List of criminal organizations in DC Comics
Academy of Crime
An opposing organization in genetics to Project Cadmus that absorbed Darkseid's Evil Factory and is responsible for creating Match. The group appears to have ended with the death of their leader, Lex Luthor's ex-wife Contessa Erica Alexandra del Portenza. Their first appearance was in Superboy vol. 4 #36 (February 1997).
Altered Strain was formed after the Invasion, all its known members carriers of the metagene who manifest no powers. They saw themselves as natural leaders, and wanted the US government to find a way to turn on everyone's metagene. They first appear in Wonder Woman Annual # 3.
The Neo-Nazi terrorist organization known as the American Supremacist Party first appeared in Checkmate vol. 1 issue #1. The group was responsible for a series of fatal bombings and attempted to release a weaponized biological agent.
An organization of metahuman assassins led by the mysterious Breathtaker, the Bureau was hired by the 2000 Committee to kill Firestorm. Known operatives are Stratos (aerokinetic), Mindboggler (telepath), and Incognito (shapeshifter). First appears in Fury of Firestorm #29 (November 1984).
The Battalion of Doom
The Battalion of Doom kidnapped a variety of influential journalists and businessmen and demanded "the complete surrender of all political, financial, and police power in Gotham". If the demands were not met, the Battalion was prepared to detonate a nuclear device within the city. After infiltrating the terrorists as a West Coast enforcer, Superman joined Batman in rescuing the hostages and locating the bomb. The members of the Battalion wore military browns with magenta hoods over their heads. First and only appearance, Brave and the Bold #150.
Black Dragon Society
The Black Dragon Society is based on a real World War II organization of the same name; this society wasn't nearly as sinister as its comic book counterparts. Three different comics companies used the Black Dragon Society as villains in the 1940s: National Comics (DC Comics), Fawcett Comics, and Quality Comics. DC Comics came to own the other two companies so all the different incarnations of the Black Dragon Society now belong to them. All-Star Comics #12 had "The Black Dragon Menace" in which a Japanese spy ring called the Black Dragon Society of Japan steals eight American inventions and kidnaps their inventors.
Black Ops was a criminal organization devoted to accumulating power with sophisticated headquarters in both Metropolis and Washington, D.C. Its leader was Hazard, otherwise known as philanthropist Manuel Cabral, head of Rainforest Technologies (and secretly affiliated with weapons manufacturer AmerTek). His costumed operatives included his female second-in-command Shellshock, Flatline, Hardsell, Hotspot, Mainline, Quake, Shellgame, and Split. The techno-pirates had frequent clashes with Steel, who ultimately prevented them from seizing control of the United States' nuclear arsenal. The team first appears in Steel #6.
C.A.W. the "Criminal Alliance of the World" specialized in archaeological forensics used for the retrieval of lost ancient technology. This brought them into conflict with Katar Hol and Shayera Hol, when the attempted to steal an artifact from the Midway City Museum. The paired artifacts they were attempting to steal were analyzed and led to the development of the Justice League of America's teleportation system which first appears in Justice League Of America #78. The organization is ruled by an international triad of masked crimebosses; C.A.W. agents wear matching red and black costumes with a golden, razor edged C.A.W. emblem on their chests that doubled as a weapon.
Cell Six was "the most notorious terrorist organization in Latin America," one responsible for the abduction of Wayne Enterprises' Lucius Fox while he was in the country of Hasaragua. They demanded three million dollars in ransom, and a letter of apology from Wayne Enterprises for despoiling Hasaragua's environment and the exploitation of its people.
The kidnapping was eventually exposed as a collaboration between Hasaragua's finance minister and Cell Six. In Gotham City, Cell Six also staged a kidnapping attempt against the wife of a Hasaraguan ambassador. Cell Six troops could be visually distinguished by the Roman numeral "VI" (for 6) tattooed on their foreheads.
Children of Light
The Children of Light was a Mid-Eastern costumed terrorist group originally led by Kahman Abhood. Following Abhood's arrest, the group seized control of a S.T.A.R. Labs/Waynetech satellite, equipped it with a laser cannon, and threatened to destroy cities at will if their demands were not met. Batman and Supergirl defeated the group and discovered that they'd allied themselves with Doctor Light. They first appear in Brave and the Bold #147.
Colossus was a mysterious organization that sought the secret of Alec Holland's bio-restorative formula to create an army of swamp men similar to the Swamp Thing. The organization was led by a mysterious council, each member of which wore a uniquely colored costume (Councilman Red, Councilman Blue). Colossus had the ability to mutate humans into monstrous agents known as "Elementals". Only one Elemental by the name of Thrudvang the Earth Master was ever actually depicted; he was a skid row bum who transformed into a hulking yellow monster with the "ability to disrupt the earth". Colossus' chief enforcer was Sabre, a red and blue costumed figure with a long thin blade replacing his right hand. They first appeared in Swamp Thing vol. 1 # 23.
The first Council was an international secret society, which was responsible for the cloning of Paul Kirk (Manhunter) and was eventually brought down by him and his allies Asano Nitobe, Christine St. Clair, and Kolu Mbeya.
Under the leadership of Anatol Mykros they rebuilt themselves up again, to the point where their machinations brought them to the attention of various members of the Justice Society of America. Nemesis (Soseh Mykros), the daughter of Council leader Anatol Mykros, rebelled against them, enlisting the help of the JSA. It was eventually destroyed when Black Adam killed Anatol Mykros in order to have Nemesis join his pro-active super-team. The Council first appeared in Detective Comics #437 (February 1974).
The D.M.T. were an international weapons coalition who came into possession of an extraterrestrial craft and its pilot following the events of Invasion. Their field-agents wore gold armor that was equipped with weapons and flight-packs. The D.M.T. first appear in Superman #48.
Outwardly an above-board West Coast organization, the Eden Corps soon established itself as a radical terrorist cell dedicated to taking on "corporate America and its ravagers". Led by Hyrax (Veronica Dale), the Eden Corps committed terrorist styled crimes like bombing dams on its way to a bigger goal, unleashing a Russian-created weaponized germ that ate plastic. Before the Eden Corps could unleash the germ on Metropolis, Green Arrow intervened. Hyrax died in the battle and Green Arrow followed soon after. First appearance Green Arrow #97.
Empire of Death
The Empire of Death was a terrorist group formed by a former Nazi SS colonel named Von Gross. Its agents wore skull masks, possessed a fleet of aircraft, and operated from a giant solar-powered flying skull. With "trained agents in every corner of the globe," the Empire of Death engaged in espionage and contract assassination with an eye towards world domination. Von Gross was eventually slain by Blackhawk but the Empire of Death remained a going concern through its operatives. The commander of the Empire of Death's undersea forces was Killer Shark, who retooled the War Wheel into an amphibious weapon of destruction. First appearance, Blackhawk #249.
The Futuresmiths are a mysterious group of criminal scientists and high tech arms dealers who have an underground operation in Metropolis. Known operatives are Amok, and Cir-El. First appear in Superman: The 10-Cent Adventure #1 (March 2003). Was later revealed to have been a front for Brainiac.
H.I.V.E. stands for The Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination. During the first incarnation of the H.I.V.E., the H.I.V.E. Master gathered seven other unnamed criminal scientists to take over the world and eliminate their enemies in the form of Superman and the Teen Titans. The H.I.V.E. Master is later killed and replaced by the H.I.V.E. Mistress and they enlist Deathstroke to help them out.
The second Incarnation of the H.I.V.E. was established by Adeline Kane, Deathstroke's ex-wife. They were tracked down by Tartarus, an Anti-Titans led by Vandal Savage and made up of Gorilla Grodd, Lady Vic, Red Panzer, Siren, and Cheshire.
International Crime Combine
The International Crime Combine is a supraorganization made up of operatives from various other criminal organizations some based in the DC Comics universe, like CYCLOPS and O.G.R.E., and other fictional organizations such as THRUSH and SPECTRE. They opposed G.E.O.R.G.E., a covert agency of the United States, and the Blackhawks.
Kobra is an international terrorist and mad scientist whose namesake organization has crossed paths with the majority of Earth's costumed heroes during his attempts to usher in the Kali Yuga (an age of chaos). His real name is Jeffrey Franklin Burr, and he was born part of a set of twins, but was stolen at birth by the Cult of the Kobra god, since a prophecy claimed he would lead them to rule the world. Under their teaching, he became a dangerous warrior and a sadistic criminal mastermind. Kobra led the cult into using advanced technology to menace the world. Kobra the organization, first appears in Kobra #1, cover dated March 1976. Kobra created two separate teams of superpowered mercenaries called Strike Force Kobra.
League of Assassins
The League of Assassins is a cultlike organization of trained killers formerly led by Ra's al Ghul, an enemy of Batman. The League of Assassins was founded by Ra's al Ghul (exactly when is unknown) to be "the fang that protects the head" (Batgirl #67, 2005). Members of the League demonstrated willingness to die at a word from Ra's. They have included some of the most dangerous assassins in the world including Lady Shiva, David Cain, and master archer Merlyn.
An international group of criminal scientists which conspired with the Appelaxian aliens to take over the world. Locus placed members of the Doom Patrol, Justice Society of America, and Justice League into special interment camps and stole their limbs in order to create perfect bodies for themselves. First appear in JLA: Year One #1 (January 1998)
Les Mille Yeux
Les Mille Yeux, "The Thousand Eyes", was a major international crime cartel involved in drugs, arms smuggling, and political blackmail. Phantom Lady fought and blinded their Washington, D.C. leader, Edwin Guerrehart. First appearance in Action Comics Weekly #636. Les Mille Yeux later hired Colonel Computron to kidnap Starman.
MAZE was an international espionage agency, that stole information from around the world to sell to the highest bidder. They also undertook assignments to discredit political dissidents and assassinate world leaders. MAZE had access to a number of super-weapons and was constantly seeking new items for its arsenal. First appearance in Superman #268. MAZE operatives frequently fought Batgirl and Robin in the pages of Batman Family in the 1970s.
The original Network members were band of small time villains whose metagenes were triggered by the Monitor shortly before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The six criminals drew on broadcast power beamed down from a special satellite owned by the rock video channel RTV. The Network members were Blue Matt (invisibility), Cathode (electrokinetic), Erase (acid touch), Fast Forward (enhances kinetic potential), UHF (manipulates audible and inaudible soundwaves), and Volume (can increase mass and density). The first Network was defeated by Superman and Batman. Network I first appeared in World's Finest Comics #311 (January 1985).
The second Network is a black market for supervillains based in Keystone City. This Network has been run by a villainess named Blacksmith. Its services are frequently used by Kobra. The Network's base is protected by the Rogues, and Colonel Computron units.
The third Network is a widespread organization of criminals who recently appeared in Gotham City. Businesswoman Celia Kazantkakis (Athena), used the Network to get her revenge against the Gotham Rossetti mob. After a clash with Batman and his allies the Network was crippled, but Kazantkakis escaped. Known Network operatives are: Tracker, Technician, Doctor Excess, Bugg, Suicide King, Mister Fun, and Freeway.
The New Order was a group of metahumans named Cain, Ammo, Corona, and Scud who commandeered a nuclear facility and demanded "one billion dollars and all mutant wild life freed". The Flash and Green Lantern took them down in Justice Society of America vol. 2# 1.
The Oblivion Front, whose forces were clad in blue, red, and gold armor, was "a terrorist splinter group" led by Dominion (Dominique Duchamp). Dominion herself wore a similar, less-armored costume and had a scar down the right side of her face. Dominion later led the Oblivion Front in an assault during which they intended to raid a weapons vault. Instead, the entire group was taken down by Gunfire. First appearance Showcase '94 #1.
Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement
Within the context of the DC Universe, the Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement, O.G.R.E, is a small mercenary terrorist group, led by the black-hooded Supreme One. Operating for an unnamed foreign government, they have confronted Aquaman in a number of occasions and worked through either hired agents, such as Black Manta, or coerced ones, such as Typhoon and Huntress.
Ocean Going Resource Exchange
First appearing in Aquaman vol 4, #9 (August 1992) and within the context of the DC universe, the Ocean Going Resource Exchange, also referred to as the Exchange, is a corporate extension of Merrevale Oil created by Jordan Wylie. Publicly presenting itself as an environmental firm, its actual activities bring it into conflict with Aquaman and the Sea Devils. This results in Wylie being removed from public positions at Merrevale and the Exchange.
The murders of several foreign intelligence agents led Batman on an international search for answers. In the course of the case, Batman learned of the abduction of Hungarian physicist Lucas Nagy and eventually pieced together clues that indicated that a terrorist organization known as Omega had forced him to build a 20-megaton nuclear bomb. When the terrorists threatened Gotham City with a nuclear holocaust, Batman's own experiences seemed to back up their claims. Eventually, Batman discovered that Omega's leader had manipulated everyone. Unable to force Nagy to create such a bomb, the leader realized that no one would know whether Omega truly had a bomb and set out to convince everyone that it did exist, with Batman as "Omega's prime witness". Only appearance in Batman #283.
Originally based in Metropolis, the 100 kept a firm grip on the city's criminal underworld for years, indulging in crimes such as drug trafficking and racketeering. Their first appearance was in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #105. A recent retcon in Superman #665 (September 2007) shows that during Superman's early years in Metropolis, the 100 was a smaller organization called the 10, with ties to Intergang.
The former Director of the 1000 was a US senator named Henry Ballard who shepherded the organization's new direction and goals. Under Director Ballard the 100 changed its name to the 1000, attempting to expand their reach to even the Oval Office with Director Ballard as the presidential candidate. The 1000 first appear in Booster Gold #2 March (1986).
The Onslaught is a team of superpowered international terrorists-for-hire operating out of the outlaw nation of Qurac. The team was created and guided by Qurac's President Marlo and had accepted, as its first commission, the assignment of killing the President of the United States. Former Suicide Squad member Jess Bright, now a Soviet operative named Koshchei helped bioengineer candidates for the team.
Order of Saint Dumas
The Order, originally part of the Knights Templar, were a group of soldier-monks that were formed during the Crusades. The Order enriched itself, though, during the Crusades, then went into hiding. The Order's first champion was an Asian man named Stephen Forrest Lee the assassin known to Mark Shaw as Dumas. The failure of this champion splintered the order. The main branch retreated and the violent splinter elements created a new champion called Azrael, a hereditary title given to the splinter Order's near-superhuman enforcer and assassin. Members of the splinter Order enlarged the organization's power by killing their enemies, hoarding knowledge, and kidnapping some of the greatest thinkers in the world. The Order also invented "disinformation", to ensure that the theories of the kidnapped geniuses would look so silly that nobody would miss them or examine their research. With a large amount of help from the most recent Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, the splinter group was apparently scattered.
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army (commonly known as the "Death’s Head") first made its impact on Gotham City with a ten-week assault that included "bombing banks, federal office buildings, and courthouses. Their terror campaign paralyzed the city. They were led by Thanatos, clad in a skull mask, a green costume and red cape, gloves and boots, and secretly an Italian terrorist named Sophia Santos.
The PLA later resurfaced in Washington, D.C., agreeing to "accidentally" kill an anti-crime senator during one of their attacks in exchange for a delivery of weapons and explosives from syndicate queen Irene Scarfield. The leader of this PLA operation was Bloodclaw, a bald, bearded man with crimson steel fingernails. He disappeared into the Potomac River following a fight with Batman and was presumed dead.
A mercenary group of terrorists-for-hire. Scorpio is a well-equipped organization always on the look out for advanced technology that can easily be weaponized. They were first seen in public fighting off both the Sea Devils and the Challengers of the Unknown.
S.C.Y.T.H.E. was an anti-government terrorist organization from a European country called Lugwainia. They abducted brilliant aeronautics engineer Robert Selkirk, who'd spent years as a political prisoner in a pseudo Soviet nation before gaining asylum in the U.S., and they demanded an exchange with their imprisoned leader, Alexander Sorkhan. A United Nations team consisting of Diana Prince and Steve Trevor were assigned to go with Selkirk to the exchange, but they were waylaid by the terrorists and betrayed by Selkirk himself who helped Sorkhan escape. Their first and only appearances were in Wonder Woman #244.
Shadowspire supplied South American drug cartels with the necessary tools of their trade: weapons, transportation, high technology, and reliable intelligence. Shadowspire's tentacles penetrate every corrupt government and drug cartel on two continents. They even had the resources and know how to create their own weaponized viruses. Shadowspire's first appearance was in Deathstroke #53. The group was created by Tom Joyner and Mike Collins.
The Silicon Syndicate operates in the fictional city of Platinum Flats, which is most likely based on Silicon Valley. The Syndicate's principals were all metahumans felt they had a free run of the city since no major superhero teams operate on the West Coast of the DC Comics universe. Known principals were Visionary, Gizmo, the Kilg%re, Matchmaker, Calculator, Collector, and the Joker. The group came into conflict with the Birds of Prey, who clashed with street level operatives such as: Carface, Diamond, Gangly Man, Mind Bullet, Topaz, and Tuatara, before working their way up to the principals.
The SKULL organization actively recruited discredited geniuses and outcast scientists at the behest of Albert Michaels, the first Atomic Skull. Their criminal agenda often brought them into conflict with the terrorist organization known as Kobra. They later expanded their criminal empire to the West Coast. Albert Michaels was one of the sleeper agents of rogue SKULL scientist Alysia Damalis. The SKULL was introduced in 1976's Superman issue #301.
Skull was seemingly inactive until Simon Pons revitalized the group; Pons first appears in Outsiders vol. 1 #6, but does not take an active role until Outsiders vol. 1 Annual #1 in a story entitled "The Skull..., The Serpent... and the Outsiders". In this story Simon Pons rebuilds SKULL and renews their long standing feud with Kobra.
The Society for Political Instability and Diverted Economic Resources also known as S.P.I.D.E.R. was an international crime organization based in a hidden grotto near the Riviera. The eight "legs" of the organization were devoted to Arson, Drugs, Extortion, Fraud, Gambling, Theft, Assassination, and Terrorism.
The organization was led by a green costumed albino woman named Mortalla. S.P.I.D.E.R.'s stated intention was to ultimately destabilize all world governments and then use the chaos to make themselves rich. Most of Mortalla's operatives wore standard green, yellow, and red uniforms but her division chiefs, including the Spider and the Widow had distinctive costumes. S.P.I.D.E.R.'s first and only appearances were in Catwoman #48 and #49.
The extraterrestrial crime cartel known as the Syndicate was a loose alliance of alien interests operating on Earth. Known members included drug dealer Byth Rok and smuggler Kanjar Ro. The Syndicate's operations were highlighted during the Crime lord/Syndicate War a storyline which ran through the titles Darkstars #32 (March 1995), Deathstroke #48-50 (June–August 1995), and New Titans #122 (June 1995). The Crime lord was eventually revealed to be Steve Dayton and the Syndicate was crushed by a collection of Earth's heroes including Extreme Justice, the Outsiders, and the Blood Pack.
A vast criminal organization which planned to take over the world by the year 2000. The 2000 Committee gave a criminal named Breathtaker the task of killing Firestorm (Ron Raymond), and he passed the task on to a villainess named Mindboggler. Firestorm defeated both Breathtaker and Mindboggler and handed them over to the authorities. Mindboggler later led Firestorm to the headquarters of the Committee. The Committee was founded by corrupt industrialist Henry Hewitt, AKA Tokamak, and first appeared in Fury of Firestorm #15. Other operatives of the Committee were the Enforcers (Leroy Merkyn and Mica) and Multiplex.
An American-based xenophobic anti-alien organization, the Veil is led by several influential industrialists and politicians, but was secretly founded by Pylon an agent of the alien H'San Natall. The Veil used mercenaries such as Dark Nemesis and Deathstroke the Terminator to attack the Teen Titans. The organization was later disbanded due to the efforts of the Teen Titans. First appears in Teen Titans vol. 2 #3 (December 1996).
The organization known as VULTURE (not an acronym) was a vast international crime cartel that was infiltrated, thwarted, and eventually completely destroyed by J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. Their secretive leader had a number of aliases: Mister Vulture, Mister V, and Faceless (a.k.a. Marco Xavier). VULTURE first appeared in House of Mystery #160 July (1966), created by Jack Miller and Joe Certa.
The Wildebeest Society was an international organization led by a mysterious figure. The society repeatedly came into conflict with the Teen Titans. As a result of certain genetics programs within the Society X-24 (Pantha) was created. A later program created the creature known as Baby Wildebeest. The Titans were later shocked to discover that the Wildebeest leader was former Titan Jericho. Jericho had created the Society in order to grow bodies for the tainted souls of New Azarath which were currently in possession of his body. Jericho had used the Society as a front to kidnap the Titans and use their bodies for this end. Jericho's body was destroyed by his father, Deathstroke the Terminator but his consciousness survived, hidden in his father's mind.
Recently, a new Wildebeest Society has appeared, consisting of new 'beests grown by Goth and the Contessa, using schematics and technology created by the original Society. First appears in New Teen Titans vol. 2 #36 (October 1987).
- List of criminal organizations in comics
- List of government agencies in DC Comics
- List of teams and organizations in DC Comics
- The Unofficial Academy of Crime Biography
- See Fanzing #49
- The Unofficial Assassination Bureau Biography
- Brave and the Bold #150 (May 1979)
- Justice League Of America #78 (December 1969)
- Hawkman vol. 1 #7 (May 1965)
- JSA: All-Stars #2 (August 2003)
- The Unofficial Council, The Biography
- JSA Annual #1
- The Unofficial Anatol Mykros Biography
- The Unofficial Asano Nitobe Biography
- Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #64 (March 1966)
- The Unofficial Eurocrime Biography
- The Unofficial Futuresmiths, The Biography
- Blackhawk #233 (May 1967)
- The Unofficial Locus Biography
- The Unofficial Network Biography
- The Unofficial Network Biography
- The Unofficial Network Biography
- The Unofficial New Order Biography
- Manhunter v.3 #28
- The Unofficial People's Liberation Army Biography
- Firestorm index
- The Unofficial Veil Biography
- The Unofficial Wildebeest Society Biography