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Sonja (New Earth)

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The younger sister of the original Menagerie (a member of the extremist group The Elite), Sonja inherited her older sister's alien creche after Elite leader Manchester Black lobotomized her. Upon Black's apparent death, his sister, Vera Lynn Black, took it upon herself to clear the family name and reassemble the Elite as a force for good. As Sister Superior, she convinced Sonja to assume control of the alien creche as the second Menagerie. Vera then approached the JLA with a proposition to form a sort of black ops JLA team: the Justice League Elite. With her deep cover experience, Vera envisioned a team that could use unconventional means to combat unconventional threats.

Vera did not realize was that Menagerie's intentions were not pure. Sonja's hatred of Manchester Black became a hatred of the Elite. Sonja saw this as her opportunity to kill Vera's dream, so she played along and joined the team. This Elite became a sort of "not-exactly-sanctioned don't-ask-don't-tell covert operations unit." Their mission was to hunt and eliminate extranormal threats to the Earth before they went public. In their first mission, Menagerie secretly coaxed Coldcast into killing the foreign terrorist dictator, Hi-Shan Bhat. Coldcast retained no memory of the act, and no other members were present.[1]

Menagerie laid low during the fallout, and put effort into her personal relationship with Coldcast. The two had become lovers and were drawn together by their shared affection for Pam. Then while most of the Elite went underground, Vera was finally fully overtaken by the disembodied Manchester Black. While Black threatened Earth with a Fourth World god, Menagerie went mysteriously missing, and Coldcast was arrested by the JLA for Bhat's murder. In their absence, the Elite's coordinator, Naif al-Sheikh, had found DNA evidence linking Coldcast to the deed. Coldcast confessed to the murder and was taken to the Slab prison.

In the Slab, Coldcast was visited by the spirit of the recently departed Manitou Raven. Raven's magic dislodged something in Coldcast's mind and he vomited up a heap of Menagerie's symbeasts. Free from their control, he began remembering that he had been coerced by Menagerie into killing Bhat. Menagerie herself was nowhere to be found, and Coldcast rejoined the others. It seemed Menagerie's sabotage was complete. But Manitou Raven's power led them to victory over Manchester Black. Coldcast was exonerated and the team tracked Sonja to Costa Rica. She was outnumbered and taken into JLA custody. On the Watchtower, she was deprived of the aliens and began a gradual separation they hoped would sever her connection to the beasts. It seems this will take some time, as she could only bear to be a short distance away from the creche.[2]


  • Metamorphosis: Sonja has control over tiny alien parasites called "symbeasts", which resemble microscopic bugs that crawl along her body in order to form different shapes or weapons. Sonja has finer control over this ability than her sister as such she had a closer connection to them which both enhanced her abilities and severely limited her. Sonja also once used them to spy on a place of residence from afar by implanting a literal "bug" on the window.
  • Energy Projection: Also, she created a facsimile of a drug once from the secretion of one of her creatures for a specific "bait and switch" operation. According to Vera Black, there was also a creature among the creche that could create bioelectric bursts. Menagerie secreted acidic blood as well, often allowing herself to get wounded as a combat tactic.


  • Power Limitation: Due to the way the bugs have altered Sonja's body chemistry, she cannot survive for long without them in her system.


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