Sonia is still very much the neophyte hero, lacking the raw power that came with her progenitors’ years of experience, but she has so far proven a quick study. What she lacks in power and strength she makes up for in compassion, with a willingness to offer a hand in friendship to anyone who struggles. Having been fast-tracked onto the Freedom League thanks to her legacy, Sonia now finds herself surrounded by the heroes and myths she used to idolize, and tries very hard not to play the part of fangirl or annoying kid sister to the more experienced League members. She still has doubts that she is the ideal candidate to be the new Lady Liberty, especially in the shadow of Beth’s superhuman exploits, and spends most of her time just trying to maintain the good legacy that comes with her heroic moniker. Behind her insecurity lies a bubbly passion for life that often explodes out as laughter or excited monologues when using her powers or encountering something new. She’s made no illusions about her transgender status, earning some mockery from late-night television hosts and scorn from hardcore fans of previous Ladies Liberty (a popular conspiracy theory claims she somehow “stole” the Spirit of Liberty, which would “naturally only empower women born-women”), but also genuine support from a small but growing fan base in Freedom City’s queer community.
The first woman to don the identity of Lady Liberty—Elizabeth Forester—took up the mantle of crusader against injustice to save the then-tiny community of Freedom from British brutality during the American war for independence. She matched wits and blades with soldiers, spies, and mercenaries to free her people from tyrannical rule, but never lived to see the victory she worked so fervently for—a company of Hessian troops ambushed Freedom City’s first vigilante on a lonesome forest road in Massachusetts and a harried fight left Elizabeth dying alone in the snow-shrouded forest. She prayed silently for anyone to take up her mantle and see to the safety and freedom of those most in need, and the Spirit of Liberty embraced her prayers.
The Spirit of Liberty found many willing hosts in the centuries that followed, from Lady Golden who guarded the nascent nation’s capital, to the oddly divided twin heroines Columbia and Southern Belle during the Civil War, to the modern era’s string of heroine’s sharing the original Lady Liberty’s moniker. In 1941, Donna Mason brought the Spirit of Liberty into the modern world of superheroes when she joined the war effort, defending America’s shores from Nazi superhumans and saboteurs. She carried the title and responsibility through the 1950s and 1960s until her powers began to fade in the early 70s—and along with them, the public’s memories of her heroic exploits. The Spirit of Liberty remained absent for years until suddenly investing the patriotic young law student Beth Walton with the power to save countless innocents—including her fiancé—from a terrorist attack on the Statue of Liberty. Beth’s incarnation (referred unofficially to by historians as Lady Liberty III) became one of the defining heroes on the modern age, battling for truth and justice and eventually joining with Freedom City’s other great defenders in the wake of the Terminus Invasion to revive the Freedom League. Despite the countless glories of the Spirit of Liberty’s previous hosts, this incarnation left a visible impact on the world behind her, both in her crimefighting and in the extensive charity network that grew from her outreach work.
After three decades wearing the mantle of Lady Liberty, Beth Walton-Wright stepped down from the role. She and her husband, former police detective Trevor Wright, realized they could do far more good for the world focusing on the charity that developed from Beth’s legal clinic and Lady Liberty’s extensive network of contacts and favors owed, and ultimately decided working within the system as a mere mortal did far more to create the kind of world she wanted to raise her children in. Eventually, reluctantly, Beth parted ways with the Spirit of Liberty, and retired from super-heroics.
Sonia Gutierrez never shared the patriotism of Elizabeth Walton-Wright. While she loved her country, she also loved her parents’ native Mexico, and keenly understood the additional burdens American culture placed on its minority citizens. She didn’t share the pride of Donna Mason, having endured years of harassment first for apparently being an effeminate boy, and more recently for being a transgender woman. What she did share with those women was compassion and driving need to help others whenever and wherever she could, and that compassion shone like a beacon to the Spirit of Liberty. When Sonia rushed to stop an assault late one night while walking home, the Spirit followed that shining beacon. A hail of gunfire that should have ended the young woman’s life instead bounced harmlessly off her skin, and after subduing the attackers and comforting the young man she’d saved, she began to recognize the mantle that had settled upon her shoulders.
The new Lady Liberty operated on her own for several weeks before she began to inherit her predecessor’s rogues gallery alongside new enemies. It was during her first—and nearly her last—confrontation with Orion the Hunter that Beth Walton-Wright reached out to the young heroine. With her children accidentally caught in the crossfire, Beth teamed up with her successor to tutor her in the use of her powers. After their team-up, Beth also introduced the new Lady Liberty to the Freedom League to continue her training.
Still only a probationary member of the League, Sonia splits her time between the Freedom League, her volunteer work, her loving but overbearing family, and her pre-med studies at Freedom City University.