Legion of Doom (DC Comics)

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Legion of Doom
Publication information
First appearance "Wanted: The Super Friends"
(Challenge of the Super Friends, Episode 1 - September 9, 1978)
In-story information
Base(s) Hall of Doom
Member(s) Bizarro
Black Manta
Brainiac
Captain Cold
Cheetah
Giganta
Gorilla Grodd
Lex Luthor
Riddler
Scarecrow
Sinestro
Solomon Grundy
Toyman

The Legion of Doom is a group of supervillains led by Lex Luthor that originated in Challenge of the Super Friends, an animated series from Hanna-Barbera based on DC Comics' Justice League. The Legion has since appeared in other animated programs, comic books, as well as the feature-length film Justice League: Doom, and JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. It is similar to the earlier Secret Society of Super Villains, and to the later Injustice League.

History[edit]

In each episode of Challenge of the Super Friends that they appeared, the Legion of Doom would enact a plot against the Super Friends, only to be met with defeat by the end of the story. In some episodes, they would escape capture through a last-minute escape plan, often contrived by Luthor. Other times, the Legion of Doom would end up captured in the end.

When the Challenge of the Super Friends season was originally conceived, it was named Battle of the Superheroes and featured the introduction of Captain Marvel to the Super Friends. The group that challenged the heroes was to be called the "League of Evil", led by Captain Marvel's nemesis Doctor Sivana. However, Filmation was producing Shazam! and The New Adventures of Batman which prevented the use of characters such as Mister Atom, King Kull, Beautia Sivana, Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Catwoman. Early conceptual art drawn by Alex Toth also included Heat Wave, Poison Ivy, and Abra Kadabra.[1]

The Hall of Doom[edit]

The Legion of Doom's headquarters was the Hall of Doom, a facility most often located in Slaughter Swamp (just outside Gotham City). The Hall of Doom was mobile, lowered below or raised above the swamp water's surface, and often flown through the air via rockets if needed, and was even able to fly through space. It could be remotely controlled and sometimes used to help the Legion escape. It also had laser defense weapons and at times was altered to time travel to the past or future. It resembled Darth Vader's helmet. In Doomsday after Sinestro, Black Manta and Cheetah are abandoned by the rest of the Legion they take control of a mental device and use it to create another Hall of Doom, which attacks the original one and enables the Legion to be captured. In History of Doom it is shown to have been constructed in a Barn just after the Legion formed, then flown to the Swamp.

Members[edit]

There were thirteen members of the Legion of Doom:

Member Alter ego Description Powers Traditional enemy Voice actor
Bizarro Bizarro Twisted doppelganger of Superman from Bizarro World Same as Superman, but often behaves in an erratic and irrational manner Superman William Callaway
Black Manta Unknown Deep-sea diver and would-be ocean conqueror Enhanced strength, water breathing ability (through artificial gills), high tech equipment, laser beams Aquaman Ted Cassidy
Brainiac Vril Dox Evil android Super-intelligence, advanced technology Superman Ted Cassidy
Captain Cold Leonard Snart Blue-suited master of low temperatures Freeze ray guns The Flash Dick Ryal
Michael Bell (additional dialogue)
Cheetah Priscilla Rich Cat-suit-wearing woman Cat-like reflexes, claw-tipped gloves Wonder Woman Marlene Aragon
Giganta Doris Zeul Stole Apache Chief's magic powder to duplicate his powers Ability to grow, super strength Wonder Woman[2] and Apache Chief Ruth Forman
Gorilla Grodd Gorilla Grodd Megalomaniacal exile from Gorilla City Super-intelligence, super strength The Flash Stanley Ralph Ross
Lex Luthor Lex Luthor Founder and leader of the Legion of Doom Evil genius, highly-advanced weaponry Superman Stanley Jones
Riddler Edward Nigma Uses riddles to taunt and confuse adversaries while committing crimes Puzzle creation, problem solving, super intelligent evil genius, puzzle themed traps and gadgets. Batman and Robin Michael Bell
Scarecrow Professor Jonathan Crane Uses his fear gas to bring peoples' worst fears to life Fear gas Batman and Robin Don Messick
Sinestro Sinestro Renegade ex-Green Lantern Yellow power ring Green Lantern Vic Perrin
Don Messick (additional dialogue)
Solomon Grundy Cyrus Gold A super-powered zombie born from the swamp Great strength, invulnerability Green Lantern Jimmy Weldon
Toyman Jack Nimball Dresses as a jester; uses toy-based tactics to commit crimes Creates destructive toys Superman Frank Welker
  • Despite the opening sequence for Challenge of the Super Friends claiming that the Legion's members had "banded together from remote galaxies", ten out of the thirteen are native to Earth; only Bizarro (from Bizarro World), Brainiac (from Colu), and Sinestro (from Korugar) are extraterrestrials. (In certain versions in the character's history, Bizarro is native to Earth; he later emigrated to Bizarro World, which Superman created for him.)
  • The episode "Super Friends: Rest In Peace" makes a reference to a former unseen member of the Legion, the only time such a reference has been made. This was Doctor Natas (Satan spelled backwards), the inventor of the Noxium crystal that had the power to destroy all of the Super Friends. The Super Friends knew of this crystal and tricked the Legion into thinking that it had killed all of them (using android doubles of the Super Friends while the real ones hid in their space station). They anticipated that the Legion would throw away the crystal when they no longer needed it. The crystal was retrieved by Apache Chief in a hazmat suit and launched into deep space. It was not explained what happened to Doctor Natas.
  • Prior to the first televised appearance of the Legion of Doom, a group called the Super Foes appeared in the first issue of the Super Friends comic book (Nov 1976). Its membership featured Toyman, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, the Cheetah, the Human Flying Fish and their protégés Toyboy, Chick, Honeysuckle, Kitten, and Sardine respectively in keeping with the theme of trainees ala Wendy and Marvin.

Other Legion episodes[edit]

While Challenge of the Super Friends was the series spotlighting the Legion of Doom, they appear in a few Super Friends shorts.

  • The Krypton Syndrome: After Superman saves Krypton in the past, he returns to an alternate present. Robin mentions that the Super Friends were defeated by the Legion of Doom.
  • Two Gleeks are Deadlier Than One: Though only Giganta and Grodd appear, the Legion of Doom is mentioned. Like in "Superfriends: Rest in Peace", the Super Friends used androids to trick the villains into thinking they were destroyed.
  • The Revenge of Doom (Super Friend short): All 13 LOD members appear, but only Lex Luthor, Sinestro and Solomon Grundy have dialogue. In this appearance, they salvage the Hall of Doom disguised as construction workers and have developed a crystallizing ray to immobilize the Super Friends.

Members of the team have solo appearances in later episodes.

Lex Luthor appears in:

  • Lex Luthor Strikes Back (The World's Greatest Super Friends) – Using a special camera that would enable him to assume the disguise of everyone, Lex Luthor escapes from prison.

Brainiac appears in:

  • The Wraith of Brainiac (Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show) – Brainiac collaborates with Darkseid to create android versions of Superman and Wonder Woman. Starting here, Brainiac takes up a more robotic form from this appearance to Brainchild matching his current comic counterpart at the time.

Bizarro appears in:

Riddler appears in:

  • "Around the World in 80 Riddles" (Super Friends short) – Riddler infiltrates the Batcave and sprays Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin with Stupid Spray that would decrease their intelligence and had to solve each riddle that would lead to the location of the antidote.

Scarecrow makes an appearance in "The Fear", also introducing his real name Jonathan Crane (as seen in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians).

Appearances in comics[edit]

  • Members of the Legion of Doom made some appearances in the Super Friends spin-off comic title based on the TV series.


Appearances in other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Legends of the Superheroes[edit]

The two NBC televised specials of Legends of the Superheroes was based largely on Challenge of the Super Friends while featuring Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshin of the 1966 Batman television series fame. The Legion of Doom featured Mordru leading Doctor Sivana, Riddler, Giganta, Sinestro, Weather Wizard, and Solomon Grundy (Superman, Wonder Woman, and their associate characters were absent due to the Superman film and Wonder Woman television series licensing the rights, respectively).

The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour[edit]

In 2003, Cartoon Network Latin America aired the spoof series The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour that starred Aquaman as a children's television show host and the Legion of Doom as his bankrupt villains.

Justice League Unlimited[edit]

An updated version of the Legion of Doom is the primary focus of Season 3 of the 2000s animated series Justice League Unlimited. Although clearly based on the original Legion (down to their skull-like swamp-base) the group is never referred to by this name in the series (According to a post from Bruce Timm on Toon Zone.net, this was a direct order from DC, every script his team worked on however addressed the group as the Legion, as does the cover of the DVD season release)[citation needed], and is treated simply as an expanded version of the Secret Society, previously formed by Gorilla Grodd in an earlier season and on camera referred to as such. Grodd is the leader of this "Legion," who refers to the group as a co-operative, a loose organization of super-villains that primarily work on their own, but back each other up when a member is challenged by the Justice League for a 25% portion of the requesting member's take of the crime commissioned at that time.

After the revelation that Grodd's ultimate plan in the creation of the new Secret Society was the ludicrous transformation of humanity into apes, Lex Luthor ousted him and assumed the position as leader with no objections from the membership (Luthor states he had planned this for a later time anyway). Solicitations for future episodes indicated that the team had a secret backer, but have turned out to be incorrect. Timm had also said he wanted to include The Riddler and Scarecrow as villains in the group as a nod to the original Legion, but was prevented from doing this by DC.

Confirmed members of this "Secret Society" (the DCAU take on the Legion) are as follows:

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 Secret Society, leading to a battle between members loyal to either Grodd or Luthor.

  • The Secret Society members loyal to Luthor were: Atomic Skull, Bizarro, Cheetah, Doctor Destiny, Evil Star, Giganta, Heat Wave, Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Toyman and Volcana.
  • The group loyal to Grodd included: Blockbuster, Copperhead, Electrocutioner, Goldface, KGBeast, Killer Frost, Neutron, Parasite, Rampage, Silver Banshee, The Key, The Monocle, Merlyn, Weather Wizard, Fastball, Shade, Major Disaster, and Tala.

After a pitched battle, Luthor defeated Grodd by turning his mental powers back on him and shunting the ape out an airlock. The rest of Grodd's forces were frozen solid by a turncoat Killer Frost to spare herself from any retribution from Luthor (Blockbuster, Copperhead, Fastball, Goldface, Hellgrammite, Key, Parasite, Rampage, Shade, and Weather Wizard were shown being frozen).

When the Secret Society reaches the site of Brainiac's defeat, Luthor used Tala's magic to restore Brainiac, apparently killing her, despite a sudden warning from the New God, Metron. Luthor accidentally resurrected Darkseid merged with Brainiac instead, who rewards Luthor for his help by destroying the Secret Society's base in a fiery explosion. Darkseid's resurrection was possibly a last act of revenge from Tala. 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 after Evil Star knocked him out from behind, which allowed the remnants of the Secret Society to make it back to Earth to warn the Justice League of Darkseid's return.

At the conclusion of "Alive!", the first part of the finale, the only remaining members of the team are: Atomic Skull, Bizarro, Cheetah, Evil Star, Giganta, Heat Wave, Killer Frost, Lex Luthor, Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Toyman and Volcana. They team up with the League to face Darkseid's invasion of Earth by Parademons. Matt Wayne stated that he consciously tried to round up the original 13 Legion of Doom members in Luthor's team, and for that he cited this Wikipedia page as one source.[20] In "Destroyer", (the series finale) Luthor acquires the Anti-Life Equation after Metron takes him to the Source Wall, which Darkseid was searching for, and shares it with him – or possibly uses it on him. Both villains disappear in a flash of light, and Darkseid's forces leave Earth. The remaining members of the Legion survive the battle, and as a reward are given a five-minute head start by the Justice League.

It is assumed that all other villains that weren't with Luthor were killed.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

The Legion of Doom appear in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold series. In the teaser of "Triumvirate of Terror", they play a game of baseball against the Justice League International. Members of the Legion are Lex Luthor, Joker, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, Felix Faust, Chronos, Clock King, and Amazo. Later Luthor, the Joker and the Cheetah are shown at the Legion's headquarters, which is visually based on the Hall of Doom and in a Swamp.

Young Justice[edit]

In the Young Justice episode "Revelation", the team battles the Light's Injustice League in the Louisiana bayou. The group's headquarters and location is a homage to the Hall of Doom.[21]

Robot Chicken DC Comics Special[edit]

The Legion of Doom fitted prominently in the ongoing story arc of the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. In the meeting room of the Hall of Doom, the Joker and Penguin were provided seats alongside the thirteen traditional members of the group. The Legion of Doom also have a mailroom worker named Glen who has a glandular problem and later dies during the commercial. Aquaman joins the group giving them access to the Justice League Watchtower in the final act after he was pushed too far by the other members of the Justice League. For the finale, this Legion of Doom was joined by Bane, Catwoman, Two-Face, Icicle, Mirror Master, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Mr. Freeze, Mister Banjo, Chillblaine, Darkseid, and original Robot Chicken character Humping Robot. It is soon discovered during Aquaman's "Trojan Cake" plan that the Justice League prepared a surprise party for Aquaman who ends up cutting into the cake enough for the villains to come out and fight the Justice League. The fight ensues until only Superman, Aquaman, and Lex Luthor remain standing. When Superman and Lex Luthor try to get Aquaman to hand each on the Kryptonite, Aquaman throws the Kryptonite and punches Lex Luthor as it is shown that the Kryptonite hit Superman by accident (yet Superman survived). Both sides attend the funeral of Glen.

In the second Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, titled "Villains in Paradise", the Legion of Doom is featured prominently. Lex Luthor is still the leader, but its core membership now features Bizarro, Poison Ivy, Black Manta, Joker, Penguin, Brainiac, Captain Cold, Scarecrow, Grodd, Sinestro, Catwoman, Riddler, Toyman, and Two-Face, while Weather Wizard, Black Adam, Darkseid, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, and Clayface make cameo appearances among the core members. After escaping from Arkham Asylum (and an incident resulting in the death of Mr. Banjo), the Legion's members are shown as being overworked by the stress of their jobs, along with Lex's daughter Lena Luthor having to work at the Hall of Doom on spring break when she wants to go to a beach resort with her boyfriend. After Lena leaves to go to the beach anyway without her father's permission, the other Legion members demand that Lex Luthor let them go on vacation. Luthor allows them to go, provided that they help him find Lena and bring her back. When at the beach, the Legion of Doom members end up taking part in some spring break activities. After an incident where Penguin, Scarecrow, Brainiac, Riddler, and Black Manta mistook the Justice League's private beach for a nude beach (since Penguin thought that they were the same thing), Lex Luthor discovers that Lena's boyfriend is actually Superboy (who is at the beach with the Justice League). The Legion of Doom and the Justice League briefly do battle over this before teaming up to defeat a giant-sized Starro. After Starro was slain by Batman riding in Green Lantern's boat construct, both sides are present at Gorilla Grodd and Bizarro's wedding.

Six Flags[edit]

In 2007 at Six Flags New England, a live show written by Brandon T. Snider featured the Legion of Doom. This incarnation of the group involved Lex Luthor, Sinestro, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Riddler, and Joker.[22]

Film[edit]

Justice League: Doom[edit]

The Legion of Doom appear as the central antagonists in the animated film Justice League: Doom led by Vandal Savage.[23] The members here are Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Bane, Metallo, Mirror Master, and Ma'alefa'ak.[24] Cheetah is the only original member in this film.

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time[edit]

In the animated film JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, the Legion of Doom travel back in time to eliminate Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman before they became superheroes. The members here are Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Toyman, Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, Black Manta, and Time Trapper.[25]

Video games[edit]

  • The Hall of Doom appears in DC Universe Online. It is one of the hubs for the players that are on the villain campaign.[26]

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • The Legion of Doom is named and pictured in the opening sequence for the direct-to-video original animation DC Super Friends: The Joker's Playhouse (2010).[27]

Cultural references[edit]

  • In the Family Guy episode, "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" Lois, when trying to get money from the town, convinced the people in a press conference that the Legion of Doom is conspiring with Adolf Hitler to assassinate Jesus. The scene then jumps to the Hall of Doom where Lex Luthor shouts "How did she discover our plan?!". Solomon Grundy admits he "kind of dropped the ball on that one." Almost all of the original Legion is portrayed, except for the Riddler. In Something, Something, Something Dark Side (which is a parody version of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back), there is a reference to "The Legion of Doom" when the Hall of Doom begins to rise out of the swamp on Dagobah shortly after Luke Skywalker (portrayed by Family Guy character Chris Griffin) has landed. An announcer bearing resemblance to the narrative voice on Super Friends begins by saying "Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom..." only to be cut off by Chris (playing Luke Skywalker) who says "Not now!" The narration then quickly says: "OK" as the apparent Hall of Doom sinks back beneath the water in the swamp.
  • In Krypto the Superdog, the Intergalactic Villains Club that Mechanicat is a part of is a spoof of the Legion of Doom.
  • In the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Peanut Puberty," the headquarters for the Legion of Doom was used for a club called the "Legion of Dance."
South Park's Legion of Doom.
From left to right: Osama bin Laden, Doctor Doom, Black Manta, Saddam Hussein, Cheetah, Kim Jong-il, David Blaine, and Doctor Octopus.
  • The first episode of Season 3 of Duck Dodgers titled "Till Doom Do Us Part" featured the Legion of Duck Doom, led by Agent Roboto and was composed of various villains from the earlier seasons made up of Crusher, Fudd, Catapoid, Count Muerte, New Cadet, Black Eel, Nasty Canasta, Commandante Hilgalgo, Baby-Faced Moonbeam, Long John Silver the 23rd, K'chutha Sa'am, and Taz. Black Eel (a parody of Black Manta) makes his first appearance in this episode.
  • A Cartoon Network bumper featured The Powerpuff Girls saving Aquaman and Wonder Woman from the Legion of Doom's clutches.
  • An episode of The Drew Carey Show featured Drew and his friends getting in trouble being a "gang". Drew gets sent to a counseling session for gangbangers and enters the room to see a group of imposing bikers and gang members sitting around a large table. He quips, "the reason I've called you all here is to destroy Superman" as Lex Luthor would do when leading a Legion meeting.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Last One," the Mooninites tried to organize a league of every single villain that was from Season 1 to 3. Among its members are the Mooninites, Rabbot, Mothmonsterman, Happy Time Harry, Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, Travis of the Cosmos, Randy the Astonishing, the Brownie Monsters, Romulox, MC Pee Pants's worm, the Trees, Frat Aliens, Oog, Dumbassahedratron, Ol'Drippy, and Major Shake. However, almost all of them got foolishly killed or asked to leave leaving only a small force led by the Mooninites. Afterwards, the Rabbot called the team "Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday."
  • In Johnny Test, The Evil Johnny Stopping Force Five have a secret base in a swamp that closely resembles the Legion of Doom's secret headquarters.
  • The song "Trap or Die" by rap artists Young Jeezy and Bun B contains the lyric "I've got my own Super Friends in a Legion of Doom", referencing the DC characters.
  • The music video for the song P.I.M.P. by rappers 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Lloyd Banks, and Young Buck features 50 Cent joining the "Pimp Legion of Doom", who are led by Snoop Dogg and gather around a round table and discuss criminal affairs amongst themselves.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nobleman, Marc Tyler (29 July 2011). "Super ‘70s and ‘80s: "Super Friends" – Darrell McNeil, animator". Noblemania. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Although she is depicted as an enemy of Apache Chief in Challenge of the Super Friends, Giganta first appeared as a Wonder Woman villain in 1944.
  3. ^ Extreme Justice #17
  4. ^ Extreme Justice #18
  5. ^ Justice #10 (April 2007)
  6. ^ Justice #9 (February 2007)
  7. ^ Justice League of America #14 (December 2007)
  8. ^ Superman/Batman #83 (April 2011)
  9. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1
  10. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2
  11. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #3
  12. ^ http://comics.ign.com/articles/116/1168864p1.html
  13. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #98
  14. ^ Forever Evil #2
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag Justice League Unlimited episode "I Am Legion"
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Justice League Unlimited episode "Dead Reckoning"
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery"
  18. ^ Justice League Unlimited episode "Alive!"
  19. ^ Justice League Unlimited episode "Grudge Match"
  20. ^
    One of the nicest bits in "Alive!" was consciously making Luthor's team the villains that the audience had seen most of, more or less, and cared about. Which was good, since we were hopefully making the audience worry about and root for Luthor's group. This also let us come as close as we could to the classic 13 LOD villains. Grodd was now the enemy; Captain Cold wasn't around; Devil Ray and Grundy were gone and we couldn't use Scarecrow or Riddler, so we were left with: Luthor (who kind of counted as Brainiac), Bizarro, Giganta, Cheetah, Sinestro and Toyman. (And no, I couldn't keep all 13 straight two years later without referring to my script and Wikipedia.)

    —Matt Wayne [1]

  21. ^ http://brandonvietti.blogspot.com/2011/11/season-one.html
  22. ^ http://www.supermanhomepage.com/news/2007-news/2007-news-merchandise.php?topic=2007-news-merchandise/0701ii
  23. ^ http://www.comicvine.com/news/nathan-fillion-joins-justice-league-doom-the-new-dc-animated-movie/143635/
  24. ^ http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/news.php/news.php?action=fullnews&id=1135
  25. ^ http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/2014/01/logline-character-details-for-jla-adventures-trapped-in-time-animated-feature/
  26. ^ Voecks, Krystalle (15 January 2011). "Massively exclusive: A chat with DCUO's Chris Cao, part two". Massively. Joystiq. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  27. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDSj5ZvlbuU