|Legion of Doom|
|First appearance||"Wanted: The Super Friends"|
(Challenge of the Super Friends, Episode 1 - September 9, 1978)
|Base(s)||Hall of Doom|
The Legion of Doom is a group of supervillains who originated in Challenge of the Super Friends, an animated series from Hanna-Barbera based on DC Comics' Justice League. The Legion of Doom has since been incorporated into the main DC Universe, appearing in comics, as well as further animated and live-action adaptations, and also video games.
In each episode of Challenge of the Super Friends that they appeared, the Legion of Doom would enact a plot against the Super Friends and a plot to take over the world 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 (or portions of it) would end up apprehended.
The episode "History of Doom" showed that Lex Luthor assembled 12 supervillains in order to form the most powerful and sinister group the world had ever seen.
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.
The Legion of Doom's headquarters was the Hall of Doom that was located in Slaughter Swamp (just outside Gotham City). The facility, which has a close resemblance to Darth Vader's helmet, could be lowered or raised above the swamp water's surface. It could fly or enter space using rockets. The Hall of Doom's mobility could be controlled through remote control helping the Legion to escape on several occasions. Its defenses included laser weapons and the ability to time travel.
In "Doomsday" after Sinestro, Black Manta and Cheetah are abandoned by the rest of the Legion after they take control of a mental device, they use it to create another Hall of Doom, which attacks the original one and enables the Legion to be captured.
In "History of Doom", the Hall is shown being constructed in a barn just after the Legion formed. Black Manta proposed that they have it in the ocean, Captain Cold proposes to have underneath the polar ice caps, and Gorilla Grodd proposes that they have it in the jungle. As a compromise, Lex Luthor decides to have it within the waters of Slaughter Swamp as it is then flown to that location.
There were thirteen members of the Legion of Doom:
|Member||Alter ego||Description||Powers||Traditional enemy||Voice actor|
|Bizarro||None||Twisted duplicate of Superman created from a duplication ray by Lex on Earth.||Same as Superman, but often behaves in an erratic and irrational manner, such as freeze beams from his eyes and flaming breath as opposed to Superman's heat ray and freezing breath.||Superman||William Callaway|
|Black Manta||David Hyde||Deep sea diver and would-be ocean conqueror.||Enhanced strength, water breathing ability (through artificial gills), high tech equipment, laser beams.||Aquaman||Ted Cassidy|
|Brainiac||Vril Dox||Evil alien android.||Super-intelligence, advanced technology.||Superman||Ted Cassidy|
|Captain Cold||Leonard Snart||Blue-suited master of low temperatures.||Absolute-zero ray guns.||Flash||Dick Ryal|
|Cheetah||Priscilla Rich||Cheetah suit-wearing woman.||Cat-like reflexes, claw-tipped gloves.||Wonder Woman||Marlene Aragon|
|Giganta||Doris Zeul||Stole Apache Chief's magic powder to duplicate his powers.||Ability to grow, super strength while in giant form.||Wonder Woman and Apache Chief||Ruth Forman|
|Gorilla Grodd||Grodd||Megalomaniacal exile from Gorilla City.||Super-intelligence, super strength.||Flash||Stanley Ralph Ross|
|Lex Luthor||None||Mad scientist and founder/leader of the Legion of Doom.||Evil genius, highly advanced weaponry.||Superman||Stanley Jones|
|Riddler||Edward Nygma||Uses riddles to taunt and confuse adversaries while committing crimes.||Puzzle creation, problem solving, super intelligent evil genius, puzzle themed traps and gadgets.||Batman and Robin||Michael Bell|
|Scarecrow||Jonathan Crane||Uses his fear gas to bring peoples' worst fears to life.||Fear gas||Batman and Robin||Don Messick|
|Sinestro||Thaal Sinestro||Renegade ex-Green Lantern.||Yellow power ring||Green Lantern||Vic Perrin|
Don Messick (additional dialogue)
|Solomon Grundy||Cyrus Gold||A super-powered gangster revived as a zombie in Slaughter Swamp.||Great strength, invulnerability||Green Lantern, Batman, and Superman.||Jimmy Weldon|
|Toyman||Jack Nimball||Dresses as a jester; uses toy-based tactics to commit crimes.||Creates destructive toys.||Superman||Frank Welker|
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 Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Fear" which also introducing his real name of Jonathan Crane.
Members of the Legion of Doom made some appearances in the Super Friends spin-off comic title based on the TV series.
The Legion of Doom appeared in the NBC televised special, Legends of the Superheroes, led by Mordru and consisting of Doctor Sivana, Riddler, Giganta, Sinestro, Weather Wizard, and Solomon Grundy.
The Legion of Doom is alluded to in Smallville season ten and assembled by Toyman. Despite still being in jail, he created Marionette Ventures, an organization composed of supervillains like Metallo, Roulette, the Dark Archer, Black Manta, Captain Cold, and Solomon Grundy that worked to control Smallville's waterfront properties. The Toyman used a brainwashed Courtney Whitmore to do his organization's bidding, and later brainwashed Lois Lane remotely in an attempt to kill Clark Kent.
Main article: Legends of Tomorrow (season 2)
The Legion of Doom serves as the main antagonists of the second season of the Arrowverse series Legends of Tomorrow. This incarnation is led by Eobard Thawne / Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) and consists of Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), and a time-displaced Leonard Snart / Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). For brief periods of time, the Legion is assisted by a brainwashed Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and a reluctant Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell). They are termed "The Legion of Doom" by Legends member Nate Heywood, after a cartoon he enjoyed as a kid.
Thawne and Darhk found the group after the former cheats death as a result of Flashpoint and recruits the latter from 1987 with the goal of changing their destined deaths in conflict with Barry Allen and Oliver Queen, respectively, by obtaining the Spear of Destiny. Amidst encounters with the Legends and the Black Flash, the latter of whom was sent by the Speed Force to pursue Thawne as a result of him cheating death, the Legion recruit Merlyn from 2016, promising him to help avert his family's deaths, and Snart from before he joined the Legends, promising to help him avert his future death. After Snart convinces Rory to betray the Legends, the Legion obtains the Spear and rewrite reality so that they live improved lives without opposition while the Legends are reduced to various demeaning positions. However, Rory comes to regret his decision and reunites the Legends, restoring their memories of the original timeline and helping them retrieve the Spear, with help from the Legion after they discover Thawne intended to destroy it. In the ensuing battle, Thawne succeeds, apparently stabilizing the altered reality, but the Legends travel back in time and join forces with their past selves to combat the Legion. In the end, Sara Lance obtains the Spear and uses its power against itself, restoring reality and summoning the Black Flash, who kills Thawne, while the rest of the Legion are taken back to their original places in the timeline.
The Legion of Doom appears in the Cartoon Network Latin America spoof series The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour as bankrupt enemies of Aquaman.
While never directly referred to as such in the 2000s animated series Justice League Unlimited, with only the DVD box set for the third season explicitly doing so, the Legion of Doom served as inspiration for the show's incarnation of the Secret Society. The group is initially led by Gorilla Grodd, and consists of the following:
Solicitations for future episodes indicated that the team had a secret backer, but have turned out to be incorrect. Series producer Bruce Timm had also said he wanted to include Riddler and Scarecrow as villains in the group as a nod to the original Legion, but was prevented from doing this by the "Bat-Embargo", which limited the use of Batman-related characters at the time.
The group operates out of a swamp-based headquarters and functions as a co-operative, a loose organization of super-villains that primarily work on their own, but assist each other when a member is challenged by the Justice League in exchange for Grodd receiving 25% of the requesting member's take of the crime commissioned at that time. After discovering Grodd planned on turning humanity into apes however, Luthor ousted him and assumed leadership. In the two-part series finale "Alive!" and "Destroyer", Luthor led the Society in converting their headquarters into a spaceship so he can resurrect Brainiac, but Grodd attempted a coup, leading to a battle between supervillains loyal to the latter and those loyal to Luthor. In the end, Luthor shunted Grodd out of the air lock while Killer Frost froze Grodd's remaining allies. With Atomic Skull, Bizarro, Cheetah, Evil Star, Giganta, Heat Wave, Toyman, Volcana, Star Sapphire, and Sinestro left, Luthor forces Tala use her powers to resurrect Brainiac, apparently killing her, though she resurrected Darkseid instead, who thanks Luthor by destroying the Society's ship. Despite this, Star Sapphire and Sinestro protected Luthor and their allies before helping them steal Lightray's Mother Box so they can return to Earth and join forces with the Justice League to defeat Darkseid. After Luthor acquires the Anti-Life Equation and vanishes with Darkseid, the Justice League gives the surviving Society members a head start.
Of this final appearance for the group, series writer Matt Wayne stated that he consciously tried to round up the original 13 Legion of Doom members in Luthor's team, citing this English Wikipedia page as one source.
The Legion of Doom appear in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series, consisting of Lex Luthor, the Joker, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, Felix Faust, Chronos, Clock King, and Amazo. In the teaser for the episode "Triumvirate of Terror", the Legion of Doom play a game of baseball against the Justice League International. Luthor, Joker, and Cheetah later adjourn to the Legion's headquarters.
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.
The Legion of Doom appeared prominently in the ongoing story arc of the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. Along with the original 13 members of the group, they are joined by the Joker, Penguin, and mailroom worker Glen. In the final act, the Legion is joined by Aquaman, who did so after the Justice League pushed him too far, as well as Bane, Catwoman, Two-Face, Icicle, Mirror Master, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Mr. Freeze, Mister Banjo, Chillblaine, Darkseid, and original Robot Chicken character Humping Robot.
In the second Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, titled "Villains in Paradise", the Legion of Doom's core membership includes Luthor, Bizarro, Poison Ivy, Black Manta, Joker, Penguin, Brainiac, Captain Cold, Scarecrow, Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, Catwoman, Riddler, Toyman, and Two-Face while Weather Wizard, Black Adam, Darkseid, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze, Professor Zoom, Starro, Killer Croc, and Clayface make cameo appearances.
In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Snuggle Time", the Teen Titans decide to become supervillains and become the "Legion of Doooom", with Starfire becomes Starfire the Terrible, Cyborg becomes The Cyborg, Raven becomes the Demon of Azarath, Robin becomes Dick Gravestone, and Beast Boy becomes Beast Monster. After hiring an army of henchmen, constructing their own Hall of Doom, and eliminating Earth's heroes, the Legion of Doooom draw in and defeat the H.I.V.E. Five to finalize their plans for conquering Earth.
The Harley Quinn animated web series follows the titular character's adventures after she breaks up with the Joker, with her initial goal being to join the Legion of Doom. This iteration of the group is described as a supportive community of elite supervillains dedicated to making the world a horrible place and having been behind some of the most evil plots in the 21st century. The Legion is led by Lex Luthor and consists of the Joker, Scarecrow, Cheetah, Bane, Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta, Sinestro, Black Adam, the Reverse-Flash, Toyman, Solomon Grundy, Metallo, Captain Cold, Parasite, Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Man-Bat, Calendar Man, Killer Croc, Killer Frost, Felix Faust, and Livewire. Doctor Psycho was originally a member as well, but was ousted from the group for calling Wonder Woman and Giganta the "C word" on live television, which led to him siding with Harley Quinn's crew. In the episode "L.O.D.R.S.V.P.", Harley and her crew are offered a position in the Legion of Doom after stealing jewels from Atlantis, with Psycho being reinstated as well while Harley had to wait to be voted in, competing against KGBeast for the spot. However, Lex revealed to Poison Ivy that he had no intention of allowing Harley to join unless she joined as well. Despite this, when Aquaman attacked the Hall of Doom to retrieve the jewels Harley stole, she proved herself and defeated him on her own, which led to her being voted into the Legion. In the episode "Devil's Snare", the Hall of Doom was destroyed by a giant tower operated by the Joker in his plot to take over Gotham City. Following the Joker's defeat at Harley's hands in the season one finale "The Final Joke", Gotham was left in ruins, leaving Legion members the Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, and Bane, as well as Mr. Freeze, to join forces and form the Injustice League in order to rule Gotham in the Legion's absence. Most of the other members of the Legion were revealed to have also survived the Hall of Doom's destruction as Luthor appears in the episode "Bachelorette" while numerous other members appear in the season two finale "The Runaway Bridesmaid", attending Poison Ivy and Kite Man's wedding prior to Commissioner Gordon leading a raid on it.
The Legion of Doom appear as the central antagonists in the animated film Justice League: Doom, led by Vandal Savage and consisting of the Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Metallo, Bane, Mirror Master, and Ma'alefa'ak. They intended to use a solar flare to end half of humanity, but were foiled by the Justice League.
The Legion of Doom appear in the animated film JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, consisting of Lex Luthor, Toyman, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Black Manta, Solomon Grundy, Bizarro, and Gorilla Grodd. The Legion of Doom travel back in time to eliminate Superman, with the help of Time Trapper.
The Legion of Doom appear in the animated film Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, consisting of Lex Luthor, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Sinestro, Black Manta, and Gorilla Grodd. The Joker, Penguin, Man-Bat, Giganta, and Deathstroke also appear as potential recruits who are all rejected for various reasons. This incarnation of the group was formed by Luthor on Darkseid's orders. The Legion attacks Area 52 to obtain a capsule containing J'onn J'onzz and escape following a fight with the Justice League. The villains free J'onzz and persuade him to help them discredit the Justice League before seeing them banished from Earth. However, J'onzz poses as Black Manta and saves Cyborg and assists him in saving the Justice League. With Darkseid's help, the Legion fight the Justice League once more before defeating them. Afterwards, the Justice League are cleared of all charges and the Legion of Doom are arrested by the police.
The Legion of Doom appears in the animated direct-to-DVD film Justice League vs. Teen Titans, consisting of Lex Luthor, Toyman, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, and Solomon Grundy.
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 and was dead; 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