The Monster Society of Evil

The Monster Society of Evil

(pop culture)
The Monster Society of Evil, created by writer Otto Binder and artist C. C. Beck, holds two distinctions: it was the first supervillain team, and its twenty-five-chapter serialized format was the longest-running storyline produced during the Golden Age of Comics (1938–1954). Beginning in Fawcett's Captain Marvel Adventures #22 (1943), the World's Wickedest Worm, Mr. Mind, declares that he will give Captain Marvel “nightmares” by gathering a gruesome army of the universe's most baleful blackguards. Mr. Mind mobilizes Dr. Sivana, Black Adam, Captain Nazi, Herkimer the Crocodile Man, the hypnotic monster Evil Eye, Jeepers the bat-monster, the robotic Mr. Atom, beast-men King Kull and IBAC, and other nemeses—and real-world despots Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini—to despoil the globe with attempted atrocities including a second Pearl Harbor bombing and the splitting of Earth into halves. Captain Marvel is busy repressing each of these threats, finally retiring the Monster Society in issue #46's conclusion (1945). This celebrated serial was reprinted in a limited-edition hardcover in 1989. After DC Comics acquired the Fawcett characters in the early 1970s, Mr. Mind revived the Monster Society of Evil—with much smaller rosters—in 1974 and 1980. All-Star Squadron #51–#54 (1985–1986) retroactively offered the first chronological tale of the team, set in the early 1940s. Mr. Mind assembled several of DC's minor Golden Age villains (Mr. Who, the Dummy, Ramulus, Nyola, and Oom) to fight the Justice Society of America (Mr. Mind's role in this tale would later be written out of DC continuity). In the rebooted, post–Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe, Mr. Mind and Mr. Atom formed a partnership as the Monster Society in a 1998 The Power of Shazam! story arc that resulted in the nuclear obliteration of a small town. Cartoonist Jeff Smith, creator of the critically acclaimed comic Bone, produced the miniseries Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil in 2006. “It's a classic serial, but it's pretty goofy by today's standards,” Smith said. “Giant, out-of-control casts of characters are my specialty.”