"DC's Legends of Tomorrow": The Importance of the Legion of Doom, Explained

The Justice Society of America isn't the only classic DC Comics super-team making its way to "Legends of Tomorrow" -- we'll be seeing the first-ever live-action version of the Legion of Doom when the series returns this fall for its second season.

Consisting of "Arrow's" Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and "The Flash's" Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), the new incarnation of the Legion looks to be a serious take on a classic DC Comics supervillain team that has some, frankly, sillier origins. CBR is here to enlighten you on everything you need to know -- both goofy and great -- about the Legion of Doom before they grace the small screen in live-action for the first time.

The Legion of Doom actually started out on the "Challenge of the Super Friends" animated series as the villainous analogue to the Super Friends, consisting of various Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern villains, among others, who already made a splash in the comics at the time. Each episode of "Super Friends" would see Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, and other classic DC Comics bad guys team-up to take down the heroes we know and love in inventive, often insane ways. While most of their plans ranked somewhere from silly to ridiculous -- and if they came from Solomon Grundy, simply terrible -- the Legion of Doom served as a fun, consistent threat for the early animated version of the Justice League.

Because the Superfriends had a Hall of Justice, the Legion of Doom, of course, had a Hall of Doom. Looking an awful lot like Darth Vader's helmet, the Hall of Doom was actually one of the coolest aspects of the team. While the Hall of Justice was only a building, the Hall of Doom boasted lasers and rockets, and would often leave the swamp it resided in to transport its villainous owners through space and time. Awesome, right?

Versions of the Legion of Doom would pop up in the comics from time to time. Some appearances, as in the "Super Friends" comic book tie-in, hewed closely to the team's younger audience origins, while others, like Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross' "Justice," and most recently, in Geoff Johns and David Finch's "Forever Evil" storyline, took a more nuanced and grown-up approach to the team. In the latest Johns/Finch version, Luthor joined other DC Comics villains -- among them, Sinestro, Black Adam and Bizarro -- to take on the even more evil Crime Syndicate from Earth-3. Of course, even when used in serious stories, writers like Johns tend to include fun nods to "Super Friends," since that's where the team is lovingly best remembered by fans.

Since the already-large crew of the Waverider is meeting up with another team of heroes, the Justice Society of America, in Season 2, it makes sense that Arrowverse's supervillains would co-ordinate their efforts to form a team of their own. What brings Merlyn, Thawne, Darhk and Snart together has yet to be revealed, but we expect their joint efforts to have a major effect across all of the CW's DC Comics-based series this television season, especially considering the special, DCTV-wide contracts Wenworth Miller and John Barrowman have signed. We even recommend you keep your eye on "Supergirl" for a possible Legion of Doom connection from that show. There's always room for a Bizarro in the Legion, an addition that would neatly tie all four of the CW's DCTV shows together.

"Legends of Tomorrow" returns for its second season on Thursday, October 13, at 8pm ET, on the CW.

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