The Crime Syndicate
The Justice League of a universe comprised of anti-matter,
the Crime Syndicate are evil duplicates of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the
Flash, and Green Lantern.
Bruce Timm on the Crime Syndicate: “For Season Two, we’re thinking about…possibly [using]
the Crime Syndicate…(courtesy of Toon
Grant Morrison on the Crime Syndicate's
2000 revamp #1:
“The Crime Syndicate are the [Justice League] of a world where good is
evil and evil is good. In the
original Gardner Fox story there were hints as to the odd, reversed nature of
good and evil in this world—Benedict Arnold was the first U.S. President,
Washington was a traitor, Britain fought for its independence against an
American colonial power, etc.—so I’ve really gone to town on that aspect.
Here, crime is the founding principle of society…and the bad guys always win. Evil is rewarded, cruelty is lauded, and people everywhere live in fear of their masters all the way through…to the top of the pyramid—the seedy Crime Syndicate of Amerika…and its vicious, bullying leader Ultraman. All of the Crime Syndicate characters now have origins [that] ‘reverse’ the stories of the heroes we’re familiar with (courtesy of The Captain’s Unofficial Justice League Homepage!).”
Grant Morrison on the Crime Syndicate's 2000 revamp #2: “We've reversed everything, so these guys are all just sitting around drinking all the time, fighting with each other, and doing terrible things. They're sleazy as well. Just real bastards, basically (courtesy of Wizard Magazine)."
Ultraman (voiced by ???)
Real Name: Clark Kent
an astronaut, the human who became Ultraman was lost when his ship imploded in
deep space (presumably during a test flight).
Adrift, he was discovered by the Kryptonians, who attempted to repair his
broken body with only a rudimentary understanding of human biology.
As a result, the astronaut returned to Earth was no longer human, but a
powerful Kryptonian amalgamation.
Powered by kryptonite radiation, Ultraman possesses abilities that are roughly equivalent to Superman. However, hybrid is vastly inferior to the Man of Steel when it comes to mental capacity—in JLA: Earth 2 Morrison portrayed Ultraman as slow-witted and, at times, dangerously psychotic. Overall, Ultraman is the schoolyard bully to Superman’s Boy Scout—belligerent, confrontational, and greedy.
Superwoman (voiced by ???)
Real Name: Lois Lane
Amazon warrior, this villain journeyed to Man’s World and, as Lois Lane,
assumed the Editor-in-Chief position of the Daily Planet (which may have been
done legitimately, considering how virtually no one knows of her alter ego).
Her affiliation with the Crime Syndicate apparently comes at a price,
however, as Ultraman forced Superwoman to marry him.
As a result, Superwoman openly despises him and seeks his death, but
lives in fear of his wrath…so she’ll settle for sleeping around behind his
Superwoman possesses powers similar to Wonder Woman, with the inclusion of heat vision like Superman. She also possesses a magic lasso, but it has the ability to be mentally reshaped at will into almost anything.
Owlman (voiced by ???)
Real Name: Thomas Wayne
As a child, Thomas Wayne witnessed his mother and younger
brother’s gruesome murders and, in his anger, blamed his father for their
deaths. Seeking revenge for his
trauma, Thomas traveled the world and trained in various disciplines to fulfill
his personal mission. Finally, he
returned to Gotham and assumed the guise of Owlman in order to gain revenge
against his father—Commissioner Thomas Wayne of Gotham City’s Police
again, Owlman possesses abilities roughly equivalent to his Justice League
counterpart (in this case, Batman). The
acquisition of those abilities, however, may have been vastly different from the
way Bruce Wayne went about it—in JLA:
Earth 2 Luthor referred to him as having a “drug-enhanced super
cortex,” implying that Thomas took short cuts during his training. His
Silver Age ability to momentarily dominate the minds of others, however, seems
to have been dropped by Grant Morrison.
Much like Batman, Owlman is the brains behind the Crime Syndicate, balancing out Ultraman’s insanity. In fact, Owlman seems to be the only character who can get away with showing Ultraman his contempt for him: he questions his judgement, openly insults him, and carries on an affair with Superwoman, Ultraman’s love interest.
Johnny Quick (voiced by ???)
Real Name: ???/???
Not to be confused with the Golden Age Johnny Quick, this character is an evil version of the Flash. Little was known about him, but it is assumed that he received his powers in a similar manner.
In JLA: Earth 2, it was revealed that Johnny Quick was murdered by another, who extracted his blood to create a super-speed drug that allowed him to become the new Johnny Quick (seen above). The effects are temporary, however, meaning that this new evil speedster has to inject it regularly like a heroin addict.
Power Ring (voiced by ???)
Real Name: ???/???
With an origin that shares similarities with the Golden Age Green Lantern, Power Ring acquired his energy ring from Volthoom, a mad Buddhist monk. He is not affiliated with the Qwardians (the creators of Sinestro’s yellow power ring) and, thus, has nothing to do with the Guardians or the Green Lantern Corps. He did, however, have energy powers identical to the Green Lantern’s.
In JLA: Earth 2, it was revealed that Power Ring relinquished his ring to another (seen above). He accepted, but the powers come at a price: cursed by Volthoom, the ring not only houses his spirit, but it allows him to inhabit the ring bearer’s mind. Unable to be free of it unless he passes it to another, this Power Ring decided to make the most of it by joining the Crime Syndicate like his predecessor did.
NOTE: The origins recounted above are composites based upon their Pre-Crisis appearances and their appearance in JLA: Earth 2.
First appearing in Justice League of America #29
(August 1964), this team made a few noteworthy appearances until their deaths
during Crisis on Infinite Earths. They
remained little more than footnotes until recently, when Grant Morrison revamped
the five villains for his JLA: Earth 2 one-shot. Originally
nothing more than a team of criminals, Morrison’s story re-imagined them as
the “heroes” of a world where evil is good and vice versa.
Their arch-nemesis in both versions is the planet’s only superhero,
The debut of the Injustice Gang on Justice League could happen in Season Two, but the question remains: which version would it be? Bruce Timm and the creative team have shown a preference for the Silver Age in previous episodes, but Grant Morrison’s redesigns could be too significant to ignore. A compromise could easily be struck by combining the two versions of the team. Either way, a meeting between this team and the Justice League would be too good to pass up.
Images courtesy of Frank Quietly and Toon Zone. Additional materials courtesy of The Captain’s Unofficial Justice League Homepage!
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