Agent Liberty
Agentlibertyspecial.png
Cover to Agent Liberty Special #1 by Dan Jurgens.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman #60 (October 1991)
Created byDan Jurgens
In-story information
Alter egoBenjamin Lockwood
Team affiliationsSons of Liberty
CIA
Justice League
Abilities

Agent Liberty (Benjamin Lockwood) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Dan Jurgens, he made his debut in Superman vol. 2 #60 (Oct. 1991), and was later given his own solo adventure in Agent Liberty Special # 1 (1992).[1]

Sam Witwer portrayed a heavily adapted version of the character on the live-action Arrowverse television series Supergirl.

Fictional character biography

Benjamin Lockwood once worked for the CIA but ultimately left in disgust at their methods and the types of missions he was being asked to undertake. He became so disenchanted with the Federal Government as a whole that he joined the paramilitary group called the Sons of Liberty, who gave him the equipment to become Agent Liberty.[2] As Agent Liberty, Lockwood helped to forward the Sons' cause of overturning the governmental regime which brought him into conflict with Superman, though he later briefly assisted the Justice League in battling Brainiac in the crossover Panic in the Sky. However, when the Sons asked him to assassinate politician Pete Ross, Lockwood refused and helped to bring down the group by sending vital information to reporter Clark Kent (Superman's secret civilian identity).

Lockwood later learns that one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty was his former CIA mentor, and he became so disgusted with this revelation that he burned his Agent Liberty costume, vowing to never adopt the persona again. However, Lockwood subsequently becomes one of the many unwillingly brainwashed victims of a cult started by Brainiac and takes up the Agent Liberty identity once more.[3] Agent Liberty and the other kidnapped meta-humans are rescued by Huntress and Vixen. Later, during the Earth-shaking crisis of Infinite Crisis, Agent Liberty is seen at a mass for fallen and missing superheroes.

The death of Agent Liberty. Art by Pete Woods.
The death of Agent Liberty. Art by Pete Woods.

Dozens of heroes, Agent Liberty included, also gather to defend the city of Metropolis from the Secret Society of Super-Villains.[4] Liberty is seen heading for a heavily-armed cyborg being. Ultimately, the Society loses the battle.

Agent Liberty comes out of retirement to act as a member of the President's security detail while meeting with Superman and other Kryptonians newly arrived on Earth.[5]

He was apparently killed when Superwoman uses her heat vision on him after she caught him spying on Sam Lane and Lex Luthor.[6] His body was dumped in Metropolis Harbor where it was discovered and brought ashore by a group of boaters. Upon an autopsy it is discovered that Agent Liberty's suit had sent out a distress signal at the moment of his death, leaving clues to who killed him. Metropolis Metacrimes Inspector headed the investigation into Agent Liberty's murder. Before he could remove Liberty's armor, Lucy Lane had Lockwood's body removed from Metropolis City Hospital.[7][8]

Powers and abilities

Agent Liberty is highly skilled in military tactics, hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship. His high-tech battle suit can generate a force-field of energy capable of deflecting bullets and houses weapons such as retractable gauntlet blades. He wears a jetpack that allows flight and was able to summon attack helicopters and other assistance from the Sons of Liberty.

Other characters named Agent Liberty

During the Codename: Patriot arc, a new female Agent Liberty has been seen as part of President Martin Suarez' security team.[9] It is unknown at this time if she is connected to the Sons of Liberty, or even her predecessor Benjamin Lockwood, or if she is in fact yet another agent in General Lane's considerable list of operatives. The new Agent Liberty is apparently killed by Ursa when she attacks the White House during the War of the Supermen.[10]

In other media

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Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood / Agent Liberty on Supergirl.
Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood / Agent Liberty on Supergirl.

Sam Witwer portrays a heavily adapted version of Agent Liberty on Supergirl, set within The CW's live-action Arrowverse. Introduced as the "ruthless and terrifying" villain of the fourth season, this version of the character is depicted as "a brilliant orator in the guise of a family man" who has "eerie abilities of persuasion and manipulation".[11] Benjamin "Ben" Lockwood was once a mild-mannered college history professor who lost his home and father Peter (portrayed by Xander Berkeley) during the Daxamite invasion and Reign's terraforming of Earth, respectively. Upon being fired by the university for his anti-alien opinions, Ben was approached by Lex Luthor's subordinates, Mercy and Otis Graves, who gave him the gear to become a self-proclaimed "Agent of Liberty". Ben founds the Children of Liberty to create a human-first world order and rid National City of alien life whilst keeping these activities a secret from his wife Lydia (portrayed by Sarah Smyth) and son George (portrayed by Graham Verchere). He later wins a national television alien debate against reporter Kara Danvers, Supergirl's secret civilian identity, prompting the network to offer Ben his very own weekly show named "The Lockdown". He is arrested after Supergirl learns of his identity, and a large crowd of human rights activists led by Lydia protest his imprisonment. Ben is given a full pardon by President Phil Baker on the technicality that all of his victims were aliens rather than humans. He is promoted as the Director of Alien Affairs for the US government and repeals the Alien Amnesty Act. After Red Daughter poses as Supergirl and attacks the White House, Baker deputises Ben's Children of Liberty and gives them access to DEO weapons to begin rounding up aliens. Ben later injects himself with Lena Luthor's "Harun-El" serum and gains superhuman abilities to avenge Lydia's death at the hands of one such alien. Upon learning that Lex was the one who orchestrated his rise within the government, Ben kills Otis and attacks Luthor's base of operations on Shelley Island with his Children of Liberty only to encounter Supergirl's team instead. In the ensuing battle, Ben is cured of the Harun-El by James Olsen, thus stripping him of his powers before he and his men are arrested. Ben is enraged to see George blaming him for Lydia's murder and denouncing his anti-alien campaign on television. In the fifth season episode "It's a Super Life", Mxyzptlk creates an alternate reality in which Ben's family died jumping off a building thinking that Supergirl would save them. This in turn leads to Agent Liberty abducting Lena to blackmail Supergirl into revealing her identity before the Children of Liberty kill Kara's loved ones.

References

  1. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008), "Agent Liberty", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 9, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  3. ^ Birds of Prey #72 (Oct. 2004). DC Comics.
  4. ^ Infinite Crisis #6. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Superman #681 (Dec. 2008). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Action Comics #873 (March 2009). DC Comics.
  7. ^ Supergirl vol. 5 #37 (March 2009). DC Comics.
  8. ^ Supergirl vol. 5 #38 (April 2009). DC Comics.
  9. ^ World of New Krypton #6. DC Comics.
  10. ^ "war+of+sup+3-08 (JPEG file)". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  11. ^ Agard, Chancellor (17 July 2018). "Smallville alum Sam Witwer joins Supergirl season 4 as Agent Liberty". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 July 2018.