Secret Society of Super Villains

Secret Society of Super Villains


caption=Lex Luthor's Society, as seen in "Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special" (2006).
Art by Karl Kerschl.
team_name=Secret Society of Super Villains
publisher=DC Comics
debut="Secret Society of Super Villains" #1 (May 1976)
creators=Gerry Conway
base=Gotham City
memberlist=List of Secret Society of Super Villains members
subcat=DC Comics
sortkey=Secret Society of Super Villains|
The Secret Society of Super Villains (SSoSV) is a group of comic book supervillains that exist in the DC Universe. The SSoSV, first introduced in their own eponymous series with issue #1 (May, 1976), could be considered an enemy of the Justice League of America, in whose series they made several appearances during the late 1970s.

Fictional history

Darkseid's Society


The Wizard's group eventually returned from Earth-2 and battled against the Justice League of America aboard their satellite headquarters. At one point in the battle, the two teams swapped bodies, allowing the super villains to discover the true identities of their nemeses. After gaining the upper hand, the Justice League wiped the memories of the super villains, precipitating "Identity Crisis" and the formation of the current Society years later.

Also notable in this series' run is the first appearance of Captain Comet in over 20 years as well as the introduction of a new Star Sapphire. Both were regular, reoccurring characters.

Ultra-Humanite's Society

The next incarnation of the Secret Society was organized by the Ultra-Humanite, who organized foes of both the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America. This marked the first appearance of the now-classic albino ape body of the Ultra-Humanite.

This incarnation of the SSoSV was betrayed by the Ultra-Humanite, who had his own agenda. However, he was defeated, and the entire group was incarcerated (pre-Crisis, the SSoSV was placed in Limbo, the area between parallel earths. Where the heroes incarcerated the SSoSV hasn't been explored post-Crisis, but an area of the Phantom Zone seems most likely). Ultra-Humanite contacted his younger self in 1942, who helped to break out the SSoSV using the power of Brain Wave. The ape Ultra-Humanite attacked Infinity, Inc. in the modern day, while the rest of the SSoSV battled against the All-Star Squadron in 1942. The villains were defeated, and returned to their proper times.


The SSoSV in time grew into a large underground group with dozens of villains holding membership in various scattered cells. After the reformation of the JLA, the seven superheroes decided to infiltrate and shut down this new Society.

Disguising himself as the deceased Brain Wave, Martian Manhunter lured the villains to one spot, where they were defeated by the JLA. As the tale was told by the Rainbow Raider to SONAR 2, it's uncertain whether this tale actually happened. At the very least, there may have been some embellishment.

Lex Luthor's Society

After the defeat of the last incarnation of the SSoSV, time would pass before villains would band together in any sort of large organization. Fueled by rumors of the mindwiping of Dr. Light, a new Society emerged. This Society was founded by Alexander Luthor, Jr. posing as Lex Luthor, along with five other supervillains: Calculator, Dr. Psycho, Deathstroke, Talia al Ghul, and Black Adam.

Alexander Luthor's intent was to gather together a cadre of supervillains to retrieve several key superheroes who have ties to the Multiverse, in order to harness their residual temporal vibration to recreate the multiverse, through a giant "tuning fork" tower similar to the ones seen in "Crisis on Infinite Earths". Only Psycho-Pirate, who remembered the multiverse, knew of this plan, as Alexander Luthor lied to the members of his inner circle, telling them that he was building a massive mind-erasing machine to use against all of the heroes in the DC Universe.

Playing on the fear of superheroes, retaliation for refusal, and the desire for power, Alexander created a Society the size of which (over 500 members) is larger than all previous incarnations combined. Out of all the villains in the DC Universe, the only one not even offered an invitation is the Joker, on the grounds that he was 'too wild'.

The group, referred to simply as The Society, was featured in the mini-series "Villains United" as background characters and foils for the new Secret Six (Consisting of six villains recruited by the "real" Lex Luthor who refused their invitation to join the Society). The follow-up one-shot "Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special" focused on the Society itself as they enacted Alexander Luthor's back-up plan to conquer Earth in the event his main plan failed. This led to a final battle, referred to as the Battle of Metropolis, where the Society, led by Dr. Psycho and Doomsday, made their final battle against the various heroes of the DC Universe. Many heroes and villains died that day.

One Year Later

Alexander Luthor, Jr. was killed by the Joker and Lex Luthor at the end of Infinite Crisis, the Joker angry that he was never invited into the Society. Black Adam, betrayed by Alexander Luthor, fought the Society in the Battle of Metropolis, tearing off Amazo's head, and returned to rule Khandaq full-time.

One year after the Crisis, most of the Society's inner circle is either in prison or has resigned from the group. Dr. Psycho was captured by the authorities after the Battle of Metropolis and is on trial in the "Manhunter" series; he has also appeared in "Secret Six" and "Wonder Woman". Deathstroke was apprehended by Green Arrow but escaped and started recruiting members for Titans East.

With Talia returning to rule the League of Assassins, the Calculator remains the only original member of the 'inner council' left running the Society.

Final Crisis

Not long after the Society's dissolution, Checkmate instigated a crackdown on all villains in the DC universe, who were captured and exiled to a prison planet. The group included almost every villain in the DC universe, with rare exceptions. It has since been revealed that the group will return to Earth as a new Secret Society of Super-Villains thirsty for vengeance, led by the mysterious Libra, and will play a major role in the upcoming Final Crisis. The writer, Grant Morrison, has stated that they "become almost a terrorist sect. Under Libra's guidance, they start doing quite bad things, even to superheroes' wives and families, crossing the line." It has been indicated that the rise of the villains in the form of the Society is linked to the rise of Darkseid and the birth of the Fifth World.

Libra has selected Doctor Sivana, Gorilla Grodd, Lex Luthor, Ocean Master, Talia al Ghul, and Vandal Savage as the Society's Inner Circle. In order to bring the Society to his side, he brutally slaughtered the Martian Manhunter for the Human Flame. When Luthor still refused to join him and dared him to hunt Superman, Libra used Clayface to blow up the Daily Planet building, badly wounding Lois Lane and removing Superman from the playing field. With most of the Society now answering firmly to him, Libra revealed himself as a Prophet of Darkseid and forced the Human Flame to hear the Anti-Life Equation, turning him into a mindless slave warrior known as a Justifier. As Lex Luthor attempted to ambush him, Libra instead surrounded Luthor with Justifiers, telling Luthor to make a final choice either swear an oath to Darkseid or become a mindless slave. Libra also takes part in unleashing the Anti-Life Equation over the internet gaining control over anyone exposed to it.

In "", Spectre III kills Doctor Light and melts Effigy before trying to take on Libra. Sister Whack of the Religion of Crime impales Vandal Savage with the Spear of Destiny causing Vandal Savage to be reborn as Cain.

In "", the Rogues withdraw from Libra's society and plot to take revenge on a movement-restored Inertia before they retire. However, Libra uses his New Rogues to target the Rogues and force them to join up with Libra by doing various things to those close to them. Even with the New Rogues slain by the Rogues, Libra doesn't give up that easily.

The Society, in an attempt to finally kill Wonder Woman, assigned several of their scientist members such as Professor Ivo and Doctor Poison to collect soil samples from various regions of Earth in which acts of genocide occurred. They plan to use the soil to form a new villain named Genocide.

Other versions

Justice Underground


team_name=Justice Underground
publisher=DC Comics
debut="JLA" Secret Files 2004
creators=Kurt Busiek
Ron Garney
base=Undisclosed location in Nation of Modora (on an alternate Earth)
Sir Solomon Grundy
Lady Sonar
General Grodd
Star Sapphire
sortkey=Secret Society of Super Villains|
The Justice Underground is a fictional superhero team in the DC Universe. The Justice Underground is an alternate version of the Secret Society of Super Villains from the Anti-Matter Universe.

Fictional history

The Underground experienced some temporary victories in their battles with the Syndicate, both as a team and individually. For example, Quizmaster's underground connections allowed him to interfere with the supplies needed by the Crime Syndicate for various operations, such as the speed serum that Johnny Quick requires to maintain his super speed.

One by one the Justice Underground members were all defeated, captured or killed. For example, Ultraman rendered Sir Grundy inert on a Saturday, and Lady Sonar sustained massive injuries from having her sonic abilities reflected back to her by Power Ring. Lady Sonar was forced to replace much of her shattered body with bionic implants. It was in this form that she resided as the guardian of Modora, the final free nation of Antimatter Earth.

Upon her home's invasion, Lady Sonar was successful in defeating Johnny Quick (AntiMatter Flash) by temporarily shifting his body out of phase with reality. She was eventually destroyed by Owlman and the rest of the Crime Syndicate when they finally conquered Modora. She was placed into cryogenic storage alongside her teammates, ready to be reanimated in a zombified state if the Syndicate decides it necessary. Their remains are located in the Crime Syndicate's Panopticon on the Moon's surface.

The Justice Underground was released by J'onn J'onzz as a team of associate JLA members reversed back into the Matter Universe. It is unclear how they were able to recover from their injuries, though it could be inferred that Owlman healed their injuries while they were in stasis.


The Quizmaster (the anti-matter Riddler) is the leader and the smartest man alive; he does not have any superpowers. His incredibly high IQ and knowledge of almost all disciplines enabled him to be as effective a fighter as any of his compatriots with super powers.

Sir Solomon Grundy (the anti-matter Grundy) is a distinguished, poised mountain of a man. During an aerial bombardment of Dover, he was blasted to life out of the white rock. Sir Solomon appears to be identical in physical appearance to our own Solomon Grundy with the exception of a trimmed mustache and a small goatee. In keeping with his educated personality, Sir Solomon dresses himself as a 19th century Englishman would, and speaks accordingly. His super strength and invulnerability made him a formidable hero.

General Grodd (the antimatter Gorilla Grodd) is the one altruistic escapee from a militaristic ape nation.

Star Sapphire (the antimatter Star Sapphire)

Lady Sonar (the antimatter Sonar)

Q Ranger (the antimatter Major Force)


Mark Millar's "Wanted" series (with a film of same name being based on it) originated as a proposal for a new "Secret Society of Supervillains" series.Fact|date=June 2008 DC passed on the proposal and Millar went on to develop his ideas using his own new characters, eventually publishing the series through Top Cow and Image Comics in 2003.

List of appearances

*"Secret Society of Super-Villains" # 1-15
*"Amazing World of DC Comics" #11 (Contains alternate version of "SSoSV" # 1)
*"DC Special Series" # 6 ("SSoSV" Special)
*"Super-Team Family" # 14
*"DC Special" # 27
*"Cancelled Comic Cavalcade" # 2 (Contains 'unpublished' black and white version of "SSoSV" # 16-17)
*"Justice League of America" # 166-168, 195-197
*"All-Star Squadron" # 25-26, "Annual" # 2
*"JLA" 80-Page Giant # 1
*"JLA" # 115-119
*"Villains United" # 1-6
*"Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special"
*"DC Universe" #0

Collected editions

Their series has been collected into a trade paperback:

*"Showcase Presents: Secret Society of Super Villains" (collects "SSoSV" #1-17, 520 pages, ISBN 1-4012-1587-3)

Other media

In "Justice League", Gorilla Grodd and Giganta formed the Secret Society with Shade, Sinestro, Killer Frost, and Parasite. In its formation, Grodd took pains to encourage a more cohesive organization in order to avoid the infighting of Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang. His first plan was to rescue Clayface from Morgan Edge's mansion where Killer Frost froze Morgan. Grodd tells Clayface that he'll help him find a way to return Clayface to his true identity of Matt Hagen after they defeat the Justice League. The Secret Society defeated the League the first time, but the Secret Society was defeated in the second battle.

Where as the team led by Lex and Aresia were motivated by money, Grodd's team had more personal reasons:

*Giganta - Fiercely loyal to Grodd.
*Parasite - Revenge against Superman.
*Sinestro - Sworn blood oath against all Green Lanterns.
*Killer Frost - Simply to kill.
*The Shade - Offered the chance by Grodd to be a master criminal.
*Clayface - Is shortly freed by Grodd and company in the episode. He wants to be cured of his condition, but Grodd offers him the best of both worlds.

In "Justice League Unlimited", Grodd renewed his attempts to create a new Secret Society to take on the expanded Justice Jeague. Grodd succeeded with the creation of a massive co-operative operation. Any member who tried to reveal any details about the Secret Society after being captured had their brain shorted out. After the revelation that Grodd's ultimate plan in the creation of the team was the ludicrous transformation of humanity into apes, Lex Luthor ousted him and assumed the position as leader with no objections from the membership. During the two-part series finale, Lex Luthor tried to resurrect Brainiac by ordering the crew to transform the base into a spaceship, so that they could travel to the site of Brainiac's ruined asteroid base. With Tala's help, Grodd attempted a coup to retake control of the Legion, leading to a battle between members loyal to either Grodd or Luthor. As the battle ends the members who wer loyal to Grodd were frozen by Killer Frost. When the Secret Society reaches the site of Brainiac's defeat, Luthor used Tala's magic to restore Brainiac, despite a sudden warning from the New God, Metron. Luthor accidentally resurrected Darkseid instead, who rewards Luthor for his help by destroying the Secret Society's base in a fiery explosion. However, force fields produced by Star Sapphire and Sinestro saved Luthor's crew. Lightray, another of the Gods of New Genesis, spotted the explosion, and was subsequently robbed of his mother box, which allowed the remnants of the Secret Society to make it back to Earth to warn the Justice League of Darkseid's return.

All of the original members return except Clayface, who blown up in the group's last previous defeat in the "Justice League" animated series. Several new members, some of which were previous members of the Injustice Gang, were added to seemingly take his spot which includes the following:

* Lex Luthor - Successor leader
* Angle Man
* Atomic Skull
* Bizarro
* Black Mass
* Blockbuster
* Bloodsport
* Blue Llama
* Cheetah
* Copperhead
* Crowbar
* Devil Ray
* Doctor Cyber
* Doctor Destiny
* Doctor Polaris
* Doctor Spectro
* The Dummy
* Electrocutioner
* Evil Star
* Fastball
* Gentleman Ghost
* Goldface
* Heat Wave
* Hellgrammite
* Hellhound
* Javelin
* The Key
* KGBeast
* Lady Lunar
* Livewire
* Major Disaster
* Merlyn
* Metallo
* Mirror Master
* The Monocle
* Neutron
* Psycho-Pirate
* The Puzzler
* Puppeteer
* Queen Bee
* Rampage
* Roulette
* The Shark
* Shatterfist
* Silver Banshee
* Sonar
* Sportsmaster
* Star Sapphire
* Tala
* Tattooed Man
* The Thinker
* The Top
* Toyman
* Tsukuri
* Weather Wizard
* Volcana

Although based on the Legion of Doom from "Challenge of the Super Friends", an animated series featuring the Super Friends, it is never referred to by this name in the series, and is treated and addressed simply as an expanded Secret Society.Fact|date=September 2008

ee also

*List of Secret Society of Super Villains members

External links

* [ Index of the first incarnation of the Secret Society of Super Villains.]
* [ Secret Society of Super Villains Index at DarkMark's Comics Indexing Domain.]
* [ The Secret Society of Super Villains at DC Cosmic Teams.]
* [ The Society at DC Cosmic Teams.]
* [ Review of their sole documented exploit] .

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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