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
 
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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. 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:

MemberAlter egoDescriptionPowersTraditional enemyVoice actor
BizarroBizarroTwisted doppelganger of Superman from Bizarro WorldSame as Superman, but often behaves in an erratic and irrational mannerSupermanWilliam Callaway
Black MantaUnknownDeep-sea diver and would-be ocean conquerorEnhanced strength, water breathing ability (through artificial gills), high tech equipment, laser beamsAquamanTed Cassidy
BrainiacVril DoxEvil androidSuper-intelligence, advanced technologySupermanTed Cassidy
Captain ColdLeonard SnartBlue-suited master of low temperaturesFreeze ray gunsThe FlashDick Ryal
Michael Bell (additional dialogue)
CheetahPriscilla RichCat-suit-wearing womanCat-like reflexes, claw-tipped glovesWonder WomanMarlene Aragon
GigantaDoris ZeulStole Apache Chief's magic powder to duplicate his powersAbility to grow, super strengthWonder Woman[2] and Apache ChiefRuth Forman
Gorilla GroddGorilla GroddMegalomaniacal exile from Gorilla CitySuper-intelligence, super strengthThe FlashStanley Ralph Ross
Lex LuthorLex LuthorFounder and leader of the Legion of DoomEvil genius, highly-advanced weaponrySupermanStanley Jones
RiddlerEdward NigmaUses riddles to taunt and confuse adversaries while committing crimesPuzzle creation, problem solving, super intelligent evil genius, puzzle themed traps and gadgets.Batman and RobinMichael Bell
ScarecrowProfessor Jonathan CraneUses his fear gas to bring peoples' worst fears to lifeFear gasBatman and RobinDon Messick
SinestroSinestroRenegade ex-Green LanternYellow power ringGreen LanternVic Perrin
Don Messick (additional dialogue)
Solomon GrundyCyrus GoldA super-powered zombie born from the swampGreat strength, invulnerabilityGreen LanternJimmy Weldon
ToymanJack NimballDresses as a jester; uses toy-based tactics to commit crimesCreates destructive toysSupermanFrank Welker

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.

Members of the team have solo appearances in later episodes.

Lex Luthor appears in:

Brainiac appears in:

Bizarro appears in:

Riddler appears in:

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]


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.

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.

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]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

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.

Footnotes[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