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Luthor's Injustice Gang.
Art by Barry Kitson.
|Publisher||DC Comics and|
|First appearance||Justice League of America #111 (May–June 1974)|
|Created by||Len Wein
The original Injustice Gang's membership consisted of:
- Chronos (David Clinton)
- Mirror Master (Sam Scudder)
- Poison Ivy
- Shadow Thief
- Tattooed Man (Abel Tarrant)
By the end of the first appearance, it is revealed that their entire operation was massive feint by their organizer, Libra, to test a power-stealing device. A series of "Plan B" devices the villains had been given in case the JLA defeats them absorbs half of the heroes' powers and transfers them to Libra. Satisfied with the results, he then turns his device upon the universe itself, hoping to become a god. Instead, Libra is absorbed into the universe itself, effectively disintegrating him and spreading his essence across the cosmos. The JLA later modifies the android Amazo to recover their lost powers.
The villainous Construct regroups all of the members save the Shadow-Thief, as well as a mentally-controlled Wonder Woman; the Construct is destroyed and the Injustice Gang's satellite is apparently destroyed. Later, Abra Kadabra reforms the gang yet again with all prior members when the alien Ultraa causes superheroes to lose their powers while villains' abilities are increased. This time, the Gang takes over the Justice League's original headquarters in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, but are once again routed.
In a story set between the first and second appearances of Libra's Injustice Gang but published more recently, another version of the group appears. The members of this Gang include:
Despite being seen destroyed in an earlier story, the Injustice Gang's satellite later reappeared during the Identity Crisis miniseries, now a shabby clubhouse for villains in-between schemes. It is also a place of business for a gang of mercenary supervillains headed by Calculator. In the miniseries, Merlyn, the criminal nemesis of Green Arrow, openly states his derision of the name Injustice Gang, saying, "Some try to be a bit more professional".The satellite also appeared in the first DC/Marvel crossover, when Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus used it as the location from which they would blackmail the world, with Superman and Spider-Man only just managing to defeat them.
The subsequent incarnation of the team appeared in the Rock of Ages storyline of JLA #10–15. This team was formed to mirror the Justice League of that era, with each member being a recurring enemy of a corresponding member of the League. Lex Luthor stated that he formed the Injustice Gang in response to the creation of the new League because, while he perceived previous Leagues to be mere annoyances at best, he saw Superman's leadership as being Superman "throwing down the gauntlet". Its members included:
However, the team had problems from the beginning; Jemm was only on the team because Luthor was manipulating his mind with the Philosopher's Stone (later revealed to be the Worlogog), and Mirror Master later defected from the group when Batman offered to pay the mercenary double what Luthor was offering him. With Luthor regarding this assault on the League as a 'corporate takeover', he attempted to manipulate the League's 'new blood' in the form of the new Green Lantern, Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and new hero Aztek into betraying the League. Although Rayner ignored the 'offer', Hawke is seemingly seduced by Circe into believing that the League looked down on him, and Luthor reveals that he had provided the financial support necessary to create Aztek's armour. Luthor had intended to force the League to disband and subsequently form a new League under his control. However, thanks to Plastic Man infiltrating the group disguised as the Joker, coupled with Luthor's inability to understand the true motivations of heroism (meaning that he underestimated what he would have to do to win Green Arrow's allegiance), the League are able to foil Luthor's plot, subsequently taking the Stone from Luthor after defeating the other members of the Gang. Unfortunately, no charges could be pressed due to the Gang having caused no real harm- when the Joker was briefly restored to sanity by the Martian Manhunter after he acquired the Worloggog, he then used it to undo the destruction they had caused in their first attack- forcing the League to allow them all to go free.
Luthor reformed the team in the World War III storyline (JLA #36-41) with new members. This team did not attempt to mirror the League but instead consisted of villains who had posed major solo threats to the JLA in the past. It included:
It was swiftly revealed that the new Injustice Gang was being manipulated by the ancient superweapon Mageddon to keep the League occupied, with Lex Luthor serving as Mageddon's unwilling 'emissary', keeping the League off-balance so that they couldn't interfere with Mageddon's attack, while also indirectly influencing the other three members to more aggressive actions. After Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern are able to break through Mageddon's hold on Luthor, Steel, Plastic Man, Barda and Wonder Woman took out the Queen Bee by draping Plastic Man over Steel (rendering him 'invisible' to the Queen Bee as she is unable to see the colour red) so that they can banish her via Barda's Boom Tube, while Superman, Orion, Martian Manhunter and Sturmer are able to trap the General in the limbo that Prometheus had discovered. Batman defeats Prometheus after reprogramming his helmet— normally capable of giving the villain the combat skills of thirty of the world's greatest martial artists— to give him the motor skills of Stephen Hawking.
In other media
- In the animated Justice League episode 'Injustice For All,' the team consists of Cheetah, Copperhead, Solomon Grundy, The Shade, Star Sapphire, and the Ultra-Humanite and is led by Lex Luthor. They are betrayed by the Ultra-Humanite when Batman offers to donate double what Luthor is paying him to the culture channel. After Copperhead gets arrested, The Joker joins the team. A new team, depicted in the episode "Fury," was later led by Aresia and included Copperhead, Solomon Grundy, The Shade, Star Sapphire, and Tsukuri, though Aresia's plot includes the gassing of the male members of the team. Though this team was never referred to the Injustice Gang until The Shade refers to them in the Season 2 episode "Secret Society".
- Smallville's version of the Injustice Gang appears in the episode "Injustice", though in keeping with the show's stylization the name "Injustice Gang" is not used in the episode itself. Livewire (aka Leslie Willis), Neutron (aka Nathaniel Tryon), Plastique (aka Bette Sans Souci), Parasite (Rudy Jones) and Eva Greer (Anna Williams) make up its members. The team is formed by Tess Mercer to track down Doomsday. After Tess Mercer took over at LuthorCorp, she shut down the Black Creek facility, and many metahumans escaped. She began recruiting them to form her own team, firstly trying to recruit Bette Sans Souci. Before Tess could recruit her, Bette blew up the bus Tess was on to keep from going back to Belle Reve. When Randy Klein began killing people to emulate the killings of Doomsday, he was stopped by Clark Kent and arrested. Tess sent her assistant Eva to go and blackmail him into joining by providing evidence that he wasn't the serial killer. Neutron is killed by Doomsday (the second-hand account of the battle suggests Doomsday adapted to his powers) while Livewire, who was with him, survives. She demands to leave the group, so Parasite steals her powers. Tess then kills her using an explosive chip implanted in her skull. Clark is told by Eva, who has her own chip activated. When he tells Parasite and Plastique, they manage to disable the chips and attempt to form their own group of criminals. They are defeated by Green Arrow and Clark.
- In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Lex Luthor recruits Catwoman, Deathstroke, and Joker to help the Justice League defeat Dark Kahn.
- The Injustice Gang is referenced in Batman: Arkham Asylum in a newspaper headlining their return.
- The Injustice Gang appears in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure and serve as the game's main antagonists. Led by Brainiac, the roster consists of Lex Luthor, Joker, Cheetah, Professor Zoom, Sinestro, Ocean Master, and the Scribblenauts villain Doppelgänger. There are other villains that appear alongside them, including Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Metallo, Larfleeze, Victor Zsasz, Mr. Mxyzptlk, General Zod, Doomsday, Anti-Monitor, Darksied, Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Amazo.
- Secret Society of Super Villains
- Injustice League
- Legion of Doom (Super Friends)
- Anti-Justice League
- Justice League of America #111 (May–June 1974)
- Justice League of America #112 (July–August 1974)
- Justice League of America #143 (June 1977)
- Justice League of America #158 (September 1978)
- JLA 80-Page Giant #2 (November 1999)