The Secret Society of Super Villains (SSoSV) (also known simply as "The Society" and "Secret Society") is a group of megavillains in the DC Comics universe and the enemies of the Justice League.
Villains United and Infinite Crisis
The current Society was created by Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three posing as Lex Luthor. The false Luthor gathered the massive army promising to make the world's heroes pay for the mindwipes done by the JLA. He assembled an inner circle comprised of himself, Talia al Ghul, Deathstroke, Dr. Psycho, Black Adam, and Calculator. The six then went around to various villains "asking" them to join. Most said yes, however, Bug and Byte got on Deathstroke's bad side and Catman refused to join after being visited by Psycho and Talia.
The Society then put their plans into motion. They kidnapped Firestorm (Jason Rusch) and Breach, placing Firestorm in a large machine located in a lab in South America. The Society also captured Pariah and Lady Quark, two heroes who were intergral players in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" affair. At the same time this was going on, the real Luthor adopted the codename Mockingbird and gathered together six villains into a group called the Secret Six. The Six went to work disrupting the Society's schemes. However, the group was captured and tortured by Crime Doctor. One of the Six, Catman, broke free and in the battle that followed, Crime Doctor was rendered comatose, Captain Nazi was blinded, Weather Wizard had his arm broken, and Hyena was shot dead. In another encounter with the Society, the Six freed Firestorm from his imprisonment. The atomic hero destroyed the lab in which he was trapped, but not before Six operative Scandal found out about the scheme to mindwipe all the heroes of the world.
The Society then organized an all-out assault on the headquarters of the Six. Cheshire revealed to her teammates on the Six that she was a double agent. She then walked out to join the other villains but was apparently shot dead by Deathstroke. A brutal conflict followed which saw the death of Secret six member Parademon, and had Deathstroke and Deadshot seriously wound each other in a gun battle. Knockout revealed herself to be a double agent working for her lover Scandal. The battle was called off when Vandal Savage threatened the false Luthor.
Despite this setback, the Society continued their plans. Next came an ambush on the Freedom Fighters. The battle became a bloodbath with Freedom Fighters members Black Condor (Ryan Kendall), Phantom Lady (Dee Tyler), and Human Bomb (Roy Lincoln) all killed, while Damage was severly injured, Ray (Ray Terrill) was captured, and Uncle Sam disappeared after being gang beaten. The Society lost Dr. Polaris who was blown apart thanks to an attack by Human Bomb. As a message, the Society wrapped the bodies of the slain Freedom Fighters around the Washington Monument.
Psycho Pirate launched a plan to capture Power Girl. He teased her with the news that she was actually a native of a destroyed alternate Earth. Power Girl resisted Psycho Pirate who had a group of villains attack her. She was saved by the appearance of her cousin, the Superman of Earth-Two.
The Society had several water-based villains attack San Diego. Also, to add more power to a new machine, "Luthor" betrayed Black Adam. Recently, Deathstroke wanted to get revenge on Nightwing for infiltrating his operations. With "Luthor's" approval, he ordered the Brotherhood of Evil to drop Chemo on Bludhaven. The walking bioweapon exploded over Bludhaven, turning Nightwing's homebase into a radioactive wasteland.
The Society launched its most ambitious plan yet when it staged a worldwide prison break from every prison/facility that held megavillains. Oracle and Martian Manhunter coordinated the Earth's megaheroes as they tried to contain as many escapees as possible. In the meanwhile, Dr Psycho and Warp freed Doomsday from his prison at the center of the Earth. The Six reappeared and managed to question Scarecrow as to what the Society planned to do next. Scarecrow told them the Society was going to use the escaped villains to launch a massive assault on Metropolis as the first step towards world domination. The Six told Green Arrow who then told Oracle who then had the heroes of Earth gather in Metropolis to stop the Society's army.
The battle that followed was brutal with both sides suffering massive casulties; the hero Judomaster had his back broken by Bane, the Trigger Twins and the Madmen were shot by Wild Dog, Crimson Avenger, and Vigilante, Amazo was beheaded by Black Adam, Solomon Grundy and the Bloodpack were killed by Superboy-Prime. The fight turned in the heroes favor when several heroes that had been missing, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Batman, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandmark), and Nightwing, arrived on the scene. Superman and the Superman of Earth-2 took down Doomsday. Alex Luthor attacked the heroes but his powers began to fade. Batman tried to kill him but was talked out of it by Wonder Woman. Just then a collapse of some debris separated Alex Luthor from the heroes. The battle then came to a close with the heroes triumphing and the Society facing heavy losses. A short time later, Alex Luthor was killed by Joker for not letting him join the Society.
Despite the defeat in Metropolis and the loss of Alex Luthor's leadership, the Society is apparently still active. A year after the battle of Metropolis, the Society sent a group of operatives known as the Nuclear Legion into the radioactive remains of Bludhaven.
One Year Later
The Society had been largely scattered to the winds after the Infinite Crisis, especially with most of its leaders gone. Although Doctor Psycho and the Calculator still operated using it, eventually the two of them dropped it as well, and the Society was considered finished. Later, during the events of "Salvation Run," the villain community as a whole would be devastated by deportations set into motion by Rick Flag and Amanda Waller. The villains of the world were rounded up by the Suicide Squad and transported by Boom Tube to an obscure planet billions of miles away from Earth, where it was thought they could never escape.
Libra and Final Crisis
After Salvation Run, the villains, back on planet Earth, were furious over their exile. The mysterious villain known only as "Libra" reappeared, and set up a meeting with the leading villains of the world. Although the villain community was skeptical at first, Libra promised them each their "heart's desire," and an "end to the age of heroes." He has since formed his own new Secret Society of Super-Villains, from the ashes of the previous Society and the Injustice League.
They are currently operating out of Central City, and have not only been organizing protests for "mega-Villain Rights," but have kidnapped, drugged, and murdered the Martian Manhunter.
Libra's inner cabinet seems to be composed of Lex Luthor, Vandal Savage, Talia al Ghul, Gorilla Grodd, Doctor Sivana, and the Ocean Master.
In a plot to create an anti-Justice League weapon, Cheetah, controlling her own branch of the organization, had scientist of the Society collect soil samples at various locations on Earth where acts of genocide occurred for 100 years. They combined those samples with Wonder Woman's own body pulled from the far future and use magic and scientific means to create a megavillain called Genocide.
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 servent, though with help from Doctor Sivana and Calculator, ultimately turns against Libra and forcing him to retreat. With Sivana's help, Luthor and the mind controlled legions of the Secret Society 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.
- Black Adam
- Blockbuster I
- Captain Boomerang
- Captain Cold
- Count Vertigo
- Crazy Quilt
- Deep Six (DC)
- Doctor Light
- Felix Faust
- Floronic Man
- General Grodd (Gorilla Grodd)
- Killer Croc
- Killer Frost
- Killer Moth
- Lady Lunar
- Lady Shiva
- Lady Sonar (the anti-matter Sonar)
- Lex Luthor
- Ocean Master
- Poison Ivy
- Q Ranger (the anti-matter Major Force)
- The Quizmaster (The anti-matter Riddler)
- Shaggy Man
- Shade (DC)
- Sir Solomon Grundy (the anti-matter Solomon Grundy)
- Star Sapphire
- Talia al Ghul
- Trigger Twins
Appearances in other media
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 blood oath against all Green Lanterns), Parasite (who simply hated Superman) and Shade (who was offered the chance by Grodd to be a master 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'll help him find a way to return Clayface 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 while Clayface was killed in the mutiny.
In Justice League Unlimited, Grodd renewed his attempts to create a new Secret Society (which is also a base-off for the Legion of Doom) to take on the expanded Justice League by recruiting Lex Luthor and any villain he can obtain. Grodd succeeded with the creation of a massive co-operative operation. Any member who tried to reveal any details about the Secret Society after being captured had their brain shorted out. 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 Legion, leading to a battle between members loyal to either Grodd or Luthor. As the battle ends, Gorilla Grodd was killed by Lex Luthor and the members who were loyal to him 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 Justice League Unlimited, on the episode "Epilogue," a futuristic version of the Secret Society was featured, known as the Iniquity Collective. Its members include future Bat-villains Inque, Shriek, Stalker, and monstrous future version of Parasite.
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 Red Hood (this reality's Joker) and had alternate versions of Black Manta, Clock King, Doctor Polaris, Gentleman Ghost, Gorilla Grodd, and Sinestro (the alternate versions of Brain and Kite Man appear in a flashback). After a battle with the Injustice Syndicate, only Red Hood was free and attempted to contact Batman's world to look for new allies. Batman soon arrived (when he was disguised as Owlman) and was able to help free the heroes and help capture the Injustice Syndicate.
In Young Justice, a group of villains called The Light have motives like the Secret Society of Super Villains as they implement plans to make the people of Earth "see the light." The group was founded to counteract the Justice League's role in preserving society's "calcified status quo". In his view, the League inhibited mankind by protecting it from disaster, crime, and tragedy—factors needed for humanity to evolve. To counteract this, the Light created or co-opted networks of operatives, placed key individuals in key positions, and explored the boundaries of all new technology. Genetic engineering, biochemical engineering, robotics, nano-robotics, techno-sorcery, and all conceivable methods of mind control were all explored by the Light in its quest to accelerate human evolution. A resurgent Earth "taking its rightful place at the center of the cosmos" appears to be the Light's ultimate goal. Responsible for almost every threat "the Team" faced in the season, they acted as the Board of Directors for Project Cadmus, developed the Kobra-made Blockbuster/Venom chemical, brought New Genesis technology to Earth with the help of their as-yet-unrevealed Partner, brokered peace in Rhelasia, placed Hugo Strange in power at Belle Reve prison, established the Injustice League as their proxies to fool the hero community into believing the group was defeated, cloned Roy Harper and used him to infiltrate the Justice League, and enslaved the Justice League to initiate an attack on the planet Rimbor to provoke an alien attack on Earth. In "Revelation," Batman claims that the villains responsible for the villain activities are a "Secret Society of Super Villains." By the end of the episode, the members of The Light are revealed to be Vandal Savage, Ra's al Ghul, Lex Luthor, the first Bialyan Queen Bee, Ocean Master, Brain, and Klarion the Witch Boy (in the second season, underling Black Manta is promoted to take Ocean Master's place on the council). The Light has also employed multiple villains including Blockbuster, Mister Twister, T.O. Morrow, Kobra, Mammoth, Shimmer, Bane, Sportsmaster, the League of Shadows (Sensei, Cheshire, Hook, Black Spider), Professor Ivo, Abra Kadabra, Psimon, the Injustice League (Atomic Skull, Black Adam, Count Vertigo, Joker, Poison Ivy, Ultra-Humanite, and Wotan), Riddler, Hugo Strange, both Icicles, Captain Cold, Killer Frost, Mr. Freeze, Monsieur Mallah, Blackbriar Thorn, Wizard, Felix Faust, and Devastation. The Light are implied to have connections with Intergang. When it came to Season Two, The Light's as-yet-unidentified Partner has been helping out The Light when the Kroloteans started appearing on Earth.
A version of the alternate Secret Society group 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. Most of the group is decimated (including Jester) causing their Lex Luthor to flee to the Justice League's Earth and seek their help.
The Secret Society of Super Villains appears in DC Universe Online. The line-up consists of Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Black Adam, Calculator, Catwoman, Circe, Doctor Psycho, Gorilla Grodd, Joker, Metallo, Mr. Freeze, Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, Brother Blood, Ursa, Harley Quinn, Felix Faust, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Riddler, the Rogues, Talia al Ghul, Two-Face, Zoom and eventually the new villain. Their headquarters is the Hall of Doom which is a hub for any player that is playing as a villain.