The Return of the Fatal Five

By Eric S. Brown | May 15, 2013

The Legion of Superheroes was originally created to serve as a supporting cast for Superman.

The three founding members of the Legion, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl, traveled back in time from the 31st Century to meet a young Superboy and help him grow into the true icon of heroism he would become.

As more and more of the Legion members were introduced in the pages of Action Comics and Adventure Comics, the Legion quickly found a cult fan base of their own. Though still to this day they are considered a part of the “Superman Family” section of the DCU,  the Legion has become one of DC Comics' three greatest superhero teams standing right alongside the Justice League and Justice Society in their level of importance and power.

The Legion of Superheroes is perhaps one of the geekiest comics one can read. It blends insanely advanced Sci-Fi tech with soap opera style young romances and the trials of growing up with superpowers while struggling to save not only Earth but the entire galaxy from cosmic level threats.

The Legion's membership is far larger than that of any team in comics and the 31st century that they inhabit is as highly detailed and well developed as the world of Star Trek. Throughout the Legion's history, they have battled scores of villains created just for them as well as normal DCU bad guys.

A fan favorite from the Legion's vast rogue gallery is the team known as the Fatal Five. The Fatal Five consists of Tharok, a cybernetic super genius, the Emerald Empress, a deranged woman with power greater than most Green Lanterns, Validus, a giant monster stronger than even Superman, the Persuader, an ax wielding killer whose weapon can cut through anything, even Superman's skin, and Mano, a tormented lunatic capable of disintegrating entire worlds with his touch.

These five villains were capable of fighting the entire Legion to a standstill and as brutal as the Legion was compassionate. Their different personalities and powers gave them such a charged dynamic in their interactions with one another that many readers would find themselves not only relating to the Fatal Five but sometimes going as far as to actually hope that they succeeded in whatever their dark plans against the United Planets were at the time.

The Legion, being 1,000 years in the future in the DCU, is perhaps the most rebooted team in all of comics. Though their fan base is among the most devoted, it is a small one comparatively to heroes like Superman, Batman, or the Flash. Due to this, the Legion has been canceled and relaunched, time and time again.

The last two Legion series never got around to revamping the Fatal Five despite the hopes of long time Legion readers. However the current series is at last returning the Fatal Five to Legion-verse with nothing short of a full out, apocalyptic attack on the United Planets.

In the beginning issues of their return so far, the United Planets is brought to its knees and long time Legionaries die unthinkable deaths. The return of this new Fatal Five promises to be the most epic event for the Legion since the legendary “Great Darkness” saga.

So whether you're a Legion or a Fatal Five fan, the current storyline of the Legion of Superheroes is not one you want to miss.