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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

Libra is a supervillain in the DC Comics universe and an enemy of the Justice League of America, Lex Luthor, and Doctor Sivana.

History

Origins

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.

Final Crisis

Libra later 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.

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge

In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge (set during Final Crisis), Libra is shocked when he hears that the Rogues declined membership into his Secret Society. Many times and in many ways he attempts to recruit them, including threats against their families and revealing that Barry Allen had returned from the dead, but failed. As they walk away, Libra shouts that evil will win.

Final Crisis: Revelations

In Final Crisis: Revelations (also occurred during the event of Final Crisis), Libra is confronted by Crispus Allen, the third Spectre, who has come to judge him for the murder of the Martian Manhunter. Not only was the Spectre unable to learn Libra's real identity, but the villain was able to fight off the Spirit of Vengeance and drive him away.

In other media

Television

In the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, there is a character called Equinox (voiced by Oded Fehr) with similarities to Libra including the interest in "balance". An orphan boy raised from birth by the Lords of Chaos and Order (similar to Marvel Comics' In-Betweener), Equinox was granted powers by both, and charged with the task of supporting the balance between good and evil. However, this proved too much of a burden; he left the masters and sought his ideal balance, opposing Batman, but occasionally aiding him.

He first appears in the teaser of the episode "Mystery in Space!", when he tries to eliminate Gorilla Grodd (an agent of evil) and the Question (an agent of justice) at the same time to keep balance. But Batman intervenes and Equinox faces him for the first time. He evades Batman and the Question and promises they will meet again.

In the episode "When OMAC Attacks!", he appears as the mastermind of a terrorist plot: a village was destroyed in another country due to the actions of a peace-keeping organization. To keep everything in balance, he plans to destroy the city where the organization is based by overloading a nuclear power plant using Shrapnel. However he is distracted by Buddy Blank while Batman stops his plan. In the end, however, he saves Batman's life by healing him after he nearly dies of radiation exposure from shutting down the nuclear reactor, for Batman's death would be an imbalance. He then escapes.

In "The Fate of Equinox!", Equinox's origins are revealed after he tricks Batman into ensuring the villain's ascent to godhood with the intent to unmake the universe and create it anew, taking his masters' powers to do so and becoming Equinox-Prime. Doctor Fate borrows the powers from a number of heroes and gives them to Batman in an attempt to stop him, Plastic Man dubbing the new being Bat-Monolith. When Equinox' new powers prove too strong even for the combined might of Batman and his allies, Batman turns the tables by presenting to Equinox the revelation that he himself is unbalanced as he hates the Lords of Order and Chaos, which disillusions the villain long enough for Batman to send him to oblivion by knocking him into a vortex he had begun to create to destroy the universe so he could re-make it in balance.

In "Time Out for Vengeance!", it was revealed that his consciousness was shattered into a dozen fragments and scattered throughout time and space. Each aspect embodied a part of Equinox-Prime's mind. His hate arrives in the far future and enters a computer which it uses to create and animate a group of robots to form a Batman Revenge Squad, sending them to erase the Batmen from the Time-Space Continuum. Rip Hunter discovers this and alerts the Justice League International who split into pairs. Once the Batman Revenge Squad robots are defeated, the Justice League International arrive in the future where Equinox is, having captured a robot Batman. Equinox' consciousness merges some of the remaining robots into one giant robot that Equinox' mind can inhabit. But the captured robot Batman frees himself from Equinox's control and summons three Batmen from other times to help him fight Equinox. The four Batmen neutralize Equinox and the Batman of the present returns to existence, but it is implied that Equinox will return.

Quotes

Gentlemen. Can't we monsters and masterminds work together, just this once, to achieve what we've always wanted?... An end to the age of superheroes. A full-on, no-bull£$%^ twilight of the gods. How does that sound?
The day of Apokolips is at hand, sir, and I am only its prophet. Choose.
I'm the answer to your every dream. Call me Libra.

Gallery