The Legion of Doom


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The Legion of Doom

(pop culture)
While its title—Challenge of the Super Friends (1978–1979)—might lead a viewer to believe that this Hanna-Barbera animated series, the second incarnation of the long-running, frequently reinvented Super Friends cartoon, starred the Justice League of America (JLA), it was the villains who stole the show (as well as various riches and evil weapons). “Banded together from remote galaxies are thirteen of the most sinister supervillains of all time!” intoned the voiceover that launched the series each week, flashing frightening clips of a baker's dozen of DC Comics' baddest bad guys—the Legion of Doom—assembled for “a single objective: the conquest of the universe.” A lofty goal, granted, but through the show's single season the Legion nearly accomplished its malevolent mission. Almost every one of the sixteen episodes produced began with a pan across a dismal swamp, with the Legion's dark, domed headquarters, the Hall of Doom, ominously rising from the murky bog. Inside was a meeting table, around which this unholy alliance conspired not only to take over the world, but to destroy the Super Friends in the process. Four of Superman's arch-nemeses were counted among the Legion's roster. Scientist Lex Luthor (voiced by Stan Jones), in the purple-andgreen uniform he donned in the 1970s comics, served as the chairman of this nefarious council, often brainstorming that episode's wicked plan. Green-skinned android Brainiac (Ted Cassidy, best known as Lurch from TV's Addams Family) contributed his computerized intellect and shrinking ray to the machinations. Toyman (veteran voice talent Frank Welker), the jester-dressed 1970s reinterpretation of the long-time Super-foe, provided comic relief (although his pernicious playthings like laser-firing toy soldiers were no laughing matter), and show-stealer Bizarro, Superman's backwards duplicate, threateningly pounded the table, his Bizarro-speak uttered by Bill Callaway. Joining Bizarro in the dunce seats was the pasty-faced swamp monster Solomon Grundy, whose limited vocabulary was perfectly delivered by Jimmy Weldon. Aquaman's enemy Black Manta's metallically hollow voice was, like Brainiac's, courtesy of Ted Cassidy. Vic Perrin, the mouthpiece of numerous animation heavies including Dr. Zin from Jonny Quest, added a dash of pomposity to the dialogue of renegade Green Lantern Sinestro. Batman's puzzling clue-master the Riddler (Michael Bell) was, like Toyman, on hand for levity, although the series' other Bat-foe, the fear-mongering Scarecrow, was among the creepiest of the cast, from his horrific mask to Don Messick's bloodcurdling vocalizations. Messick—one of the vocal superstars behind countless Hanna-Barbera characters including Boo- Boo Bear, Bamm-Bamm, Astro, and Dr. Quest and Bandit—also voiced Captain Cold, the Flash's freeze-gun-toting terror (animated here with an iceblue complexion). Challenge's other Flash felon was the super-intelligent primate Gorilla Grodd, played by Stanley Ralph Ross, the multi-talented actor/producer/writer who, among his myriad credits, penned thirty-two episodes of ABC's Batman (1966–1968). Two Wonder Woman supervillainesses rounded out the cast: the full-figured Giganta (Ruth Forman) and perhaps the weakest of the thirteen villains, Cheetah, whose “purr”-laden dialogue (by Marlene Aragon) suggested that the producers had envisioned this role for Catwoman. With its lethal array of weapons (most of which were created by Luthor), including the Time Conveyor, the Mental-Matter Ray, the Dream Machine, and the Hypnotic Anger-Ray, the Legion of Doom was always up to no good. Among their nefarious deeds: erasing Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern from existence by disrupting their origins; obtaining the Monolith of Evil from Earth's core; exiling the Super Friends into the pages of fairy tales; siccing a zombie army on the heroes; and transforming themselves into 100- foot giants. The episode “Super Friends: Rest in Peace” revealed the existence of a former member of the Legion of Doom: Dr. Natas, inventor of the lethal element Noxion. Comic-book artist Alex Toth, along with Andre Le Blanc, designed the Legion, cleverly softening their diabolical appearances just enough to pass network censors. In the 2000s, Challenge of the Super Friends was the first of the Super Friends franchise to be collected as a DVD set, and several of the Legion of Doom were released as Super Friends action figures, accompanying their superhero enemies in two-packs. The Legion of Doom was reintroduced to a new generation of viewers in the 2005 season premiere of the Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited (2004–present, a continuation of the 2001–2004 series Justice League). This new Legion operates under the leadership of Grodd, but boasts an expanding and varying roster much larger than the original's thirteen. “We kind of took a page with what we did with Justice League Unlimited,” producer Bruce Timm announced at the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con, “where we opened the ranks of the Justice League to include basically everybody.” Some of those “everybodies” include Death Ray (a renamed Black Manta), Killer Frost, Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Giganta, and Silver Banshee. The classic Super Friends Legion of Doom also inspired the supervillain assemblage appearing in the Justice League miniseries Justice (2005–2006), by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithwaite.
References in periodicals archive ?
While US-based hacking groups such as the Legion of Doom became infamous during the ae80s and ae90s, most hacking in the US these days never seems to rise above the level of tapping into unsecured networks.
There's a seemingly endless roster featuring The Legion of Doom, the Rock & Roll Express and "Dr Death" Steve Williams, who are all household names to Americans, but not to us.
Granted, high-profile hackers have knowingly, even gleefully, fanned the flames of hysteria by adopting monikers such as the Legion of Doom, the Masters of Deception, the NuPrometheus League, Acid Phreak, and - perhaps most telling of all - Emmanuel Goldstein (editor of hacker quarterly 2600, who has cultivated a willfully ironic, yet strangely earnest persecution complex); but as stupid is as stupid does, their snotty, adolescent bravado has been mistaken for designs on world domination.
...Three former hackers from the Legion of Doom have set up shop in Houston as computer security consultants.
In the episode, the Legends brought Rip (Arthur Darvill) back to the Waverider after his mind was altered by the Legion of Doom. But upon boarding the ship, Rip used an override code to trigger a self-destruct on the ship through Gideon.
Ma Boyles Alehouse & Eatery, 7, Tower Gardens, Liverpool, 0151 236 0070, - Wed, Sep 30, PS1.00 The Legion of Doom: Curiouser and Spuriouser Popular culture related humour from the comedy trio.
More falling asleep in front of the television than Lewis Carroll, The Legion of Doom plunge behind the back of the sofa and navigate their way through a world of idiocy and mischief.
Later in the season, the Legion of Doom went back in time and scooped out a pre-Legend version of Leonard to help them steal the Spear of Destiny.
Call 01744 756 000 www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com COMEDY TODAY Comedy Knight: Improvisation and more from the Legion of Doom. Mello Mello, Slater Street, city centre, 8pm.
"Last season he was kind of played for comic relief 6 as the Legion of Doom was with the constant back-stabbing and trying to outwit one another.
A smorgasbord of off the wall, improv, slapstick and theatrics from the Legion of Doom. Mello Mello, Slater Street, www.mellomello.co.uk
Later in the season, the Legion of Doom went back in time and (http://www.ibtimes.com/legends-tomorrow-spoilers-wentworth-miller-teases-captain-colds-season-2-dynamic-mick-2474323) scooped out a pre-Legend version of Leonard to help them steal the Spear of Destiny.

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