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The name's Uncle Sam, and we got work ta do.—Uncle Sam
The Freedom Fighters are a team of American super-heroes in The DCU, made up of characters bought out from Quality Comics and led by the nation's spirit Uncle Sam. Originally they were written as the only heroes on Earth-X, a universe where the Nazis won an extended World War II and had completely taken over. They fought against tyranny and oppression in a completely authoritarian world. Eventually they were integrated into the main Shared Universe. They still operate together in the modern era mostly using Legacy Characters and fight against contemporary problems that face the country such as corruption and terrorism.
The team first appeared in a crossover, featured in "Justice League of America" #107-108 (September-November, 1973). This tale was written by Len Wein, and drawn by Dick Dillin. The team featured familiar characters, Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam. All were characters from The Golden Age of Comic Books. They lay dormant for a few years. Then they got their own series "Freedom Fighters", which had them relocating from Earth-X to Earth-One. Their title lasted for 15 issues, from March, 1976 to July, 1978. This series upgraded the powers of some of the featured and added fellow Golden Ager Firebrand to their ranks. The series then fell victim to the so-called DC Implosion, the cancellation of much of DC's line of comic books. Two wore issues were by then complete. They got printed in "Cancelled Comics Cavalcade" #2 (Fall, 1978).
In the 1980s, the Freedom Fighters got a couple of retro tales in the pages of All-Star Squadron, a couple of modern tales, and participation in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Individual members got revamped in The Nineties, and some were replaced by Legacy Characters. Then most active members died in the Infinite Crisis #1 (December, 2005). To be replaced by even younger Legacy Characters, and new recruits. The newer version/s of the team received a couple of mini-series over the following years. But so far haven't been more successful than their predecessors in maintaining an ongoing series.
This DC Comics team contains examples of:
- Adolf Hitler: The antagonist of the earliest stories.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Uncle Sam is the "Spirit of America."
- Canon Invasion: The original Freedom Fighters were all characters owned by Quality Comics before DC bought out the company. There were several cross-overs with the team, who were said to live on Earth-X. Eventually Canon Welding set in and the team was established as having been a part of the All-Star Squadron.
- Captain Patriotic: Uncle Sam.
- Five-Man Band: The current Freedom Fighters fit this more than previous teams, since they have fewer memebers in the field.
- The Hero: Uncle Sam, later Miss America, when he dies. (It's not a spoiler, he dies all the time.)
- The Lancer: The Ray, Phantom Lady, when she isn't a Game Breaker.
- The Smart Guy: Firebrand.
- The Big Guy: Condor.
- The Chick: Human Bomb, ironically, is the most passive member of the team.
- The Sixth Ranger: Phantom Lady, since her power to teleport often becomes a Game Breaker.
- Magical Native American: John Trujillo received his Black Condor powers from an ancient Native American spider-goddess.
- In a subversion of the trope, he is the angriest and most violent of the Fighters, at least the current ones.
- Patriotic Fervor: Uncle Sam is fueled by this.
- Power Incontinence: The Human Bomb has to stay in his containment suit, or he'll blow up everything around him.
- Stripperific: Phantom Lady is this trope incarnate. Not that anyone is complaining, mind you.
- The current Phantom Lady, with her shirt that's basically a tube top, is actually less Stripperific than previous incarnations.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Earth-X stories take place on a world where the Nazis have access to more futuristic technology.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Uncle Sam.
- World War II: On Earth-X, it went on many years longer when the United States didn't enter.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: S.H.A.D.E. treated the Freedom Fighters this way, with Uncle Sam being declared a threat to national security.