First seen in Legion of Lawndale Heroes 12.6 (Bop Til You Drop), Ezekiel Jeffrey Brace is a Cadet Second Class at the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies at Evansville, Indiana, and a member of Training Cadre 2996 – more informally known as 'The Alliance'. The second youngest member of the cadre (Julia Carlyle is two years younger}, Jeffrey (only his grandparents call him Ezekiel, and to annoy him) is perhaps the most ‘normal’ and outgoing member of the cadre. He is 5’8 and weighs 170 pounds (he is incredibly fit and well-defined; he is an avid weightlifter), with brown eyes and wavy brown hair that grows incredibly fast.
Jeffrey is the oldest of six kids (and the only boy) to a Sicilian father and a Jewish mother living on the Chicago South Side. (He often jokes how he never understood how his family ended up with the last name of 'Brace'.) Jeffrey discovered his power of hyperspeed early in life (and it is rumored that the character of ‘Dash’ in the film The Incredibles was based on him); much like Julia Carlyle, the young Jeffrey enjoyed using his speed (at unimaginable levels of speed even then) for a variety of pranks and to perform odd jobs for cash, as well as stopping numerous crimes, gang wars, and saving many lives from fires, accidents and so forth. Despite never being seen (and being flamboyant with his antics), Jeffrey’s parents found out about what he was doing. Approached by USAES reps (who had been informed by the elite unit of the Chicago Police Department known as Special Unit 2 of Jeffrey’s antics, having believed him at first to be a ‘Link’), Jeffrey eagerly accepted the offer to go to the Academy after being told that his family (never really being financially secure) would receive a $1500 monthly stipend if he attended school there. He has recently discovered that all of his sisters have the same ability that he does, which means that, at some time, some of them may follow in his path and attend the Academy as well.
As the oldest child, Jeffrey helped his parents take care of his sisters; as a result, he has always had an interest in cooking. (His speed allowed him to shop and fix meals for the family quickly.) At the Academy, Jeffrey used his talents and his powers to help him study more efficiently; he is a double major in Military History and Culinary Arts, and spent the majority of his internship year as a trainee at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club in Virginia, where he learned more about the basics of working in a high-end restaurant's kitchen and the hierarchy that goes along with such experiences.
Jeffrey graduated with the other members of his cadre; he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, and assigned to the 37th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (however, he has been placed with the SPC Marine security garrison aboard USS Emancipator, now in the Mediterranean Sea. (He has, however, been found occasionally in the galley, working with the kitchen staff to produce meals for the crew and learning more about naval culinary operations.)
Hyper-Speed: Jeffrey has the power to move at nearly unimaginable speeds without harm to himself, the environment(s) he moves through, or to anything or anyone that he carries as he moves. His current rated speed in just above one-third the speed of light.
Hyper-Reflexes: Jeffrey possesses reflexes so refined that he can (with or without his speed) perform acts of agility that are beyond the capability of humanoid beings. This makes Jeffrey a nearly-invincible opponent in hand-to-hand or melee weapons-based combat, and allows him to strike faster and harder than almost any person of his size and weight could manage, even with superhuman strength.
Hyper-Awareness: Due to the nature of his powers, Jeffery possesses reflexes and mental perceptions that border on precognitive abilities; he can react to environmental stimuli with near-thought speed, and it is statistically impossible to catch Jeffrey off-guard (barring the use of metahuman powers). Because of his powers, Jeffrey's mind operates with a shifting perception of reality that allows him to perceive the world in a 'normal' fashion even when operating at ultra-high speeds; this allows him to perceive other speedsters even when not actively using his own powers, and also acts to keep even skilled, powerful telepaths from easily entering his mind, let alone gathering information. A side-effect of this power allows Jeffrey to possess an innate sense of his own exact whereabouts in time and space and the whereabouts of his own home dimension. (Through the use of physical contact and concentration, Jeffrey can also sense the exact location of other beings'/items' home dimension and allow them to be sent home.)
Body Control: Jeffrey is able to control every molecule in his body, which allows him to vibrate through solid materials. His vibrational ability also allows him to attune himself to the inter-dimensional frequencies of other Earths; as such (with the help of related technology or powers), he can travel to other dimensions (such as the astral plane) and other Earths.
Specialized Pyrokinesis: Jeffrey has developed the ability to focus the kinetic energy of his movement directly behind him in order to create a trail of intense flame and heat in his wake. He can exert some control over the temperature of the flame-trail, which lasts for less than a minute after being generated, in order to perform stunts such as surrounding people/objects with a ring of flame and rendering them unconscious by burning the breathable gases out of the air. Jeffrey cannot generate his flame-trail if he is moving faster than Mach 20 (twenty times the speed of sound).
Talents and Interests
As mentioned above, Jeffrey is an avid weightlifter; he is also a skilled wrestler. He is a collector of comic books, having done so as a child (he used the extra money he made with his powers doing odd jobs to help the family and buy comics) and has a world-class collection of books (including the first five issues of The Grey Ghost, Volume One, and the ‘Mad Bomber’ issue, the entire series run of Soul Power (with a copy of the ultra-rare Soul Power #47,), all of the comics featured in the 1993 ‘YouthQuake!’ mega-comic crossover setting, and the 1956 Justice Guild four-issue storyline with the Guild fighting aliens that had taken over Senator McCarthy and forced him to torment innocent persons by accusing them of being Communists.)
Jeffrey has a natural talent for languages, fostered by his life in a multilingual family. Jeffrey can read and speak in Hebrew, Italian and Sicilian; after becoming best friends almost immediately with Fabian Nogura, Jeffrey also learned how to write and speak (as well as curse) in Japanese.
Because of his lifetime in the kitchen and overall interest in the world of cooking, Jeffrey has become a chef of near-professional skill; while at USAES, he was regularly making gourmet meals for fellow cadets and Academy staff on special occasions. In order to annoy people, Jeffrey learned how to play drums during his latter years in the First Academy, and (even without using his powers to enhance his drumming speed) is an excellent drummer.
Jeffrey is also a marksman of near-metahuman skill. In his cadre, is one of the two 'Designated Marksmen' (Fabian Nogura is the other, while Carolyn Field and Julia Carlyle are the team snipers).