Cadmus Project

Originally called the DNA Project, Cadmus is a government project which was started to examine and enhance the human genome. It's notable creations include DNAliens, the clone version of Superboy and the clone of WWII hero the Guardian.


  • Pre-Crisis: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (Oct. 1970)
  • Post-Crisis: Superman v.2 Annual #2 (1988)

The Cadre

Cadre of the Immortal

Overmaster • Crowbar •  Fastball •  Black Mass • Nightfall •  Shrike •  Shatterfist

The Cadre are a group of Earth villains originally assembled by the alien Overmaster. The Overmaster claimed to be a 580 million year-old alien who needed to determine humanity's fitness to survive. He transformed various humans to serve as his agents, including:

  • Black Mass, a former M.I.T. physicist whose special wristbands give him complete control over graviton particles, enabling him to transform himself from a 6-foot 97-pound weakling to a 9-foot half-ton monstrosity
  • Crowbar, a former Detroit gang leader whose favorite weapon is transformed into an instrument of devastating power (recruited in Justice League of America #233)
  • Fastball, a former minor league baseball player, then syndicate assassin, whose exoskeleton armor and power gloves give him the ability to throw high-velocity metal spheres of great explosive power
  • Nightfall, a former college student whose wristbands can create a null-field of pure darkness, absorbing all light and kinetic energy in a given area
  • Shatterfist, one of the world's greatest living martial artists, who can generate a destructive aura around his hands that can disintegrate solid matter. He was the prisoner of a South Korean monastery for 15 years until the Overmaster freed him.
  • Shrike, the Overmaster's most trusted aide, an escaped mental patient who possesses a shrill, powerful shriek that can paralyze or kill her opponent, and wings with which she can fly at speeds exceeding Mach 3.

The Justice League battled the Cadre at a mountain in the Arctic Circle, where they discovered that the Overmaster was apparently a parasitic creature with delusions of grandeur. The real Overmaster, an alien giant, disappeared and took his mountain headquarters, the false Overmaster, and the Cadre with him. (#235-236)

Ay some point one or all of the Cadre were captured. Shrike was later recruited by the Suicide Squad. Sadly, although she had since reformed, she perished on that mission (Suicide Squad v.1 #24-25).

The Overmaster traveled the galaxy destroying whole worlds and species, fulfilling the expectations of each race's apocalyptic prophesies; he became their god and destroyer.. Because of its metahuman potential, he declared that the Earth must be his next target. He began first by recruiting new agents and attempting to establish a foothold from where he would spearhead his mission of destruction. This foothold was to be the Arctic home of the Justice Leaguer, Ice. Overmaster granted Ewald Olafson (Ice's brother) the power to conquer his homeland. Ewald was granted weapons and soldiers to overthrow his father, the king. Ice's mother escaped and contacted the JLA, who helped Ice defeat Ewald. The Overmaster predicted Ewald's defeat, and detonated one of his weapons. Ewald died in the explosion, and Ice absorbed the Overmaster's power. The villain then turned his attention to his other new "surrogates" ... (Justice League America #83-85)

Meanwhile, certain other parties sought to warn the JLA of his arrival. These included the great Darkseid, who still believed that Earth housed the secret to the anti-life equation. Darkseid sent DeSaad to the League; Vandal Savage was concerned about the future of the planet he was "destined" to rule; and T.O. Morrow was having visions of Overmaster's arrival. In Colorado, Overmaster fostered a longtime cult who believed he was a god. This "Flock of the Machine" built a great machine to channel his energies. Their machine unwittingly transformed the Overmaster's power into global chaos. The machine also happened to pierce the hell-dimension containing Dreamslayer. Dreamslayer then took full control of the machine (and the Overmaster's power therein). He again summoned his New Extremists but was halted when the cult's leader destroyed the machine. The Overmaster reclaimed the Extremists and returned Dreamslayer to his other-dimensional prison. (Justice League America #86-88)

Via the man called the Immortal, the Overmaster recruited and empowered individuals from around the globe. The Immortal claimed to be the legendary Prester John, the Crusader who built an empire in the east and possessed the Philosopher's Stone. The Immortal used the Overmaster's gifts to amass an army of great pre-industrial warriors:

  • The Druid II, a conqueror from England who had previously encountered Justice League Europe (JLI v.2 #57)
  • Mahayogi, a Hindu wraith and servant of the goddess Shiva. Mahayogi was an agent of the organization which empowered the JLE member, Maya.
  • Mohammed Ibn Bornu of the Moslem Equestrian Empire of Kanem-Bornu
  • Musashi, a Japanese swordsman
  • Osiris, who claims to be the most recent incarnation of that Egyptian god
  • Phalanx, a Roman foot soldier with the ability to multiply
  • Seneca, a Native American warrior
  • Xiuhtecutli, an Aztec warrior woman with the power of the sun

Not all the members of this "Cadre of the Immortal" shared the same principles, however. This group was formed under the Immortal's promise that they would rid the world of all modern technology and restore it to its ancient ways. When the Immortal revealed that their powers came from advanced technology, many of them turned on him. The Mahayogi tried to protect Maya from the Immortal's control and was slain. Seneca and Osiris defected and aided the JLI. Bornu departed in disgust. The Immortal perished in the end, consumed by the Overmaster's wrathful power. Those Cadre members whose whose cultures or goals were militaristic (Druid, Musashi, Phalanx, Xiuhtecutli) stayed true to the Overmaster's cause and were joined by many others... (JLI v.2 #63-64)

The Overmaster's ship ultimately arrived on Earth at Mt. Everest, Nepal. Captain Atom immediately led a team there, where Booster Gold lost an arm and was critically injured in battle with the massive new Cadre (including Shatterfist, Devastator, the New Extremists and the Aryan Nation). The Cadre kidnapped Ice and coerced her into joining them.

The League's UN Liaison, Hannibal Martin, ordered them to stand down against the Overmaster. Captain Atom defied orders and assembled another strike team, but the Cadre succeeded in destroying the League's New York headquarters. Ice killed Shatterfist and assumed leadership of the Cadre. She soon turned on the Overmaster and was killed. While Amazing Man subdued the Overmaster by absorbing his power, Blue Beetle discovered the ship's control room. Beetle detonated the ship (and Overmaster) ahead of the armageddon device. (J.L.A. #89-90, JLTF #13 -14, JLI v.2 #65-66)

During the Joker's siege at the Slab, Black Mass used his powers to draw the entire facility into a gravity well. (Joker: Last Laugh #2) A bullet to the head left Black Mass a vegetable (#4) but he retained his powers and, until his recent appearances with the Cadre was the cell mate of Doctor Polaris, unwittingly keeping the magnetic villain's powers in check. (#6) Polaris eventually tapped into an other-worldly power source. He restored Black Mass' mind and freed them both to reform the Cadre. Polaris apparently engineered a successor to Shrike called Starshrike, and a new Shatterfist (II). They maintained a low profile for some time before encountering the Power Company during a series of raids. The Cadre attacked companies such as Ryder Technologies (Power Co. #1) and Dayton Industries. (#8) It was at Stagg Industries that the Power Company discovered Dr. Polaris' involvement (#9). Unbeknownst to Skyrocket, S.T.A.R. Labs was the Cadre's final destination. (#5)

Fastball was killed during the "Infinite Crisis" by OMAC drones. (OMAC Project #3)


  • The Aryan Nation first appeared in Justice League Task Force #10; Druid in Justice League Europe #57; Xiuhtecutli in Justice League Europe #63. The former two were part of the Cadre of the Immortal.
  • A curious character called Peregrine was shown at S.T.A.R. Labs. This woman looked exacltly like Shrike and had had her wings removed by the Organ Thief. (JSA: Classified #19)

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice League of America #235


Justice League America #84-85 • Justice League International v.2 #63-64 • Justice League of America #233-236 • Power Company #1, 5, 8-9, 12-15 • Suicide Squad v.1 #24-25. Judgment Day Crossover: Justice League America #89-90 • Justice League International v.2 #65 • Justice League Task Force #13-14.

Member 1st app. Affiliation Status & Info
Overmaster (none) Justice League of America #233 Justice League of America #235-236 Deceased Justice League Int'l v.2 #66
Crowbar (Malcolm Tandy) Justice League of America #233 Justice League of America #234-236 • Power Company #1, 5, 8-9, 12-15 Active in the Cadre
Black Mass (Geoffrey Thibodeux) Justice League of America #234 Active in the Cadre
Fastball (John Malone) Killed OMAC Project #6
Nightfall (unrevealed) Active in the Cadre
Shatterfist (unrevealed) Justice League of America #234-236, Judgment Day Presumed deceased J.L. America #90
Shrike I (unrevealed) Justice League of America #235 Justice League of America #235-236 Deceased Suicide Squad #25
Ewald Olafson Justice League America #80 JLA # Deceased J.L. America #85
Mahayogi (unrevealed) Justice League Int'l v.2 #52 J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 Deceased J.L.I. v.2 #64
Druid II (unrevealed) Justice League Int'l v.2 #57 J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 (Judgment Day) Active in villainy
Osiris II (unrevealed) Justice League Int'l v.2 #62 J.L.I. #63-64 Reformed; active in adventuring
Maya (Chandi Gupta) Justice League Int'l #49 J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 Active in adventuring
The Immortal (Prester John) Justice League Int'l v.2 #63 J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 Deceased J.L.I. v.2 #64
Mohammed Ibn Bornu (unrevealed) J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 Active in adventuring; seen JLA #108
Musashi (unrevealed) J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 (Judgment Day) Active in villainy
Phalanx (unrevealed) Active in villainy
Xiuhtecutli (unrevealed) Active in villainy
Seneca (unrevealed) J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 Reformed; active in adventuring
Devastator (Jack Snyder) J.L. America #89 J.L.I. v.2 #63-64 (Judgment Day) Active in villainy
The New Extremists: (Brute, Cloudburst, Death Angel, Dreamslayer, Gunshot & Meanstreak) J.L. America #78 Active in villainy
The Aryan Nation (Backlash, Blind Faith, Golden Eagle II, Heatmonger, Iron Cross) J.L. Task Force #10 Active in villainy
Ice (Tora Olafsdotter) J.L. America #12 Deceased J.L.Task Force #14
Starshrike (unrevealed) Power Company #1 Power Company #1, 5, 8-9, 12-15 Active in the Cadre
Shatterfist II (unrevealed) Starman v.2 #47 Power Company #1, 5, 8-9, 12-15 Active in the Cadre
Dr. Polaris I (Dr. Neal Emerson) Green Lantern v.2 #21 #1, 5, 8-9, 12-15 possibly killed in Infinite Crisis #1

Captains of Industry

This very loose-knit and short-lived group was founded by a partnership between Vandermeer Steel and the Sunderland Corporation. This was in response to an attack by Firestorm, who had targeted Vandermeer for polluting the environment. Firestorm threatened to destroy Vandermeer's factories if they didn't clean up their operations. It was Vandermeer who first conceived the idea of putting together their own team of metahuman protectors for just this kind of defense. Their first operative was Typhoon, Firestorm's former foe, who was handily defeated. (Firestorm #87)

After this, Vandermeer Steel partnered with Sunderland Corp, who loaned them:

  • Air Wave III/Maser (Harold Lawrence Jordan). The son of the Golden Age Air Wave and cousin of Hal Jordan (Green Lantern). Larry can transform himself into electromagnetic radiation. His abilities were modified by the Sunderland Corporation under the direction of Dr. Moon. They gave him a new headband instead of a helmet, and the (trademarked) name of "Maser." Firestorm also quickly dispatched Maser. (Firestorm #88) Jordan later returned to using the name Air Wave when he joined the Justice Society reserves. (JSA: Our Worlds at War) » FIRST APPEARANCE: Green Lantern, v.2 #100.
  • Catalyst (name unrevealed). A former Blue Beetle villain who could manifest drugs, poisons and chemicals. He worked for ??, who loaned him to the Captains of Industry. After this, he went to work for Kobra. (JSA #11-12) » FIRST APPEARANCE: Blue Beetle #14
  • Firehawk (Lorraine Reilly), friend of Firestorm with fire-based powers. She joined the Captains at LaGrieve's request, in order to have someone he could trust on the inside.» FIRST APPEARANCE: As Lorraine: Fury of Firestorm #1. As Firehawk: #17.

After Firestorm abandoned that crusade, the Captains became a small task force for the Institute for Metahuman Studies. At the time, the Institute was headed by the former Suicide Squad associate, Simon LaGrieve.

The team's founding members included:

Firestorm meets Shango African god of Thunder from the Orishas of the living land of Ifé, who seeks his former king Obatala. He defeats Firestorm and when he awakes, he is in Ifé and is addressed by Olorun the first. The Orisha-Nla has come, a shadow over the land. It consumes Firestorm. Pittsburgh outlaws metahumans and Sunderland steps in to offer the IMHS a new home at a research facility. Sunderland hopes the IMHS can provide them with more operatives for the Captains--to test and train them. (#95)

Shango returns Firestorm. He will go to live with Obatala in his human life. LaGrieve meets Cliff Carmichael, who has become a cyberpunk and possesses the Thinker's helmet. He also has a data port in his skull. The IMHS calls in Catalyst to control him. Sunderland is reluctant to let Maser go on a mission to the sun, as LaGrieve wants. The IMHS now holds priority over the Captains' use, though. LaGrieve invites Firehawk to join the Captains so he has someone on the inside he can trust. She's set up as a receptionist. (#98) LaGrieve sends Maser into the sun via laser. Carmichael has microdiscs in his brain and has improved the helmet's technology. They think he has mind control. Catalyst is called back to knock Carmichael out, but Catalyst warns Cliff instead. Louise Lincoln is cured of the virus that caused her powers. (#99)

Firehawk soon encountered the Silver Swan (Valerie Beaudry) in Africa and suggested that she join them in order to reform and refine her powers. Valerie never became an official member.

When Black Adam approached them, seeking Amanda Waller, the Captains became involved in a tragic Suicide Squad mission. There they met their next member, Major Victory, who "defected" to the Captains from the Squad. (Suicide Squad #58)

Eventually they disbanded, because maintaining them was too expensive.

Long after their dissolution, Catalyst was hired by Kobra to kidnap Maser. Maser was imprisoned and used as a power source until the intervention of the JSA and the D.E.O. Once subdued, Catalyst turned on Kobra and aided the JSA. (JSA #11-12)


The Silver Swan was created by experiments under the Armbuster International which granted Valerie the ability to create powerful sound waves with her voice and fly. During the great War of the Gods, Valerie reformed and took inspiration from her former foe, Wonder Woman. Her current whereabouts unknown. Wonder Woman's friend, Vanessa Kapatelis, was transformed into the second Silver Swan. 1st app.: Wonder Woman v.2 #15.

  • Major Victory (Bill Vickers, formerly of & Suicide Squad). Major Victory was the leader of the Force of July which butted heads frequently with the Outsiders. Most of that team was decimated on a Suicide Squad mission, and Vickers remained with the Squad until being recruited by the Captains. He was killed by Eclipso in Eclipso #13. 1st app.: Batman & the Outsiders Annual #1

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Firestorm #87 (July 1989)

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Firestorm #87, 88, 95, 98, 99 • Suicide Squad #58

C.B.I. (Central Bureau of Intelligence)

Created by Marv Wolfman

This U.S. spy organization was mainly active before the reactivation of Task Force X (and the Suicide Squad). The agency was run by Sarge Steel. King Farady eventually took over the C.B.I. before it was phased out, but he remained behind the scenes in the intelligence community. (DC Encyclopedia)

King Faraday (Danger Trail v.2) miniseries from the 1990's. In it, King Faraday investigates the disappearance of many nuclear scientists, and rescues one, which takes him around the world. No other details on the C.B.I. are revealed.

Today, Sarge Steel heads up the US Department of Metahuman Affairs and King Faraday serves under Amanda Waller, first in Checkmate, then in the Suicide Squad.

Known agents include:

  • John and Cherie Chase, as well as their son Danny Chase were all agents. (New Teen Titans Annual #3)
  • Both the Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner) and Richard Dragon are former C.B.I. field agents. (Suicide Squad #38)
  • King Faraday, a field agent. (King Faraday's Danger Trail adventures were used as some of the basis for Captain Atom's false origin.)
  • Roy Harper (Arsenal), a former field agent.
  • Nightshade (Eve Arden) was also a former field agent.


Sarge Steel is a character originally published by Charlton Comics and purchased by DC along with the likes of Captain Atom and Blue Beetle. In his original Charlton adventures, he was a US Military Special Forces agent, not of the C.B.I, which is a 1980s DC creation. A similar organization called the C.I.B. (Central Intelligence Bureau) appeared as part of a Blue Beetle story in Americomics #3 (August 1983). Sarge Steel first appeared in Charlton's Sarge Steel #1 (December 1964). Two of Sarge Steel's Charlton foes, Smiling Skull and Ivan Chong, appear in the montage shot in his 1991 Who's Who entry, suggesting that they remain a part of his DC history.

King Faraday has always been a DC character.

» FIRST APPEARANCE: New Teen Titans Annual #3 (1988)

Sarge Steel, #1-8 (1964-66) becomes...
Secret Agent, #9-10 (1966)
Danger Trail
v.1, 5 issues (1950)
Danger Trail v.2, 4-issue limited series (1993)

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Charlton: The Fightin' Five #34, 37 • Judomaster #91-98. DC: Suicide Squad v.1 #38

» SEE ALSO: Obscure Characters: Sarge Steel

Chain Gang

Created By John Wagner & David Johnson

Three men touched by tragedy in a city "about an hour south of Gotham" decided to make a stand. (Chain Gang War #6, 12.93) They went after the criminals no one could touch: crime lords, drug runners and others who could buy off the law. They incarcerated these criminals in cells in the basement of Strang Manor. In the course of this mission they crossed paths with Deathstroke and the "new" Batman (Azrael).

Their number included three founders, Ernie Dorrs, Yale Strang and Curtis Zecker. They were joined by "Loopy" Lupin Warden. All but Ernie were killed in their final battle. Ernie himself was incarcerated. (#12)

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Chain Gang War #1

The Conglomerate

Created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Chris Sprouse

The Conglomerate was assembled by Claire Montgomery, Maxwell Lord's ex-wife. She'd always been in competition with Lord, and by forming this team, she hoped to forge her own empire. She used former JLI member Booster Gold to recruit the other six members:

  • Echo, who could redirect any force or energy
  • Praxis, with great mental abilities
  • Gypsy, former JLAer who could turn invisible
  • Reverb, younger brother of the dead JLAer, Vibe; he could also solidify sound
  • Vapor, a living acid mist
  • Maxi-Man, super strong

Once the team was assembled, she offered their services to a ... conglomerate of major American businesses. These firms pooled their moneys and resources and also appealed to the public for investment via magazine ads. They were headquartered on Wall Street, and an instant media hit. The team was supposed to have some measure of autonomy, but they fell into a pattern of public relations appearances. Just as the members were getting restless, they jumped at the opportunity to rout a tyrant in the nation of San Sebor. This violated UN protocols and the JLI were sent in to arrest the Conglomerate.

They escaped the JLI, but their frustration continued and they began turning down their superficial missions. Meanwhile, Claire's partner, Mr. Thrunctuous, had been controlled by Hector Hammond. Hammond and Thrunctuous coaxed the Conglomerate and the JLI to respond to a fake emergency. Once there, they unleashed a chemical creature on the teams. The creature (named Ernie) was stopped by his brother, Phil. Afterwards, Claire threatened her corporate sponsors with revealing the setup to the public. In exchange for her silence, the Conglomerate was finally allowed to run their own affairs. (Justice League Quarterly #1) The Conglomerate took part in many cases, though only one other was documented: to help the League against Despero (JLA #58/JLE #34).

The Qwardian Conglomerate from J.L.Q. #8. Art by Rod Whigham.

To benefit both teams, Max and Claire arranged a pay-per-view charity battle between the Conglomerate and JLI. But Claire found herself without a team, as most of the members went their own ways: Maxi-Man as a stuntman, Echo as a pop star, Vapor as spokesperson for an environmental group. Montgomery then held tryouts which were largely unsuccessful. She encountered the goofball named Norman the Doorman. (Other applicants included Sonarr, J'onn J'ackson: The Martian Womanhunter, Stinkbug, Mind-Grabber Kid & Will o' The Whiff.) Despite the name, he opened a portal to the antimatter universe. Claire spied a group of (supposed) heroes on the world of Qward — Deadeye, Elasti-Man, Element Man, Frostbite, Fiero, Scarab & Slipstream — and offered the pay-per-view gig to them. These Qwardians turned out to be villains and battled the JLA for real. They were defeated, and returned to Qward. Ironically, the PPV event was highly rated and Claire was encouraged to continue the team. (JLQ #8)

After this, Claire continued on and retained Reverb (who took the new name Hardline) and Echo. They were joined by a new hero, Templar, who was from the English army. He possessed the powers of strength and flight. Two others completed the lineup: Nuklon and Jesse Quick. This team had the same problems as the original. They fought an arranged battle against the "Blood Jihad." As part of this battle, technicians at Stagg Robotics rebuilt the android Amazo from its original records. Amazo became self-aware and posed a serious threat which the team successfully squashed. Again, the team won popular public support. (JLQ #12) The Conglomerate's end is unwritten, but Nuklon and Jesse Quick went on to other adventures.


Some background information—including real names—for Vapor and Echo were revealed in the DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004). This book was written by writers with considerable DC experience.

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice League Quarterly #1

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Justice League America #58 • Justice League Europe #34 • Justice League Quarterly #1, 8, 12

Member (Name) Joined 1st app. Status
1. Booster Gold (Michael Jon Carter) JLQ #1 Booster Gold #1 Active in adventuring
1. Echo (Terri Eckhart) JLQ #1 JLQ #1 Unknown
1. Gypsy (Cindy Reynolds) JLQ #1 JLofA Annual #3 Active in adventuring
1. Hardline (Armando Ramone, Reverb) JLQ #1 JLQ #1 Unknown
1. Maxi-Man (Henry Hayes) JLQ #1 Mr. Miracle v.2 #9 Deceased (shown JSA #28)
1. Praxis (Jason Praxis) JLQ #1 Spectre v.2 #24 Working solo; last seen JLQ #16
1. Vapor (Carrie Donahue) JLQ #1 JLQ #1 Unknown
8-14. Deadeye, Elasti-Man, Element Man, Frostbite, Fiero, Scarab II & Slipstream (villains, all unrevealed) JLQ #8 JLQ #8 All reside in Qward
15. Jesse Quick (Jesse Belle Chambers) JLQ #12 Justice Society #1 Active in adventuring
15. Atom-Smasher (Albert Rothstein, Nuklon) JLQ #12 All-Star Squadron #25 Active in adventuring
15. Templar (Colin Brandywine) JLQ #12 JLQ #12 Unknown

The Controllers

The Controllers are a pink-skinned, immortal race of aliens who also happen to be a long-separated faction of the Guardians of the Universe (Crisis #7). Despite their differences, the Controllers eventually acknowledged the wisdom of the Guardians’ Green Lantern Corps by creating an interplanetary police force of their own, the Darkstars (Darkstars #3, 0). In the recent past, frustrated that the organization was no longer fulfilling its goals, the Controllers pulled their support (Darkstars #38) and at least part of the immortals set plans into motion to create a more tractable group of brainwashed warriors like the Earth-born Effigy. Kyle Rayner put the stops to that (Green Lantern v.3 #123-124).

As a consequence, the Controllers are regarded as a potential threat by the Justice League (Green Lantern/Atom #1) but, outside of a handful of former members of the Darkstars, the immortals are virtually unknown by Earth’s population.

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Adventure Comics #357

Creature Commandos

Project M  + G .I. Robot  + Gunner & Sarge  + Lt. Hunter

» SEE: Stand-alone Profile