Made up of several of the world's best assassins, the Killer Elite live
up to their names. It is unknown why these usually solitary killers decided
to join forces, and unknown if they are still operate as a team. All of its
members were first gathered together shortly after Neron's campaign to enslave
Earth's super-villains (Underworld Unleashed; Justice League
America #105) It is likely that some or all of these assassins sold their
souls to Neron in exchange for some boon.
Deadshot and the Killer
Elite competed against the Body Doubles for a contract from
Requiem Inc., who wanted to kill a man named Richter. Deadshot surreptitiously
sabotaged his team's victory because he was dating Body Double Carmen Leno
at the time. (Body
They were next seen when the Joker infected a host of super-villains with
his mania. The Killer Elite laid siege to Iron Heights prison, but were beaten
back by its warden, Gregory Wolfe, who killed Deadline. The rest
were teleported away from there by Warp to the Keystone City Jail, where Deadshot
Captain Boomerang. They were all brought into custody by the Flash. (Flash
The group was led by Deadshot (who
had long served in the Suicide
Squad) and included Bolt (deceased Suicide Squad v.2 #3,
returned Identity Crisis #1);
Chiller, Deadline (who was killed by Warden Wolfe, Flash v.2 #179);
and former League
of Assassins member, Merlyn.
NOTE: Two things seem off here. Deadshot more or less
humiliated Deadline in Suicide Squad #65, and it is unlikey they'd work together
after this. Also, in the Body Doubles issue Deadshot's personality is drastically
altered. This should be considered apocryphal.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice
League America #105 (11.95)
» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Body Doubles: New Years Evil #1 • Justice League America #34
Created by John Byrne
Robert Quinlan is a gifted scientist to developed a virtual reality
traning system for the military. On it's first combat scenario, however, all
the troops linked to its mainframe perished. Presumably, the government then
severed ties with Quinlan, who continued to develop the system. He built a secret
facility located in Maryland simply known as the Campus; and for
test subjects, Quinlan turned to the streets. He began recruiting teenagers
to volunteer for training. Usually, the Lab Rats (as they refer to themselves)
have nowhere else to go, and are easily persuaded. It's a dangerous life for
these kids; several have perished in successive trials. Some however, excel.
On their first recorded mission, the group (Wu, Alex, Dana, Poe and
Gia) managed to short-circuit the system through sheer will-power. Gia,
however, lost her life. In this virtual world, one's death is mirrored in reality.
(Lab Rats #1)
After this trauma, Quinlan sent the group on a supposed vacation. Secretly,
however, he had sent them to check up on his friend, Abigail Gooss. Mother
Goose, as she was called had created the ultimate theme park, Wonderland. By
employing genetic engineers, Gooss gave life to the dragons, trolls and fairies
needed to populate her artifical world. The Lab Rats discovered that the creatures
were sentient and that Gooss was the mindless pawn of her evil associates. In
truth, these men had hoped to profit from the death of innocents and beasts
alike in Wonderland. The kids freed Gooss, who tripped Wonderland's self destruct
mechanism and all the artificial beings died. Sadly, the group lost Alex on
this mission when he was burned by a dragon.
Other known members of the team include the injured-listed Trilby and
newcomer, Isaac.These kids also ventured into the future where
they confronted and evil tyrant Superman, and they explore an alien spacecraft
that seemed to exist in different dimensions and eras at the same time. At the
end of their last mission all the surviving Lab Rats were killed. Quinlan, summed
up his feelings about their sacrifice: We find another bunch of Lab Rats
and we start over. The childrens' sacrifice meant nothing to their superiors.
What was the end to this story?
This series was creator-owned, so DC does not have the rights to publish
them without Byrne. But why would they want to?
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Lab
» SERIES: Lab
Rats, 8 issues (2002-03)
The L.A.W. (Lethal Assault Weapons)
Charlton Comics Action Heroes
This group of heroes represents the characters formerly published by Charlton
Comics in the 1960s and later purchased by DC in 1983 (when their co-creator,
Dick Giordano, was a DC editor). The characters first officially appeared at
DC in the Crisison Infinite Earths maxi-series,
but most of them had their official DC in-continuity debuts shortly thereafter.
Only the Charlton history of Judomaster and Tiger remained intact; the other
heroes were completely reinvented. The L.A.W. #4
contains flashbacks to the W.W.II era, and DCU Heroes Secret Files places
Judomaster's debut at 1941.
Before the formation of the L.A.W., there was one grouping of these heroes
in Justice League Quarterly #14. This team included Captain
Atom, Blue Beetle, Sarge Steel,
Nightshade, Peter Cannon and Judomaster II.
The L.A.W. was formed when Avatar (formerly Judomaster's partner
Tiger) kidnapped the JLA. During this adventure, Dr. Fate transformed Nightshade
and a new Peacemaker debuted. It was later revealed that Tiger split from
Judomaster after W.W.II and became bitter towards his old mentor. (The L.A.W. #4)
Captain Atom donned his "Kingdom
Come" costume, which was inspired by his original Charlton look, in
L.A.W. #6. At the resolution of the case, the members intended to
continue on as a team, but they were never seen grouped again.
These Action Heroes were also grouped together in Kingdom
Come #1 (which was also the first appearance of a female Judomaster).
The Charlton heroes were also the inspiration for the legendary
characters of The Watchmen. They were changed when writer Alan Moore
wanted to take the story in a different direction.
The Blue Beetle was recently killed by Maxwell Lord. (DC
Countdown) In the ensuing Crisis, Nightshade joined a group of mystics
to form the Shadowpact (Day of Vengeance #1) and
Judomaster was killed by Bane (Infinite
Crisis #7) The Question later died of cancer (52 #38) and
was succeeded by Renee Montoya. A new female Judomaster joined the Birds
of Prey and the original Judomaster's son, Tommy, joined Checkmate.
actually made an appearance prior to the L.A.W. #1 in Guy Gardner:
Warrior #29. This was, however, a "joke panel" set in the Warriors
bar. In it, Thunderbolt invites Judomaster to join a limbo contest going on
in the back of the bar, to which Judomaster replies "I've had my fill
of Limbo." —Thanks to Eric Singer
» FIRST APPEARANCE: The
L.A.W. #1 (September 1999)
Killed by Bane, Infinite Crisis #7;
his son, Tommy Jagger, serves in Checkmate
Nightshade (Eve Eden)
Captain Atom #82
Suicide Squad #1
Active in adventuring
Peacemaker II (Mitchell
Justice League Int'l v.2 #65
Killed in Infinite Crisis #7
The Question (Vic Sage)
Blue Beetle #1
Blue Beetle #5
Died of cancer, 52 #38
Sarge Steel (Sergeant Steel)
Sarge Steel #1
Active in adventuring
Avatar / Tiger ("Tiger" Tanaka)
Active as a villain
Blue Beetle (Dan
Secret Origins #2
Judomaster II (unknown)
Justice League Quarterly #14
Judomaster III (Sonia
Birds of Prey #100
Active in adventuring
Deceased Eclipso #13 (11.93)
Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt (none)
Peter Cannon #1
Active in adventuring (character not owned by DC)
League of Ancients
In 1043 BCE, after Atlantis had long been under the sea, a the blond-haired
girl named Gamemnae was expelled from the city because of superstition.
The girl was raised amidst sorcery and in the year 1020 BCE, Gamemnae
returned to Atlantis to raise the city above the waters. She became their queen,
and in order to ensure her reign, she gained godlike powers by magically binding her soul to
the continent. This bond could not be broken unless
the continent itself was destroyed. (JLA #75)
Gamemnae eventually met the statesman, Rama Khan, who had traveled from
Jarhanpur to Atlantis seeking allies. He was instantly ensnared by Gamemnae,
and the pair led the nation to greatness, Atlantis' Obsidian
Age. But the appearance of Khan "ruling" by her side was merely
Gamemnae's magicks at work. (#70)
In 1015 BCE, their empire was invaded—by itself! As part of a magical
contingency plan, all of 21st century Atlantis was shunted 3,000 years
into the past. (JLA: Our Worlds at War) This plan was enacted by its modern
day ruler, Aquaman.
When these Atlanteans arrived in the past, they did not expect to find the city above water,
and many citizens suffocated in the air. Aquaman led
the survivors to the water, and Gamemnae trapped him in a magical pool. Beneath the waves, the remainder of Aquaman's
people (including his wife, Mera) were enslaved. (JLA #72)
Gamemnae realized the threat posed by Aquaman's allies, should they come
for him. So in 1004 BCE, the witch crafted a dire "prophesy" (voiced through Rama Khan) which claimed that Atlantis would be threatened by seven
destroyers. In order to arm themselves, she and
Rama Khan recruited heroes from across the globe (even rival societies)
to form a multicultural League
One, a powerhouse Hebrew creature who rivaled Superman and could emit
sonic waves from his mouth.
Manitou Raven, a North American magician. His people were the ancestors
of modern day Apache people.
Sela, the insatiable African warrior woman. She worshipped a trio
Tezumak, the armored warrior of a brutal society (perhaps Olmec).
The power from his gods required child sacrifice.
The Whaler, who weilded a mystical green energy. (JLA
#70, JLA/JSA Secret Files)
the League knew nothing of Aquaman or his special imprisonment, nor that these
supposed "destroyers" were likely to be Aquaman's allies from the future. Manitou
Raven and Tezumak were chosen to travel
to the 21st century for a preemptive attack to destroy the JLA. (JLA
#66) They failed, and instead led the
JLA back to ancient Atlantis in search of Aquaman. (JLA
#68) The JLA quickly discovered Aquaman's essence trapped
in the pool (#70) and located Mera
and the remainder of her people. (#72)
Gamemnae's power proved too much on her native soil, and the Ancients succeeded in
slaying the entire JLA. This battle turned the tides in Atlantis, though. Manitou Raven had his doubts all along about Gamemnae. In the end, he sided with Green Lantern end her tyranny and save the lives of the JLA. Raven used Kyle Rayner's heart as a sacrifice to power a spell that preserved the JLA's souls. It also cast a containment spell around Atlantis, effectively trapping
Gamemnae inside. (#74)
Three millennia later, the JLA's successors found Raven, traveled back to ancient Atlantis and broke the spell; the JLA, Aquaman, and Gamemnae were all released. Aquaman then made the fateful decision to re-sink Atlantis. This process cut Gamemnae off from her power for good. (#75)
Though the Ancients themselves were not without battle scars, some may have survived. Both Rama Khan and the Whaler were literally absorbed by Gamemnae herself. (#74-75) She intended to do the same to the other League members; the Anointed One was seen battling her just before she was imprisoned by Manitou Raven. Ancient Atlantis fell once again beneath the waves, so if they survived, they likely returned home.
Raven and his wife, Dawn, elected to accompany the JLA back to the 21st century. (#75) Raven went on to join the JLA but soon perished in battle. (Justice League Elite #8) Dawn has since taken up the "Manitou" mantle and joined the JLA for a brief time as well. (#10)
Tezumak's fate tied him to Atlantis once again centuries later. Some time after his death, his armored hand was used to protect a powerful talisman. (Metal Men v.3 #1)
Rama Khan (which is a title rather than a name) was succeeded in his country, Jarhanpur, down to the modern day. His descendant fought the JLA as well. (JLA #62-64)
The Whaler's power seemed very much like that of the Green Lantern. However, the mystical Starheart which eventually powered Alan Scott did not fall to Earth until the first century BCE.
An international criminal organization employing some of the world's most formidable killers, including masters of ancient, modern, and super-scientific weaponry and martial arts. It was a member of the League of Assassins, the Hook, who killed aerialist Boston Brand, leading to Brand's spirit becoming the ghostly hero Deadman. (Strange Adventures #205, Secret Origins v.2 #15)
The origins and history of the League of Assassins have never been revealed, but the League has long been affiliated with, though not always loyal to, Ra's al Ghul. The Sensei, one of the League's most senior members, once described himself as "the powerful fang which protects his [Ra's al Ghul's] head." (Justice League of America v.1 #94) The organization originally had at least two distinct factions: the League of Assassins, led by Dr. Darrk, which carried out contract assassinations for third-party clients (Detective Comics #405–406, 411), and the Society of Assassins, an inner circle led by and chiefly loyal to the Sensei, consisting of elite assassins like Willie Smith, Lotus, M'Naku, and the archer Merlyn. (Strange Adventures #215–216, Brave and the Bold #86, Justice League of America #94) Both were apparently separate from the Brotherhood of the Demon, the personal forces of Ra's al Ghul himself. (Batman v.1 #232)
Although the League demands absolute obedience from its rank and file, sometimes punishing failure with death, the organization's leaders have frequently been at odds. Dr. Darrk attempted to wrest overall control of the League from Ra's by kidnapping his daughter Talia for leverage, but Talia killed Darrk instead. (Detective Comics #411) Ra's and the Sensei subsequently engaged in a protracted power struggle, which led to the Sensei's brainwashing of the martial artist Bronze Tiger; the murder (or apparent murder) of Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman(Detective #485); and the apparent deaths of both Ra's and the Sensei. (Detective #490) Both men later returned and eventually resumed their struggle for power. Their last recorded clash prior to Flashpoint(Batman #671) again saw the Sensei seemingly destroyed, leaving Ra's and Talia once more in control of the League of Assassins. (Detective #839)
In the post-Crisis universe, the Sensei was possessed for a number of years by Jonah, a century-old spirit who had been a servant of Rama Kushna, the demigod who empowered the spirit of Boston Brand. Under Jonah's control, the Sensei poured the League's resources into the development of advanced weapons capable of imprisoning or destroying spiritual entities like Deadman or Rama. The forces of the League of Assassins then invaded and laid waste to Nanda Parbat, the hidden Tibetan city that was the center of Rama's power, where Jonah and Rama Kushna apparently destroyed one another. The Sensei, no less evil outside of Jonah's domination, then withdrew his men and returned to his business and his war with Ra's al Ghul. (Deadman v.2 #1–4) Those events, which took place days after Brave and the Bold #86, cannot be easily reconciled with Deadman's subsequent pre-Crisis appearances and probably did not have any direct parallel on Earth-One.
In the reordered timeline following Infinite Crisis, neither Nanda Parbat nor Rama Kushna was destroyed (both featured prominently in 52). The Sensei of that timeline did not know the location of Nanda Parbat (later sending his inner circle, the Seven Men of Death, on a quest to find it) and had no evident interest in it other than preventing Ra's al Ghul from using the hidden city for his latest resurrection. (Batman #670–671) It's unclear if Jonah existed in that timeline or, if he did, what connection he may have had with the Sensei or the League of Assassins.
Major Assassins include:
Hook (no other name known): The man who killed Boston Brand (Deadman).
Later killed by the Sensei when Brand's twin brother Cleveland posed as
The Bronze Tiger: Ben Turner was kidnapped and brainwashed by the
Sensei to become the Bronze Tiger (he was later deprogrammed by Amanda Waller
(as revealed in Suicide Squad #38, 2.90).
Meryln, an archer who quit after his failure rather than face death.
(Justice League of America #94)
Shrike, who a ran a "Vengeance Academy" that training young
men to be ninjas and potential league members. (Robin:
Year One #3) Was killed by Two-Face (#4)
David Cain, father of Cassandra Cain (Batgirl III),
by Lady Shiva herself. Cassandra has gone on to lead the League.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Strange
Adventures #215 (Nov./Dec. 1968)
The Legion of Doom appeared in all 16 episodes of the Challenge of the
cartoon (season three of Super Friends), beginning on 9 September 1978.
For contemporary comics fans, the villains' roster included many recognizable
arch foes, and two more obscure characters for that time. One was Giganta,
the Golden Age enemy of Wonder Woman, who hadn't appeared since 1948. The other
was the greatly restyled, second Toyman.
This Toyman did actually appear in comics, but briefly. The roster was:
There were several more episodes which were unaired in the United States.
They were released in 2009 on the DVD collection Super Friends: The Lost
The above-mentioned team never appeared in the Super
Friends comic, though some of the villains did individually.
In mainstream comics, a Legion of Doom were assembled by Christopher
Priest at the end of the Extreme Justice series. (He had also brought
the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, into that series.) Brainwave
led the group and recruited Killer Frost first. (Extreme
#14) They were based in the Florida swamps. Soon they added an android
duplicate of Gorilla Grodd and Houngan. (#16) To
round it out, they stole the corpse of Major Force (Houngan was able
to "reforge" his
soul to his body) and added two of the Madmen. (#17) Brainwave
was ultimately stopped by Maxima's mental abilities. He had been overtaken
by guilt of his father's evil. The other members were captured. (#18) No
group has reformed with this name since.
Also, Alex Ross adapted the design of the cartoon Legion of Doom headquarters
for the Gulag prison in Kingdom Come.
oss also modeled his villains after the Legion of Doom in the 12-issue limited
series Justice (2005).
This site's author, Adam Arnold, responded as follows when I asked about the
continuity of Rip Hunter after the Crisis:
Dan Jurgens did completely re-invent Rip Hunter after Crisis when
he was introduced as a key figure to help Booster Gold. Rip Hunter later got
his own mini-series called Time Masters where there were several guest appearances
by Tomahawk, Dan Hunter (Rip Hunter's cousin), Booster Gold, Animal Man, Swamp
Thing, and many others. Did others stick with it? Yes, Dan Jurgens later picked
up Rip Hunter again and put him in the Linear Men. But, after Zero Hour he
got totally screwed up when Dan wrote a story about Rip Hunter and how he
joined the Linear Men. It was totally out of character and made Rip Hunter
into his pre-Crisis counterpart, which seems to be the one who exists now
because of past appearances of him in the Forgotten Heroes segments of Resurrection