Libra is, of course the most popular members of the crime syndicate known as the Zodiac. Okay, so maybe he’s not. But he could be. After all, besides Scorpio, he’s the only one that I actually know a little bit about and have seen in a comic series.
When I first encountered him, he had long ago quit the criminal life and dedicated his life to studying the balance, which makes sense considering who he is. What I didn’t know until just recently was that he is the father of Mantis, an Avenger of dubious popularity, but who married an plant-alien (in a ceremony presided over by Immortus) and is the mother of the celestial messiah, which is a pretty big deal I suppose. Here she is, looking all insect-like.
Libra, real name Gustav Brandt, had lost his wife and sight years ago and lived with the Priests of Pama, who trained him and raised his daughter when he left her there. He then traveled to America where he first joined up with the Zodiac group. There he did alright until he encountered his daughter, all grown up and with the Avengers. He had a change of heart and helped them stop a plot to kill all the Geminis, which is a strange thing in general. He then voluntarily went to jail and studied the balance, before disappearing into the Between.
I saw him in Avengers Forever, which is by far one of the best Avengers stories ever. Rick Jones gets awakened by Libra and is able to call upon the power cosmic to call together a team of Avengers from across time. They, teamed up with Libra, Kang, and the Supreme Intelligence all fight against Immortus and the Time Keepers who want to prune back parts of the timelines which involve the Avengers. It is just a spectacular story and the artwork is fantastic.
Libra doesn’t play a huge role in it, but I remember liking him right away. He was a mysterious figure who flitted through the shadows and came out when he had to. His power wasn’t flashy, but he gave off an aura of wisdom and strength. I am anxious to see where or when he comes back.