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Patriot (II)

REAL NAME: Elijah "Eli" Bradley ALIASES: None
IDENTITY: Secret
OCCUPATION: High school student, part time librarian
CITIZENSHIP: U.S.A.
PLACE OF BIRTH: Unrevealed
KNOWN RELATIVES: Isaiah Bradley (grandfather), Faith Shabazz (grandmother), Sarah Gail Bradley (mother), Stephanie (sister), Litigious (brother), Josiah Bradley (Josiah X, uncle), other unidentified siblings, unidentified step-father
GROUP AFFILIATION: Young Avengers
EDUCATION: High School Student
FIRST APPEARANCE: Young Avengers #1 (2005)

HISTORY: Elijah "Eli" Bradley is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the "Black Captain America" and last known survivor of immoral U.S. army attempts to recreate and refine Dr. Erskine's super-soldier formula by experimenting on large numbers of African-American soldiers.

In February 1942, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Isaiah enlisted in the army, leaving behind his pregnant wife and going off to basic training He joined an African-American battalion at Camp Cathcart, Mississippi, training under Sergeant Lucas Evans; however, unknown even to Cathcart's Commanding Officer, Major Brackett, the camp existed solely to gather test subjects for Project Super Soldier. In May 1942, Project Super Soldier requisitioned two battalions of the troops; to prevent word spreading to other African-American soldiers, the rest of Camp Cathcart was massacred on the orders of Colonel Walker Price of Military Intelligence, a slaughter overseen by the racist Lieutenant Phillip Merritt. The soldiers' families were informed their loved ones had died in explosions, and shipped random body parts to bury. Meanwhile, the Project carried out a horrific and mostly fatal series of clinical tests to refine dosages and perfect the formula; only seven men survived, including Evans, Isaiah, Maurice Canfield, Jack Harvey, Dave Plumb, and the sociopathic Damon Larsen.

When word from British intelligence suggested the Nazi counterpart to the Project was also making progress, the seven remaining soldiers were made operational, in spite of the protests of Reinstein - a German scientist who had adopted Erskine's codename and was continuing his work - that the formula was not yet perfected. They were loaded into a ship's hold and transported to Europe; en route Jack Harvey died, confirming Reinstein's assertion. In July of 1942, the six survivors were dropped over the Black Forest, Germany, to intercept a supply convoy meant for Camp Schwarzebitte, where Ernst Koch was carrying out the Nazi experiments. Two of them were swiftly cut down by enemy fire, and Larsen was killed by a grenade because he took too much time sadistically strangling a German soldier, reducing the company to three: Canfield, Evans, and Isaiah. Losing the supplies slowed down the Nazi efforts, preventing them from testing their formula, but did not stop it. Two months later, in Portugal, the trio awaited the arrival of Steve Rogers, Captain America, from the Pacific Theatre, so the four could be sent in to destroy Schwarzebitte. Overhearing Maurice making disparaging remarks about Captain America's costume, Lt. Merritt let slip that Maurice's father had murdered his wife and committed suicide after being informed his son was dead. Maurice went berserk and tried to kill Merritt, and when Evans and Isaiah tried to hold them back, Maurice threw Isaiah off a wall and crushed Evans' skull with a rock slab. Their actions gave Merritt time to draw his pistol, and he shot Maurice dead.

With Captain America delayed and only one surviving African¬American super soldier, the Schwarzebitte assignment was redesignated a suicide mission and Isaiah sent in alone. Before he departed, Isaiah stole a Captain America costume and armed himself with his own shield, emblazoned with a Double Victory (at home and overseas) design. Thus garbed, Isaiah single-handedly destroyed much of the Camp, slaying Koch and destroying records and laboratories, setting the Nazi project back considerably. Trying to free Jewish prisoners, Isaiah mistakenly took refuge in what proved to be a gas chamber. He survived the gas, but was captured and delivered to Berlin, where Hitler personally tried to win him over, hoping to use him as a propaganda tool to heighten racial tensions in the U.S. and weaken their war effort. Isaiah refused, and after torture also failed to break him, Goebbels suggested he be given to Mengele for examination followed by maiming, intending to ship him home alive but dismembered as an example; however, on the road to Auschwitz, members of the German anti-Nazi resistance freed Isaiah. They hid him for five months before smuggling him through Belgium and back to the Allies. As soon as Isaiah reported to command, though, he was arrested and court-martialed for the costume theft, and was sentenced to life. From April 1943 Isaiah spent 17 years in solitary confinement at Leavenworth, denied proper medical treatment so that the still imperfect formula eventually left him both sterile and brain damaged, with the mind of a child. Faith was informed he was alive, but only allowed to visit three times a year.

Around the early 1950s, the army tried to create new super-soldiers, using surrgate mothers to carry children created from sperm harvested from Isaiah before he became sterile, mixed with genes secretly taken from Faith; there was only one success, subject A-39, a boy named Josiah. The surrogate learned the truth of the military's intentions, and escaped with the child, bringing him to Faith. Aware the military would be hunting for the child, and fearing for the safety of her daughter, Faith abandoned Josiah where he would soon be discovered, and hopefully adopted. He would grow up to inherit his father's powers and become a minister, Josiah X, later working alongside James Rhodes' vigilante "crew." Meanwhile, Faith wrote President Eisenhower a letter a month for three years, until finally, on the day of Kennedy's inauguration, Eisenhower pardoned Isaiah. The family was sworn to secrecy, and Isaiah was released. Though his mind has been damaged, his body remains in peak condition to this day, a legacy of the formula within him. In recent years, Captain America learned of the African-American experiments and tracked Isaiah down to return the costume he had worn while destroying Schwarzebitte, saying it was rightfully his.

Isaiah and Faith's daughter, Sarah, conceived before the experiments, went on to have several children of her own. She recently remarried and moved out to Scottsdale. Not wishing to interrupt her 16 year old son Elijah's Junior Year at Bronx Science, Sarah left "Eli" behind with his grandparents. After being assaulted by local hoodlums who had taunted his grandfather, Eli was approached by drug dealers who offered him MGH (Mutant Growth Hormone) to gain powers to defend himself. When the thugs later ambushed Eli to finish the job, Isaiah stepped in to defend his grandson, making short work of them. Impressed, Eli wanted to be like Isaiah and carry on his legacy; soon afterward, the teen hero Iron Lad came to their house, seeking to recruit Josiah as an ally against Kang the Conqueror, Iron Lad's future self. Eli informed Iron Lad that Josiah had vanished more than a year earlier, but then claimed to have powers of his own, supposedly as a result of an emergency blood transfusion from Isaiah, and he joined Iron Lad's team as Patriot, alongside Asgardian (later Wiccan) and Hulkling. In truth, Eli was taking MGH, raiding drug houses and apprehending suppliers to steal fresh supplies when needed. The team made their public debut rescuing people from an apartment fire, and the press dubbed them the Young Avengers.

Eli's natural leadership skills made him de facto team leader, but the drugs often made him brash, reckless and short-tempered. The team was soon joined by Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Cassie Lang (Stature), with an argumentative attraction growing between Eli and Kate. Jessica Jones, Iron Man and Captain America tracked the team down and insisted they disband for their own safety; after defeating Kang they reluctantly did so, but a few weeks later Kate convinced them to reform. They made the papers yet again capturing the Shocker; Isaiah recognized Eli in the newspaper, and despite his communication problems, made it clear he was proud of him. Unfortunately, Captain America also saw the headline, and informed Faith of Eli's actions, learning that the blood-transfusion origin was false. Meanwhile, running out of MGH, Eli attempted to steal more, but was confronted by the superhuman drug chemist, Mr. Hyde; lucidly, Eli had missed a meeting with the other Young Avengers, who came looking for him in the nick of time. While they battled Hyde, Eli surreptitiously injected himself with MGH, but was spotted in the act by Wiccan. Even though Eli took a massive MGH dose, Hyde was still too powerful to subdue, until Eli brought him down by injecting him with an MGH overdose. After the battle Eli, ashamed of his actions, admitted the true source of his powers to his teammates and Captain America, and abandoned his Patriot identity.

Chancing to encounter him outside the library where he worked, the team tried to convince Eli to rejoin and lead them, but he declined. Before he could walk away, the Super Skrull attacked, trying to capture Hulkling. The youths fled, and once he believed they were clear, Eli left them, insisting they were better off without him; however, the Skrull took Eli hostage and then kidnapped Hulkling. Re-donning his costume, Eli led his teammates to find new members and rescue Hulkling, but Kree forces also turned up to claim Hulkling. The Young Avengers held them off until the Avengers arrived, but when the Kree opened fire on Captain America, Patriot leapt to defend him; the Kree weapon cut straight through Eli's shield, severely injuring him. After the Avengers and the Young Avengers resolved the Kree-Skrull hostilities, Captain America offered to give the gravely injured Eli a life-saving blood transfusion, only to discover that Isaiah had already done so. Eli soon made a full recovery, inheriting his grandfather's powers in the process, and resumed his leadership of the Young Avengers, who recently became fugitives in the wake of the Superhero Registration Act.

HEIGHT: 5 ft. 9 in.
WEIGHT: 154 lbs.
EYES: Brown
HAIR: Black (shaved bald)

ABILITIES/ACCESSORIES: Patriot is a skilled fighter and natural tactician with enhanced strength, stamina and speed, superhuman hearing and bulletproof skin. He uses throwing stars in combat and carries a triangular shield.

SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Ended hostage situation with Kate Bishop’s aid (Young Avengers #1, 2005)
With Captain America (I), Iron Man and Jessica Jones vs. Growing Man (Young Avengers #3, 2005)
Battled Kang (Young Avengers #4, 2005)

NOTE: Copied from the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #8 (2006)

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