Justice League Beyond #19 (February 2013) (digital first comic)
Who is she?
Danica Williams is the Flash of the 2040s and a member of the Justice League. Ever since she was a young girl Danica had wanted to be a runner. A deep love for the Flash legacy had been instilled in her by her family and even though Danica knew she could never become the real Flash, she wanted to pursue her dreams through a sports career.
Her career, however, was cut short before it even started as due to a mysterious medical condition she would collapse and lose her consciousness before she even began a run.
This was a huge blow to Danica. It caused great concern to her parents who took her to several therapists. Thankfully, on one fateful day when a man fell off the platform in front of a speeding train Danica was there to save him - her speedster powers finally kicked in properly. It turned out her blackouts had been attempts at tapping into the Speed Force (the energy source speedsters have fuel them).
What is more, her three imaginary friends, she spent most of her childhood talking to revealed themselves as Jay Garrick, Wally West and Bart Allen, all previous Flashes, speaking to her from the Speed Force. The three men chose Danica to be their successor which she couldn’t be happier about.
One of her first adventures had her meet and rescue the Justice League who had fallen into the clutches of a powerful villain. She gained their respect and had Superman without the least hesitation ask her to join the group, which she gladly agreed to as long as she could keep being Central City’s protector.
What can she do? / What makes her unique?
Danica has all the typical speedster abilities such as fast running, phasing and quicker healing (due to her accelerated metabolism). She proves to be faster even than Bart Allen (usually regarded the fastest speedster) as she is capable of running in mid air (by using air particles as footing before they collapse beneath her).
She has also received extensive training by her mentors as well as a course in Flash history (her father being a Flash fan pitched in too). Her expertise allows her to work as a docent at the Flash museum when she’s in her civilian identity.
Her dedication to taking over the mantle made her join a parkour group in order to improve her agility and skills in moving around areas with dense architecture.
Danica trusts her parents implicitly and hence she revealed her identity to them quickly, receiving from them support in creating a protective costume for herself.
Apart from her speedster powers and agility Danica impresses with her bright mind and positive attitude. Even in times of hardship she loves being a superhero and does everything to be the best heir to the mantle possible.
Fan Reception / Position in the franchise:
Barely moments after her first appearance the fandom embraced her, enthusiastic posts and fanarts appeared rapidly. This is quite the achievement for a character not from the main DCU. Fans and reviewers appreciated the much needed diversity Danica, being a black woman, brings in by taking on a mantle most typically associated with white men.
Where can I find her?
Justice League Beyond #19 - #20*, #25 (origin)
Justice League Beyond 2.0 #1, #3 - #5… **
*issue 18 is also recommended reading as it is the first of the arc (aptly named Flashdrive) she appears in and adds useful context
** vol. 2.0 has her in cameos so far, but as the focus between team members shifts look forward to more of her in the future
If you’re in need of physical copies check out Batman Beyond Universe - it collects the digital chapters of Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond monthly in print.
The character is inspired by real life race car driver Danica Patrick and Olympic runner Rafer Johnson.
DAZZLING DC LADIES MONTH: Zinda Blake, aka Lady Blackhawk
First appeared:Blackhawk #133, February 1959
Who is she? Determined to become the first female member of the famed Blackhawk Squadron, Zinda Blake trained as a pilot, mastering a wide range of aircraft and becoming an expert in various forms of hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. From the very beginning, she was met with resistance: the Blackhawks weren’t keen on allowing a woman into their boys’ club, even if on their first meeting that woman had saved one of their teammates from certain death. Undeterred, Zinda continued to join them on their adventures, eventually earning honorary membership after saving the entire team from the Scavenger.
Then there was this thing where Killer Shark kidnapped and brainwashed her into becoming his evil girlfriend, Queen Killer Shark, but we’re going to gloss over that, because it’s gross.
So! Zero Hour happened, and Zinda found herself flung a good half-century or so into the present day, in a future where most of her friends were either dead or in nursing homes, and technology had advanced so far that she presumably needed to learn to fly all over again. She made the best of it, working in Guy Gardner’s bar and frequently aiding him and his team in fighting super villains.
Eventually, she was recruited by Oracle as the Birds of Prey’s new pilot. She quickly bonded with the other women on the team, and her aviation and combat skills proved invaluable.
What can she do? Zinda’s an ace pilot, an expert in aerial combat, and a skilled marksman, with expertise in a range of weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. She can also order beer in thirty languages and drink most people under the table.