For every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, which means the birth of the Justice Society led to the rise of the Injustice Society. In preparation for the premiere of Stargirl next week, the time is right to get to know this dark reflection of DC’s original superteam.
After DC’s Golden Age heroes came together to form the Justice Society of America, the villains decided to follow their example with a team of their own, except they raised the stakes. Instead of calling themselves the Injustice Society of America, they became the Injustice Society of the WORLD! (They might be villains, but you have to admire their “go big or go home” attitude.)
The Injustice Society first appeared in 1947’s All-Star Comics #37 and their roster included…
The Wizard – Evil sorcerer and leader of the Injustice Society.
The Thinker – Genius tactician with a love for crime.
Brain Wave – A criminal with telepathic powers.
Per Degaton – A scientist whose jealousy drove him to evil.
Vandal Savage – An immortal man from the prehistoric era.
The Gambler – A resourceful thief with a talent for disguise and gambling.
As you can see, they’re a group of tough customers. In fact, during their first outing they were successfully able to capture the Justice Society, which is no easy feat.
The Injustice Society crafted an elaborate plan for world domination in three phases, and it’s the definition of Golden Age diabolical. Phase 1: Create an army by freeing criminals from prisons. Phase 2: Replace world leaders with androids. And Phase 3: Capture the JSA. With the Injustice Society’s combined might, they were able to pull it off. Of course, ultimately the heroes were able to prevail, and the Wizard was beat up by a group of Justice Society fanboys. It goes to show you, never underestimate the power of a dedicated fandom.
Regardless, the Wizard knew there was strength in numbers, and decided to reform the Injustice Society with new members in All-Star Comics #41. Unfortunately, the Wizard learned a hard lesson about carefully vetting his members, when Harlequin (no relation to Ms. Quinzel) betrayed the group. She had only become a criminal to get Green Lantern’s attention and really had no desire to take over the world. What did you expect? Honor among thieves?
After the Golden Age of Comics, the group was absent for a while before reforming in the 1970’s. For a time they called themselves Injustice Unlimited, which is an awesome name, but tradition prevailed and their original moniker returned.
But here’s the question that many of you are probably wondering. What makes the Injustice Society different than the Secret Society of Super-Villains or the Legion of Doom? The Injustice Society is a more tactical group, partially because a few of the criminals on their roster are former scientists. The Legion of Doom may have heavy hitters, but they don’t have the organization or coordination that the Injustice Society has. Plus, the Injustice Society has a grand legacy. They’ve been around, in one form or another, since the Golden Age of Comics, and have tangled with some of DC’s oldest heroes.
The Injustice Society will have a heavy presence in Stargirl, and if the trailer is any indication, the Justice Society will have a hard time repelling their attacks. In addition to the Wizard and Brain Wave, this version of the Injustice Society will have…
Icicle – A criminal with the power to turn to ice and manipulate surrounding temperatures.
Sportsmaster – A former athlete who views hero hunting as a sport.
Tigress – An animal themed villainess whose as fierce as her namesake.
Solomon Grundy – A reanimated corpse with super-strength.
Dragon King – A mad scientist with an evil heart.
With a roster like that, it’s going to take more than a group of JSA fanboys to take them down. Does Stargirl have what it takes? How will the Justice Society fare against the live-action version of the Injustice Society? We’ll find out when Stargirl premieres, but it sounds like the heroes are in for a world of hurt!
In the meantime, if you want to see the Injustice Society in action, check out this recommended reading list. Consider it a fun bit of background to prepare you for Stargirl.
All-Star Comics #37 – The Injustice Society of the World debuts and defeats the JSA!
Infinity Inc. #34-36 – The Injustice Society rebrands itself as Injustice Unlimited.
JSA Classified #5-7 – One of the best modern day JSA vs Injustice Society fights! The villains break into JSA HQ and an epic battle ensues.
All of those storylines are available on DC Universe, or for purchase at ReadDC.com. As for Stargirl, it debuts next week. Will Injustice reign over Courtney and her team? Time will tell, but don’t expect this Society to be all that polite to DCTV’s newest superhero.
Stargirl premieres May 18 on DC Universe with new episodes up for streaming every Monday. Don't have DC Universe? Stargirl also airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW! Check out our official Stargirl page for all the latest news, articles and conversation about DC's newest TV show.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.