|Secret Society of Super-Villains (03-Current)
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This group will probably always be most famous for being one of the two foci of the 2005 series, Villains United.
While in truth it was the reformation and expansion of the "Luthor cell" of the original Secret Society, its success far outstripped that. Even the Wizard, Luthor's chief rival in the original group, was shown to be a part of this group. Indeed, the Wizard's presence is speculatively one of the reasons this group preferred to be called, simply, "The Society"--both a publically diplomatic nod to, and a privately held joke about, the Wizard's original, 1940's-era group, The Injustice Society. The simpler "Society" also refers to the fact that Luthor viewed one of the aims of the group to be the reformation of society itself away from dependence on "meta-human freaks".
The dimensions of this group were vast.
It was implied by Villains United that the group numbered in the hundreds; it was shown to easily contain more than the current rosters of the JSA and JLA, combined. The main reason Luthor was able to bring so many villains together was because of the perceived threat that super heroes were shown to display in the wake of the events of Identity Crisis. By mindwiping Dr. Light, villains across the DCU felt that the heroes had crossed a criminal line and were therefore open to attack for a reason better than just "they're the good guys and we're the bad guys". Luthor managed to appeal to villains' sense of right and give them an actual cause to fight about.
But this was also shown to be a vulnerability of the group dynamic. If that cause were removed, and heroes started "playing by the rules" again, there would be nothing for the villains to rally around any longer. Thus, Luthor had to come up with other "just" causes to keep his troops in line. Heroes like Wonder Woman undoubtedly helped when she was seen, worldwide, killing a man in (apparently) cold blood. Luthor was also seen to keep the group together by carefully psychoanalyzing all his team members, so as to keep them in line by methods specifically effective to the individual concerned.
The group was organized as a "democratic oligarchy", with a founding core of members having the ability to vote on courses of action. They were seen to overcome the will even of Luthor through this method. The initial core members were: Lex Luthor, Black Adam, Deathstroke, Talia al Ghul, Doctor Psycho and The Calculator.
The chief rival to this group, aside from super heroes, was the Secret Six (III), a much smaller, but powerful, group of rogues, who might be more properly viewed as "anti-heroes". The reason this group opposed the Society was the chief mystery of the series, Villains United.
[It should be pointed out that the Wizard cell of the original Secret Society reformed around the same time, but apparently existed independently for one story (the so-called 5th Countdown to Infinite Crisis series, JLA's "Crisis of Conscience"), before seeming to join with Luthor's group again. Those members were: Wizard, Star Sapphire (III), Matter Master, Felix Faust, Floronic Man, and Chronos. As of December 2005, not all these characters were seen allied with Luthor, but the Wizard's presence in Villain's United strongly implied their membership as well.]
The following roster is not complete--and, depending on DC's plans for the group, may not soon be so. Please feel free to add to this list as is necessary. Note that the leader of the group, Lex Luthor, is intentionally not included, as of December 2005, for contentual reasons. If you don't understand this, please read Villains United.
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#636 - 'The Road to Ruin Part One'Aquaman (2003)
#37 - 'All Fall Down'Batgirl (2000)
#69 - 'Destruction's Daughter, Part 4: Love's Labors...'Batman (1940)
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#647 - 'Franchise, Part 2: The Away Team'Batman Incorporated (2012)
#2 - 'Eye of the Gorgon'Batman: Gotham Knights (2000)
#66 - 'Job Termination'Birds of Prey (1999)
#87 - 'Perfect Pitch, Part One'Breach (2005)
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#89 - 'Perfect Pitch, Part Three: Long Untold Truths'
#90 - 'Perfect Pitch, Part Four'
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#92 - 'Progeny, Part One: Inseparable'
#93 - 'Progeny, Part Two: Gutshot Redemption'
#94 - 'Progeny, Part Three: Stolen Inferno'
#95 - 'Progeny, Finale: A Cup of Kindness Yet'
#96 - 'Headhunt, Part One: Through the Shards of a Looking Glass'
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#1 - 'Countdown to Infinite Crisis'Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven (2006)
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#2 - 'The Battle for Blüdhaven, Part 2'
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#5 - 'The Battle for Blüdhaven, Part 5'
#6 - 'The Battle for Blüdhaven, Part 6'
TPB vol. 03Final Crisis (2008)
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#20 - 'Turn About'
#22 - 'The War Begins'
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#24 - 'Collateral Damage'
#25 - 'Battle!'
Final Crisis: Requiem (2008)
#1 - 'Final Crisis: Requiem Caretakers of Mars'Final Crisis: Revelations (2008)
Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge (2008)
#17 - 'An Unrighteous World'Infinite Crisis (2005)
#1 - 'DC Comics Proudly Presents: Infinite Crisis'JSA (1999)
#2 (George Pérez cover) - 'The Survivors'
#3 - 'Divine Intervention'
#4 (George Pérez cover) - 'Homecoming'
#7 (George Pérez cover) - 'Finale'
Justice League (2011)
#40 - 'Darkseid War Prologue'Justice League of America (2006)
#21 - 'The Gathering Crisis'Manhunter (2004)
TPB vol. 02 - 'Trial By Fire'Outsiders (2003)
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#6 - 'Trial By Fire'
#8 - 'Trial by Fire Part 3: Bad Influence'
#9 - 'Trial by Fire Part 4: Disorder in the Court'
#10 - 'Manhunted, Part 1: Mistrial By Fire'
#21 - 'Psychobabble, Part Two: Mind Over Morals'
#24 - 'Psychobabble, Part Five: Can't Get You Outta My Head'
#29 - 'Unoriginal Sins, Part 1: All Together Now'Secret Six (2006)
#32 - 'Detour'
#33 - 'Deep Impact'
#43 - 'Mad Scientists, Finale: The Man Behind the Curtain'
#45 - 'Pay As You Go, Part Two: Sins of the Father'
#1 - 'Six Degrees of Devastation, Part One: Exposed'Superman (1987)
#221 - 'Jimmy's Day'Villains United (2005)
Infinite Crisis Special - 'A Hero Dies But One'Wonder Woman (2006)
#1 - 'Villains United, Part One: And Empires in Their Purpose'
#2 - 'Villains United, Part Two: A Fire in the Steppes'
#3 - 'Villains United, Part Three: Privileged to Spill Her Blood'
#4 - 'Villains United, Part Four: A Weapon to Unify'
#5 - 'Villains United, Part Five: Victims of Aggression'
#6 - 'Villains United, Part Six: At the End of All Things'
#14 - 'The Circle, Part 1: What You Do Not Yet Know'
#15 - 'The Circle, Part 2: Dead Heat'
#16 - 'The Circle, Part 3: The Wellspring of All Vengeance'
#17 - 'The Circle, Conclusion: A Time of Reckoning'
#26 - 'Rise of the Olympian, Part 1: Plague and Pestilence'
#27 - 'Rise of the Olympian, Part 2: A Sense of Loss'
#28 - 'Rise of the Olympian, Part 3: The Blood of the Stag'
#29 - 'Rise of the Olympian, Part 4: A Changed World'
#30 - 'Rise of the Olympian, Part 5: Songs My Sisters Will Sing'
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