANCES:

  • Adventure Comics #103-207 (Apr. 1946–Dec 1954)
  • All-Star Squadron, 67 issues (1981–87)
  • More Fun Comics #71-107 (Sept. 1941–Jan./Feb. 1946)

Liberty Belle II

NAME + ALIASES:
Jesse Belle Chambers, Jesse Quick

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Johnny Chambers (Johnny Quick, father, deceased), Elizabeth "Libby" Lawrence Chambers (Liberty Belle I, mother), Major James Lawrence (grandfather, deceased), Rick Tyler (Hourman II, husband), Rex Tyler (Hourman I, father-in-law), Wendi Harris (mother-in-law)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
The Conglomerate, The Titans, Justice Society of America, Justice League of America

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Justice Society of America v.2 #1 (August 1992)

APPEARANCES:

  • Justice League of America v.2 #46–60
  • Justice League Quarterly #12
  • Justice Society of America v.3, current (2007-)
  • The Titans, 50 issues (1999-2003)

SEE ALSO:

History

Golden Beginnings

Johnny Chambers' parents died in an automobile accident and he was taken in by mathematical genius Ezra Gill. Professor Gill discovered a formula which harnessed gravity and electricity. The equation was 3x2(9YZ)4A, and by speaking it aloud and mentally picturing the mathematical concepts, the user can run and fly at super-speed. (The formula to cancel the speed is Z2 5(2AB)6.) Before his death, Prof. Gill shared the formula with Johnny.

Johnny took up a career as a cameraman for Sees All/Tells All News, and another secret career as mystery man called Johnny Quick.

In the days before World War II, Libby Lawrence was a reporter who accompanied her father, Major James Lawrence, was an American military attaché in Poland. On September 8, 1939, he was killed in the Nazi bombing of Warsaw and Libby fled from Poland to Holland and then to France. (All-Star Squadron #61)

Two years later, Libby was transformed by the mystic properties of the legendary Liberty Bell. When tolled, the bell imbued her with extra strength and agility. Following the example of numerous contemporaries, she donned a mask and costume, becoming Liberty Belle. (Boy Commandos #1)

Not long after receiving her powers, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawai, and Libby vowed to dedicate her new powers to the war effort. She joined other heroes at the White House, where President Roosevelt had called mystery men into service. It was here that Libby also met her future husband, as Johnny Quick (Johnny Chambers). FDR charged these heroes with mobilizing all costumed heroes, and to form an All-Star Squadron. (All-Star Squadron #1) At their first official meeting, Liberty Belle was elected their chair. (#13)

Libby presided over the Squadron's activities for the duration of the war. She also oversaw the creation of a sub-team called the Young All-Stars, which she eventually dissolved, offering its members full Squadron membership. (Young All-Stars #1-31)

For a brief moment, Libby succumbed to grief and resigned from the team. This came after being attacked by Baron Blitzkrieg, and learning that her friend Tom Revere had been murdered. (#45) Almost immediately, Libby was back in action, reinvigorated by new sonic powers, which she gained when Baron Blitzkrieg attempted to restore his own sight. (#46)

On April 1, 1942 Libby married Johnny Chambers. But just as their celebration began, they were swept up in the great cosmic chaos created by the Anti-Monitor. Libby and Johnny were tossed decades forward in time. (#50, 52, Crisis #1)

Settling

Many years after the war ended, Libby and Johnny produced a baby girl, named Jesse Belle Chambers. Jesse was born in Queens, New York, and inherited her mother's unusual strength and her father's super-speed and power of flight (but not her mother's sonic powers).

Jesse's parents eschewed their former careers and Johnny went on to found his own company, Quickstart Enterprises. As Johnny had continued to investigate the mechanics of his speed formula, he found that it could act as a mantra to activate one’s metagene. This spurred him on to become a motivational speaker and info-mercial personality, inspiring others to reach their full potential. Later, the speedster Max Mercury explained to Johnny that his formula allowed him to access the Speed Force, but Johnny was reluctant to believe it. Sadly, Libby and Johnny divorced at some point. (Justice Society v.2 #1, 3) One particular point of contention was the way in which they wished to raise young Jesse. By early adolescence, Johnny was pressuring her to master his speed formula, while Libby was content if Jesse led a "normal" life. Despite their differences, Jesse lived with her father until college, and eventually unlocked Johnny's forumla for herself. (Justice Society v.3 #8)

Jesse's first adventure as a hero came in joining Wally West to help the Justice Society battle the Ultra-Humanite. (Justice Society v.2 #4) Soon thereafter, she designed a costume and took the hero name of Jesse Quick. (#8)

Johnny was also on-hand to help the JSA. He used the knowledge gleaned from his speed formula to teach Rex Tyler how to tap his super strength without Miraclo. Rex then tought this to his son, Rick, to help him endure chemotherapy. (#8)

Jesse's next foray was as a member of the ill-fated Conglomerate. This band of corporate-sponsored heroes was formed by Claire Montgomery, a rival of Maxwell Lord. She joined another child of the Golden Age on this team, Nuklon. This team won popular public support, but apparently dissolved soon anyway. (Justice League Quarterly #12)

She continuted to lend a hand wherever it was needed, becoming a valued ally to the Flash (Wally West). In one mission, she was crippled during a battle with the forces of Kobra. Wally used his Speed Force to instantly heal her. (Flash v.2 #97-100)

Although this was rewarding, it was another such mission which resulted in the sacrifice of her father, Johnny. In battle against the speed villain called Savitar, Johnny sacrificed himself to save Jesse.) In the process, he became one with the Speed Force. (Flash v.2 #108-109, Impulse #11)

Jesse was shattered by the loss of her father, and retired her advenuring career. Instead she focused on running Johnny's business. It was during this time that she was approached by Wally to join a new team of Titans. Jesse flatly refused, but reconsidered at Nightwing's request. (Titans #?) Jesse soon left the group (#13) but rejoined again at Nightwing's request after he entrusted her with his secret identity. (#20)

Jesse appears to have always been closer to her father, but one case with the Titans pushed the two very farther apart. Under bizarre circumstances, both Jesse and Libby began dating the same man, Philip Geyer. Libby was engaged to Geyer, who turned up dead — in Jesse's bed! The Titans investigated the death and discovered that Geyer had been murdered by the Golden Age hero, Captain Triumph. Triumph learned about Geyer's affair with Jesse and killed him. (#35-36)

This band of Titans disbanded after the death of Donna Troy. Soon after that, Jesse lost her speed powers as well. (Flash v.2 #200)

A New Start

Jesse was invited to become the Justice Society's Business Manager, where she reconnected with Rick Tyler (Hourman) and kindled a new romance. (JSA #52) Tragedy reunited Jesse with her mother when hen the Spectre sent Earth's magical forces into chaos. Libby, who was a museum guide at the Liberty Bell's home in Philadelphia, lost control of her powers when she touched the bell. Stargirl helped Jesse save LIbby, who had been bound to the artifact. (#81)

After Alexander Luthor's Crisis was ended, Jesse married Rick Tyler. For the first time, Jesse took the codename Liberty Belle II, and the two of them became members in a new formation of the Justice Society. (JSofA v.3 #1) In this group's first case, Vandal Savage targetted Golden Age heroes whose identities were closely tied to American symbolism. This included Libby.

Soon after joining the JSA, Wally West returned from "the dead" (Justice League of America v.2 #10), bringing the Speed Force with him. Whether because of this or not, Jesse once again was able to manifest her speed powers when faced with the impetus. When the villain Zoom got the upper hand on her colleague, Damage, she instinctivly accessed the Speed Force to stop him. (JSofA v.3 #8)

NOTES: Oddly, Johnny Quick was one of few wartime heroes to survive DC's super-hero purge of the early 1950s. DC continued to publish his adventures into the '50s, in Adventure Comics.

The second Johnny Quick is  a villain from the antimatter universe, a member of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika.

+ Powers

Originally, Libby Lawrence could channel mystic power distributed by the Liberty Bell. It gave her super strength. Since the world of magic was disturbed by the Spectre, it is unclear whether her connection to those powers has been severed.

Jesse Chambers' bell-related powers are intact, as they are genetic and not mystical. Her connection to the Speed Force, was temporarily severed, but has since returned, perhaps along with the return of Wally West to the 21st Centurty.