WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #6 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano, in stores now.
In the DC Universe, Lex Luthor's the man with the plan. Justice League #6 illustrated why this is the case, with Lex using his mysterious cosmic doorknob to systematically remove Batman, Superman and the Martian Manhunter from the playing field. This happens as he prepares to finally make contact with the Totality (the energy that's escaped the breach in the Source Wall and crashed on Earth), and further empower his new Legion of Doom.
As this storyline has progressed, the mystery regarding the doorknob has increased as well. Now, in addition to finally seeing its immense power unleashed, a few clues have dropped regarding the artifact, clues which hint that there may have been another, previously unknown secret society connected to it in the past.
This item bears a symbol which the League has translated to mean 'doom,' aka the polar opposite to their symbol for 'justice.' We've even seen Lex use it to kill the immortal Vandal Savage and take over his fortress, touting the knob as the key to the universe, and perhaps the multiverse. In fact, he's gearing up to use it to connect to the Totality and reshape the galaxy to his liking.
Issue #6 sheds a bit more light on the artifact's still mysterious origins. It turns out, it's actually a piece of the Totality which broke off when it escaped the Source Wall, traveling through time before managing to end up on Earth in the past. There/then, it was discovered by some very "wise men and women," a revelation that indicates the previously unknown existence of some sort of mysterious cabal, a group who either unlocked the doorknob's secrets and decided to hide it (as Vandal warned Lex he should do in Issue #1), or didn't understand what it was truly capable of but decided to lock it away anyway. Seeing as Lex has been using it as his guide to unlock the seven mysterious forces of the universe, and learn about what stands beyond the Source Wall, it would make sense such a group existed, especially as the place Lex found it hidden is the Legionnaire's Club in Kansas.
This was the club Lex's father, Lionel, frequented to drink, and when Lex blew it up in a fit of pique years later, he found the knob. But the men he killed in that reunion weren't wise folk; they were old drunks, which means his father was one of them, too... or, more than likely, someone with otherworldly knowledge who tried to hide the key there. Given that Vandal was immortal, could he have been one of this group? He loves rolling with secret societies, but any affiliation to Vandal could hint they may not have necessarily been heroic.
That said, while it seems certain Lex's dad was one, where are the others? It would be quite interesting if they were still alive to shed light as to why the knob was hidden in the club. As for Lionel, well, he's believed to be dead, but as we know in comics, that may not mean it's true. After all, Lex himself has admitted his dad hid a lot of secrets.
In the Smallville TV series, Lionel (played by John Glover) was a gatekeeper for cosmic secrets like this, partnering with Virgil Swan (Christoper Reeve) in a group called Veritas (which means 'truth' in Latin) to unlock mysteries of aliens visiting the planet, along with the parents of Oliver Queen. Now, we're not saying that's the route Snyder and crew are taking Justice League, but with Issue #1 already hinting that the Totality will unleash ancient gods, abominations and overall evil, it stands to reason whoever locked the doorknob away had an idea it could literally open the doorway to all this horror.
Hopefully, with time ticking down and the integrity of the very cosmos at stake, these individuals factor in soon, because as of now, the League needs every bit of help it can get against Lex's all-powerful piece of metal.