Recently, Scott Snyder revealed a big new detail about his upcoming Justice League series, which is that the League will be running afoul of a new team of supervillains led by Lex Luthor (who is renouncing his recent attempts to become a superhero) called the Legion of Doom.
The Legion of Doom, of course, is best known for its appearance on the animated TV series, Challenge of the Super Friends. This is the first major attempt to bring the characters from the world of animation history to becoming a regular part of the DC Comics Universe. However, this is not the first time that the Legion of Doom have appeared in comic books. We will show you the odd comic book journey that the Legion of Doom has gone through on their road to the upcoming Justice League series.
The Super Friends animated series debuted in the fall of 1973.
It was canceled at the end of its initial 1973-74 season. However, one of the advantages of animated series, especially back in the 1970s, is that you can keep re-airing the series even after it is canceled. Especially for a show like Super Friends that would only air on Saturday mornings, the 16 episodes from the first season were enough to keep kids entertained for the next few years. The show remained popular enough that Hanna-Barbera decided to do a second season in the 1977-78 season.
It was a huge success. They then decided to up the ante and make the third season their most epic season yet. Dubbed "The Challenge of the Super Friends," the season would introduce a new super villain team invented by Hanna-Barbera called The Legion of Doom, featuring most of the most famous DC super villains (with the notable exception of a few major Batman villains who were off limits because Batman had his own solo TV series at the time).
Although the Legion of Doom only appeared in a single season, they were so popular (and that season would be re-run so much over the years) that they are still an iconic part of many generations of superhero fans, especially their famous swamp headquarters...
During the period that the Super Friends was still just in re-runs, DC Comics finally got around to making a Super Friends comic book series (as the story goes, then-new DC Comics publisher Jenette Kahn basically was shocked that DC wasn't doing a comic book to tie in with the popular animated series based on their comics). After the Legion of Doom was introduced, the various members of the Legion of Doom became recurring characters in the Super Friends comic book series....
But the Legion of Doom mostly avoided the pages of the Super Friends comic book series. It would not be until nearly two decades passed that a version of the Legion of Doom made its way into the pages of an official DC Comics issue.