Fatal Five

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Fatal Five
Cover art for Legion of Super-Heroes #120, featuring four of the Fatal Five with Brainiac 5 and Gates.
Art by Phil Jimenez.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAdventure Comics #352 (January, 1967)
Created byJim Shooter
In-story information
Emerald Empress

The Fatal Five are fictional characters, a supervillain team of the 30th century in the DC Comics universe. They were created by Jim Shooter and first appeared in Adventure Comics #352 (1967) as enemies of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[1]

Fictional team history[edit]

Cover to Adventure Comics #352, by Curt Swan.

Originally a gang of super-criminals assembled by the Legion of Super-Heroes to help them destroy the Sun-Eater threatening Earth, the Emerald Empress, Mano, the Persuader, and Validus, led by Tharok, subsequently formed an alliance after it was successfully stopped. Though they were offered pardons for their assistance, the five rejected them and banded together, confident that they are powerful enough to try to conquer the worlds they had saved, and subsequently clashed with the Legion many times.[1]

A later incarnation consisted of the Emerald Empress, Persuader, Flare, a Rimborian with the power of fire, Caress, who had a deadly acidic touch and Mentalla, a Legion reject who was secretly working against the Five trying to secure a spot in the Legion.

The first storyline in Legionnaires (1993) had the SW6 Legion face a Fatal Five comprising Tharok, Mano, the Persuader, a new Emerald Empress and a monstrous being called Mordecai.

Zero Hour[edit]

Following the Zero Hour Legion reboot, the original Fatal Five was reintroduced in Legion of Super-Heroes #78 (1996), again assembled to help fight the Sun-Eater (although it was later revealed that the Sun-Eater did not exist). Notably, in this incarnation, the analogue of Emerald Empress is simply called "Empress" and is more a skilled melee combatant than a magic user, since this continuity's Emerald Eye is a sentient being with a will unto itself and a role in other developing storylines.

In the Teen Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, Persuader used his "atomic axe" to bring Fatal Five teams from other dimensions, forming the Fatal Five-Hundred[2] before the two teams are able to use the Cosmic Treadmill to banish the alternate Fatal Fives back to their original universes.[3]

One Year Later[edit]

The Fatal Five has not been seen in the "Threeboot" Legion setting, but in The Brave and the Bold a version of the team was taken to the present day by the Lord of Time, to assist him in gaining a powerful weapon. When his plans were foiled by Batman and Blue Beetle he abandoned them in the 21st century. After Batman and Tharok were accidentally merged into one being, the group was returned to the future where they appear to be already in the Legion's prison.

Final Crisis[edit]

All five Fatal Five members were among the supervillains in Superman-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains.

Other versions[edit]

A version of the Fatal Five appeared in Tangent Comics, where the team is composed of the Tangent Comics versions of Ice, Shadow Thief, Kid Psycho, Deathstroke and Count Viper. They next appear in a flashback in the Tangent: Superman's Reign miniseries (2008), in which they are shown to have slaughtered the second Atom.

This version of the Fatal Five exist on Earth-97 of the old Multiverse, which has been reborn as Earth-9 of the new Multiverse.

In other media[edit]

  • The Fatal Five made their first television appearance in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Far From Home".
  • The Fatal Five, consisting of the original five members (although both Emerald Empress and Tharok act as leaders), is one of the main villain teams on the Legion of Super Heroes animated series. The group appears in four episodes in season one. It is unclear when and how the group assembled in this continuity; the Sun-Eater storyline is adapted into the first-season finale, but the Fatal Five are the villains fought in the series premiere. The Fatal Five were released by Imperiex alongside the Legion of Super-Villains from their prison, though the group disbanded when Validus was taken by Imperiex, while the Emerald Empress was rendered powerless by Matter-Eater Lad and abandoned by her remaining teammates. Both Validus and Persuader were later seen operating alone, albeit under the aegis of Imperiex.
  • The Fatal Five appear in the 2019 DC Universe Original Movie Justice League vs. the Fatal Five. The team's line-up includes Emerald Empress, Tharok, Mano, Persuader, and Validus.[4][5] Tharok, Mano, and Persuader travel to the present to target Jessica Cruz so that she can take them to Oa where they can free Emerald Empress and Validus. During the fight against the Justice League and Star Boy, the Fatal Five are buried when the building they're in collapses on them.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wallace, Dan (2008), "Fatal Five", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 119, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Teen Titans #16 (November 2004)
  3. ^ Teen Titans/Legion Special (November 2004)
  4. ^ Morrison, Matt (July 22, 2018). "Justice League vs The Fatal Five Animated Movie Announced For DC Universe". Screen Rant.
  5. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 7, 2019). "'Justice League vs. The Fatal Five' Sets Voice Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.