As a child, Vera Black worked in a factory to help support her poor (and abusive) family. In a tragic accident, her arms got caught in the machine, and she lost both of them. Her brother Manchester Black killed everyone in the factory (while Vera watched) as a form of vengeance. In her first appearance in JLA #100 - Elitism, Vera emotionally tells Superman that her brother was the only person who would still hug her after losing her limbs. When Vera was older, she got cybernetic implants and robotic arms. She turned to super-heroics with the Justice League Elite to make up for the wrongs her brother committed.
Vera Black was created by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke. Kelly and Mahnke were also responsible for creating her brother, Manchester Black, during their tenure on Action Comics. She first appeared in JLA #100. Vera Lynn is named for the 20th century singer; her most popular song, "We'll Meet Again" can be heard at the end of the Stanley Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
When Vera first appeared, she was extremely self-confident and full-heartedly believed in the rightness of her mission. As time went on, and her team faced challenges, Vera began to crack. She believed that her dead brother, Manchester Black, was taking over her body. During this time she committed atrocities with the help of the Worlogog, the map of the universe. With assistance from Naif Al-Sheikh and through her own willpower, Vera was able to overcome the doubts that plagued her and become a true hero once more.
Vera first appeared long after the disbanding of the original Elite. With this new incarnation of the team (composed of Coldcast, the sister of the original Menagerie, and the Dragon standing in as the Hat), she staged a brutal beat-down of the Justice League. This caused global political and military unity to stop the new threat posed by Sister Superior's Elite. This show of global unity caused Gaia, the spirit of Earth (using Major Disaster as a mouthpiece), who had been furious at the conduct of the world, to reconsider humanity's destruction. She gave mankind another chance on the condition that they continue to work together.
After the aversion of this crisis, Vera petitions the JLA to allow her to form the Justice League Elite, a covert strike force using unconventional means. She recognized the need for a proactive strike force, but also the JLA's status as the pinnacle of virtue. However, the JLE would stick firmly to the "No deaths" policy. While Superman is opposed, Batman agrees that the JLE is necessary. Vera starts up her new team, the members being Green Arrow, Flash, Coldcast, Major Disaster, Menagerie, and Manitou Raven (and his wife Dawn), as well as Cassandra Cain posing as Kasumi. Vera managed to convince Naif Al-Sheikh to keep an eye on the team and make sure they were being ethical.
After various adventures, including a betrayal by one of the team, Vera begins to crack under the stress, and an aspect of Manchester Black begins manifesting in her mind. 'Manchester' uses the Worlogog to make it so that Superman never existed. The possible futures he creates do not stay sound. Trapped in her own head, Vera is forced to confront herself. 'Manchester' voices all her hidden fears, that she's a bad person, that she can only make people hurt. 'Manchester' tells her that he is only a figment of her imagination. He's the immoral and mad part of Vera herself. 'Manchester' alters the future to create an apocalyptic London in an attempt to lure the JLA to him. By rendering civilians invisible he tricks Superman into killing civilians. Manitou Dawn talks to Vera's real self, and she manages to take control of her body again. Using the Worlogog, she reverses the events of the past few hours so that none of it occurred.
Vera and the Justice League Elite also assisted in the core Justice League team's battle against the Crime Syndicate of America. At the end of their own limited series, the JLE disband, and Vera tracks down and confronts Menagerie, who had taken control of Coldcast's mind to kill Akwa. Before her creatures are stripped from her and she is incarcerated, Menagerie tells Vera that she needed revenge for what Manchester Black allowed to happen to her sister.
Vera takes up a job as Naif Al-Shiekh's chauffeur, biding her time until she's needed again.
Powers and Abilities
Vera Black is able to do numerous things with her cybernetic implants and mechanical arms. She has been shown to turn her arms into powerful blasters, capable of multiple types of fire (including supersonic) as well as various edged weapons and tools. She is capable of projecting a camouflage field around herself, allowing her to pose as someone else along with psionic and auditory camo. She is able to feed this to her brain, allowing for smells, sounds and textures to be duplicated. This is able to fool even electronics and most metahumans. She can also store substances in sterile containers where her veins would be.
In Other Media
Sister Superior briefly appears in the film Superman vs. The Elite as an agent of the British government. She gives Lois Lane vital information about her brother so that Superman can stop him before he goes too far. She was primarily voiced by Marcella Lentz-Pope, but also by Tara Strong in a brief flashback. It is assumed that this version of Sister Superior has the same abilities as her comic book counterpart.