The Injustice Society of the World

aka Injustice, Unlimited + The Wizard + The Crime Champions

Created by Sheldon Mayer and Robert Kanigher

» FIRST APPEARANCE:
The Wizard: All-Star Comics #34 (Apr./May 1947)
 Injustice Society: All-Star Comics #37 (Oct./Nov. 1947)
The Crime Champions: Justice League of America #21 (Aug. 1963)
Injustice, Unlimited: Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987)

The villainous groups who opposed the Justice Society have usually been supported by one wily crook in particular — the Wizard. This versatile magician was motivated by a psychotic obsession with revenge. William Zard's mania drove him to retry similar schemes for decades, despite repeated defeats and imprisonment.

After a single solo battle against the Justice Society in 1947, he returned in alliance with other super-villains as the Injustice Society. Over time it was the Wizard who was the primary leader of that group, and he appeared to have extended longevity. When he created a new team called Injustice, Unlimited, its younger members (including Icicle and Artemis, children of his older friends) became quite loyal to him.

The Wizard also helmed the Crime Champions, which had members from both Earths-One and -Two, and he led one incarnation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

The Injustice Society was at times led by the Dummy and Johnny Sorrow.

The Golden Age

Per Degaton's Proto-Society

Per Degaton twists the timestream, bringing villains from various points in time to exploit the United States' moment of weakness. From All-Star Squadron #1 (1981); art by Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway.
The Ultra-Humanite from 1942 reaches out to his future self and helps the Secret Society escape from Limbo. From All-Star Squadron #26 (1983); art by Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan.
Mister Mind's Earth-Two Monster Society of Evil (Nightshade, Nyola, Oom and Mr. Who). From All-Star Squadron #51 (1985); art by Mike Clark and Vince Colletta.

Per Degaton would become a serious menace to the Justice Society in his 'home time' of 1947, but that was not his first encounter with them. From that time, Degaton formulated the first of many plots to conquer America. In its darkest hour, December 6, 1941 (the day of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor), he used time travel technology to pluck a cadre of other menaces and brought them all to 1941. They included foes from the JSA's future and other rogues:

  • Elmer Pane (1943) was a down-and-out exterminator who found a way to transform men with insect hormones. As the King Bee he directed a variety of "insect men" with the abilities of flies, hornets, termites, spiders, ants, grasshoppers and water babies. (All-Star Comics #18)
  • The Monster (1944) was a mild-mannered businessman named Jason Rogers who did not know that he housed an evil alter ego. The Monster was actually his twin, who'd never developed a body and could take over Rogers' mind. (All-Star Comics #20)
  • Professor Zobar Zodiac, aka the Alchemist (1948), practiced medieval alchemy. His power came down from the Spanish man, Galio, who discovered the Four Wonders of Alchemy. Galio ultimately joined Columbus' mission to the New World and prolonged his youth. He wanted to entrust his artifacts to the Justice Society, but died before doing so. Zodiac overheard them, raced the JSA to find the artifacts, and trapped them on a perpetual motion machine. He and his treasures were destroyed when his plane exploded during escape. (All-Star Comics #42)
  • The Sky Pirate gave Green Lantern a serious challenge in 1947. He was a "terraphobe" who raided Gotham City from above. He was also faster and stronger at heights. (Green Lantern v.1 #27)
  • Solomon Grundy was plucked from a time after his initial confrontation with the Green Lantern, in 1944. (All-American Comics #61) He eventually took on the entire JSA by himself. (All-Star Comics #33)
  • Wotan was an evil sorcerer who had menaced Doctor Fate since before the war. (More Fun Comics #55)

Together, the villains captured America's most prominent super-heroes, Batman, Doctor Fate, the Flash, Green Lantern, Johnny Thunder, Robin, the Sandman, the Spectre, Starman and Wonder Woman. (Justice League of America #193)

On December 6-7, 1941, without metahuman support, more than a thousand American soldiers died at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Franklin D. Roosevelt summoned any other costumed heroes to the Capitol, and formed them into an All-Star Squadron. En route, some were attacked by the King Bee and his men, who then disappeared. Per Degaton captured the Shining Knight and his new friend, Danette Reilly. Degaton simultaneously launched an attack on San Francisco. (All-Star Squadron #1)

The All-Stars believed that this attack might be a Japanese follow-up attack. Not to disappoint, Degaton actually launched a bogus Japanese air raid using a flight of Zeroes commanded by the Sky Pirate. (#2) Once the new All-Stars were in sync, however, Degaton and his allies were quickly defeated. The villains from other time periods had their memories stripped and were sent back to their own times. (#3)

Other Wartime Groups

Another small group was assembled by the Ultra-Humanite in early 1942; they served him more as powerful henchmen in Ultra's grand scheme for world domination. These included the conflicted Cyclotron, the 'god Thor, electric-powered Deathbolt, and future hero Amazing-Man. Part of this scheme involved Ultra teaming up with his own future self. Future-Ultra came from the 1980s when he was also the leader of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. He managed to free his team from Limbo (the area between universes) by exchanging them for members of the Justice Society. (All-Star Squadron #21-25)

Ultra's incarnation of the Secret Society was comprised mostly of Golden Age Earth-Two villains: the Mist, the Monocle, Psycho-Pirate II, Rag Doll and Vulcan. (#26) Their activities drew unexpected backup from other heroes — the young new Infinity, Inc. went back to 1942 and helped their JSA forebears to overcome the villains. (All-Star Squadron Annual #2)

Mister Mind, an alien villain from Earth-S, assembled a prototype for his formidable Monster Society of Evil on Earth-Two. He crossed the multiversal boundaries to recruit Oom, Nyola, Nightshade (a.k.a. Ramulus) and Mister Who. (All-Star Squadron #51, 53, 54) Notes: Earth-S was the designation (and destination) for the Captain Marvel universe, the heroes from Fawcett Comics. These were first licensed by DC in 1972 and purchased outright in 1991. Mister Mind first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #22 (1943). Oom in All-Star Comics #3 (1940); Nyola in All-Star Comics #2 (1940); Nightshade in World's Finest #6 (1942); and Mister Who in More Fun Comics #73 (1941).

The Injustice Society

The Wizard believes that the Justice Society are actually villains who are pulling the wool over America's eyes! From All-Star Comics #34 (1947); art by Irwin Hasen (top panels) and Lee Elias (bottom).
The insidious Injustice Society of the World plots to take over America! From All-Star Comics #37 (1947); art by Irwin Hasen.
The Wizard escapes to try to reinvent the Injustice Society. From All-Star Comics #41 (1948); art by Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia.
Profile illustration of the Wizard from Who's Who #26 (1987); art by José Luis García-López.

The Wizard

A newspaper emblazoned the headline: "Philanthropist offers million dollars in cash to Justice Society of America." The JSA, of course, had no intention of accepting such a great reward, a blatant violation of their altruistic code. The benefactor in question was one Mr. W.I. Zard, who did not take their refusal well. Zard responded by terrorizing the team as the Wizard.

As a younger man, William Asmodeus Zard was a gangster who after a prison stint studied at a lamasery in Tibet. He learned the versatile powers of hypnotism and astral projection. This wisdom did not lead him down a more peaceful path; he killed his teacher and set out to use his powers for evil. The Wizard's powers seemed limitless: he could disappear, alter objects, levitate, and create "illusions that kill." Note: Zard's full name was revealed in America vs. the Justice Society #3 (Mar. 1985).

He emerged in 1934, when Adolf Hitler was making waves at rallies in Germany. He even admitted to having acquired the legendary Spear of Destiny for Hitler. But according to Zard, once Hitler declared war on the United States, he elected to remain outside the conflict and sequester himself in a European castle for further magical study. (America vs. the Justice Society #3)

The Wizard was delusional and he continued to believe that the JSA was a front for nefarious activities — why on Earth would they not use their position to acquire great power and wealth? He reasoned that if they would turn down his million dollars, then they must be cooking up a caper worth even more. He tested them with crimes and monsters, keeping them on the ropes until Dr. Mid-Nite discovered that by shutting his eyes he could resist the Wizard's illusions. Zard conceded defeat and disappeared. (All-Star Comics #34)

Injustice Soceity, Team One

Several years after the war's end, writer Bob Kanigher and artist Irwin Hasen, under editor Sheldon Mayer, created an Axis-like assembly of super-villains bent on dominion. The cover of All-Star Comics #37 (Oct./Nov. 1947) depicted them as butchers, carving up a map of the United States with knives — carving out their own empires. It was the first such coalition of evil: six frightening characters who had individually tried to best the Justice Society or its members in the past. They distracted the heroes by engineering a nationwide series of jailbreaks, thus dividing the JSA's resources.

Three of them had faced the JSA on their own:

  • Brain Wave was an early arch foe of the Justice Society and had faced them several times prior to this. He used his mental powers to make the heroes think they had gone to war with Japan, only to be slain in battle, (All-Star Comics #11, 15) and tricked them into submitting to his dream study. (#30) He not only possessed mind control powers, but great scientific genius as well. He invented an electrical ray machine to shrink the JSAers to a height of eight inches. (#17)
  • The Wizard, a powerful and delusional magician. (All-Star Comics #34)
  • Per Degaton specialized in time travel, having stolen the technology from his mentor, Professor Zee. (All-Star Comics #35) He repeatedly killed Zee and attempted to change events in history. (All-Star Squadron #1-3, 14-15; America vs. the JSA #4, Justice League of America #207–209)

Three others had challenged Green Lantern and the Flash:

  • The Gambler was Steve Sharpe, one of the Green Lantern's recurring foes who donned a dapper late-19th century suit. Instead of bullets, his derringer contained poison gas, (Green Lantern v.1 #12, 20, 27, 30) and he invented a giant death devices based on gambling mainstays, like the roulette wheel. (#35)
  • The Thinker clashed with the Flash repeatedly. This former lawyer used his superior intellect to mastermind larcenous plots and invent new scientific devices. The most important of these was his "Thinking Cap," which allowed him to project mental force. (All-Flash #12, 27, Flash Comics #65, Comic Cavalcade #22, 23)
  • Vandal Savage was an immortal, an ancient Cro-Magnon man who gained eternal youth from a falling meteor over 1 million years ago. Green Lantern foiled his plan to conquer America. (Green Lantern v.1 #10)

It's unknown how these six men came together; despite their egos they managed to get along without appointing a leader. When they struck, Hawkman actually advised the federal government to institute martial law to combat them. The villains had taken over the country with various fantastic inventions: Vandal savage used a "metal projector" invented by Brain Wave to imprison the heroes. The Thinker used a "heavy ray" against the Flash.

Green Lantern and the Atom found that key authority figures were also being replaced by automated dummies. The Atom stumbled on the villains' headquarters and was subdued by the Gambler's expertly thrown blade. Eventually the JSA was collected and placed under (another) ray that sapped their will and powers. They rallied to muster enough combined strength to smash the device.

But when they broke free, they found themselves in the middle of a courtroom — on trial for plotting against the country's new leaders! The Wizard prosecuted the case, the Thinker was judge, and the rest made up the jury. Green Lantern disguised himself as the Thinker and turned the tables. The Wizard nearly got away, but he was pummeled by a gang of young boys... the Junior Justice Society of America! (All-Star Comics #37)

Team Two

The Wizard soon escaped from jail and reformed the Injustice Society. He invited five aspiring villains to convene at the original headquarters beneath Gotham City:

  • The Fiddler challenged the Flash numerous times with his super-powerful violin. (All-Flash #32, Flash Comics #93, Comic Cavalcade #28)
  • The Harlequin was actually Alan (Green Lantern) Scott's secretary, Molly Maynne. She only pretended to be evil — for the fun of it, and for the opportunity to flirt with her quarry. (All-American Comics #89) She was also a secret agent for the government who ultimately worked with Green Lantern. (Green Lantern v.1 #34) Many years later, they even married! (Infinity, Inc. Annual #1)
  • The Huntress began her career as a super-hero called the Tigress (II). (Young All-Stars #6) After suffering a death (#23) then resurrection thanks to a Valkyrie called Gudra (#25), she turned to evil and caused serial trouble for Wildcat, kidnapping him and setting wild animals upon him. (Sensation Comics #68, 75, 75, 76)
  • The Icicle was physicist Dr. Joar Makent, who invented a cold-generating ray. (All-American Comics #90) Green Lantern stopped him a couple of times before the villain turned up in league other villains. (All-American Comics #92)
  • "Crusher" Crock was known the best all-around sportsman, but his reputation for playing dirty led to a life of true crime. Dressed in sports gear and a mask, his antics drew the attention of Alan Scott. In battle with the Green Lantern, he apparently died. (All-American Comics #85) He returned twice more, as the Sportsmaster. (Green Lantern v.1 #28, All-American Comics #98)

The Wizard concocted a strange contest wherein each would compete to pull off the biggest robbery; the winner would become the leader of the Injustice Society. The Wizard had volleyed first; he used his magicks to spirit the Liberty Train clean off its tracks. A new heroine called Black Canary jumped onto the case, but when she tried to roust the Justice Society, none answered the call. Instead she discovered a villainess — the Harlequin — inside JSA headquarters!

The Harlequin had been tasked with capturing the JSA, but because she was a secret government agent she warned them instead. The Sportsmaster followed her and surprised them all with a knockout gas. But when the villains left to commit their crimes, the Harlequin used her hypnotic glasses to release the JSA members from the Wizard's mind control.

Each villain was nearly stopped by the heroes, but at the last minute, all managed to rehypnotize their opponents. Hawkman nearly stopped Sportsmaster from taking Old Ironsides. Wonder Woman and Dr. Mid-Nite caught the Fiddler stealing the Freedom Bell. The Huntress got the better of the Flash and the Atom while taking Plymouth Rock. And the Icicle snagged the entire Washington Monument out from under Green Lantern. Ultimately, Green Lantern used his superior will to break free of the mental haze, and surprised and detained the Injustice Society. (All-Star Comics #41)

The Wizard Solo

In the early '50s, the Wizard apparently fell on hard times. After the defeat of the second Injustice Society, the underworld no longer took him seriously.

Irritated at being seen as a charlatan, the Wizard attempted to steal the Glastonbury Wand of Merlin from the British Museum in hopes of bolstering his power, only to find the wand was a worthless fake. He discovered that the real wand had been stolen by a Metropolis crime boss called Colonel Future, who offered to give it to the Wizard in exchange for his using it to rid Earth-Two of Superman. The Wizard agreed, casing a spell that seemingly destroyed the Man of Steel. In fact, the spell had simply caused Clark Kent to forget his secret identity, although Kent continued his newspaper campaign against Colonel Future and other racketeers.

Instead of restoring the villain's credibility, claiming responsibility for the disappearance of Superman made the Wizard a laughing stock, destroying his confidence and leaving him unable to cast spells. Months later, Lois Lane — who had since married Clark Kent — found the Wizard sleeping on a Metropolis park bench and persuaded him to publicly reverse his spell. This restored both Superman and the Wizard's powers, but Superman immediately arrested the villain, confiscated the Glastonbury Wand, and sent the Wizard back to prison before he could organize a third "society of super-villains." (Action Comics #484)

The Silver Age

The Thinker and Fiddler return allied with the Shade. From The Flash #123 (1961); art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.
Bitter Vandal Savage uses the I.S.'s technology for revenge on the JSA. From The Flash #137 (1963); art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.

Flashes from Two Worlds

The Injustice Society did not formally regroup until 1975. But during the second great age of heroes, a number of Golden Age villains popped up to challenge the heroes of Earth-One, the Justice League of America.

On Earth-One, a police scientist named Barry Allen had become that world's Flash, in an accident similar to Jay Garrick's. Allen was the first to discover that by vibrating in the proper way, he could traverse the dimensional boundaries between parallel Earths. At the same time on Earth-Two, three villains (the Fiddler, the Shade, and the Thinker) had finally escaped from prison and crafted a new plot against Jay Garrick.

While their foes were safely in prison, Jay and most members of the Justice Society had retired. This case brought the original Flash back to active duty. Each of the villains had made improvements to their weapons, but they were unprepared for the combined might of two Flashes. (The Flash v.1 #123)

Note: In continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earths-One and -Two were merged, so this story was tweaked to fit a world where both Flashes and both cities existed in one timeline. It was retold in Secret Origins #50 (Aug. 1990). The three villains were still the catalyst for their meeting.

Vandal Savage

Sixteen years after Vandal Savage and his fellow Injustice Society members were imprisoned, the ancient conqueror also escaped from prison and enacted a new plan to recapture his enemies in the Justice Society. He repurposed some of the inventions made by his evil cohorts, and succeeded in trapping the (mostly) retired Justice Society members in inescapable cubes invented by Brain Wave.

Savage's attack drew the attention of Flash Barry Allen, who prevented the capture of his counterpart, Jay Garrick. Savage unleashed the Thinker's heavy-ray beam to make Barry so heavy that he sunk into the Earth. And Per Degaton's paralysis beam was modified to control the heroes' minds. The Flashes managed to overcome these technological obstacles and recapture Vandal Savage. After the Justice Society was freed, this attack prompted the JSA to come out of retirement and meet again regularly. (The Flash #137)

Note: On Earth-One, the JSA's adventures were actually told as comic book stories (their writers received subconscious ideas from across the dimensions). Barry Allen happened to own a copy of All-Star Comics #37, the first appearance of the Injustice Society.

The Crime Champions

Three villains from Earth-Two (the Wizard, Icicle and Fiddler) escape prison to Earth-One, where they meet Felix Faust, Doctor Alchemy and Chronos. From Justice League of America #22 (1963); art by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs.
The Wizard brings the original Crime Champions back together. From Justice League of America #219 (1983); art by Chuck Patton and Romeo Tanghal.

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Justice League of America #21 (Aug. 1963)

Three former Injustice Society members from Earth-Two — the Wizard, the Icicle and the Fiddler — accidentally discovered a way to mimic Barry Allen's method of crossing the dimensional barrier. It was the Fiddler's special instrument that hit the correct pitch. His violin let them vibrate across Earths and materialize in Central City. As it happened, they arrived in the middle of a heist perpetrated by three Earth-One villains: Felix Faust, Doctor Alchemy and Chronos. The six of them joined together to form the Crime Champions.

Batman called together the Justice League to address this new menace. The villains evaded capture by vanishing from their respective robberies, using the Fiddler's method to slip away to the other Earth. The Champions began their master plan by disabling the Flashes, who were most capable of hindering them. Then they immobilized the entire JSA: the Wizard had dispatched Green Lantern and Black Canary; the Fiddler had the Hawkman, the Flash and the Atom; and Icicle had frozen Hourman and Doctor Fate. (Justice League of America #21)

Then on Earth-One, the elder villains defied the JLA's expectations by disguising themselves as their Earth-One counterparts. The JLA were also trapped. They resorted to using Merlin's crystal ball (Justice League of America #2) to contact the Justice Society and bring them to Earth-One. The heroes swapped places, which allowed them to escape their respective traps. (Justice League of America #21)

They surprised the Crime Champions and freed themselves, but it triggered another trap, and the energy released drew the heroes into Limbo. They quickly escaped and the combined might of the JLA and JSA brought down the Crime Champions. Just before the villains' defeat, the Wizard hypothesized that there must be another parallel Earth; if they could combine their powers maybe they could escape to "Earth-Three." (#22) Notes: Justice League of America #21 was the first Silver Age appearance of the Wizard and Icicle — also the first for Black Canary, Doctor Fate and Hourman.

Crime Champions, Take Two

The Crime Champions formed only twice. The second time was many years later, and that story begins after the Injustice Society's second defeat in 1948. The Wizard had escaped prison and took revenge on the Black Canary. He cursed her baby daughter, Dinah, with a destructive, super-powered "canary cry." JSA member Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt helped protect the girl by spiriting her away to the "T-Dimension," where her powers could hurt no one. Dinah was kept in suspended animation while she aged, and the Wizard's spell had no effect. The Thunderbolt caused everyone, even Dinah's parents, to forget her. (Justice League of America #220)

When the Wizard revived his Crime Champions, he also allied with the evil Johnny Thunder of Earth-One. This Thunder had battled the Justice League years before, forming his own ragged "Lawless League." He managed to take control of his Earth-Two counterpart's Thunderbolt and alter the history of the JLA. The JSA were key in defeating him then. (Justice League of America #37-38)

After allying with the Wizard, Thunder again seized control of the Thunderbolt and attacked the Justice League. This gave the Crime Champions free reign to steal global treasures such as the Pyramid of the Sun, the Great Pyramid, and Stonehenge. The baby Dinah had since become the second Black Canary. She became concerned about her old friend, the original Johnny Thunder, so she and Starman traveled into the T-Dimension and found him being held captive. What's more, Black Canary discovered a shocking truth that she was actually the daughter of the original Canary. (Justice League of America #219)

The Champions were competing in another contest, but Earth-One's Johnny Thunder had his own designs on leading their group. The Wizard's magic was formidable when combined with Felix Faust's, but they were surprised by the intervention of Sargon the Sorcerer (an honorary JLA member). The elder Johnny Thunder was freed and he reexerted control over the Thunderbolt. The Champions were defeated when the JLA was restored to full vigor. Zatanna combined her magic with Sargon's and they turned the Wizard to stone. (#220)

Notes: This tale was an epic retcon to Black Canary's history, revealing that for all these years, the original heroine had actually died, was interred in the T-Dimension, and her grown daughter was released and went to live on Earth-One.

Injustice Society's Return

The Shade, the Icicle, Sportsmaster, the Huntress, the Wizard and the Gambler. From Justice League of America #123 (1975); art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin.
The I.S. makes a half-hearted comeback. From All-Star Comics #66 (1977); art by Joe Staton and Bob Layton.
The Injustice Society helps bring Darkseid back to life on Apokolips. From Justice League of America #185 (1980); art by George Pérez and Frank McLaughlin.
Lex Luthor takes over the Secret Society of Super-Villains. From Secret Society of Super-Villains #7 (1977); art by Rich Buckler and Bob Layton.
The Wizard uses his new talismans to transform himself for a new era. From Secret Society of Super-Villains #11 (1977); art by Mike Vosburg and Joe Orlando.
The new Secret Society (Star Sapphire, Floronic Man, Reverse Flash, Blockbuster and the Wizard) escapes across the Limbo between universes. From Secret Society of Super-Villains #7 (1977); art by Mike Vosburg and Bob Smith.
Lex Luthor takes over the Secret Society of Super-Villains. From Justice League of America #166 (1979); art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin.
After their defeat, the Justice League wipes the memories of the SSoSV. From Identity Crisis #3 (2004); art by Rags Morales and Michael Bair.

The Wizard seemed undeterred by his serial defeats, and was willing try his crime-group formula repeatedly. After the Crime Champions' failure, he decided to reform the Injustice Society proper. He cast a spell on the Earth-Prime comic book writer, Cary Bates, transporting him to Earth-Two. There Bates gained great super-powers but was inclined toward evil. The Justice Society descended on Bates but his reality warping abilities overwhelmed them utterly. His comrade, Elliot Maggin was likewise drawn to Earth-One.

Meanwhile four former Injustice Society members (the Icicle, Sportsmaster, the Huntress and the Gambler) plus the Shade returned to the fold. Using Bates' knowledge of the Justice League, they disguised the nearly dead JSA members as villains and sent them to Earth-One. Then when they came to blows with the JLA, the JSA members each died! (Justice League of America #123)

The Justice League was shocked and horrified; they could think of nothing else to do but to bury their friends and avenge them. In the JSA's absence, the Injustice Society plundered at will. Behind the scenes, all this was spied by the "Spirit of Vengeance," former JSA member the Spectre. He presented the injustice of his friends' murders to his omnipotent master, pleading for their restoration. Amazingly, the boon was granted and the JSA members were restored. When all the heroes rallied together, the villains could not resist. After everyone had returned home, the Spectre's involvement remained a secret. (#124)

Injustice, Again

The Injustice Society's next foray was feckless, as it intersected with that of another attack by the ancient Zanadu. Solomon Grundy, the I.S.'s newest member, struck first alongside the Fiddler. Grundy was overpowered by Power Girl and Superman while the Fiddler was carted off by Hawkman. (All-Star Comics #63) But when the JSA left on a mission, the remainder of the team (Brain Wave, Icicle, the Thinker and the Wizard) struck down and captured their "weak links": Hourman and Wildcat. (#64) After gaining entrance to JSA headquarters, they kidnapped the heroes and used them as bait for the others. (#65) The JSA returned home to find the full Injustice Society there, but the villains retreated once they were on the ropes. They challenged the JSA to go to the corners of the Earth to save their friends. The timely intervention of Doctor Fate made short work of the Injustice Society then, and Power Girl broke the Wizard's wand, which seemed to hobble his magic. (#66)

A small group of Injustice Society members (Fiddler, Shade and Icicle) became embroiled in a battle between the JLA, JSA and Apokolips. There, Darkseid had died (Adventure #260) but his immortal consciousness coerced the Earth-Two villains to help him regain a physical body. His power was still great, and they could not refuse his command. (Justice League of America #183)

The Fiddler's sonic powers disabled even Power Girl and Orion, and they were key in drawing Darkseid's essence into cohesion. Without the Wizard, the Icicle and Fiddler squabbled over who was their leader planned to have Apokolips shatter Earth-Two and take its place. Darkseid was grateful for their help — to a point. For imprisoning his son, Orion, the dark lord turned on the Earth-Two villains and used his Omega Beams to send them to prison cells on Apokolips. (#184–185)

 

Secret Society of Super-Villains

On Earth-One, other similar groups opposed the Justice League. Like the Injustice Society, the Injustice Gang was a who's who of the League's arch foes. (Justice League of America v.1 #111)

The Secret Society of Super-Villains was a fractious group secretly assembled by Darkseid, who provided a group of villains with a hideout in San Francisco called the Sinister Citadel. When the Society learned of Darkseid's involvement, they rebelled. (Secret Society of Super-Villains #1–5)

The Wizard was its only member from Earth-Two. In contemplating his previous defeats, he concluded that they were not due to a lack power or will, but rather that villains had expected defeat. He asked the Fiddler to transport him back to Earth-One, but this time found that his powers were diminished. Thus he began an elaborate scheme to deceive his fellow villains and manipulate them into acquiring powerful magical tokens for him. In secret, he financed the Secret Society with faux currency, hiring them to do his heavy lifting. (#11)

After Darkseid, Lex Luthor took control of the Secret Society. He fought the Wizard for leadership (#6) and allied himself with the Funky Flashman. Luthor even brought in two other magicians (Felix Faust and the Matter Master) to spite the Wizard. But Lex was captured by authorities and the other mages failed. (#6–7)

The Wizard hid the fact that his powers were failing him and plotted to boost his abilities with lost magical artifacts. These had belonged to an old sorcerer and were quarantined by Superman and Batman. (World's Finest Comics #103) When the artifacts fell back to Earth, the Wizard sensed their return and sent the Society to retrieve them. The objects included the Sorcerer's Prism, the Power Glove and the Invisibility Cloak. Once the Society had acquired them, the Wizard abandoned all pretense and transformed himself. He chose a colorful new uniform and basked in his great new powers. He was finally able to confront Funky Flashman and take full control of the Secret Society. (Secret Society of Super-Villains #11)

He led a formidable group that included Star Sapphire II, the Floronic Man (aka Plant Master), Professor Zoom (the Reverse Flash), and Blockbuster, and set out on a new wave cross-dimensional crime. He planned to take them back to Earth-Two, but they arrived on Earth-Three instead, where they clashed with the Crime Syndicate, who mistook them for heroes. (#13) They used the Syndicate's own weapons to escape to Earth-Two (#14) where they set their sights on the "weaker' members of the Justice Society: the Atom and Dr. Mid-Nite. (#15)

Note: Secret Society was canceled after this. Parts of the next two issues were printed in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2 (1978) but the stories focused on a new Secret Society led by the Silver Ghost. The Wizard's story was picked up a year later, in the pages of Justice League of America.

The Wizard's Society was defeated by the JSA's more powerful members and they attempted a retreat back to Earth-One. They became trapped in Limbo instead, where Professor Zoom found a way to access the Justice League's transmatter machines. The villains teleported themselves onto the JLA satellite, but their souls somehow remained in Limbo. If they did not do something they would die, and so they used an ancient statue to swap bodies with five Justice League members. (Justice League of America #166)

Zatanna (in the body of Star Sapphire) managed to convince her friends that the villains had taken over. She used the Wizard's glove to reverse the body swap. (#167–168)

Years later it was revealed that after the Wizard's group was defeated, the League voted to wipe their memories as well. Since the villains had lived temporarily in the JLA's bodies, they knew their secret identities and more. Zatanna used her magic to make the five of them forget. (Identity Crisis #3)

Injustice, Unlimited

Injustice Society portrait from Who's Who #11 (1986); art by Joe Staton.

The Wizard returns with a new crop of villains — Injustice, Unlimited. From Infinity, Inc. #34 (1987); art by Todd McFarlane and Tony DeZuniga.
The Wizard returns with a new crop of villains — Injustice, Unlimited. From Infinity, Inc. #36 (1987); art by Todd McFarlane and Tony DeZuniga.
The Dummy picks up the reigns of Injustice, leading to the death of an Infinitor. From Infinity, Inc. #53 (1988); art by Michael Bair and Bob Downs.

When a group of the Justice Society's inheritors formed Infinity, Inc., the Wizard was inspired to reinvent Injustice Society as Injustice, Unlimited. Like Infinity, his group had sons and daughters of older villains, including:

  • Artemis II (Artemis Crock, later Tigress III), crossbow wielding daughter of the original Huntress and the Sportsmaster.
  • Hazard (Rebecca Sharpe), granddaughter of the Gambler (who she mentioned had committed suicide).
  • Icicle II (Cameron Mahkent), son of the original Icicle.

Along with the Fiddler and the Shade, this new group kidnapped the new Hourman and blackmailed the Global Guardians into doing their dirty work. (Infinity, Inc. #34) Artemis parlayed this initial success into a plot to free her parents from prison. (#35) Oddly enough, it was a former Injustice Society member, Solomon Grundy, who helped defeat Injustice, Unlimited. This incarnation of Grundy had befriended the Infinitor, Jade (he would also later aid the new Starman). At the conclusion of this caper, the Wizard was (apparently) accidentally killed by Hourman. (#36)

It turned out that the Wizard had only faked his death with an illusion. Ironically though, he was dying. He had made his way to another dimension and allied with an entity called the Lorelei, who had fought the Justice Society in the 1940s. (All-Star Comics #39) He hoped this alliance with her magical Fairyland would boost his magical strength. Their plan was halted by the unexpected intervention of an Infinity member, Hector Hall. (Infinity, Inc. #50)

The younger members of Injustice, Unlimited regrouped without the Wizard under the leadership of another Golden Age villain, the Dummy. The Dummy found a way to control Solomon Grundy with the help of their new member, the Harlequin III. They guided Grundy to kill the Infinitor called Skyman by using the cyanide touch of Mister Bones. (#51)

At the conclusion of this case, Hazard was inclined toward repenting. The Harlequin was possibly killed by Solomon Grundy.

Injustice, Revisited

The all-new Injustice Society attacks Wildcat in JSA headquarters. From JSA #10 (2000); art by Stephen Sadowski and Michael Bair.
The Rival returns from obscurity. From JSA #16 (2000); art by Stephen Sadowski and Michael Bair.
The Thinker takes a new all-digital form. From JSA #16 (2000); art by Stephen Sadowski and Michael Bair.
The Injustice Society bolsters its ranks to attack under the Wizard. From JSA All-Stars v.1 #1 (2003); art by Sal Velluto and Bob Almond.
The Wizard assumes the guise of "Legacy" to test the JSA anew. From JSA All-Stars v.1 #8 (2003); art by Sal Velluto and Bob Almond.
The Secret Society of Super-Villains responds after learning that their memories had been wiped by Zatanna and the JLA. From JLA #115 (2005); art by Chris Batista and Mark Farmer.
The Injustice Society rallies around the Wizard to help free him from Johnny Sorrow's haunting. From JSA: Classified #5 (2006); art by Patrick Olliffe and Ruy José.

After the great Crisis, many Justice Society members again went into retirement, and so did the Injustice Society. Not long after the JSA officially reformed though, the villains stole back into the picture. This time they were led by the enigmatic and unpredictable Johnny Sorrow. Sorrow was a one-time JSA foe who was defeated by the Spectre in 1944. (JSA #18) He found his way back from oblivion and recruited an unlikely bunch of new villains:

  • Blackbriar Thorn was a High Priest of the ancient Druids who transformed himself into solid wood and lay dormant for a thousand years. When he was awakened, Superman and Etrigan the Demon rendered him incorporeal. (DC Comics Presents #66) He later had contact with John Constantine. (Swamp Thing v.2 #70)
  • Count Vertigo was the persistent foe of Green Arrow. (World's Finest Comics #251) He also served under Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad. (Suicide Squad #24) Any goodness that may have engendered was wiped away when the Spectre destroyed the entire populace of the Count's home country, Vlatava. (The Spectre v.3 #13)
  • Geomancer was roundly defeated on his first outing by the JSA's Sand. Geomancer had been employed by an organization called the Council, which was known for its cloning operations. (JSA #5)
  • The Killer Wasp had a complicated relation to the JSA's Wildcat. The Wasp's father was the Yellow Wasp (Sensation #20), who kidnapped and raised Wildcat's son, Jake. (Secret Origins #50, JSA Secret Files #1) The Killer Wasp was jealous of the closeness between his father and Jake, and at some point he killed them both. (JSA3 #21, JSA Secret Files #2)
  • The younger Icicle and also returned, along with Artemis, who was now calling herself Tigress (III). (JSA #9)

They broke into JSA headquarters and, despite Wildcat's solo triumph against them, Sorrow stole a malevolent old artifact — the King of Tears. (#10) Soon Sorrow added considerable strength to their ranks:

  • Black Adam was the arch-foe of Captain Marvel (who had recently joined the JSA). In his alter ego of Theo Adam, he was responsible for the deaths of Marvel's parents. (Power of Shazam! Graphic Novel) Adam had recently been captured by the JSA. (JSA #6)
  • The Rival had appeared only once, in 1949. He was Edward Clariss, one Jay Garrick's teachers from Midwestern University, who has created a formula to temporarily duplicate the Flash's powers. (Flash Comics #104)
  • Young Shiv was Cindy Burman, the daughter of the Dragon King, who fought the JSA during World War II. Shiv was Stargirl's first super-nemesis — and also her high school nemesis at Blue Valley High. (Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #3) Cindy was recruited by Johnny Sorrow directly from their hometown (#13)
  • The Thinker had recently died of cancer (The Flash v.2 #134) but returned now as an artificial intelligence. Cliff Devoe had found a way to insert himself into the JSA's computers and manifest as a hologram. (JSA #16)

Johnny Sorrow's allies joined him for personal reasons, but they probably weren't aware that his main aim was to use the King of Tears to destroy the world. This larger group attacked the old fashioned way: on multiple fronts. Sentinel (the former Green Lantern) was critically injured. (#16) The JSA regrouped and dispatched the remainder of the Injustice Society, but Johnny Sorrow apparently killed the new Dr. Mid-Nite by exposing the JSA member to his supernatural "face." (#17) (Due to his blindness, Dr. Mid-Nite survived the death gaze.)

Sorrow used and an older hero called the Scarab as a vessel to bring the King of Tears to Earth. (#18) Black Adam apparently reformed and led the new Spectre (Hal Jordan) to the JSA's aid. Again the Spectre was key to Sorrow's defeat; he used the King of Tears to dispatch him to a hellish limbo. (#19–20)

The Wizard Returns

Years earlier, Zatanna had wiped the memories of the Wizard's Secret Society members. When these memories were restored, the Wizard and others sought revenge on the original JLA members. The JLA itself was suffering from a serious crisis but they managed to round up the villains — and wipe their memories again. (JLA #115-118)

The Wizard reassembled the Injustice Society after Johnny Sorrow's defeat. His covert scheme included his impersonating the Spectre then abducting the senior members of the JSA (Sentinel, Flash, Hawkman and Wildcat). He created an alias called Legacy, and challenged the newer JSA members to face the trappings of their own legacies. The Wizard then fed off the psychic energies produced by their conflicts.

The Icicle, Tigress, Shiv and Rival returned for this incarnation of Injustice, alongside Solomon Grundy, Rag Doll and Kestrel. They used mysterious discs to teleport the original JSA members away. (JSA: All-Stars v.1 #1)

When the JSA regrouped, they freed the real Spectre used the Helm of Nabu to reveal the Wizard. The Spirit of Vengeance meted out final justice — despite the JSA's protestations: the Wizard's earthly body was incinerated and his soul banished to Purgatory (the Spectre had revealed that long ago the Wizard had murdered of his own sister in pursuit of magical power). (#8)

From his unearthly purgatory, the Wizard's beleaguered soul joined forces with the disembodied will of Johnny Sorrow. In order to stem the trauma of this connection, the Wizard had to eschew the use of magic. He assembled his 'friends' from the Injustice Society to help (Icicle, Tigress, Thinker, Solomon Grundy, Rag Doll and the Gentleman Ghost). To free Sorrow, they needed to steal Prometheus' Cosmic Key from JSA headquarters (Prometheus had placed the Key there for his own reasons). The Injustice Society was becoming a well-oiled machine and chose the right time to strike at JSA HQ. Secretly, the Wizard knew his ultimate plan for liberation would require a sacrifice; he suspected that Rag Doll would betray them, so the Wizard set him up to take the fall. (JSA Classified #5) Note: Prometheus first fought the Justice League in JLA #16–17 (Mar.–Apr. 1998).

The I.S. tried unsuccessfully to call in help from the Society, which only served to draw Talia al Ghul's attention to the prized Key. (#6) In the melee, Rag Doll stole the Key as predicted, and he was killed when activating it. The Key brought Johnny Sorrow back to Earth and the Injustice Society teleported away to Prometheus' other-dimensional Crooked House.

During this mission, a romantic relationship between the Icicle and Tigress was revealed. They had hoped to finish the mission and go away together, but Johnny Sorrow strong-armed by Sorrow into staying with him. (#7)

Injustice Society Membership

Member 1st app. Affiliation Status (pre-New 52)
TEAM 1
1. Brain Wave (Henry King) All-Star Comics #15 (Feb./Mar. 1943) All-Star Comics #37, 63-66 Deceased Infinity, Inc. #10
1. The Gambler (Steven Sharpe) Green Lantern v.1 #12 (Summer 1944) All-Star Comics #37 • Justice League of America v.1 #123-124 Committed suicide, revealed Infinity, Inc. #34
1. Per Degaton (none) All-Star Comics #35 (June 1947) All-Star Comics #37 Active in villainy
1. The Thinker (Cliff Devoe) All-Flash #12 (Fall 1943) All-Star Comics #37, 63-66 • JSA #16-20 • JSA Classified #5-6 Died twice: Suicide Squad/Doom Patrol #1 & Flash v.2 #134; resurrected JSA #16
1. Vandal Savage (Vandar Agd, Khufu, Khafre, Gaius Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Marshal Sauvage) Green Lantern v.1 #10 (Winter 1943) All-Star Comics #37, 63-66 Active in villainy
1. The Wizard (William Asmodeus Zard) All-Star Comics #34 (Apr. 1947) All-Star Comics #37, 63-66 • Justice League of America v.1 #123-124 • Infinity, Inc. #34 • JSA Classified #5-6 Presumed dead, Infinity, Inc. #36; reappeared Infinity, Inc. #50
TEAM 2
7. The Fiddler (Isaac Bowin) All-Flash #32 (Dec. 1947/Jan. 1948) All-Star Comics #41, 63-66 • Justice League of America v.1 #183-185 • Infinity, Inc. #34-35 Killed by Deadshot, Villains United #1 (June 1905)
7. The Harlequin (Molly Maynne Scott) All-American Comics #89 (Sept. 1947) All-Star Comics #41 Reformed & retired; married to Alan Scott (Sentinel)
7. The Huntress (Paula Brooks, Tigress) Sensation Comics #68 (Aug. 1947) All-Star Comics #41 • Justice League of America v.1 #123-124 • Infinity, Inc. #34 Active in villainy
7. The Icicle (Joar Mahkent) All-American Comics #90 (Oct. 1947) All-Star Comics #41, 63-66 • Justice League of America v.1 #123-124, #183-185 Killed by Krona, Crisis #10
7. Sportsmaster ("Crusher" Crock) All-American Comics #85 (May 1947) All-Star Comics #41 • Justice League of America v.1 #123-124 • Infinity, Inc. #34 Active in villainy
THE CRIME CHAMPIONS
—. Doctor Alchemy (aka Mr. Element, Albert Desmond) Showcase #13 (Mar./Apr. 1958) Justice League of America v.1 #21–22, 219–220 Active in villainy
—. Felix Faust Justice League of America #10 (Mar. 1962) Active in villainy
—. Chronos (David Clinton) The Atom #3 (Oct./Nov. 1962) Active in villainy
Post-Golden AGE
12. The Shade (Richard Swift, Simon Culp) Flash Comics #33 (Sept. 1942) Justice League of America v.1 #123–124, 183-185 • Infinity, Inc. #34 Reformed & active in Opal City; Culp deceased Starman v.3 #71
13. Cary Bates of Earth-Prime The Flash #228 Justice League of America v.1 #123–124 Earth-Prime destroyed in the Crisis
14. Solomon Grundy (Cyrus Gold) All-American Comics #61 (Oct. 1944) All-Star Comics #63-66 • JSA Classified #5-6 Active in villainy; resurrects repeatedly
INJUSTICE, UNLIMITED: Led the Wizard and the Dummy
15. The Tigress III (Artemis Crock, Artemis II) Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987); as Tigress, JSA #9 (Apr. 2000) Infinity, Inc. #34-35, 51-53 • JSA #9-10, 16-20 • JSA Classified #5-6 Daughter of Sportsmaster and Huntress; active in villainy
15. Hazard (Rebecca Sharpe) Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987) Infinity, Inc. #34-35, 51-53 Granddaughter of the Gambler; active in villainy
15. Icicle II (Cameron Mahkent) Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987) Infinity, Inc. #34-35, 51-53 • JSA #9-10, 16-20 • JSA Classified #5-6 Son of the Icicle; active in villainy
18. The Dummy (unrevealed) Leading Comics #1 (Dec. 1942) Infinity, Inc. #51-53 Status unknown
18. Harlequin III (Marcie Cooper) As Marcie: Infinity, Inc. #14 (May 1985); as Harlequin: #46 (Jan. 1988) Infinity, Inc. #51-53 Granddaughter of Manhunter I; apparently killed by Solomon Grundy, Infinity, Inc. #53.
TEAM 3: led by Johnny Sorrow
20. Blackbriar Thorn (none) DC Comics Presents #66 (Feb. 1984) JSA #9-10 Killed by Spectre, Day of Vengeance #1; reborn Justice Society of America v.3 #9
20. Count Vertigo (Werner Vertigo) World's Finest Comics #251 (June/July 1978) JSA #9-10 Active in villainy
20. Geomancer (Adam Fells) JSA #5 (Dec. 1999) JSA #9-10, 16-20 Deceased, revealed JSA #33
20. Johnny Sorrow JSA #9 (Apr. 2000) JSA #9-10, 16-20 • JSA Classified #6 Dispersed into the Speed Force, JSA #20. Returned and destroyed again JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice; brought back JSA Classified #6
20. Killer Wasp (unrevealed) JSA #9 (Apr. 2000) JSA #9-10, 16-20 Killed by Johnny Sorrow, JSA All-Stars #3
25. Black Adam (Thet-Adam, Theo Adam) Marvel Family #1 (Dec. 1945) JSA #16-20 Reformed & active in the JSA
25. The Rival (Dr. Edward Clariss) Flash Comics #104 (Feb. 1949) JSA #16-20 Currently inhabits the body of Max Mercury (physical body destroyed)
25. Shiv (Cindy Burman) As Cindy, Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #1 (Aug. 1999); as Shiv #4 (Nov. 1999) JSA #16-20 Active in villainy
28. Kestrel (none) Hawk and Dove v.2 #1 (Oct. 1988) JSA: All-Stars #1 Active in villainy
28. Rag Doll (Peter Merkel, Sr.) Flash Comics #36 (Dec. 1942) JSA: All-Stars #1 • JSA Classified #5-7 Deceased JSA Classified #7
30. Gentleman Ghost (Jim Craddock) Flash Comics #88 (Oct. 1947) JSA Classified #5-6 Active in villainy

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

The Wizard, solo:

  • Action Comics #484
  • Adventure Comics #460
  • All-Star Comics #34
  • America vs. the Justice Society #1–3
  • Books of Magic v.1 #2
  • Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
  • Day of Judgment Secret Files #1
  • JLA #115–119
  • JSA: Classified #14–16
  • Justice League of America #166–168
  • Who's Who #26

Injustice Society:

  • All-Star Comics #37, 41, 63-66
  • Golden Age Secret Files #1
  • Justice League of America #123–124, 183–185
  • JSA #9-10, 16-20
  • JSA All-Stars #2–6
  • JSA Classified #5–7

Crime Crusaders:

  • Justice League of America #21–22, 219–220

Injustice, Unlimited:

  • Infinity, Inc. #34–37, 49–53

» SERIES:

  • Secret Society of Super-Villains, 15 issues (1976–78)