- I don't remember how long I spent looking down at my father's broken body, as the wail of sirens grew closer, but all I remember thinking is: "Life is all just a matter of balance."
- -- Libra src
As a child, Justin Ballantine's mother died when the local pharmacist (who used a set of weighing scales) misjudged her medicine due to on-the-job drinking. Ballantine's father began to abuse him, and Justin escaped by staring at the stars. He saved up and bought a telescope. When his father came to the roof, he fell off and died. Justin stared at his father's corpse until the police arrived, leaving him with the unhealthy idea that "life is just a matter of balance".
Studying hard, Ballantine was given a scholarship to Opal University, where he took the class of his personal idol: Ted Knight, formerly the hero Starman. Based on Knight's idea that the stars were possessed of boundless energy, Ballantine built a special device designed to create a "cosmic balance", draining half an object's power and transferring it to the wielder of the device, with technology based upon stolen blueprints of the Gravity Rod. He then called it an "Energy Transmortifier".
The Injustice Gang
Ballantine then went to become Libra, the secret founder of the group of super-villains named the Injustice Gang. By the end of the first appearance, it was revealed that their entire operation was massive feint by their organizer, Libra, to test the limits of the Transmortifier; the testing showed it simply had none. A series of "Plan B" devices the villains had been given in case the JLA defeated them absorbed half of the heroes' powers and transferred them to Libra, who succeeded in draining half of the powers and abilities of the Pre-Crisis Flash, Superman and Batman of Earth-One. Satisfied with these results, he then turned his device upon the universe itself, hoping to become a god. While the Transmortifier worked perfectly, Libra's body could not control the massive power flow and was absorbed into the universe itself, effectively disintegrating him and spreading his essence across the cosmos.
He has recently resurfaced, claiming to represent a New God who will give the bad men whatever they desire, provided only that they follow him. He has since amassed an extremely large army of supervillains, reuniting the old Secret Society of Super-Villains, and claims to be attempting to 'end the age of heroes.' His loyalties are Apokoliptian, as he has made allusions to working for one such as Darkseid (Boss Dark Side), and it is explained that a New God, Glorious Godfrey, was the one to originally give him control of the Injustice Gang, and that it was none other than Desaad who returned him to physical form after his disastrous attempt to drain the galaxy's energies. He has also been directly making use of the Anti-Life Equation in his work, which seems to be the center of his professed religion, as most clearly seen when he shoved an equation-emitting helmet onto the Human Flame's head, and turned him into a Justifier. However, an entente between Lex Luthor, disgusted at Libra's goals, and Doctor Sivana, conspired to shut down and ovverride all Justifier helmets simultaneously, so that Luthor could get his shot at Libra. Although the blast was point blank, Doctor Sivana expressed serious reservations that Libra had actually died.
- Power Absorption: In the beginning, Libra was able to take half of the abilities away from each of member of the Justice League. The modus operandi of this ability was simply unrestricted. He was able to steal half of the brilliance and intelligence from Batman, half of the speed powers of the Flash, and half of Superman's powers. After he took half of the powers from the galaxy he became pure, disembodied energy and his essence was dispersed around the universe.
- Persuasion: Libra can persuade the weak-minded to do his bidding just by speaking. Heat Wave almost fell victim to it if he hadn't concentrated on the fire burning to his side.
- Telepathic Immunity: The Martian Manhunter tried distracting the villains with telepathic illusions while he made his escape but Libra was not affected and quickly stabbed him to release the others.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Durability
- Scales of Libra: His special scales are on a "energy transmogrification" device that can steal half of any universal energy form.
- Spear of Libra: A spear tip that can burst into flames is located on the end of his staff.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Justice League of America #111
- DC Universe #0
- Final Crisis
- Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge
- Final Crisis: Revelations
- 15 Appearances of Justin Ballantine (New Earth)
- 11 Images featuring Justin Ballantine (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Justin Ballantine (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Justin Ballantine (New Earth)
- Libra at dccomics.com
- Libra (DC Comics) at Wikipedia.org
- A Brief History (because that's all there is) of Libra - Newsarama
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."
Secret Society of Super-Villains member