To kick off an Atomic Wanderers count down to Hallowe’en, we celebrate the Bad Guys.
THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS was a mid-Seventies Hail Mary stunt by DC Comics to try to publish … anything… everything … that would increase sales. The idea of a superhero comic book that featured the villains had never been considered prior (what law abiding family wanted Junior reading a funny book about Evil overcoming Justice? What would be next, a smash TV show about a High School teacher becoming a successful Meth dealer? Insane!) and so the original premise was about a group of Super Villains being manipulated into crimes by other, more behind-the-scenes Super Villains, with one or two Super Heroes always on their trail. In this manner, evil wasn’t winning, per se, but staying one step ahead of the law whilst losing, mostly.
It had this 7 year old sold.
I must have been the only one, because a year into the book, the Society paired down from an Unlucky 13 to 5 core members. DC Comics continued it’s “safe” Bad Guy approach by setting the Society up against another Bad Guy Team, the Crime Syndicate of America (evil versions of Green Lantern, Flash, and Wonder Woman). Finally, the Society figured out a great way to fight Super Heroes: Beat up old/ retired Super Heroes!
Someone in accounting must have caught wind that only one kid from the Metro Detroit area was buying the book and it was cancelled after the first chapter of beating up the retired Super Heroes.
I wondered for a long time what happened next, until the leader of the Secret Society related the events in a page from the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA:
I still think Villainy coulda had a chance.
THIS WEEK’S CUT-AND-SAVE TRADING CARD OF EVIL!
COLLECT ALL FIVE IN THE SERIES!
Extra-Bonus: SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS Dossier!
Code Name: THE WIZARD
Real Name: WILLIAM I. ZARD
First Appearance: ALL STAR COMICS #34 (1945)
Evil Powers: Magic Spells of General Bad-doingness and Evil-ry.
Secret History: The Wizard was a criminal magician who started his career in Post-War America fighting the Justice Society of America. After years of failure, The Wizard sought guidance from a fashion consultant, who suggested an evil image update away from his traditional “Naughty Mandrake the Magician” look and accurately predicted the Orange-is-the-New-Black trend by combining a snappy Jumpsuit of Mystical Malaise with Devil Red accessories and a subtle kelly green Cloak of Invisibility and Discouraging Thoughts Regarding Job Mobility. The Wizard then hit the gym and went with a bold “Suns Out/Guns Out” approach to a sleeveless tank, while sporting the Magic Prism of Studio 54 and The Power Glove of BIlly Preston.