Strata + Garv
Created by Keith Giffen & Barry Kitson
With excerpts from Who's Who #8 (April 1991) ©DC Comics, Inc.
NAME + ALIASES:
L.E.G.I.O.N., R.E.B.E.L.S., InterC.E.P.T.
Invasion! #2 (1988)
NAME + ALIASES:
L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #15 (May 1990)
Strata hails from the world called Dryad, which is inhabited by at least two rock-like humanoid species. Their forms are silicon-based, dense and heavy. Nothing is known about her life before she became a prisoner of the Starlag, the Dominators' prison world. Like many of the the Starlag's inmates, it is probable that Strata was given over to the Alliance as a gesture of support (or noninterference) for the Dominator's war against Earth.
Strata, a relatively young Dryadian, Strata befriended other captives in the Starlag. This prison turned out to be the focal point for a rebellion against the Dominators, led by Adam Strange and the devious Vril Dox II. (Invasion! #1-3) Strata joined Dox, along with the Durlan, Garryn Bek of Cairn, Stealth, and Lyrissa Mallor of Talok VIII in helping to defeat the Dominators' plot in space.
After their victory, the band of exiles accompanied Dox to his home world of Colu. They were successful in shutting down the Tyrants' mainframe, but without the Tyrants to guide it, Coluan society practically self-destructed. (L.E.G.I.O.N. #1-3) Dox then became a sort of "godfather" to his people, which gave him the idea to form a new police force to replace the former Green Lantern Corps. Strata and the others were hesitant at first to join Dox, but ultimately decided that it might be a good idea to stick around, if for no better reason, to keep an eye on Dox.
Shortly after the groups' arrival on Colu, they were attacked by the intergalactic psycho-killer known as Lobo. During their fight, Lobo ripped huge chunks out of Strata's rock-like skin. While this did not injure Strata, it accelerated the maturation process by which all Dryadians shed their outer layer to reveal a second, crystalline layer of skin. Dryadians are born sexless and learn their sex only upon reaching maturity; it was at this time that Strata first discovered that she was a female. (#4, 8)
The new team traveled to Bek's homeworld of Cairn, known galaxy wide as the "drug world." They quickly deposed the chief drug lord and secured the allegiance of Cairn's police force. (#5)
From the start, Strata was one of the most committed team members to the cause. She was one of the first to begin wearing official uniforms (#8) and was in fact the creator of the team's permanent name: L.E.G.I.O.N. (Licensed Extra-Governmental Insterstellar Operatives Network). (#12)
Strata also became a key point-person for the training and orientation of new recruits. One such recruit named Garv, took a shine to Strata, though she would remain oblivious to his affections for some time. (#15) Not long after Garv signed on, he became a member of the core squad (#24) and saw action in the team's most heated battled. This also gave Garv more chances to be close to Strata. While he pined away, the two became friends. He was there for her, making her laugh in a time of sadness, after her friend and teammate Lyrissa Mallor died.
When a cosmic crisis drew together the L.E.G.I.O.N, the Green Lantern Corps and the Darkstars, Strata unexpectedly encountered another space-faring hero from Dryad: the Green Lantern known as Brik. In fact, both were surprised to discover the existence of the other's race. It seems that Brik's people lived far below ground, and Strata's people were the last of the surface Dryads.
Like Strata, Garv was a dedicated soldier, fiercely loyal to his teammates. When Stealth was captured while undercover, Garv threatened to resign unless Dox took quick action to save her. (#49) After a vicious battle to save her, Garv made good on his word. In leaving, he hoped to find a way to help people, not play a part in Dox's personal vendettas. Before leaving, he asked Strata to join him, something she was not ready to do. (#50)
It was then that Strata realized the depth of her feelings for Garv. The next time the two of them met, she would not know it, as Garv had taken the identity of the Masked Avenger. As this vigilante, he investigated a case strange murderers of L.E.G.I.O.N. officers. In this disguise, he aided Strata in catching the culprit: Jiv Reduu. Reduu was a rejected L.E.G.I.O.N. applicant who sought revenge by killing L.E.G.I.O.N. officers with the same power for which he was rejected. Strata worked with the Masked Avenger to stop Reduu, but afterwards, Garv disappeared into the night. (#56)
Soon Strata deduced Garv's secret identity and hatched a plan to lure him out. She disguised herself as the Leather Rose, whip-wielding temptress, and took to the streets of Cairn City. She confronted the Avenger, pretending to ask for help finding Garv, professing to love him. At this point, Garv realized that the Rose was in fact Strata. At last: he proposed to her and she accepted. (#66)
Sadly, their happiness was to be delayed. Just as they'd found each other again and gone to the altar, the L.E.G.I.O.N. fell under the thrall of Vril Dox's son, Lyrl. Lyrl used a mind-control device and took control of the entire organization. Lyrl turned everyone against his father and Strata was forced to flee with several other core members to escape. (#70)
Garv, on the other hand, fell prey to Lyrl's machinations and signed on to help Lyrl bring in the rebels, his wife included. (REBELS #1) Once Dox finally found a way to depose Lyrl, the newlyweds were reunited. In the aftermath, Captain Comet assumed leadership of the L.E.G.I.O.N. Strata and Garv returned to active duty. (#17)
At some point, Strata joined another the group of interstellar police called InterC.E.P.T. (Interdimensional Cooperative Enforcement Police Team). She retained her L.E.G.I.O.N. membership as well. (Superboy & the Ravers #11)
Dox eventually reassumed his leadership of the L.E.G.I.O.N. and relocated their headquarters to the planet Malthus. Strata and Garv have apparently continued to serve with the L.E.G.I.O.N. (Infinite Crisis #1)
Strata has been on of the L.E.G.I.O.N.'s most steadfast members, generally cool and collected, slow to anger. She is rarely affected or bothered by Dox's eternal scheming. She has never expressed any desire to return to Dryad, preferring the company others to her barren homeworld.
At some point, Vril Dox replaced all sentient L.E.G.I.O.N. operatives with artifical intelligence. He moved the entire operation to the planet Maltus. Garv and Strata chose to settle on Cairn, and eventually bore a child, Rocky. When Dox lost control of the organization to Starro, he came to recruit Strata once again. (REBELS v2 #3) Rocky's birth was suggested in an "imaginary tale" where Strata and Garv were able to procreate. (L.E.G.I.O.N. Annual #2)
Brik, the Green Lantern from Dryad first appeared in Green Lantern #12 (May 1991).
In original Legion of Super-Heroes continuity, Strata was a legendary hero of Dryad, and made an appearance in the 30th century (whether spiritual or real is uncertain) to the Legion's own Dryadian, Blok. (LSH v.4 #3)
In Earth-247 Legion continuity, there is no Blok. In the 30th century, a Dryadian named Brika was transformed into an elemental called Rrox. Rrox then destroyed Dryad. (Legionnaires #71-72)
Strata's form is a result of heavy-gravity evolution. Its density gives her superhuman strength and makes her nearly invulnerable.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
- L.E.G.I.O.N., 70 issues (1989-94)
- R.E.B.E.L.S., 17 issues (1994-96)
- R.E.B.E.L.S. v.2, current (2009-)
» SEE ALSO: