Lisa Mitchell and her brother were raised Catholic by their parents in one of the poorer neighborhoods of the Bronx in New York City. A gifted athlete, Lisa had the opportunity to go to college on a scholarship but instead, influenced by the crime and poverty around her, the idealistic Lisa chose to become a police officer. At first she performed her duties admirably but as time wore on the corruption in the NYPD began to get to her. Eventually, when the temptation came, she was unable to resist, especially since it came from her own family.
While Lisa had chosen to go to police academy her brother, Paul, had fewer options. Not as smart or athletic as his sister, Paul had started running with a gang. This eventually led him to take a position with the criminal organization run by Scarab. Paul soon got his sister onto Scarab's payroll as well. He knew she wouldn't go as far as committing murder for the organization, but they could get her to look the other way on occasion, or move some sensitive merchandise for them.
Lisa managed to convince herself that no one was getting hurt by what she was doing, it paid well, and she didn't have to worry about paying taxes on her extra income. At first it felt good, but the longer Lisa was on Scarab's payroll, however, the more guilty she began to feel. This change in attitude didn't escape the notice of Scarab's men for long. It was decided that Lisa had become a liability. Scarab's men lured her to a dock on Manhattan's Lower East Side intending to kill her. Lisa wasn't stupid, she knew it was likely a trap. The whole situation felt wrong from the start but she went anyway, but she was prepared for anything, a little too prepared. Tense, nervous, and ready for anything Lisa saw movement and what looked like a gun, fired first, and killed her own brother, who had come to warn her away. In shock, Lisa was easily ambushed by Scarab's men. They shot her repeatedly and she fell into the East River.
Lisa was rescued by Father Duncan Kelley, who pulled her from the water and brought her back to his church. Lisa spent several weeks comatose while Father Kelley treated her wounds. While unconscious, Lisa had a vision where she was approached by Joan of Arc. Saint Joan told Lisa she was doomed unless she took steps to redeem herself. The path to her redemption meant taking up the battle against evil, Lisa would become an agent of the Lord's justice on Earth, punishing the wicked. Lisa awoke changed, she vowed to take up the sword against evil and injustice, and Father Kelley offered to help. Kelley, Lisa found out, had been a super-villain decades earlier, but had reformed. To help Lisa fulfill her new vow Kelley modified the high-tech armor and sword he had built for one of his teammates for her to use. After months of recuperation and physical training Lisa donned the armor and took to the streets of New York as Arclight.
Physically, Lisa had recovered from the attack but the mental and emotional damage was deep. Lisa associated so strongly with the vision of Joan of Arc that she actually developed a fear of fire! Her behavior had also changed drastically, Lisa now adhered to a code of honor similar to that of a chivalric knight. Moreover, Lisa had blocked of the memory of what had happened to her brother. All she remembered about the night she was shot was that it was Scarab's men. Her mental block was so deep that she wouldn't even think of her family and if anyone brought the subject up she would unconsciously change the subject. Shortly after Arclight's first appearance Lisa Mitchell made her "official" return. She feigned an injury and quietly left the NYPD for a desk job at the FBI's New York headquarters. By this point everyone had forgotten about her anyway and the move went unnoticed. A few weeks after her first appearance Arclight met several members of Justice Inc. and wound up joining the New York-based hero team. Arclight was one of the heroes that helped defend New York against Overlord's invasion and it was during this adventure that she first met the hero Galahad. For Galahad it was love at first sight, and there was some attraction for Arclight as well since he followed a similar "knightly" code.
As the weeks and months passed, though, Lisa again began to feel guilt over her past association with Scarab, and she eventually decided to do something about the situation. During a chance encounter Arclight had stumbled upon evidence in a twenty-five year-old murder case, evidence that implicated Scarab himself. Lisa took the evidence and turned herself in to Federal authorities. Turning state's evidence, Lisa gave testimony that allowed prosecutors to convict Scarab of the murder charge and racketeering charges stemming from his criminal organization. Like her mentor, Father Kelley, Lisa was then put into the Witness Protection Program. Arclight took a leave of absence from Justice Inc. and Lisa moved to New Orleans to begin her new life as high school teacher Gabrielle Jones.
As soon as she and Father Kelley were able to get a base of operations ready, Arclight made her New Orleans debut. She still stayed in touch with her teammates in Justice Inc. and asked their help to save Father Kelley when his ex-teammates, recently released from prison, sought revenge for his betrayal years earlier. When Galahad, now calling himself Paladin, returned from an extended journey through time and went into hiding to combat OMEGA the only person he told about his return was Arclight. She offered to help but Paladin knew involving any of his old teammates or those associated with them was a risk and reluctantly turned her down.
Arclight returned to Justice Inc. after having a dream in which Joan of Arc warned her of a coming danger to the whole world, the Revelations Crisis. Arclight was with Justice Inc. when they attacked the Tokyo headquarters of Kei Manga Corp. to rescue their teammates, in the aftermath of which the entire team was sent hurtling into a parallel dimension. The team found themselves on several parallel Earths in an effort to return home. On one of these Earths Arclight learned that her counterpart there had been crucified as a traitor to the Church-controlled American government. On this Earth Justice Inc. joined forces with a group of rebels to help topple the oppressive regime and among the rebels was that world's Father Kelley, who had also been that world's Lisa Mitchell's mentor. Before she had been killed, that world's Lisa had also been a part of the rebellion and Kelley had been making a suit of power armor for her to use. After her death he continued his work as a tribute to her. This Father Kelley took the designs he had made and used them to upgrade Arclight's armor. With Arclight at the lead the rebels and Justice Inc. were able to gain a major victory over the oppressive government before the team was swept away to another Earth.
After journeying to several more parallel worlds Justice Inc. were able to return to their Earth and by this time Arclight had started calling herself ArcAngel. The team arrived in time to help defeat the forces of Kristallnacht and the Antithesis in the final battle of Revelations. In order to combat Kristallnacht, who possessed the mystical Spear of Destiny, the Guardians had located the Holy Grail and during the battle the Grail had been shattered when the hero Omen had tried to grab it. ArcAngel was mortally wounded by the Valkyrie Gudra (who had been posing as a hero named Ladyhawk) and fell onto the pieces of the Grail. She was instantly healed and the Grail fragments merged with her armor. The Grail-empowered ArcAngel and the Spectre were then able to defeat Kristallnacht. ArcAngel used the Grail to heal her teammate's wounds and purify the Spear before the Spectre took possession of both artifacts.
After this ArcAngel again left Justice Inc. and returned to New Orleans, but not before Paladin proposed to her and she accepted. Even though they were now engaged, both knew they had separate commitments and so they did not choose a date for their wedding. After helping rescue Justice Inc., who had been trapped in deep space by Vandal Savage for several months and believed dead, ArcAngel and Paladin finally decided to hold the wedding. The ceremony never happened, it was interrupted by Death Spider and his first team of Enforcers of Injustice. Paladin, Night Flick and Father Kelley were all nearly killed and this was enough to drive ArcAngel to kill Death Spider (though it was later revealed to have been a clone of the villain, not the real one). The wedding was postponed because of Paladin's injuries, and ArcAngel returned to New Orleans. Shortly after this she teamed up with members of Justice Inc. and the heroes Renegade and Zodiak to track down and capture Death Spider and his allies.
Several weeks later ArcAngel rescued an amnesiac woman (who later became the hero Mystère) from a group called the Silver Path. She and woman then teamed up with Renegade and psychic teenager named Alicia to battle the Silver Path. At the end of that battle the Path vowed vengeance against the heroes and against Renegade's home, Superior City. ArcAngel decided to move to Superior to help Renegade defend it and they, along with Alicia and Mystère, banded together to form the new Enforcers of Justice. ArcAngel adopted Superior's sister city, Paradise, as her home and appointed herself its protector. During the attack of the Hourman Virus, ArcAngel met Knight 2146, a member of Justice Legion K (aka the Paladin Corps) of the 853rd century. When he was killed by Death Spider, ArcAngel took possession of his AI computer, called Progeny, and incorporated it into her armor.
For a short time it was believed that Paladin was dead but ArcAngel eventually found him in the underground realm of Skartaris, where he had escaped to after being attacked by Lucifer's Six. The two renewed their relationship and finally got married. While on their honeymoon Paladin and ArcAngel were taken to the far future by the ancient wizard Merlin. There they raised the young Damien Lightbringer, and helped found New Camelot and free the Earth from the forces of Darkness. Even though they spent almost eight years in the future Merlin returned Paladin and ArcAngel to the present at the exact moment he had taken them and in the process reversed the eight years they had aged and wiped their memories of the event. It is unknown how they will react if they ever encounter the adult Damien Lightbringer, who has journeyed to the present time and goes by the name Harbinger.
Most recently, ArcAngel let the identity the Witness Protection Program set up fall by the wayside, though she elected to keep using the name Gabrielle, perhaps as an unconscious desire to further distance herself from her past. She rejoined the FBI in her civilian identity to help fight against a new wave of organized crime in Superior City. Unknown to her at the time, among the new crime figures arriving was her old nemesis Scarab. When Gabrielle encountered some of Scarab's men, including some of the ones who had shot her years earlier, she began having flashbacks to that event. Eventually she remembered that she had killed her brother that night. Unable to face the truth of her past, a confused and distraught Gabrielle fled Superior, leaving her ArcAngel equipment behind.
For months Gabrielle wandered America, never staying in the same place for long. She also began drinking heavily and became paranoid that someone was after her. Her paranoia, though misdirected, was accurate. While in the midwest she was attacked, captured, drugged, and taken to a private hospital in Maryland. She would likely have stayed there for a long time if not for the arrival of Imperiex. During one of Imperiex's assaults on Earth the hospital was devastated and a delusional Gabrielle was the only survivor. She was found and brought to a nearby monastery to recuperate.
While at the monastery Gabrielle had a vision of Joan of Arc which sent her to France on a quest. During the course of this quest Gabrielle came into conflict with two warring secret societies, both of which were after her. One, the Order of Sion, was the group that had kidnapped her back in the United States while the other was Vandal Savage and the Illuminati. She was also reunited with Father Kelley and learned a shocking secret about his past and about her own. She learned that her family was part of an ancient bloodline, one that goes back two millennia or more. The Order of Sion claimed to be the appointed protectors of that bloodline and Father Kelley was a part of it. More than that he had been assigned to watch over Gabrielle and her family. She also learned a legend that women of the bloodline occasionally manifested a magical gift, called the Heart of Reason. It was known that Joan of Arc had been of the bloodline and it was believed she had been the Heart of Reason. Father Kelley believed that Gabrielle was the current Heart of Reason, a belief shared by the rest of the Order. That was why the Order had gone to such extreme lengths to locate and secure her back in the United States. Vandal Savage also believed that Gabrielle was the Heart of Reason. The immortal tyrant had long sought to find one of the Hearts of Reason, believing that if he killed that person and consumed their heart he would gain great power.
After rescuing Father Kelley from Vandal Savage, Gabrielle and her mentor returned to America. After a brief reunion with her husband, Paladin, Gabrielle again donned her ArcAngel armor and, with a group of the younger heroes from Superior City, joined with the other heroes from Superior to free the city, which had been taken over by an army of villains. Gabrielle has regained her faith and has realized that she can no longer deny her guilt over the death of her brother and must come to accept it. She is now back in Superior City, ready to resume her duties as ArcAngel, and waiting to find out what it means to be this generation's Heart of Reason.
Powers and Abilities:
Lisa Mitchell was always a gifted athlete. Her police training gave her additional martial arts and detective training and under Father Kelley's tutelage she improved those skills and learned the basic engineering skills she would need to repair her equipment. The original Arclight power armor and sword were improved versions of those used by the villain Gladiator in the early 1970s. The armor offered protection against heavy arms fire and could even withstand a grenade explosion. It also possessed night-vision capabilities, a one-hour air supply, and a powerful energy blaster. Arclight's original sword was made of high tensile-strength steel and could discharge a debilitating electrical shock on contact. Arclight later took possession of the weapon designed by the villain Styxx for one of the humans who assisted Overlord during his invasion of New York. This sword is made of a strong alien alloy, can cut through solid steel and is also capable of generating what Arclight calls the "Thunder and Lightning" attack: a deafening sonic boom combine with a powerful electrical burst. The sword also has the ability to fly a short distance, a function that was designed to allow it to return to it's wielder's hand if it were dropped or knocked away. Arclight still uses this sword as ArcAngel.
The ArcAngel, or "Seraphim Class", armor is far more advanced than its predecessor. The metal alloy shell of the armor is strong enough to withstand a hit from an air-to-air missile while not impeding the mobility of the suit's user. The night-vision capability is superior to the Arclight armor's and the Seraphim armor adds thermal, telescopic, and flare compensation to the visual systems and has sound amplification capabilities. The suit also possesses an on-board communications system and the life-support systems are advanced enough to allow the wearer to survive in the vacuum of space for up to 4 hours. The armor now has flight capability at several times the speed of sound. The wings are used for guidance and stability during atmospheric flight and are maneuverable enough to allow ArcAngel to use them as shields if necessary. The energy blasters are more powerful and a tractor-repulsor beam has been added. The suit also augments the wearer's strength with a lifting capacity of several tons. Finally the armor's internal power supply can feed additional power to the offensive (blasters and tractor-repulsor) systems or the flight system (enough to allow the armor to achieve orbital velocity).
ArcAngel also possesses an advanced, 853rd century A.I. computer named Progeny. Progeny has sensors that enable ArcAngel to track and analyze energy sources and can act as an airborne radar system. Progeny's limited artificial intelligence and communications capabilities also allow it to take control of the Seraphim Armor in the event that ArcAngel is knocked unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated, but it's actions are limited to programmed behavior based on a variant of ArcAngel and Paladin's personal codes of honor.
As the current incarnation of the Heart of Reason, ArcAngel possesses some mystical abilities she only just beginning to understand. These abilities are somehow tied to her blood, which possesses mystic qualities itself. She appears to radiate an aura which prevents weaker-willed undead creatures like lesser vampires and zombies from approaching her. Her blood gives her a strong resistance to toxins and, if powered by an external magical source, ArcAngel can extend its healing properties to others. If the external magical source is strong enough she can even use her healing ability to heal mortal wounds or even resurrect the recently deceased. ArcAngel also appears to possess the ability to communicate with the previous incarnations of the Heart of Reason, which would to explain the source of her visions of Joan of Arc. She has recently begun having visions of Saint Catherine, who was also one of the Saints who spoke with Saint Joan. This would imply that Saint Catherine was also an incarnation of the Heart of Reason.