List of government agencies in DC Comics
The Agency was formed by Amanda Waller to serve as a small, quasi-independent branch of Task Force X. It performed global operations which were vital to the security of American interests. Valentina Vostok brought former NYPD Lieutenant Harry Stein into the Agency as an operative. Adrian Chase the Vigilante and Christopher Smith Peacemaker were contract operatives for the Agency.
A.P.E.S. (short for All-Purpose Enforcement Squad) is a semi-independent US governmental division within the DEO, possessing government IDs for multiple agencies ranging from the FBI to Scotland Yard and SMERSH; an agent has described the organisation as possessing more clearance than God. Donald Fite, father of Empress, and Ishito Maad are their most well known operatives. Their main headquarters is inside Mount Rushmore.
Argent was the domestic branch of Task Force X. It was a sister organization to the Suicide Squad. Argent was led by Control and consisted mainly of former O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) agents. Argent was a powerful agency during most of the Cold War. After confronting and killing a government official responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, Control ordered all records of Argent destroyed and pulled the organisation undercover. For years, the Argent continued their work in secret, but shrunk considerably in size. Eventually, Control died, but his granddaughter, Anne-Marie Vere, maintained the pretense that he was still alive to keep the group operating. In recent times, a confrontation with the Suicide Squad exposed the deception and Argent disbanded. Known agents of the Argent included Control, Falcon, Fleur, Iron Munro, Phantom Lady and Anne-Marie Vere.
A.R.G.U.S. (short for Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans) is a U.S. federal agency and an offshoot of Homeland Security. It is under the command of Col. Steve Trevor and Director Amanda Waller.
It is introduced in The New 52 (a reboot of DC Comics continuity) following Darkseid's invasion. A.R.G.U.S. acts as support and liaison to the Justice League, supplying them with resources and cleaning up afterwards. Trevor was asked to stand down as head liaison after their battle with Graves, having gotten too close to Wonder Woman. It also attempts to control the magical superhero group the Justice League Dark, and later still directly establishes the counterpart group to the Justice League in the form of the Justice League of America, of which Trevor is himself a member.
Besides Director Amanda Waller and Col. Steve Trevor, known members of A.R.G.U.S. include Black Orchid, Booster Gold, Chronos, Dale Gunn, Darwin (the assistant to Dr. John Peril), Doctor Light, Dr. John Peril, Etta Candy, Major Nicholson, Paul Chang, and Puzzler.
In the television series, Arrow, A.R.G.U.S. appears in several episodes. In this continuity, A.R.G.U.S. stands for "Advanced Research Group United Support" and one of their agents is Lyla Michaels. In the second season, Amanda Waller is revealed as the agency's director. It is also revealed that they have emergency bunkers all over the United States and that they are known for pursuing criminals like Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, and Shrapnel. Nyssa Al Ghul is also on their high-value target list. A.R.G.U.S. commands the Suicide Squad, who handle many overseas missions. A.R.G.U.S. is aware of Oliver Queen's identity as the Arrow, but do not see him as a threat. In the season two finale episode "Unthinkable", Slade Wilson is locked away in an A.R.G.U.S. prison on Lian Yu. In Season 3 of Arrow and Season 1 of The Flash, A.R.G.U.S. continues to operate capturing high target criminals and have also had a number of traitors within itself. Mark Shaw attempted to sell A.R.G.U.S. secrets but were stopped by Team Arrow and Captain Boomerang was seen as a former Suicide Squad member who attacked A.R.G.U.S. after a failed mission that nearly killed him as a direct result of the agency's actions. Both Arrow and Flash stopped him and placed him on the prison on Lian Yu. Flash would go on to use A.R.G.U.S. resources by contacting Lyla Michaels to learn the status of General Wade Elling when he and his team captures him delusional from Gorilla Grodd's mind control. A.R.G.U.S. attempted to cover up his absence but Lyla told them the truth of him being missing and she also allowed them to use a plane to transport meta-humans to Lian Yu when their own private prison became unsafe. A.R.G.U.S. was a constant presence during Arrow's Season 3 flashbacks as Amanda Waller had Oliver Queen work for her and the season's flashbacks detailed his history with the agency.
A.R.G.U.S. also makes an appearance in the DC Animated Original Movies film Batman: Assault on Arkham, where they attempted to apprehend the Riddler after the latter stole vital information relating to the Suicide Squad from Amanda Waller, as well as entering a confrontation with Batman, who intended to interrogate the Riddler himself relating to a dirty bomb that Joker stole and placed somewhere in Gotham.
The A.S.A. (short for American Security Agency) was a U.S. Government organization that supervised the creation of the national team of super-agents called the Force of July. The chairman of the A.S.A. was B. Eric Blairman. Blairman was later replaced as head of the A.S.A. by the even more corrupt Abraham Lincoln Carlyle, who made an attempt to use the Psycho Pirate's Medusa Mask to get himself elected president. During an internecine war within the US Government called the Janus Directive, Carlyle and most of the Force of July were killed in battle. The American Security Agency was defunct shortly afterwards.
The B.A.A. (short for Bureau of Amplified Animals) is a US Government agency that monitors and deploys superhuman animal operatives. Currently known operatives of the Bureau are Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp.
Project Cadmus (also called Cadmus Project or simply Cadmus) was featured as an adversary of the Justice League in the first season (third overall) of animated series Justice League Unlimited. It is described by Emil Hamilton as "Power brokers, politicians, criminals, and black-ops mercenaries with one thing in common: they're humanity's last hope against (metahumans)". This version is a combination of the comics version of Cadmus, the Suicide Squad (which appeared in the series as Task Force X, its real name in the comics), and Checkmate. In the series, Cadmus is a government project designed to take precautions against the League going rogue. The project was started when Superman was brainwashed by Darkseid into invading Earth at the end of Superman: The Animated Series where the project (called "Project: Achilles") was designed to deal with the Man of Steel if he were to attack the Earth again. It was created by Lex Luthor, and a mutual ally bigoted General Nathaniel Hardcastle who was later killed by Galatea on orders of Cadmus. The project's goals extended to the Justice League as well after the Justice Lords incident. Members of this version of Cadmus include Amanda Waller, Professor Hamilton, Tala, General Wade Eiling, Professor Milo, Maxwell Lord, Hugo Strange, and Doctor Moon. For a short while, they also had turned Captain Atom to their cause. In addition, they also had Task Force X, which is the official name for the organization known in DC Comics as the Suicide Squad, for use in risky field missions. Cadmus was later shown to be backed by Lex Luthor, who only financed the project in a grab for superpowers of his own; a new AMAZO robot with Luthor's conscious mind implanted in it. After taking what he needed to build it from Cadmus and learning the League had figured out his link to the organization, Luthor attempted to destroy the organization by hacking into an immense laser built into the League's Watchtower. Although the building was destroyed, Waller "had the facility scrubbed as per standard protocol" after Superman and Huntress broke into to rescue The Question from Moon's captivity. It was then revealed that Brainiac was living inside Luthor at the time, improving upon his physical health and strength while "subtly influencing (his) actions". After they were confronted by Batman and then the rest of the founding members of the Justice League, which Waller had released from custody, Luthor and Braniac escaped to Washington, D.C. to a Cadmus building in order to merge with the Dark Heart, a nanotechnology-like alien being which the League defeated thanks to Atom. After both of them were defeated, Cadmus ceased operations against the League and the Justice League announced the establishment of a planetside base to improve their public relations. However, there were a few former members of Cadmus who were still against the Justice League, such as Tala, who ends up joinning Gorrila Grodd's Secret Society and General Eiling. Project Cadmus was responsible for creating the characters Galatea (a clone of Supergirl who resembles Power Girl), Doomsday, the Royal Flush Gang, Volcana, the Ultimen (a team of genetically engineered heroes who are a pastiche of several heroes created for the Super Friends series) and ultimately Terry McGinnis (Batman II). When the Joker took the Royal Flush Gang from Cadmus, he also stole some technology he would later use to overwrite his DNA into Tim Drake during Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker as explained in Epilogue. Elements of the organization were later brought together to initiate 'Project Batman Beyond', to ensure that, in some form or another, there "would always be a Batman". Thus Cadmus is responsible for the continuation of the DC Animated Universe storyline into the future.
The C.B.I. (Central Bureau of Intelligence), was formerly led by Sarge Steel and also included Danny Chase (and his parents), King Faraday, Richard Dragon, and Ben Turner in its stable of agents. Steel was eventually depicted as a Federal Cabinet Secretary of Metahuman Affairs (giving him control of agencies such as the Suicide Squad), until the election of Lex Luthor as President. Luthor then appointed Amanda Waller as his replacement until he was exposed as a criminal in the events of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
Civil Defense Administration
The Civil Defense Administration is an American intelligence agency created as a replacement for International Operations. It is led by Ivana Baiul as seen in the pages of Stormwatch: Team Achilles.
C.E.M.A. (short for Cosmic Emergency Management Agency) is a n interstellar organization tasked to help the survivors of cosmic disasters such as planet-eating monsters.
Checkmate is a covert operations agency within the DC Comics universe. Created from the ashes of its predecessor group, The Agency, it was originally set up by Amanda Waller to serve as a small, quasi-independent branch of Task Force X under the command of Colonel Valentina Vostok (formerly Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol) to perform operations worldwide considered vital to the security of American interests. In the wake of events depicted in the miniseries The OMAC Project and Infinite Crisis, Checkmate has been re-chartered as a United Nations Security Council-affiliated agency.
Checkmate's original hierarchy was modelled after the pieces of a chess game- one King, one Queen, and several Bishops. The Bishops oversaw the Rooks behind the scenes while the Rooks planned missions and supervised the field agents, or Knights, and the Knights' support, Pawns.
Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1696, Checkmate was reorganized as the UN’s Chartered Metahuman Monitoring Force. The organization was restructured utilizing the “Rule of Two”. Each super-powered or otherwise enhanced member in the “Royal Family” must have an un-powered counterpart in a corresponding position of power. In addition, there are an indeterminate number of “pawns”. In the original incarnation of Checkmate, they were low-level field agents that provided intelligence-gathering, logistical and operational support; it appears that pawns in the current incarnation serve similar roles.
The D.E.O. (short for Department of Extranormal Operations) is a branch of the United States government, concerned with the magical, the alien, and the superhuman and having connections with such organisations as the Suicide Squad and Knightwatch. Other divisions include an agency for training 'gifted' youngsters whose powers manifest at a difficult age, and numerous surveillance and data-collection operations. The current Regional Director for the Eastern Seaboard is a former costumed villain named Mister Bones. One of its highest-profile agents is Cameron Chase.
Département Gamma is the main French covert ops organization in the DC Comics universe. Known operatives are Andre Chevard (Boy Commandos) founder and leader, Fleur-de-Lis (Global Guardians), Belphegor (Global Guardians), Tin, the Captain, the Professor, and Halfwolf.
Department PSI (short for Department for Paranormal Science Investigations) is a rival organization to the International Operations and employer of the superhero team Wildcore. Its director is Antonio Giovanni. When International Operations was dissolved, Department PSI absorbed most of its assets, equipment, and personnel.
The D.S.I. (short for Department of Scientific Investigation) is a government organization dedicated to the investigation of strange phenomena. Known operatives were Darwin Jones the chief of staff, and Tommy Dane one of the Young Scienceers.
E.A.G.L.E. (short for Extranormal Activities Garrison for Law Enforcement) is a government agency within the Astro City universe. They are described to normally function as a sort of "clean up crew" for the superheroes ("taking supervillains into custody, guarding damaged property, etc.") but during the Confession storyline they are seen hunting down, and capturing, various superheroes. After the storyline it is implied that they returned to their normal duties.
Introduced in issue #1 of The American Way. The FDAA (short for Federal Disaster Assistance Administration), handles a US government superhero team called the Civil Defense Corps. The FDAA is responsible for using gene therapy to create many of America's heroes as well as "villains" who they have fight the heroes in publicly staged battles. The FDAA periodically unleashes Hellbent, a homicidal and sociopathic supervillain, to assassinate enemies of the United States.
Finger, Eye, & Ear
The Finger (secret police), the Eye (CCTV monitoring), and the Ear (phone surveillance). These were the three branches of overt government surveillance depicted in the dystopian Britain of V for Vendetta.
G.E.O.R.G.E. (short for the Group for Extermination of Organizations of Revenge, Greed, and Evil) debuted in Blackhawk #228, during that title's attempt to mainstream the Blackhawks as superheroes. G.E.O.R.G.E. opposed the International Crime Combine, 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. Known G.E.O.R.G.E. operatives were their leader The Long L, Mister Delta, and The Champ, a trenchcoat wearing robot.
Global Peace Agency
The Global Peace Agency is an organization that first appeared outside the DC Universe in the original OMAC series, but which became part of the DCU proper in Final Crisis #7.
G.O.O.D. (short for Global Organization of Organized Defense) is an organization where the only known operatives of this international organization are Barney Ling (the organization's director) and field operatives Ben Turner and Richard Dragon.
The Hayoth are a team of four super-powered covert operatives who act as a special division of the Mossad. Their first contact with the West came when Amanda Waller (see Suicide Squad) was contracted to capture Kobra. Waller was informed of the Hayoth's existence by an Egyptian operative named Nazair.
Human Defense Corps
In the DC Comics universe, the Human Defense Corps is a branch of the military established by then President of the United States Lex Luthor to reduce government dependency on superhumans when a major alien crisis breaks out, act as back-up to Earth's superheroes, and specifically counter any alien threat to Earth. Membership of the Corps is open to 'Decorated veterans of alien campaigns only'.
Internal Operations (I.O., IO or I/O) is a fictional American intelligence agency in WildStorm comics. It was originally called International Operations. I.O. International Operations was founded in 1964 as a branch of the Central Intelligence Agency with the mission to safeguard the United States' interests and safety abroad. It quickly became an independent agency under the leadership of Director Miles Craven. Following the Divine Right incident, the agency was severely weakened. It was shut down by the US government within a year. However, in 2004, it was reestablished under the leadership of John Lynch. IO first appeared in WildC.A.T.S. vol.1 #1 (August, 1992) and was created by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee.
Knightwatch is the military arm of the D.E.O. Knightwatch operatives wore armor that resembled the suits worn by Checkmate agents.
LexCorp is a government position run by president Lex Luthor.
Luthor Corp is a corporation run by Lex Luthor's father, Lionel Luthor. Lex bought the company after he killed Lionel and inherited all of his money. 
Project Atom is a United States government initiative masterminded by General Wade Eiling and lead scientist Dr. Heinrich Megala with the aim of creating a superhero answerable only to the military. The project used a combination of nuclear physics and a unique alloy called Dilustel with quantum properties that was cut from the skin of a captured alien known as the Silver Shield using X-Ionizer technology. The project only had two recorded successes, Captain Atom and Major Force. The origin of the woman calling herself Bombshell is still unknown. Heinrich Megala was also responsible for creating the X-Ionizer technology capable of cutting Captain Atom's skin and the skin of most invulnerable metahumans.
Project Cadmus is a high tech genetic research facility responsible for the successful cloning of Jim Harper (the Guardian), and Conner Kent (the second Superboy) as well as a number of other heroes and villains.
Project 7734 is a secret United States Military black-ops facility commanded by General Sam Lane. Its existence was uncovered by investigative reporter James Olsen's investigations. Like the Human Defense Corps, and Squad K, this project was created to defend humanity against extraterrestrial threats, including Kryptonians. (The number of the project itself may be a play on a "word" that can be created on most calculators by simply typing in the number 7734 -turned upside down, it reads as "hell.")
Project M was a secret government organization which operated during World War II and specialized in experimental biotechnology and necromancy. Known creations of the Project include the Creature Commandos, Miss America, and the G.I. Robot. The Project's main scientist is one Professor Mazursky. He was aided by Robotman. As told in Young All-Stars #12, they operated from a secret underground complex on mythical Ferris Island in New York.
Project Peacemaker is a US government division that was tasked with handling Peacemaker's interaction with other government agencies. After the so-called "Janus Directive", the Project became part of Checkmate, and placed under the supervision of the CBI and Sarge Steel.
The Quorum is the clandestine and apparently corrupt department of an unnamed government agency in the DC Comics universe. Former operatives are Major Force, Mace Gardner (brother of Guy Gardner), Loria a New Blood, the metahuman known as Sledge, and an army of armored men known as Sweepers. The Quorum sponsored and funded the Blood Pack, a superhero team made up of "New Bloods", in a failed attempt to create a superhuman army based on their DNA.
Red Shadow is the Russian version of Task Force X. Just as they copied Checkmate, they also mirrored the Suicide Squad under the old Soviet Government (implying that they worked directly for the KGB). Organization originally consisted of ex-members of the People's Heroes and Blue Trinity. Later on other original Russian characters were introduced such as Stalnoivolk, Russia's World War II Superman. The Red Shadows were all organized under Amanda Waller's opposite number, a man known only as Major Zastrow. Other Red Shadow operatives were: Pozhar (Mikhail Arkadin), Bolshoi (martial artist), Molotov (explosives expert), Mrs. Gradenko (a were-bear), Yerosha (Could alter a person's senses), Lamia (Pheromone manipulation), Blue Trinity (speedsters), and Schreck, a metahuman vampire.
RONOL (short for Research on the Nature of Light) is a pre-WWII agency theorized that the light that originated millennia ago where Earth now orbits would eventually circumnavigate the universe and return as a dangerous, conscious entity. The project leader, Dr. Dayzl, tricked a reporter named Langford "Happy" Terrill into a ballooning accident where a "genetic light bomb" gave Terrill superpowers, abilities he would use to become the Ray. Eventually, Dayzl's unorthodox actions and beliefs came to light and the government terminated the RONOL program.
S.H.A.D.E. (short for Super Human Advanced Defense Executive) is a United States military organization that investigates, assesses, and contains paranormal and superhuman activity. Father Time and his S.H.A.D.E. agency exercise martial law over the devastated city of Blüdhaven. Father Time used this posting to carry out S.H.A.D.E.'s other mandate, the harvesting and creation of new metahuman talent. S.H.A.D.E. uses its specially trained metahuman talent to carry out black ops assassinations of threats to the United States and its policies. Several S.H.A.D.E. operatives defect from the organization to form a new version of the Freedom Fighters under the guidance of Uncle Sam, resulting in Sam and his team being declared enemies of S.H.A.D.E. and Father Time and his ally Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard ordering their deaths at the hands of First Strike. (see Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters). After Father Time turned on the psychotic Gonzo, he and his troops vanished into the timestream; Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters were made the leaders of S.H.A.D.E.
Squad K is a special response team tasked with apprehending Superman if he should ever turn rogue, and with the apprehension of other Kryptonian criminals. Perseus Hazard, the grandson of Ulysses Hazard, was the group's first commander; after his death he is replaced by a Native American named Sergeant Cloud possibly a descendant of Johnny Cloud from the Losers.
Stormwatch is a United Nations Crisis Intervention Team. It was founded by United Nations during the late 70s as part of an effort to police the growing population of post-humans created in the wake of the Comet Effect. The agency has generated significant controversy over the years. It was shut down in 1998 do to budgetary and political concerns. The agency was re-established sometime after Authority's takeover of the United States under a severely limited budget.
The original Task Force X consisted of two branches: the domestic and the international. The domestic branch was called Argent and the international branch called the Suicide Squad was originally put under the command of General Jeb Stuart. The first Suicide Squad was a minor backup series about a quartet of adventurers. That Squad consisted of Rick Flag, his girlfriend Karin Grace, Dr. Hugh Evans, and Jess Bright.
The second and better-known Suicide Squad was a "off the book" covert black ops government strike team. The team was partially made up of imprisoned supervillains and death row convicts with no hope of release. These criminals had either agreed to or were coerced into serving as expendable agents, assigned to perform extremely dangerous or impossible missions, in return for a full pardon for their actions. They were officially unsanctioned and publicly denied by the United States Government. The prisoners' participation was used as rationale for plausible deniability in the event of failed missions, as the rationale claiming that the incidents are merely attacks by criminals.
In addition, there were other non-prisoner members (such as Nemesis, Nightshade, and Oracle) who participated in the team as part of individual arrangements. The Suicide Squad operated out of Belle Reve prison in Louisiana.
Task Force Delta
Task Force Delta is a blanket organization that helps to oversee smaller United States government covert agencies such as Knightwatch.
Task Force X
Following the dissolution of the O.S.S. in October 1945, President Harry S. Truman replaced it with the Central Intelligence Agency in 1946. In 1951, seeking to fill the void left by the retired JSA, Truman created Task Force X and its domestic branch Argent. The international branch called the Suicide Squad was put under the command of General Jeb Stuart. Jeb Stuart was later succeeded by Rick Flag. In the episode of Arrow Suicide Squad, Waller called the group Task Force X but Deadshot called it The Suicide Squad.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. (short for The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves) serves as a secretive counter-terrorism force. With a non-powered but highly trained special forces teams and a select number of agents fitted with powerful (but long-term dangerous to their health) performance-enhancing equipment, THUNDER has fought against organizations like SPIDER for decades, largely under the radar of the superhero community of the world.
Université Notre Dame des Ombres
Université Notre Dame des Ombres (Our Lady of the Shadows University) was originally created to train O.S.S. agents during World War II. Today it is a NATO sponsored covert intelligence training academy situated on the French Riviera, with an embassy office in Washington D.C.. Its last known headmistress was Sandra Knight, the original Phantom Lady. The school's most notable graduates are the Crimson Fox twins and Dee Tyler, the second Phantom Lady.
- List of government agencies in comics
- List of government agencies in Marvel Comics
- List of criminal organizations in DC Comics
- List of teams and organizations in DC Comics
- First appears in Vigilante vol. 1 #36
- A.P.E.S. first appears in Young Justice #1, September 1998
- The agency first appears in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #14, 1987
- Justice League #7
- Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1, 1984
- Green Lantern Vol. 3 #30, October 1992
- Teen Titans vol. 2 Annual #3, 1987
- Stomwatch: Team Achilles, 2003
- First appears in Green Lantern Vol. 3 #166, August 2003
- Checkmate vol. 1 #1, April 1988
- Checkmate vol. 1 #32, December 1990
- Batman #550, January 1998
- First seen in Infinity, Inc. #34 (January 1987)
- Blue Beetle vol. 2 #19 (January 1988)
- Teen Titans: Spotlight #11 (June 1987)
- Wildcore Preview #1, October 1997
- First introduced in Wonder Woman vol. 3 #2, October 2006
- Strange Adventures #1 (August 1950)
- Kurt Busiek's Astro City #6 February 1997
- the American Way #1 April 2006
- First appears in V for Vendetta #1, September 1988
- First seen in Blackhawk #228 (January 1967)
- First appears in the novel Dragon's Fists, 1974 by Denny O'Neil and Jim Berry
- Suicide Squad vol. 1 #45, September 1990
- Human Defense Corps #1 (July 2003)
- WildC.A.T.S. vol. 1 #1 August 1992
- First appears in Superman/Batman #5, February 2004
- First appears in Superman #08 chapter #11 page #06, August 1940
- First appears in Smallville, Kansas: The Life of Pre-Superman Clark Kent chapter #11 page #19
- First Appears in Captain Atom vol. 3 #1, 1983
- First Appears in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #135, 1971
- Superman: New Krypton Special #1(December 2008)
- First seen in Young All-Stars #12, May 1988
- DCU Heroes Secret Files #1, February 1999
- First appears in Guy Gardner #16, January 1994
- Suicide Squad v.1 #40, April 1990
- Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein! #3, January 2006
- First seen in Superman vol. 1 #664 (August 2007)
- Planetary #11, September 2000
- Stormwatch #1 March 1993
- First version debuted in The Brave and the Bold #25, August 1959, the second in Legends #3, November 1986
- Chase #1, February 1998
- First appears in Action Comics Weekly #636, January 1989