The Seven Soldiers of Victory

Original team created by Mort Weisinger
Modern team created by Grant Morrison
Joe Kubert drew the Seven Soldiers of Victory as a "try out" for DC Comics. From the Joe Kubert Collection (circa 1944). Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Golden Age: Leading Comics #1 (Winter 1941/1942)
Silver Age one-shot: The Silver Age: Showcase #1 (July 2000)
Post-Crisis, Team #1: Seven Soldiers of Victory #0 (Apr. 2005)
Post-Crisis, Team #2: Seven Soldiers of Victory #1 (July 2006)

"Can you imagine a fantastic future civilization that preys on its predecessors? A nightmare world of scavengers ruled by a parasite queen? A twilight empire that refuses to die?" Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #4

"Seven will come, by roads unseen, unknown. And end the Queen of Terror's reign with a spear that never was thrown." Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4

The Seven Soldiers of Victory were a group of super-heroes assembled in 1941 by writer editor Whit Ellsworth, in the pages of a new quarterly series titled Leading Comics. The formula for the series was the same as that of National's All-Star Comics, which began the year before. Each issue's story featured a group of heroes who divided into solo missions, then regrouped at the end. The editorial strategy was meant to cross-pollinate the characters from other comics, in this case: Action, Adventure, Detective, More Fun and Star Spangled Comics.

The solo chapters were usually drawn by each character's regular creative team: Crimson Avenger by Jack Lehti; Green Arrow by George Papp; the Vigilante by Mort Meskin; Shining Knight by Creig Flessel; and the Star-Spangled Kid by Hal Sherman.

Despite the fact that the characters in Leading Comics were less popular, most of them had better longevity than those in All-Star Comics' Justice Society, being published through or beyond the Golden Age. But Leading dropped its super-hero feature much sooner (after the war ended in 1945) while All-Star kept publishing the JSA's adventures into 1951.

Mort Meskin drew these iconic covers for Leading Comics #1, 3, and 5 (1942).

The group in Leading Comics was dubbed "The Seven Soldiers of Victory," though quite often they were also referred to as "Legionnaires." Neither name appeared on the cover, but the closing text of the first issue concluded with: "And so we leave these Seven Soldiers of Victory..." Writers in Leading #4 used the two names alternately. Its cover touted "Law's Legionnaires" and the story concluded with the term "The Seven Legionnaires." Overall,
"Soldiers" was their more common name.

And the group's name was inherently unfair.

While the Green Arrow's sidekick, Speedy, was clearly considered one of the seven, the Crimson Avenger's partner, Wing (who was Chinese), was given no comparable status. Wing participated in every case but he was represented with insensitive stereotypes, and clearly not considered an official member. Some revisionist tales of the Soldiers' original adventures tried to repair this and honor Wing's contributions.

The Vigilante also had a Chinese sidekick nicknamed Stuff. Unlike Wing, Stuff was depicted fairly in Action Comics; however, Stuff never participated in a Golden Age Soldiers adventure.

The stories were almost always about a mastermind whose plot involved pitting the heroes against five separate adversaries. The earliest installments featured thugs, historical baddies, and mad scientists, or borrowed characters from the heroes' own features. Beginning in Leading Comics #6 (Spring 1943), the book was written by Joe Samachson. In time, he played more with the chapter structure of the storytelling.

As a group, the Seven Soldiers vanished from newsstands in 1945. The Green Arrow has been published continuously since the 1940s, but the other heroes faded with the majority of Golden Age heroes. During the super-hero renaissance of the Silver Age, the Justice Society returned in The Flash #129 (June 1962), and Justice League of America #21 (Aug. 1963). But the Seven Soldiers were not reintroduced until 1972, by Len Wein and Dick Dillin. The epic story from Justice League of America #100-102 (Aug.–Oct. 1972) led to more Golden Age revivals like the heroes of Quality Comics in Justice League #107 (1973), and Fawcett Comics in #135 (1976).

In 2005, the concept of "Seven Soldiers" was reinterpreted and expanded by Grant Morrison. His opus was interwoven between seven interlocking mini-series (not unlike the breakout chapters in Leading Comics). Each featured a new "Soldier" and they were bookended by Seven Soldiers #0 and #1. These Soldiers never even came together as a group. Instead their efforts contributed uniquely to the defeat of the villain, the Sheeda Queen.

Immortal Players

The Sheeda

The Sheeda are humanity's successors, one billion years in the future. From Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #4 (2006); art by Doug Mahnke.
The Seven Unknown Men tend to their lost brother, who is defeated by Zatanna. From Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #4 (2006); art by Ryan Sook and Mick Gray.
The Ultramarines examine Qwewq, the infant universe. From JLA: Classified #1 (2005); art by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines.
Neh-Buh-Loh comes to Earth for the second time as an adolescent. From JLA: Classified #2 (2005); art by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines.

The story of the Seven Soldiers begins one billion years in the future! There, the Earth has become barren and humankind's descendants, the fairy-like Sheeda, follow a "goblin queen," Gloriana Tenebrae. To survive, the Sheeda seek out points in Earth's past which are rich with life and resources. Once identified, they proceed with a "harrowing," where they feed upon whole populations and rob the land of resources. Just enough is left to seed a new generation of humankind. When that new civilization develops to its fullest, the Sheeda return again.

Gloriana's husband, Melmoth, had a daughter. This princess, Rhiannon, was heir to the Sheeda throne. After the Sheeda's great harrowing of the original Camelot, Gloriana usurped the throne and stranded Melmoth in the distant past. She ordered her servant, Neh-Buh-Loh the Huntsman (the Nebula Man) to kill her step-daughter, But Neh-Buh-Loh was weak of heart, and he hid the princess in the 20th century instead. The princess took the alias Misty Kilgore, and was destined to meet one of the legendary "seven" who could bring the Fairy Queen to her end. (Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #3)

The Seven Unknown Men

Those who stood to oppose the Sheeda on Earth assembled eons ago. A secret order of angels (aka the Time Tailors) was established — eight in number —  to keep the fabric of the universe from fraying. It was these men who foretold that the Sheeda would be undone by "seven soldiers," which was the reason why the fairies targeted groups of that number.

One of their number turned against them, and through the ages this eighth Tailor came to become a chaotic wildcard in their mission for order. The remaining angels were known as the Seven Unknown Men. The "Terrible" Time Tailor was also known as Zachary Zor. In the Golden Age of super-heroes, Zor battled the Spectre on several occasions. (More Fun Comics #55, 57)

The Nebula Man

The Nebula Man was named Neh-Buh-Loh by Gloriana. In the 21st century, this entity (called cosmo sapeins) was still an infant universe called Qwewq, held in a petri dish by the godlike inhabitants of Wonderworld. (JLA #12) When Wonderworld was destroyed by Mageddon, the JLA moved Qwewq to the safety in their remote lab on Pluto. (JLA #36)

Qwewq grew into the Nebula Man (its "adolescent" form), and was manipulated by the Iron Hand to defeat his enemies, the original Seven Soldiers of Victory. By the time the Nebula Man grew to adulthood — billions of years later — he'd reached the end of all time. This land, called Summer's End, was ruled by the Sheeda. Queen Gloriana called the Nebula Man Neh-Buh-Loh, and he served her as herald and huntsman.

Neh-Buh-Loh reappeared in the 21st century, it was to make preparations for the Sheeda's next harrowing. He allied with Gorilla Grodd in order to distract the Justice League. But Neh-Buh-Loh was only partially aware of events that occurred in his own infancy. So he sent an agent called Black Death into the infant universe of Qwewq — into himself!

Inside Qwewq, the JLA managed to stop Black Death, but its presence had poisoned Qwewq; it would prevent Neh-Buh-Loh from ever becoming a full-fledged universe. (JLA: Classified #1-3) Also, the Ultramarines were called in to help; they gave Qwewq some sort of "medicine" that would eventually hasten his own end. (Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #4)

Soldiers Past

Aurakles: Earth's First Super-Hero

Despite having seven powerful god-given weapons, Aurakles' civilization becomes the first to be "harrowed" by the Sheeda. From Seven Soldiers #1 (2006); art by J.H. Williams III.
The Fairy Queen comes to ancient Camelot for its Harrowing. From Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #3 (2005); art by Simone Bianchi.

In 40,000 BCE, the New Gods visited Earth and built four cities: Falias, Findias, Murias and Gorias. Earth's first great super-hero was borne of their works, a god mixed with Neanderthal man. The man-god was named Aurakles, and after the gods departed, he and his ilk were left to defend against the 666 Monsters of Chaos. To help, the Gods bestowed seven wondrous treasures upon Aurakles — immortal weapons which survived all time and empowered champions both good and evil:

  1. An eternal sword, later known as Ex Calibur
  2. The Cauldron of Rebirth, with the power to resurrect the dead
  3. Pegazeus, the winged horse who spawned a race of the same, including the allies Vanguard and Winged Victory
  4. A Fatherbox, a smaller version of the New Gods' Mother Box, cube-shaped and sometimes taking the appearance of a die
  5. A hammer
  6. An enchanted spear, which was stolen by Gloriana and given to her herald, Neh-Buh-Loh
  7. The Merlin Sprite of living language: a magical genie which could be molded to the adept's will, and magical language.

The sophistication of Aurakles' people led them to explore the future. But this drew the attention of Melmoth, the Sheeda king, who brought his army to "harrow" the shining civilization. (Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #3)

Aurakles himself survived and eons later — as the Oracle he led the Justice League to find the lost Seven Soldiers of Victory. (Justice League of America v.1 #100) Eventually he was enslaved by Darkseid, who allied with Gloriana. Mister Miracle freed Aurakles by agreeing to taking his place. (Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #4)

Ancient Camelot

30,000 years passed and the city of Gorias in the Himalayas became the home of winged horses, descendants of Pegazeus. In this first Arthurian Epoch, Arthur discovered the city, the God-sword, naming it Ex Calibur. These discoveries led Arthur to build a great kingdom called Avalon.

The Sheeda went on to rape Avalon, and the Knights of the Broken Table stood in defense: Gawain the Silent Knight, Lancelot, Caradoc, Peredur, Bors and Galahad. Lancelot was the first killed, by Neh-Buh-Loh. In Camelot's worst hours, Galahad made a seventh knight of a young warrior named Justin (the girl, Ystina, disguised as a boy).

Justin and her winged steed, Vanguard, penetrated the Sheeda’s flagship, the Castle Revolving. Through this ship flowed a river of time, and at its heart the Cauldron of Rebirth, which could revive the dead. Justin fought Gloriana there, with Ex Calibur. She and Vanguard threw the cauldron into the river of time and plunged in after it. The Cauldron landed in Slaughter Swamp, outside the future Gotham City. Justin emerged in 21st century Manhattan.

The remaining knights fought for thirty more years. In their last campaign, they allied with the Dwarros (dwarves) and fashioned an ancient atomic weapon. Despite this, they lost the war and Avalon was completely overtaken by the Sheeda. Galahad was captured and made an undead slave for the Goblin Queen.

After this, the Sheeda kingdom withered without its precious Cauldron of Rebirth and the Queen dedicated herself to finding it.

Some of the Sheeda's fairy people remained in this time. They became known to the ancient Celts, who called the fairy people "Sidhe" (800–600 BCE).

Roanoke and Limbo Town

After the fall of ancient Camelot, Melmoth was stranded and wandered the Earth. His plan was to amass enough power, wealth and resources to overthrow Gloriana when she returned. At some point he found the Cauldron of Rebirth and gave himself a transfusion with its waters. In the summer of 1590, he abducted the Puritan colonists of Roanoke, West Virginia. These people vanished except for evidence of one word: "Croatoan." NOTE: This story is based on a great American mystery of a settlement in Roanoke that disappeared without a trace; the word “Croatoan” was found written on a tree.

What had happened, in fact, was that Melmoth had bred with the colonists and taken them deep underground where they established a dark, mystic religion. This blue-skinned race came to call their home Limbo Town and their former home on the surface became the myth of "Blue Rafters." They survived there because of their Sheeda blood, and worshiped the legendary "Croatoan," which was the name for a sophisticated artificial intelligence system in the form of a pair of dice — created from the Fatherbox.

Frankenstein and the Old West

Before going dormant in 1870, Frankenstein puts an temporary end to Melmoth's meddling. From Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1 (2006); art by Doug Mahnke.

Melmoth abandoned the people of Limbo Town and continued his wanderings. In 1816, he donated a sample of his own blood to Victor Frankenstein, who had come to him seeking the secret to life. Frankenstein used this blood to create a living monster from dead flesh. After Frankenstein's death, the monster took his creator's name and eventually settled in America. Frankenstein's monster was unaware of his own connection to Melmoth but ironically, in 1870 he did clash with his "blood father." Frankenstein shot off Melmoth's head aboard a train that crashed in the American Southwest. Melmoth survived; Frankenstein lay buried in the desert for over a hundred years. NOTE: Frankenstein was published by Mary Shelley in 1831.

On February 12, 1875, Greg Sanders, the legendary Vigilante stumbled across one of the Sheeda's main points of departure — the Miracle Mesa in the Arizona desert. With the aid of a friend called Johnny Frankenstein, he was able to defeat a wave of the Sheeda's spider drones. As it turns out, Sanders was himself lost in time. When he returned to the 20th century, he would be one of the first to recognize signs of the Sheeda's return. (Seven Soldiers #0) Note: If Frankenstein had gone dormant in 1870, it's unclear who Johnny Frankenstein was.

The Golden Age

From Leading Comics #1 (1941); by various artists.
Splash page shows the enemies of the starring characters. From Leading Comics #1 (1941); art by Mort Meskin.
Facing the tyrants from the ancient past. From Leading Comics #3 (1942); art by Mort Meskin.
Solving the time trap of Dr. Doome. From All-Star Squadron #29 (1984); art by Jerry Ordway and Rick Magyar.
The warring wizards from the arctic. From Leading Comics #7 (1943); art by Pierce Rice.
The Vigilante is snared by legendary Lilliputians. From Leading Comics #13 (1944); art by Arthur Cazeneuve.

The Seven Soldiers of Victory who formed in 1941, at the dawn of the super-heroic age, did not battle Melmoth or any of the Sheeda. Their end, however, was brought about by the Goblin Queen's servant, Neh-Buh-Loh.

The Seven Soldiers of Victory were a group of masked men were brought together by need, to defeat a group of villains assembled by the Hand (aka Ramon Solomano) who'd been given less than a month to live. Each hero converged on Gotham City then departed to engage one of the Hand's partners. The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy fought their enemy, the Needle; the Crimson Avenger and Wing against Big Caeser; the Shining Knight with Red Dragon; the Vigilante fought the Dummy; and the Green Arrow and Speedy brought down Professor Merlin. After defeating the "fingers," the heroes reconvened to bring down the Hand. The villain was apparently crushed by his own electric ray after it was shot down by the Vigilante. (Leading Comics #1)

The Vigilante's sidekick, Billy Gunn, appeared in four Seven Soldiers tales (Leading Comics #1–4) — which was actually two greater than the number of appearances Gunn made in Action Comics (#43–44). In the Vigilante's solo feature, Gunn was swiftly replaced by Stuff, the Chinatown Kid (Action Comics #45–196). Stuff did not appear in any original Leading Comics adventures, but later storytellers inserted him into Seven Soldiers history.

The Black Star strong-armed a cadre of crooks, speaking to them only via film projections. The villain empowered himself by channeling light through rare elements. When its power went wrong, he grew to giant size but died from his own weight, falling through floor. (#2)

Their next case took shape in a similar manner. Dr. Doome used his powerful time machine to bring history's greatest conquerors to the present. The Soldiers found themselves pitted against the likes of Alexander the Great, Nero, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. When the heroes came back together, they followed Doome back to the 12th century BCE and the time of the Trojan War. (#3)

During World War II, most of America's super-heroes signed on to participate in the All-Star Squadron. The team was assembled by President Roosevelt to help fight the Axis powers at home. Of the Soldiers, the Shining Knight participated most frequently, and was a charter member of the group. Note: Leading Comics #3 was retold in All-Star Squadron #29 (Jan. 1984); Leading #4 in All-Star Squadron #56 (Apr. 1986); Leading #5 in Young All-Stars #27 (July 1989).

Common sense triumphed over the Sense Master. This villain was actually an artificial construct created by Dr. Brett, who used mental telepathy (the sixth sense) to manipulate five gems associated with the other five senses. His ultimate aim was to place the gems into an idol to create the powerful Lifestone; instead its power turned Brett into stone. (#4)

The Skull was a wealthy "Oriental" mastermind, who set thugs to acquire the components of a youth ray. He didn't set it properly, so it actually made him older, and he died. (#5) On this adventure, the Shining Knight's young friend Percival Sheldrake, the Squire, tagged along. (Young All-Stars #27) Notes: This villain mentioned his admiration for Adolf Hitler. The Young All-Stars allusion to this story was the Soldiers' first post-Crisis appearance. As such, Wing and Stuff were represented as members instead of Green Arrow and Speedy (whose existence was negated by the Crisis on Infinite Earths).

In Leading Comics #6 (Spring 1943), Joe Samachson became the writer and he changed the structure of the stories somewhat; the tone of the stories became more adventurous and cohesive. Each issue was now also drawn by a single artist or team. These artists included Maurice Del Bourgo, Pierce Rice, Jon Small, and Arthur Cazeneuve (who drew Leading #9-14). When a newspaper article called for the Seven Soldiers of Victory to accept a billion dollar mission, a legion of impostors showed up for the money. After sorting that out, the team met Mr. Milton who wanted to find Incan gold to add to America's war chest. As usual, the heroes split into teams but they were paired differently. (#6)

The Wizard of Wisstark manipulated them in a similar way, bringing the Legionnaires together for charity. They took the Wizard's see-through ship to an uncharted arctic land that was heated by radioactive minerals. The Wizard was at war with other tribes whose power of illusion created many fantastical scenes. (#7)

The Dummy — a frequent thorn for the Vigilante — was the team's only returning villain. Like Dr. Doome, he lucked onto a time machine and sent the Legionnaires into the distant past: to the time of the Three Musketeers; the construction of the Great Wall of China; the Vikings discovering America; to Julius Caesar; and to Leonardo da Vinci experimenting with a flying machine. The latter visit was the Dummy's undoing, as da Vinci had made a similar time machine, and restored everyone to their proper place in time. (#8)

On other adventures, they outwitted the chameleon-like Mr. X, who was unmasked as a hideous freak (#9); saved important professors from gangster-pirates in the Pacific (#10); followed the trail of the lucky hat of gangster Handsome Harry (#11); and were railroaded into a wild goose chase to find hidden riches. (#12)

The Barracuda sought to make a "museum of crime" and sent lackeys to steal some exhibits that were all connected to great crimes. After the Soldiers cleaned up this racket, they collected the artifacts and donated them to their own museum. (#13)

In their last Golden Age adventure, Dr. Wimsett invented a formula that could bring fictional characters off the page and step into the real world! Soon the city was overrun with the likes of Hamlet, King Cole, Long John Silver, Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat, and Lilliputians. (#14)

After Leading Comics

New art for the lost Soldiers tale written by Joe Samachson in the 1940s. From Adventure Comics #443 (1976); art by Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdell.

Leading Comics #14 (Spring 1945) was the last issue of that title to feature super-heroes (it switched to funny animal fare), but writer Joe Samachson wrote one last "Seven Soldiers" script that went into DC's archives. It was discovered in the 1970s and published with new art, in serial form through Adventure Comics #438–443 (Mar. 1975–Feb. 1976). Per the letter column, it was "Written in the Golden Age of comics and discovered in our files after thirty years!"

The Seven Soldiers met the powerfully magic elf, Willie Wisher, who whisked them away to the Land of Magic. Shining Knight found himself back home in old England battling the magician Surlin. (Adventure Comics #438) The other Legionnaires gained weird new powers and met a variety of other fantastical characters. (#439–442) When they reconvened, they outwitted Willie by getting him to wish that he'd never been born. (#443)

Most of these characters continued on in solo features well beyond 1945:

  • The Crimson Avenger's solo feature actually ended before the Soldiers', in Detective Comics #89 (July 1944).
  • Green Arrow has been continuously published by DC — in anthology titles if not in his own. After his strip ended in Adventure Comics #269 (Feb. 1960), the character still appeared in World's Finest Comics through #136 (Sept. 1963), and he became a member of the JLA in Justice League of America #4 (Apr. 1961).
  • The Shining Knight's feature lasted through Adventure Comics #166 (July 1951).
  • Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy were featured until Star Spangled Comics #90 (Mar. 1949).
  • The Vigilante enjoyed a long publishing run probably because the Western genre of comics became very popular. His last Golden Age appearance was in Action Comics #198 (Nov. 1954).

Revising History

Other Adventures in the 1940s–50s

The first post-Crisis depiction of the Soldiers without Green Arrow and Speedy — now with Wing and Stuff as members. From Young All-Stars #27 (1989); art by David Simons and Bob Downs.
The Seven Soldiers including TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite. From DCU: Legacies #2 (2010); art by Joe Kubert and Brad Anderson.
From DCU: Legacies #2 (2010); art by J. H. Williams III.

It's important to note that after DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths (1986), Earth-Two — home of DC's Golden Age characters — was merged with Earth-One (and others). As a result, "duplicate" Golden Age heroes such as Superman and Batman were erased. This meant that the original Green Arrow and Speedy also no longer existed. So in a group whose name dictated the number of its members, any post-Crisis tales needed to somehow "get the membership back up" to seven.

Most commonly this was done by promoting the other sidekicks to official membership status. Post-Crisis line-ups almost always included the Crimson Avenger's partner Wing. At different times and tellings it also included the Vigilante's pals Billy Gunn and Stuff, the Chinatown Kid; Shining Knight's friend, the Squire; and another interesting addition that flipped their whole history upside down.

The chronology of these post-Crisis membership shifts is as follows:

  1. Young All-Stars #27 (July 1989): post-Crisis, Roy Thomas promoted Wing and Stuff the Chinatown Kid as substitutes for Green Arrow and Speedy. This story also introduced the Squire to their group.
  2. El Diablo #12 (Aug. 1990): Set in modern times, this story revealed Stuff's real name, Victor Leong.
  3. Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice #1–4 (1995): Set in the 1940s, this post-Zero Hour mini-series by James Robinson created a continuity problem. The original Stuff whose name was Danny, no last name was given) was said to have been killed by gangster Bugsy Siegel. (#1) In this story, the Vigilante's last name was also spelled "Saunders," a change that is ignored here.
  4. Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000): Geoff Johns added a different Golden Age archer, the Spider, in place of Green Arrow; the story also depicted Wing and Stuff. He also fixed the Stuff conflict by explaining that after Stuff (Danny) was killed, his brother Victor became Stuff II.
  5. DCU: Legacies #2 (Aug. 2010): In Infinite Crisis, the DC multiverse was restored but Earth-0 remained without Golden Age duplicate heroes. This story by Len Wein (who had penned their revival in 1972) curiously inserted TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite among the original lineup (and removed the Spider). When the Seven Soldiers of Victory included TNT and Dyna-Mite as members, the Dummy returned to place a challenge in the newspaper to occupy the soldiers while he went after the Markovian Crown Jewels. The tale was recorded by Wing How, then Executive Assistant to Publisher Lee Travis. (DCU: Legacies #2)

Lost in Time

The Spider spins his final web for the Soldiers. From Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (2000); art by Scott Kolins and Dan Davis.
The Oracle explains the Soldiers' encounter with the Nebula-Man. From Justice League of America #100 (1972); art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella.
The Crimson Avenger gained powers but lost his memory in ancient Mexico. From Justice League of America #100 (1972); art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella.
This post-Crisis depiction steered clear of naming seven heroes and depicted just six. From Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 (1999); art by Chris Weston and John Stokes.

None of the Soldiers had made any significant appearances since the Golden Age, and wasn't until 1972 that anyone at DC used them again as a team. The tale of the Seven Soldiers of Victory's final fate was told by the new creative team of Len Wein and Dick Dillin in Justice League of America #100–102 (Aug. 1972), and it explained why they had all been forgotten. The three-part story was inspired by a similar time traveling adventure from Leading Comics #8 (Fall 1943).

The seven Legionnaires had kept in touch sporadically after the war was over. In their final case the Soldiers' first foe, the Hand, had somehow survived and figured out a way to summon a giant cosmic menace called the Nebula-Man. It was defeated when the Seven Soldiers devised a weapon called the "nebula rod" that channeled cosmic energies. (Justice League of America #100) But the weapon had to be delivered manually, so it was Wing who sacrificed himself to do it. Wing died and the energy discharge hurled the rest of the Soldiers into different points in the past. It also erased all memory of the Seven Soldiers of Victory from the inhabitants of Earth-Two. (#101-102)

The Crimson Avenger was rendered amnesiac and given energy powers. He became a king among the ancient Aztecs. (#100) The Shining Knight was lost in the time of Genghis Khan; Green Arrow saved Robin Hood from hanging in England; and Stripesy was put to work in ancient Egypt, exhibiting great strength. (#101) The Vigilante was held captive In a North American Indian village. The Star-Spangled Kid hid away from Cro-Magnon man, 50,000 years in the past. He quarantined himself because he'd caught the flu and didn't want to affect the future of the human race. Lastly, Speedy had landed on the isle of the ancient witch Circe, who transformed him into a centaur. (#102)


As mentioned above, the Crisis removed Green Arrow and Speedy from DC continuity, so any retelling of the Soldiers' past needed new members to replace them. The Justice League story was revised for post-Crisis continuity by Geoff Johns in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000), and its seeds were sown in The Shade #3 (June 1997). In it, a former Quality Comics hero, the Spider, was retconned to become a criminal whose crime-fighting career diverted all suspicion from his own crimes. He gained the trust of the the Seven Soldiers and was one of their members. (This put Wing back to unofficial member status, and Stuff was the seventh member.)

In the retelling, it was late October 1948 when the Seven Soldiers of Victory were called by the Spider to St. Louis for what would be their final adventure. The Spider's plan was to trick the Soldiers into building a "nebula rod" for him. He told them that their old foe, the Hand had planned a great attack and the rod would channel the cosmic energy needed to defeat him. Stripesy built the rod, but the Soldiers were suspicious of such a complex project.

Later, the Spider feigned weakness and told his teammates that the Hand had summoned a powerful cosmic entity. The Spider then conveniently "collapsed," leaving the Soldiers a map of the Hand's hideout. The Soldiers left the Spider in the care of Wing. But shortly after they left the Vigilante's friend, Billy Gunn arrived with troubling news about the Spider (the Vigilante had secretly given him the task of running a background check on the Spider). Gunn told Wing that the Spider had set them up —  and was promptly killed by an arrow through the neck. The Spider revealed his true colors to Wing; he had also removed a critical component from the nebula rod. Wing subdued the Spider and took the component from him.

By this time, the other Soldiers were engaged in battle against the Nebula Man, who had been summoned by the Hand. The Crimson Avenger grabbed the nebula rod and ran towards the creature, stabbing it with the rod. The resulting explosion teleported everyone to the Himalayas, where Wing told the others about the Spider's betrayal. Wing inserted the missing piece into the nebula rod and attacked the Nebula Man again. The resulting blast banished the Nebula Man but killed Wing, and scattered the rest of the team through time and space. Afterwards, the monks at a nearby monastery buried Wing. They marked his grave with a tombstone bearing the epitaph "Here in honored glory lies an Unknown Soldier of Victory who died that his world might live."

Years later, under interrogation, Ramon Solomano admitted that he did not create the Nebula Man, but that the being answered his call. He said the entity was looking for "seven soldiers" to kill, and for a long lost treasure in a Himalayan citadel. (Bulleteer #2)

The Legacy of the Spider

In 1951, when the Golden Age Flash retired, the Spider became Keystone City's resident super-hero and married Linda Dalt. But when the Shade discovered his true nature, he killed the Spider. (Shade #3) His first son, Lucas Ludlow Dalt, became the second Spider and also took up a life of crime. The second, Thomas Ludlow Dalt would later become “I, Spyder,” play a key role in the Vigilante's future Seven Soldiers.

The Spider's involvement with the Seven Soldiers of Victory was awkwardly retconned out by another retelling, in DC Legacies #2 (2010).


Members First appearance Final pre-Crisis status (1986)
1. Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis) Detective Comics #20 (Oct. 1938) Deceased in DC Comics Presents #38 (1981)
—. Wing Unofficial member; deceased, revealed Justice League of America #102 (1972)
2. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941) Deceased Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (1986)
3. Speedy (Roy Harper) Eliminated by the Crisis; death depicted in Convergence: World's Finest #1 (2015)
4. Shining Knight (Sir Justin, Justin Arthur) Adventure Comics #66 (Sept. 1941) Active in adventuring
5. Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton, Skyman) Action Comics #40 (Sept. 1941) Active in adventuring
6. Stripesy (Pat Dugan) Active in adventuring
7. Vigilante (Greg Sanders) Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941) Active in adventuring
—. Billy Gunn Action Comics #43 (Dec. 1941) Unofficial member
post-Crisis Membership
Members First appearance Final pre-New 52 status (2010)
1. Crimson Avenger (Lee Walter Travis) Detective Comics #20 (Oct. 1938) Deceased in DC Comics Presents #38 (1981)
—. Wing (Wing How) Detective Comics #20 (Oct. 1938) Unofficial member; deceased, revealed Justice League of America #102 (1972)
2. Shining Knight (Sir Justin, Justin Arthur) Adventure Comics #66 (Sept. 1941) Active in adventuring
—. The Squire (Percival Sheldrake, the Knight I) Batman #62 (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951) Unofficial member; reported killed by his arch-enemy, Springheeled Jack (JLA: Classified #1, 2005)
—. The Spider (Tom Ludlow Hallaway) Crack Comics #1 (May 1940) Revealed as a villain & killed by the Shade in The Shade #3 (1997)
3. Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton, Skyman) Action Comics #40 (Sept. 1941) Deceased Infinity Inc. #51 (1988)
4. Stripesy (Pat Dugan, S.T.R.I.P.E.) Active as S.T.R.I.P.E.
5. Vigilante (Greg Sanders) Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)
—. Billy Gunn Action Comics #43 (Dec. 1941) Unofficial member; killed by the Spider in 1948 (Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9)
—. Stuff, the Chinatown Kid I (Daniel Leong) Action Comics #45 (Feb. 1942) Murdered by Bugsy Siegel in 1944, Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice #1 (Nov. 1995)
—. Stuff, the Chinatown Kid II (Victor Leong) El Diablo #12 (Aug. 1990) Retired, Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000)
6. TNT (Thomas "Tex" N. Thomas) Star-Spangled Comics #7 (Apr. 1942) Post-Infinite Crisis additions, replacing the Spider
7. Dan the Dyna-Mite (Daniel Dunbar) Post-Infinite Crisis additions; sidekick of TNT

The Newsboy Army

The Newsboy Army: Li'l Hollywood, Baby Brain, Kid Scarface, Millions, Chop Suzi, Captain 7, and Ali-Ka-Zoom. From Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4 (2005); art by Cameron Stewart.

The Newsboy Army was a World War II-era group of kid heroes invented and interwoven by Grant Morrison into his seven-series crossover, Seven Soldiers. None of the characters in the Newsboy Army were original to DC's Golden Age. The group was first mentioned in Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #2 (July 2005).

The Newsboy Army used the inheritance of Millions the Mystery Mutt to build a base in a junkyard, and purchase their own printing press. After a couple years of crazy adventures, their team was traumatized by events following the death of their friend, "Uncle" Mo Colley. Mo was bitten by a Sheeda "fairy," and shot to death by police. The Newsboys investigated clues that led to Slaughter Swamp, north of Gotham City (birth site of the terrible Solomon Grundy).

They found a cabin where the Terrible Time Tailor — alias Zor, a renegade Time Tailor — told them a prophesy about "seven soldiers" who were destined to defeat the Sheeda's queen of terror. (Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4)

Many of the young Newsboys fell into tragic circumstances after this. Captain 7 was found to have killed a child, and the team imprisoned him in the Cabinet of Ali-Ka-Zoom. Chop Suzi (who controlled machines) and Millions the Mystery Mutt (the richest dog on Earth) both died at the age of 14, of causes unrevealed. (Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4)

The other four would later have ties to the future Seven Soldiers:

  • Kid Scarface grew up to become a powerful crime lord, Godfather Vincenzo, the Undying Don — undying because he came into possession of the Sheeda Queen's legendary Cauldron of Rebirth, which he found in Slaughter Swamp. The Sheeda eventually tracked the Cauldron to Vincenzo and he was killed by I, Spyder. (Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #2) Vincenzo managed to resurrect himself but he was ultimately slain by Neh-Buh-Loh. (#4) Zatanna found Don Vincenzo in Los Angeles, dying. His Newsboy friend, Ali-Ka-Zoom escorted Vincenzo to the afterlife. (Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #3) His estate was left to a dog. (Seven Soldiers #1)
  • Ali-Ka-Zoom, "the Merlin of the Ghetto," was a friend of the master mage, Zatara, and once met his young daughter, Zatanna. Ali became a homeless man; his cause of death is unknown but his ghost visited Zatanna, whose friend, Cassandra Craft, possessed of the Cabinet of Ali-Ka-Zoom. (Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #2) He told them the Sheeda's Fairy Queen, and led them to find the ancient Cauldron of Rebirth. (#3)
  • When he was 10 years old, Baby Brain (Ed Stargard) created the Golems Four, a team of elementals. Though he never grew to normal adult size, Stargard became the boss of the Manhattan Guardian newspaper and employed his own Newsboy Army for its news-gathering. He also hired the paper's own hero — the Manhattan Guardian — to provide adventurous stories for their readers. (Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1) When the Sheeda finally came for Baby Brain, the Guardian stood ready to protect him. (#4)
  • Li'l Hollywood maintained her celebrity by forestalling the aging process and appearing at super-hero conventions. At one convention, she met a future Soldier, Alix Harrower, the Bulleteer. According to Lucian Crawley (the Mindgrabber Kid), Hollywood somehow maintained her youth artificially. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3)

This group is named similar to DC's Newsboy Legion, a DC feature created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby which ran in Star-Spangled Comics #7–64 (1942–47). Both groups had ties to costumed heroes called the Guardian. The Newsboy Legion worked with the original Guardian (Jim Harper), and the Newsboy Army's Baby Brain eventually created a successor, Jake Jordan (Guardian V).


1. Baby Brains (Ed Stargard) Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1 (May 2005) Active as a publisher
2. Kid Scarface (Don Vincenzo) Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #2 (June 2005) Deceased, Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #4 (Oct. 2005)
3. Ali-Ka-Zoom Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #3 (Sept. 2005) Deceased
4. Captain 7 Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4 (Nov. 2005) Trapped in Cabinet of Ali-Ka-Zoom, Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4 (Nov. 2005)
5. Chop Suzi Deceased at age 14
6. Li'l Hollywood Retired, revealed in Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3 (Apr. 2006)
7. Millions the Mystery Mutt Deceased after the War

The Silver Age

The members of the Justice League, Justice Society, and the newly recovered Seven Soldiers. From Justice League of America #102 (1972); art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella. See the original art for this page.
Wing's only appearance in the tale was in its final panel. From Justice League of America #102 (1972); art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella.
When the Justice League is down, Deadman brings together seven heroes to confront the Injustice League. From The Silver Age: Showcase #1 (2000); art by Dick Giordano.
The Crimson Avenger chooses sacrifice over illness. From DC Comics Presents #38 (1981); art by Alex Saviuk and Dennis Jensen.

Decades Later

As the Justice League gathered to celebrate their 100th meeting, they found themselves transported by the Justice Society to Earth-Two. Doctor Fate showed them that a giant hand threatened to crush their world if they did not give dominion to the Iron Hand (who was the Seven Soldiers first foe, Ramon Solomano). When the heroes investigated the Hand they found only a tomb memorializing an "Unknown Soldier of Victory, who died that his world might live."

Zatanna and the Thunderbolt helped Fate to summon the Oracle — ancient Aurakles himself — for more information. He told them on what had transpired in 1948 with the Seven Soldiers, the Nebula-Man, and how they'd been hurled into different points in the past. Because of the warp in time, no one in the JSA or JLA actually remembered the Soldiers. The Oracle then helped them find the time-lost heroes. (Justice League of America #100)

Although the Soldiers had been lost in time for only a short while, they were shocked to find they'd returned to the 20th century decades after they'd left. The sole exception to this was the Vigilante, who spent 20 years in the Old West before his return (this was blamed on Johnny Thunder's inept command of the magic Thunderbolt). Note: The Vigilante's extended stay was a retcon from Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000).

The Iron Hand emerged from the shadows but was easily incapacitated by Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman). She destroyed his mechanical hand, which was also the controller for the giant hand threatening Earth-Two. Dr. Fate proposed that the Soldiers recreate the nebula rod that had stopped the Nebula-Man first time. As before, the weapon needed to be delivered directly. While the heroes argued over who would deliver the payload, the Red Tornado sneaked out and sacrificed himself. He disappeared along with the nebuloid hand. (JLofA #100-102, Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9)

The Soldiers' guest appearance in Justice League of America led to no significant revivals. After their return to the 20th century, the Soldiers went their separate ways...

  • The Crimson Avenger hung up his costume and traveled the world. He learned that he had a terminal disease and rather than withering away, he jumped out his hospital window to stop some hijackers. He died while steering a burning chemical tanker away from New York harbor. (DC Comics Presents #38) He was memorialized by his former teammates. (Infinity Inc. #11)
  • The Star-Spangled Kid later joined the Justice Society and formed Infinity, Inc. He died from the poison touch of Mister Bones during a battle with Injustice, Unlimited. By this time, he was calling himself Skyman. (Infinity Inc. #51)
  • Pat Dugan (Stripsey) contented himself with civilian life for a long time. His first marriage, to Maggie Shaw, was short and they had a son, Mike. He later became Infinity, Inc.'s resident mechanic. He attended Sylvester's funeral and held on to Syl's cosmic rod. (Infinity Inc. #51) His second wife, Barbara Whitmore, had a daughter named Courtney, who eventually discovered the rod and took up Sylvester's codename. Pat created a suit of armor called S.T.R.I.P.E. to keep tabs on her. (Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9) The two of them served with the Justice Society. (JSA #1)
  • The Shining Knight was a regular in All-Star Squadron (set during wartime), and remained active in adventuring. He answered the call of the Justice Society reserves.
  • The Vigilante retired from adventuring and started a restaurant chain with Stuff called Round-Up. (El Diablo #12) The Vigilante may have been the only one of Law's Legionnaires to glimpse the importance of the Soldiers' role in the battle against the Sheeda. Years later, he would be one of the first to recognize the Sheeda's return, and attempt to form a new Seven Soldiers.

"The Silver Age" (DC Event)

In 2000, writer Mark Waid created an event called "The Silver Age" which told the story of DC's heroes against Agamemno. The one-shot titled The Silver Age: Showcase (July 2000) featured a group of heroes billed as "Seven Soldiers of Victory" on the cover, though they never actually used the name in the story.

This group consisted of heroes that are associated with DC's Silver Age of publishing. They were brought together for one case, by Deadman, who recruited Adam Strange, Batgirl, Metamorpho, Blackhawk, Mento and Shining Knight II (Gardner Grayle, better known as the Atomic Knight). The group tried to help the Justice League against the Injustice League and its members also appeared in the story's final chapter, The Silver Age 80-Page Giant.

Note: The original Seven Soldiers made apocryphal cameos in JLA: Year One #11–12 (Nov.–Dec. 1998). That story took place when the Soldiers would still have been scattered across time.

Crisis on Infinite Earths

When the Anti-Monitor brought red skies of doom to infinite Earths, Green Arrow was killed by one of his Shadow Demons. (Crisis #12) Many years later, cities from across the DC multiverse were revealed to have been "preserved" by Brainiac. Just before Earth-Two was obliterated, Speedy died in an unexpected earthquake (perhaps an explanation for his absence in Crisis). Brainiac then spirited the Earth-Two Metropolis away to an alien world.

"Scribbly" Jibbet witnessed and recorded it all. The kid cartoonist had grown into a reporter and a friend to the city's heroes. Jibbet was saved by the Shining Knight, who found his magical youth fading away. Stripesy died of pneumonia because of a lack of medicine. (Convergence: World's Finest #1) When the cities were ultimately freed, the Knight was restored to vigor and led a charge against the Weaponers from Qward. The Crimson Avenger and Vigilante fought and died against the same. (#2) Notes: Scribbly first appeared in All-American Comics #19 (Apr. 1939). This story ignored the Crimson Avenger's pre-Crisis death.

21st Century Soldiers

Diptych art for the two Seven Soldiers trade paperback volumes (2011); art by Ryan Sook.

The Seven Unknown Men had foretold there would be "seven soldiers destined to save the world from an evil queen, yet never meet." And so it was in the early 21st century that seven disparate champions unwittingly pulled the strings of fate and orchestrated the Goblin Queen's downfall. Many of them employed one of Aurakles' seven ancient weapons.

The Vigilante's Team of Six

The Vigilante's six doomed soldiers: Dyno-Mite Dan, Vigilante, Gimmix, Boy Blue, I, Spyder, and the Whip. From Seven Soldiers #0 (2005); art by J.H. Williams III.

Having witnessed the Sheeda in 1875, the Vigilante recognized portents of their return. He tried his best to recruit new Seven Soldiers to combat this menace. His classified ad called for heroes, but drew just five others:

  1. Boy Blue, a Hispanic teenager, was a spy within the group. In fact, he was Ramon the Hand) Solomano's nephew, sent to infiltrate Sanders' group and call the Nebula Man back to destroy them all. He had a ghost suit that affected his density, and a horn with sonic power. (Seven Soldiers #0) Two other Boy Blues were later seen at a super-hero convention. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3) Note: These characters are based on DC's Little Boy Blue ("Tommy" Rogers), who first appeared in Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942).

  2. Dyno-Mite Dan (Harris D. Ledbetter), a hero fan who possessed — he thought — original powered rings that belonged to TNT & Dyna-Mite's rings. (Zatanna later learned that her friend, Cassandra Craft, sold Harris the rings, and that they were magical fakes.) (Seven Soldiers #0) Note: This character is the successor to Dan the Dyna-Mite, who first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942).

  3. Gimmix (Jacqueline Pemberton) was the estranged daughter of Merry the Gimmick Girl. Jackie wore a red wig and claimed to have met many other heroes. (Seven Soldiers #0) Gimmix unknowingly met the Vigilante's absentee seventh soldier, the Bulleteer, at a hero convention. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2)

  4. I, Spyder (Thomas Ludlow Dalt), son of the Golden Age Spider. Before heading to Arizona to meet the Vigilante, Dalt first ventured into Slaughter Swamp searching for secret power. There he was bitten by one of the tiny, fairy-like Sheeda. The Seven Unknown Men who lived in the Swamp knew this bite was fatal, and so they set about "fixing" him. (Seven Soldiers #0) Their gifts gave him perfect aim and a spiritual connection to spiders — the Sheeda's companions. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2)
  5. The Whip IV (Shelly Gaynor), who'd taken to the streets to honor her grandfather's legacy, partly to satiate of her own thrill-seeking death wish. Shelly was a writer for the New York Daily Recorder, who'd written books about adventuring, but wanted more. With the Vigilante, she hoped to help save the world. (Seven Soldiers #0)
  6. The Bulleteer (Alix Harrower) got cold feet and never showed up in Arizona. Her husband, Lance was obsessed with developing technology that would give him super-powers. He perfected a "smartskin" that would transform one's skin into something stronger than steel. Lance hoped that he and Alix would become the modern-day successors to the original Bullet Man and Bullet Girl. The smartskin reacted badly on Lance, and when he touched Alix, its effect spread to her. He died at the hospital, and Alix's life was ruined; she even entertained suicide, but the task was literally impossible. Alix was to be the Vigilante's seventh soldier but decided at the last moment not to go. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1)

The six Soldiers met the Vigilante in Arizona, where they spent several days acclimating. He briefed them about the history of the Miracle Mesa and the monsters he'd fought in the 19th century. These spiders had returned and he prepared by ordering powerful flying machines to help them hunt the Mesa. As they embarked on their first — and last — mission Dan noted that it was unlucky to have only six members. Any minor successes were short-lived. When Neh-Buh-Loh arrived leading the Sheeda horde, all the Soldiers were slaughtered.

1. Vigilante (Greg Sanders) Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)
2. Boy Blue (unrevealed) Seven Soldiers #0 (April 2005) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)
3. Dyno-Mite Dan (unrevealed) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)
4. Gimmix (Jacqueline Pemberton) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)
5. I, Spyder (Thomas Ludlow Dalt) Deceased Seven Soldiers #0 (2005); revived by their queen, Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #3 (2005)
6. The Whip IV (Shelly Gaynor) Killed by the Sheeda, Seven Soldiers #0 (Apr. 2005)

The Soldiers Who Never Met

Misty Kilgore and Cassandra Craft watch as Zatanna contemplates the ancient Merlin Sprite, aka Gwydion. From Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #4 (2005); art by Ryan Sook and Mick Gray.
Aurakles resurfaces as the prisoner of Darkseid. From Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #4 (2006); art by Freddie E. Williams II.
Frankenstein turns the tables on the lovelorn Neh-Buh-Loh. From Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #2 (2006); art by Doug Mahnke.
The Sheeda Queen's end began with Justin's blow from the Sword of Aurakles…
…as she fell, the Spyder took his revenge…
… and the "spear thrown by mighty Aurakles" — the reluctant Bulleteer — lands the final blow. From Seven Soldiers #1 (2006); art by J.H. Williams III.

Afterwards, the Unknown Men set "Plan B" in motion: the manipulation of seven others who would never meet, thus be more difficult for the Sheeda to recognize. Since the Sheeda targeted groups of seven, it was time to try a stealthier approach — Soldiers who did not know one another.

The seven who were foretold came from across the globe and across time. All of them were linked somehow to one or more of Aurakles' seven ancient artifacts. Each played a part in weakening Gloriana, the Sheeda, and/or their sources of power:

  1. In the 21st century, Justin, the Shining Knight of Camelot arrived directly after her battle with the Queen in ancient Avalon. She was taken into protective custody by the police, (Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1) and visited by Dr. Gloria Friday — the Queen herself disguised as an "expert on antiquities." The Sheeda stole the Sword of Aurakles and summoned Justin's friend Galahad back to life. Elsewhere, the Sheeda closed in on Gloriana's prize, the Cauldron of Rebirth. (#3) It was held by the former Newsboy Army member, Don Vincenzo. (#4) In the end, the Shining Knight used the ancient sword to cleaved off part of Gloriana's head, and the queen fell earthward from her castle. (Seven Soldiers #1)
  2. The Guardian (V) was Jake Jordan. This hero was groomed by another one of the Newsboy Army, the former Baby Brain (Ed Stargard), who worked secretly with the Unknown Men to assemble this non-team. The Guardian first battled a gang of New York pirates led by All-Beard. (Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1) They fought over a Fatherbox at the heart of New York's underground. (#2) When the Sheeda came for Stargard, Jake stood ready. (#4)
  3. Klarion came from Limbo Town, the underground settlement of the descendants of Melmoth. When the townspeople learned of the Sheeda's return, they began to close their gates. (Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy #1) Klarion went beyond the gate, and on his way to the surface discovered the pirates' magic die (Fatherbox). He emerged in New York where he met his ancestor, Mister Melmoth. (#2) He unwittingly led Melmoth back to Limbo town, (#3) so Klarion returned home to help his people. Melmoth revealed that the waters of the Cauldron of Rebirth flowed through his veins; he became bored with Limbo Town and departed. Klarion followed him to the surface. (#4) When the Sheeda were nigh to defeat, Klarion stole a second Fatherbox, made way onto the dreadnought, Castle Revolving, and used his pair of dice to command the remnants of the Sheeda. (Seven Soldiers #1)
  4. Frankenstein awoke in the American Southwest (where he'd lain dormant, underground). He emerged amidst a Sheeda infestation. (Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1) Frankenstein quickly traced his old foe, Melmoth, to a child slave colony on Mars. He threw Melmoth to carnivorous "horses" and returned the children to Earth. (#2) Frankenstein was met by his former Bride, and her employers, S.H.A.D.E. (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive). (#3) He hunted Neh-Buh-Loh to the ancient Himalayan city of Gorias, one of Arthur's retreats. He shot Neh-Buh-Loh with a special bullet and then finished the entity with its own weapon, the ancient spear of Aurakles. S.H.A.D.E. then called Frankenstein to the Arizona desert, where he secretly boarded the Sheeda's Castle Revolving. From there he detonated bombs that destroyed the Sheeda's fleet. (#4, Seven Soldiers #1)
  5. Mister Miracle III (Shilo Norman) was sucked into a trap laid by Gloriana's ally, Darkseid. Darkseid had agreed to cede parts of the Earth to her in exchange for her prisoner, Aurakles. Mister Miracle escaped Darkseid's "Omega Sanction" and sacrificed himself to change places with Aurakles, freeing him. (Seven Soldiers #1)
  6. Zatanna found herself wrangling the intricacies of the ancient gods' Merlin sprite (or "Shapeless One"), in the 21st century known as Gwydion. It had been manipulated by the villainous sorcerer, Zor, the renegade Time Tailor. She also met Misty Kilgore —  Gloriana's step-daughter — who asked to become an apprentice. (Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1) Misty possessed another magical die/Fatherbox. (#2) Zatanna defeated Zor in Slaughter Swamp with Gwydion's magical power. Zor was remanded to the custody of his brethren, the Seven Unknown Men. By this time the Sheeda had overrun Manhattan and Zatanna and Misty rode there with an army of winged horses from the Himalayas. (#4)
  7. The Bulleteer never knew that she was the direct descendant of Earth's first super-hero, mighty Aurakles. After acquiring super-powers, she consistently refused her destiny as a hero. And so she was the "spear that was never thrown" in the war with the Sheeda. Despite her reluctance, she took investigatory work, and came to visit the old Soldiers' enemy, the Hand (Ramon Solomano) in prison. She interrogated him about the Nebula Man's return. (Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2) Alix took a roommate, Sara Smart (aka Sally Sonic, her husband's mistress). (#3) The two eventually came to blows while driving through Manhattan. (#4) In the scuffle, their car was launched into the air and came crashing into the Sheeda Queen, killing her for good. (Seven Soldiers #1)

I, Spyder also played a role in the queen's defeat, betraying his mistress and shooting her through the head before her final descent. At the conclusion of the tale, the Sheeda King and Queen were dead and Klarion was in command of the surviving minions. (Seven Soldiers #1)

Reading Order

This is the reading order for all 30 chapters of the Seven Soldiers epic, which was published during it's original print run. Note that the mini-series don't "interlock" in any strict sense; they mostly stand alone:

  1. Seven Soldiers of Victory #0
  2. Shining Knight # 1
  3. Guardian # 1
  4. Zatanna #1
  5. Klarion #1
  6. Shining Knight #2
  7. Guardian #2
  8. Zatanna #2
  9. Klarion #2
  10. Shining Knight #3
  11. Guardian #3
  12. Zatanna #3
  13. Klarion #3
  14. Shining Knight #4
  15. Guardian #4
  16. Mister Miracle # 1
  17. Zatanna #4
  18. Klarion #4
  19. Bulleteer #1
  20. Frankenstein # 1
  21. Mister Miracle #2
  22. Bulleteer #2
  23. Frankenstein #2
  24. Mister Miracle #3
  25. Bulleteer #3
  26. Frankenstein #3
  27. Mister Miracle #4
  28. Bulleteer #4
  29. Frankenstein! #4
  30. Seven Soldiers of Victory #1


1. Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara) Hawkman v.1 #4 (Nov. 1964) Active in adventuring
2. Klarion the Witch Boy The Demon #7 (Mar. 1973) Active in adventuring
3. Mister Miracle III (Shilo Norman) Mister Miracle v.1 #15 (Sept. 1973) Deceased and resurrected Seven Soldiers #1 (2006)
4. The Manhattan Guardian (Jake Jordan) Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1 (May 2005) Active in adventuring

The Shining Knight III (Ystina aka Justina, Sir Justin)

Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1 (May 2005) Active in adventuring
6. The Bulleteer (Alix Harrower) Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1 (Jan. 2006) Active in adventuring
7. Frankenstein Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1 (Jan. 2006) Active in adventuring



Members First Appearance Final Pre-Crisis Status (1986)
1. Crimson Avenger III (Jill Carlyle) JSA #33 (Apr. 2002) Active in adventuring
2. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941) Active in adventuring
3. Red Arrow (Emiko Queen) Green Arrow vol. 5 #18 (May 2013) Active in adventuring
4. Shining Knight (Sir Justin) Adventure Comics #66 (Sept. 1941) Active in adventuring
5. Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore, Star-Spangled Kid II) Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 (July 1999) Active in adventuring
6. S.T.R.I.P.E. (Pat Dugan) Action Comics #40 (Sept. 1941) Active in adventuring
7. Vigilante (Greg Sanders) Action Comics #42 (Nov. 1941) Active in adventuring

Other Media

Mister Terrific sends in a Justice League "B-squad" (S.T.R.I.P.E., Stargirl, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Green Arrow) to appear in a parade.
When they're attacked by the General, reinforcements (Crimson Avenger and Speedy) are called. From Justice League Unlimited, season 3, episode 7 (25 Feb. 2006).

In one episode of Justice League Unlimited (season 3, episode 7, 25 Feb. 2006), acting leader Mister Terrific called together a group of Justice League members — Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E, Shining Knight, the Vigilante, and Green Arrow — to stand in for Superman at a parade.

The parade was attacked by the General and two reinforcements arrived: the Crimson Avenger and Green Arrow's former sidekick, Speedy. This cleverly completed the roster of the original Seven Soldiers, though they were not referred to by that name in this episode.

The episode begins with a stylized black-and-white sequence starring Spy-Smasher, who steals a formula from the Nazis that was intended to create a "Captain Nazi." These two characters were originally published by Fawcett Comics.

Appearances + References


  • Adventure Comics #438–443 (1975–76)
  • All-Star Squadron #29, 31, 32, 56
  • Amazing World of DC Comics #14 (Mar. 1977)
  • JLA: Year One #11–12
  • Justice League of America #100-102
  • Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0, 9
  • Young All-Stars #3, 9, 27, Annual #1


  • Leading Comics #1–14 (Winter 1941–Spring 1945)
  • Seven Soldiers of Victory, 2 issues + seven 4-issue limited series (2005–06)
  • Convergence: World's Finest #1-2 (2015)
  • The Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives
    • Volume 1 (Leading #1–4)
    • Volume 2 (Leading #5–8)
    • Volume 3 (Leading #9–14)