Secret Society of Super Villains
Secret Society of Super Villains (SSoSV) is a DC Comics title that debuted in May–June 1976. The series presented a group of DC's supervillains, mostly foes of the Justice League of America. The series was cancelled with issue #15 in July 1978, as part of the DC Implosion, a period when DC suddenly cancelled dozens of comics.
|Secret Society of Super Villains|
|First appearance||Secret Society of Super Villains #1 (May–June 1976)|
|Created by||Gerry Conway (writer)|
Pablo Marcos (artist)
|Member(s)||List of Secret Society of Super Villains members|
In the decades following the cancellation of the original book, the fictional group has returned in many forms.
Editor Gerry Conway created the team to be "a kind of 'evil' Justice League", inspired by the "Rogues Gallery" that fellow editor Julie Schwartz created for the Flash. Since other editors were somewhat possessive towards the more popular DC Comics supervillains, Conway resorted to sifting through DC's back issues in search of members, finally selecting a lineup of relatively obscure and/or forgotten villains. Conway said, "Obviously, this was lifted from Dick Tracy, but having costumed villains with a shared goal — even if it was simply the destruction of their common enemy — seems to be something that was unique to DC."
Custom in those years was for the editor to bring the finished inks of an issue in to [editorial director] Carmine [Infantino] for a cover conference, during which Carmine would usually sketch a cover design in pen on typing paper. While I wasn’t in the room, I clearly recall Gerry coming back down the hall to his office, confused, as Carmine had looked through the issue wanting to see the villains’ clubhouse or headquarters, and when that wasn’t in the book, asking Gerry to redo it. In my time at DC in Carmine’s years, this was the most significant change in an issue I recall his asking for at that late stage.
In the original story, Darkseid (demanding to be called the Director) founds the group under the title of the Brotherhood of Crime in a bid to hold the world ransom by stealing the world's deadliest nerve gas. The group, made up of Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Clayface, Star Sapphire, and a clone of the Manhunter, turns on their benefactor when the Manhunter raises the issue of Darkseid's history of trying to enslave humanity. Darkseid is revealed to be an android. The Manhunter suspects Darkseid controls it from afar and suggests forming the Secret Society of Super Villains to combat Darkseid while pursuing their own goals.
In the revised first issue, the team's lineup included Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, Star Sapphire and the Manhunter from the original conception, and added the Mirror Master, the Copperhead, Sinestro, the Shadow Thief and the Wizard.
Starting from the second issue, the comic's standard hero is Captain Comet. Conway said, "I wanted a regular 'lead hero' for the villains to interact with." The inclusion of a regular hero in the book helped to avoid Comics Code Authority concerns about presenting villains in a positive light.
Due to the delays caused by having to redo the first issue from scratch, Conway assigned David Anthony Kraft to script the next three issues of Secret Society of Super Villains over his plots. After issue #4, both Conway and Kraft abruptly left DC, leading to a mad scramble to produce a fill-in issue.
Jack C. Harris took over as editor, and Conway returned as writer only with issue #8, but artists on the series rotated nearly as often as the lineup of the titular supergroup, with Rich Buckler, Mike Vosburg, and Dick Ayers all contributing short stints as pencilers, while inkers changed from issue to issue. Harris felt that the series' mediocre sales might have been partly his fault: "The cover concepts were one of my editorial duties. Rich Buckler turned my ideas into the best he could do, but I never felt as if my ideas were good enough for his art. I think there was a ‘sameness’ to my ideas which might have hurt the title in that casual readers might have missed buying an issue because they thought they’d already seen it".
Secret Society of Super Villains was cancelled with issue #15 as part of the DC Implosion. Issue #16 was already at the printer at the time of the cancellation and would have been the final issue, but writer Bob Rozakis appealed to DC to pull the issue since it was the beginning of a three-part story and he did not want to leave the readers hanging. Issue #17 was near completion at the time, and both it and issue #16 would see publication (of a sort) in the privately printed Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2. Issue #18, which concluded the three-part story, was scripted but never drawn. Rozakis later revealed where the story would have gone had the series not been cancelled in a weekly column for Silver Bullet Comics.
This series, along with the unpublished issues #16 and 17, were collected in a two-volume hardcover edition, with the volumes published in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
First organized by Darkseid, the Secret Society of Super Villains were based out of the Sinister Citadel in San Francisco. From early on, the team was plagued with power struggles. Lex Luthor, the Wizard, Gorilla Grodd, and Funky Flashman all sought to control the powerful team; the Manhunter (the team's first leader) and Captain Comet, on the other hand, sought to divert the villains' evil ways into a more positive channel. After discovering the true identity of their benefactor, the team rebelled against the alien overlord. To quash their uprising, Darkseid sent Mantis and Kalibak. At the end of the struggle, the Manhunter sacrificed himself to seemingly kill Darkseid. After this, the team splintered, with Luthor, the Wizard, Gorilla Grodd and Flashman leading the team at different times. However, the Wizard proved to be the most tenacious and created the definitive incarnation of the SSoSV. They went on to fight the original Crime Syndicate of America of Earth-Three and the Justice Society of America. While traveling between dimensions, back on Earth-1 the Silver Ghost, the Mirror Master and the Copperhead formed yet another team and fought the Freedom Fighters.
The Wizard's group eventually returned from Earth-2 and battled against the Justice League of America aboard their satellite headquarters. At one point in the battle, the two teams swapped bodies, allowing the supervillains to discover the true identities of their enemies. After gaining the upper hand, the Justice League wiped the memories of the supervillains, precipitating Identity Crisis and the formation of the current Society years later.
The Ultra-Humanite's SocietyEdit
The next incarnation of the Secret Society appeared in 1981, headquartered in a new Sinister Citadel in Nepal, and was created by the Ultra-Humanite, who organized foes of both Earth-One's Justice League and Earth-Two's Justice Society. This version of the Society consisted of the Ultra-Humanite, Brainwave I, Killer Frost I, the Cheetah II, the Signalman, the Floronic Man, the Monocle, the Rag Doll I, the Mist I, and the Psycho-Pirate II, and marked the first appearance of the now-classic albino ape body of the Ultra-Humanite. After capturing and sending 10 heroes of the JSA and JLA to Limbo, the Society was betrayed by the Ultra-Humanite, who had his own agenda. In response, the betrayed villains of Earth-1 freed the 10 heroes and attacked the Ultra-Humanite. The entire Secret Society of Super-Villains was incarcerated in Limbo by the JLA and JSA.
The Ultra-Humanite contacted his younger self in 1942, who helped to break out the SSoSV using the power of Brainwave. The ape Ultra-Humanite attacked Infinity, Inc. in the modern day, while the rest of the SSoSV battled against the All-Star Squadron in 1942. The villains were defeated and returned to their proper times.
The SSoSV in time grew into a large underground group with dozens of villains holding membership in various scattered cells. After the reformation of the JLA, the seven superheroes decided to infiltrate and shut down this new Society. Disguising himself as the deceased Brainwave I, the Martian Manhunter lured the villains to one spot where they were defeated by the JLA. As the tale was told by the Rainbow Raider to Sonar III, it is uncertain whether this tale actually happened. At the very least, there may have been some embellishment.
Alexander Luthor Jr.'s SocietyEdit
After the defeat of the last incarnation of the SSoSV, a great amount of time would pass before villains would band together in any sort of large organization. Fueled by rumors of the mindwiping of Dr. Light, a new Society emerged. This Society was founded by Alexander Luthor Jr. posing as Lex Luthor, along with five other supervillains: the Calculator, Doctor Psycho, Deathstroke the Terminator, Talia al Ghul, and Black Adam.
Alexander Luthor Jr.'s intent was to gather together a cadre of supervillains to retrieve several key superheroes who have ties to the Multiverse, in order to harness their residual temporal vibrations to recreate the Multiverse through a giant "tuning fork" tower similar to the ones seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Only the Psycho-Pirate II, who remembered the Multiverse, knew of this plan, as Alexander Luthor Jr. lied to the members of his inner circle, telling them that he was building a massive mind-erasing machine to use against all of the heroes in the DC Universe.
Playing on the fear of superheroes, retaliation for refusal, and the desire for power, Alexander created a Society the size of which (over 500 members) is larger than all previous incarnations combined. Out of all the villains in the DC Universe, the only one not even offered an invitation was the Joker on the grounds that he was "too wild".
The group, referred to simply as the Society, was featured in the miniseries Villains United as background characters and foils for the new Secret Six (consisting of six villains recruited by the real Lex Luthor, who refused their invitation to join the Society). The follow-up one-shot issue Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1 focused on the Society itself as they enacted Alexander Luthor Jr.'s back-up plan to conquer Earth in the event that his main plan failed. This led to a final battle, referred to as the Battle of Metropolis, where the Society, led by Doctor Psycho and Doomsday, made their final battle against the various heroes of the DC Universe.
At the end of Infinite Crisis, Alexander Luthor Jr. was killed by the Joker (as his revenge on Alexander Luthor Jr. for not including him in the Society), who was brought to him by Lex Luthor. Black Adam, betrayed by Alexander Luthor Jr., fought the Society in the Battle of Metropolis, tearing off Amazo's head, and returned to Khandaq to rule full-time.
One Year LaterEdit
One Year Later, most of the Society's inner circle is either in prison or has resigned from the group. Doctor Psycho was captured by the authorities after the Battle of Metropolis and is on trial in the Manhunter series; he has also appeared in Secret Six and Wonder Woman. Deathstroke the Terminator was apprehended by the Green Arrow, but escaped and started recruiting members for the Titans East.
With Talia returning to rule the League of Assassins, the Calculator remains the only original member of the "inner council" left running the Society.
Not long after the Society's dissolution, Checkmate instigated a crackdown on all villains in the DC Universe, who were captured and exiled to a prison planet as seen in the Salvation Run miniseries. The group included almost every villain in the DC universe, with rare exceptions. Though the villains escaped back to Earth, their desire for revenge drives the Society to depose Lex Luthor and replace him with a leader who promises them what they desire...the mysterious Libra.
Libra, a follower of Intergang's "Religion of Crime" and secretly an agent of Darkseid, leads the Secret Society in their role as Darkseid's ground troops as part of the Final Crisis storyline. Promising to fulfill the hearts desires of his subordinates, Libra murders the Martian Manhunter for new recruit the Human Flame. He also arranges for Clayface to cause an explosion at the Daily Planet, killing and maiming dozens of Superman's closest friends and mortally wounding his wife Lois in the process, to try to seduce the disgruntled Luthor to his side and draw Superman to Libra.
With most of the Society, including Vandal Savage, behind him, Libra reveals his true self to Lex Luthor as the villain turns on the Human Flame by forcing a mind-control helmet onto the villain's face, exposing him to the Anti-Life Equation and turning him into a mindless slave warrior known as a Justifier. Faced with the threat of being forced to become a Justifier himself, Luthor agrees to become Libra and Darkseid's servant. With help from Doctor Sivana and the Calculator, Lex Luthor ultimately turns against Libra and forces him to retreat. With Sivana's help, Luthor and the mind-controlled legions of Justifiers helped Superman in battle against the last remaining forces of Darkseid, the Fury Riders. Luthor and Sivana then proceed to help Superman build the Miracle Machine to save the Earth, though the two are only allowed to work on sections of the machine due to the risk of them stealing the designs for future villainous schemes.
In Final Crisis: Revelations, the third Spectre kills Doctor Light and melts the Effigy before trying to take on Libra. Sister Wrack of the Religion of Crime impales Vandal Savage with the Spear of Destiny, causing Vandal Savage to be reborn as Cain. Cain then seeks out the Spectre and easily overwhelms him, followed by Cain impaling the Spectre with the Spear of Destiny. It separates the Spectre from host Crispus Allen as Renee Montoya and Radiant carry his body into the church. Cain later controls the Spectre and has it recite the Anti-Life Equation to recreate the world in Darkseid's name. Cain manages to stab Renee with the Spear of Destiny. Renee manages to grab the Spear and use its powers to restore the world and Crispus' life. Reuniting with the Spectre, Crispus uses his judgement to kill Cain's followers, but could not kill Cain. The Spectre casts Cain out into the world with no chance of peace until God decides to grant him otherwise.
In Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, the Rogues withdraw from Libra's Society and plot to take revenge on a movement-restored Inertia before they retire. However, Libra uses his New Rogues to target the Rogues and forces them to join up with Libra by doing various things to those close to them. Even with the New Rogues slain by the Rogues, Libra does not give up that easily. They still turn down Libra even after Zoom is de-powered by Inertia, who is then killed by the Rogues.
From an idea by T. O. Morrow during and after Final Crisis, the Cheetah III assigned several scientific members of a new Secret Society (such as Professor Ivo and Doctor Poison) to collect soil samples from various regions of Earth in which acts of genocide occurred. They plan to use the soil to form a new villain named Genocide. Genocide is brought to life through a combination of science and the magic of Felix Faust. They are successful in doing so, but soon after an enraged Wonder Woman defeats a small team of members consisting of Shrapnel, the Firefly, Phobia and T. O. Morrow. After telling them to disband the team, Wonder Woman then destroys their home base skyscraper building.
The New 52Edit
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, the Secret Society's origins are traced to two shadowy figures (one of whom is later revealed to be Professor Ivo) who meet to discuss the growing superhero community. The Secret Society is officially uncovered five years later by the Green Arrow, who is injured while trying to infiltrate the organization under the name the Dark Hunter on behalf of the Justice League of America (at that time, a state-sponsored group, separate from the Justice League led by Superman). The mysterious leader of the Secret Society, originally only known as "the Outsider", spreads out photographs of the different supervillains in front of him and says "It's recruitment time starting with Scarecrow". The mysterious leader successfully convinces the Scarecrow to join the Secret Society. The Justice League of America sends the Catwoman to infiltrate the Secret Society by sending her to Arkham Asylum and then letting her escape. When she does, she runs into the Blockbuster I and the Signalman on the rooftops, where she ends up knocked out and wakes up strapped to a chair in an empty room. While waiting for a meeting with the leader of the Secret Society, the Catwoman frees herself from the chair that she was strapped to. When the Catwoman meets with Professor Ivo, who plans to bring her to the banquet hall to meet the leader of the Secret Society, she knocks out Professor Ivo, only for her to be strangled into unconsciousness by the Copperhead moments later. The Catwoman wakes up strapped to the chair again, with a pale man clad in purple standing in front of her. He demands to know what she and her friends are doing there. He is aware of the Justice League of America's encounter with the Shaggy Man (this version being created by Professor Ivo) and Dr. Light's attempts to access their communication systems. He warns that Arthur Light is about to receive an unpleasant call. As Arthur Light begins hearing a voice from the object, the pale man puts a gun to the Catwoman's head and orders her to start talking. Instead, she warns that if he kills her, the Batman will stop at nothing to find them. This, however, is exactly what the Secret Society wants. Dr. Light is suddenly knocked back by a burst of light, just as the pale man pulls the trigger, leaving the Catwoman apparently dead on the floor of the concrete room. The Secret Society's leader has the Signalman and the Copperhead drop off the Catwoman's body at the Batman's doorstep. The Catwoman soon comes back to life and it is discovered that the Catwoman present is actually the Martian Manhunter in disguise. The Martian Manhunter and the Catwoman then fight the Outsider and the Blockbuster. When the Manhunter and the Catwoman finish with the Blockbuster, they hunt down the Outsider, who seems to know all about their real identities. However, his identity is still a mystery to them. The Martian Manhunter attempts to use his telepathy to discover it, but he senses he is blocked from doing so. Despite that, the Outsider allows the Martian Manhunter the opportunity to see into his mind. The Martian Manhunter is surprised to learn this man watched his world die as he did. While pursuing Professor Ivo, the Green Arrow finds him in a room with the captive A.R.G.U.S. agent Chronos trapped in a chair with electric energy. When the engine he is stuck in is activated (and it has just been) Chronos causes a temporal neutral field to envelope the manor, causing it to freeze in place throughout time, while Earth turns...which means Earth moves, not the manor. Thanks to the coins the Society have been given, they are able to stay within the manor without issue, but the Justice League of America will face a very painful death if they do not leave the house soon. After the Justice League of America escape from the manor, the Outsider comments to the Martian Manhunter that it was nice to see him "again".
At the start of the "Trinity War" storyline, the Outsider has sent Plastique to prevent Madame Xanadu from warning the Justice League of her vision. The Outsider states that Pandora will soon be in the clutches of the Secret Society of Super Villains. The Outsider calls his fellow members telling them "it's time". Madame Xanadu is revealed to have been captured by the Outsider, who tells her that the Justice Leagues and the Trinity of Sin are all pieces in his game, with Superman and the Question (referred to as the pawns), the Batman, the Phantom Stranger, and Wonder Woman (referred to as the knights), all moving away from Pandora (referred to as the queen), leaving her unprotected. Madame Xanadu retorts that she does not need to see the future to know that the Justice League will defeat him. The Outsider replies that he has already won, since he has a mole in the Justice League. The Outsider orders Plastique to infiltrate A.R.G.U.S. to plant a bomb on Doctor Light's body. It is revealed at the end of the storyline that the Outsider is actually the Alfred Pennyworth of Earth-3 and he uses Pandora's Box to open a gateway to allow the Crime Syndicate of America to arrive on Prime Earth. The formation of the Secret Society was to have members ready for the Crime Syndicate once they arrived.
During the "Forever Evil" storyline, the Crime Syndicate furthers their goals by springing inmates from Arkham Asylum, Belle Reve Penitentiary, and Iron Heights Penitentiary in order to expand the Secret Society of Super Villains and establish their rule over this reality.
The Society reappears in DC Rebirth, where its members consist of Vandal Savage, Hector Hammond, the Riddler, Professor Zoom the Reverse-Flash, Black Manta, the Ultra-Humanite, Deadline, the Raptor, and Killer Frost, with Lex Luthor being established as a former member. They place Deathstroke the Terminator on trial while debating whether he is truly reformed or not; however, the Riddler proves via Hammond's telepathic abilities that Deathstroke is 'evil'.
|First appearance||JLA Secret Files and Origins 2004|
|Created by||Kurt Busiek|
|Base(s)||Undisclosed location in the nation of Modora (on an alternate Earth)|
Sir Solomon Grundy
The Justice Underground is a fictional superhero team in the DC Multiverse. The Justice Underground is an alternative version of the Secret Society of Super Villains from the Anti-Matter Universe.
The Underground experienced some temporary victories in their battles with the Syndicate, both as a team and individually. For example, the Quizmaster's underground connections allowed him to interfere with the supplies needed by the Crime Syndicate for various operations, such as the speed serum that Johnny Quick requires to maintain his super speed.
One by one the Justice Underground members were all defeated, captured or killed. For example, Ultraman (the antimatter Superman) rendered Sir Solomon Grundy inert on a Saturday, and Lady Sonar sustained massive injuries from having her sonic abilities reflected back to her by Power Ring (the antimatter Green Lantern). Lady Sonar was forced to replace much of her shattered body with bionic implants. It was in this form that she resided as the guardian of Modora, the final free nation of the Anti-Matter Earth.
Upon her home's invasion, Lady Sonar was successful in defeating Johnny Quick (the antimatter Flash) by temporarily shifting his body out of phase with reality. She was eventually destroyed by the Owlman (the antimatter Batman) and the rest of the Crime Syndicate when they finally conquered Modora. She was placed into cryogenic storage alongside her teammates, ready to be reanimated in a zombified state if the Syndicate decides it necessary. Their remains are located in the Crime Syndicate's Panopticon on the Moon's surface.
The Justice Underground was released by the Martian Manhunter as a team of associate JLA members reversed back into the matter universe. It is unclear how they were able to recover from their injuries, though it could be inferred that the Owlman healed their injuries while they were in stasis.
- the Quizmaster (the antimatter Riddler) – The Quizmaster is the leader and the smartest man alive. He does not have any superpowers. His incredibly high IQ and knowledge of almost all disciplines enabled him to be as effective a fighter as any of his compatriots with superpowers.
- Sir Solomon Grundy (the antimatter Solomon Grundy) – Sir Solomon Grundy is a distinguished, poised mountain of a man. During an aerial bombardment of Dover, he was blasted to life out of the white rock. Sir Solomon appears to be identical in physical appearance to Solomon Grundy, with the exception of a trimmed mustache and a small goatee. In keeping with his educated personality, Sir Solomon dresses himself as a 19th-century Englishman would and speaks accordingly. His super strength and invulnerability made him a formidable hero.
- General Grodd (the antimatter Gorilla Grodd) – General Grodd is a renegade freedom fighter from a militaristic ape nation.
- Star Sapphire (the antimatter Star Sapphire) – This version of Star Sapphire is a knight-errant from the other side of the galaxy.
- Lady Sonar (the antimatter Sonar) – Lady Sonar is a female version of Sonar.
- the Q Ranger (the antimatter Major Force) – The "quantum-powered dynamo".
The original comic book series was scheduled to be collected into a trade paperback entitled Showcase Presents: The Secret Society of Super Villains (collects SSoSV #1–17, 520 pages, ISBN 978-1-4012-1587-3), but that project was cancelled. Instead, it was collected into two hardcover volumes. They are:
- The Secret Society of Super Villains Volume 1 (collects SSoSV #1–10), August 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3109-8.
- The Secret Society of Super Villains Volume 2 (collects SSoSV #11–15, DC Special #27, DC Special Series #6, Super-Team Family #13–14, Justice League of America #166–168 and the unpublished SSoSV #16–17 from Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2), March 2012, ISBN 978-1401231101
In other mediaEdit
- The Secret Society made numerous appearances in the DCAU.
- In Justice League, Gorilla Grodd and Giganta (who was fiercely loyal to Grodd) formed the Secret Society with Killer Frost (who just likes to kill people), Sinestro (who has sworn a blood oath against all Green Lanterns), the Parasite (who simply hated Superman) and the Shade (who was offered the chance by Grodd to be a criminal). In its formation, Grodd took pains to encourage a more cohesive organization in order to avoid the infighting of Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang. His first plan was to rescue Clayface from Morgan Edge's mansion, where Killer Frost froze Morgan. Grodd tells Clayface that he will help him find a way to return him to his true identity of Matt Hagen after they defeat the Justice League. The Secret Society defeated the Justice League the first time, but The Secret Society was defeated by the Justice League in the second battle.
- In Justice League Unlimited, Grodd renewed his attempts to create a new Secret Society, with a swamp-based headquarters resembling the Legion of Doom's Hall of Doom, to take on the expanded Justice League by recruiting Lex Luthor and any villain he could obtain. Grodd succeeded with the creation of a massive co-operative, where he would manage the villains and have them provide each other with backup in case of Justice League intervention (in exchange for Grodd getting a cut of the profits of any successful schemes). To keep anyone from finding out about the Secret Society, every member had their brains shielded from telepathy and wired to short out in case a member was captured and forced to reveal details about the Secret Society. After the revelation that Grodd's ultimate plan in the creation of the team was the ludicrous transformation of humanity into apes, Lex Luthor ousted him and assumed the position as leader, with no objections from the membership. 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 Society, leading to a battle between members loyal to either Grodd or Luthor. As the battle ends, the members who were loyal to Grodd were frozen by Killer Frost. When the Secret Society reaches the site of Brainiac's defeat, Luthor used Tala's magic to restore Brainiac, despite a sudden warning from the New God Metron. Luthor accidentally resurrected Darkseid instead, who rewards Luthor for his help by destroying the Secret Society's base in a fiery explosion. 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, which allowed the remnants of the Secret Society to make it back to Earth to warn the Justice League of Darkseid's return.
- In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Deep Cover for Batman!", a version of the alternate Secret Society group Justice Underground appears. This group is led by the Red Hood (this reality's Joker) and had alternate versions of Black Manta, the Clock King, Doctor Polaris, the Gentleman Ghost, Gorilla Grodd, and Sinestro, while the alternate versions of the Brain and the Kite Man appear in a flashback. After a battle with the Injustice Syndicate, most of the group was captured, but the Red Hood remained free as he attempted to contact the Batman's world to look for new allies. The Batman soon arrived (while disguised as his evil counterpart the Owlman) and was able to help free the heroes and help capture the Injustice Syndicate.
- In Young Justice, a group of villains known as the Light, have similarities to, and motives comparable with those of, the Secret Society of Super Villains: they implement plans to, as they put it, make the people of Earth "see the light". The group was founded by Vandal Savage to counteract the Justice League's role in preserving society's "calcified status quo". In his view, the League directly inhibited mankind by protecting it from disaster, crime, and tragedy—factors needed for humanity to evolve. To counteract this, the Light worked on creating or co-opting networks of recruited operatives, placing various key individuals into various key positions, and exploring the boundaries of any and all new technologies, across the globe. This would enable them to expose humankind to the aforementioned factors and allow them to accelerate human evolution with as little resistance as possible from the League. Genetic engineering, biochemical engineering, robotics, nano-robotics, techno-sorcery, and all conceivable means of mind control were all explored by the Light in this quest, with a resurgent Earth "taking its rightful place at the center of the cosmos" appearing to be the Light's ultimate goal, and they are responsible for almost every threat "the Team" faces in the series. The members of The Light in the first season are Vandal Savage, Ra's al Ghul, Lex Luthor, the Queen Bee, the Ocean Master, the Brain, and Klarion, with the Sportsmaster acting as their enforcer. In season 2, Black Manta replaces the Ocean Master, and Deathstroke replaces the Sportsmaster as their enforcer, while the Reach and Darkseid have become their silent partners. After the Reach was defeated in season 2, as per the Light's plans, Darkseid is left as the Light's only partner. In season 3, Deathstroke, the Ultra-Humanite, and Granny Goodness, posing as an earthling named Gretchen Goode, replace Ra's Al Ghul, the Brain, and Black Manta, respectively, while Lady Shiva takes Deathstroke's place as their enforcer. Near the end of the season however, Darkseid moves against the Light to fulfill what has been his ultimate goal, to acquire the Anti-Life Equation and use it to spread his influence across the entire universe. Despite Vandal Savage helping the Team to locate and get to Granny Goodness, who is testing the Equation's effects, Darkseid's servant succeeds in using said Equation to enslave both the young heroes and a majority of the Justice League, before using it to begin enslaving the universe. However, with some initial help by an intervention from the Outsiders, Victor Stone allows the heroes to be freed from the equation's control, and thus they foil the plan. After this, the Light and Darkseid seemingly agree to reconcile their partnership, though Vandal Savage can secretly confirm how much of a potential threat Darkseid is now. By the end of the season, Markovian ambassador Zviad Baazovi replaces Granny Goodness, using his psionic powers to assist them in future endeavors, like having Geo-Force be made the new King of Markovia.
- A version of the alternate Secret Society group the Justice Underground appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. The group's lineup includes a heroic Lex Luthor and the Jester (this reality's Joker) along with his monkey sidekick Harley. After the Jester sacrifices himself to take out two Crime Syndicate members in an explosion, the heroic Lex Luthor evades the Syndicate's leaders and flees to the Justice League's Earth to seek their help.
- Justice Underground appears in DC Universe Online under the leadership of Alexander Luthor of Earth-3.
- An alternate reality version of the Secret Society of Super Villains appears in Injustice 2. Led by Gorilla Grodd, the group consists of Bane, Poison Ivy, the Scarecrow, Deadshot, the Cheetah, Captain Cold and Professor Zoom the Reverse-Flash. Although the Catwoman was originally considered to be one of its members, it is revealed that she is a double agent working for the Batman. The "Society" intend to fill the power void left after the Justice League and the Insurgency defeated High Councillor Superman and his Regime. Also, Grodd is serving Brainiac and sends the Society members to keep the Justice League busy, while Brainiac continues ravaging the planet. The Society is disbanded after its members learn that Brainiac's goal is to destroy the planet, rather than to conquer it.
- A team called the Brotherhood of Justice (an alternate version of the Brotherhood of Evil) appears in Teen Titans Go! #48. This roster consists of parallel Earth counterparts of General Immortus, Psimon, Mammoth, Doctor Light and Madame Rouge. Only the parallel Earth Madame Rouge has a name, that being Gemini. All the other members have the same names as their counterparts. Their appearances are altered, however. General Immortus is powerless, has blue hair and resembles a military general with a blue uniform, Doctor Light is female and based on Kimiyo Hoshi, Psimon has apricot skin, his brain is not exposed (with hair replacing the jar containing it) and he wears a white face guard with three red dots in the center (resembling Braniac's), and Mammoth has a younger appearance, visible pupils in his eyes, and a yellow M-shaped band formation. Gemini wears a blue costume and has lighter skin. Gemini served as a double agent to the Teen Tyrants (the parallel Earth Teen Titans), posing as Blackfire (the parallel Earth Starfire, whose location and existence are unknown) to infiltrate them. After the Teen Titans are defeated by their counterparts, Gemini reveals herself and brings in the rest of the Brotherhood to defeat the Teen Tyrants, which they succeed in doing.
- Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
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