The 8 Most Overlooked DC Teams
With The Suicide Squad set to premiere on August 6, we’ll be seeing more of Harley, Rick, King Shark, and the rest of Amanda Waller’s motley crew pretty soon. James Gunn’s soft reboot follows in the footsteps of his other films that highlight teams flying under the radar of mainstream comic book media.
Given the popularity of this team of misfit mercenaries, what other DC Comics ensembles might be waiting on the sidelines? Sure, teams like Doom Patrol and the Birds of Prey are slowly getting their screen time, but let’s take a look at eight other DC teams that could use some more spotlight.
The Forgotten Heroes
Their title literally says it all — this team of heroes is the definition of underrated. Led by Immortal Man, The Forgotten Heroes made their print debut in 1984. Depending on the timeline, Rick Flag is a member of The Forgotten Heroes or a secret government insert in addition to his time spent on the Suicide Squad. Other members of The Forgotten Heroes included Dolphin, Animal Man, Rip Hunter, The Ray, Fetish, and Atomic Knight.
The Justice Society of America
The Justice Society of America walked so the Justice League could run. The JSA was the first super hero team to appear in print back in 1940 and it featured the biggest heroes from the Golden Age of DC Comics. Recently, the history of the JSA has been brought to the screen in Stargirl, which follows Starman’s successor, Courtney Whitmore AKA Stargirl, as she reassembles the Justice Society. Original members of the JSA included the Golden Age versions of the Flash and Green Lantern as well as Starman, Hourman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Spectre, and Wildcat. The JSA also inspired the creation of multiverses (any comics fan has definitely heard a lot of that term lately), with the JSA existing on Earth-2 and the Justice League serving Earth-1 — until, of course, the Crisis on Infinite Earths event brought them all crashing together.
Hey, you didn’t think we’d just be talking about the heroes, did you? The Menagerie, not to be confused with alien-symbiote antihero Menagerie, is a team that really takes a walk on the wild side. Each member of this bevy of beastly villains takes their cue from the animal kingdom. After the Crime Syndicate killed the Justice League, Wonder Woman’s archnemesis Cheetah was offered the Lasso of Truth, with which she wrangled this troupe together. The primal pack of Prime Earth villains also includes Zebra-Man, Elephant Man, Lion-Mane, Weasel (who is also in the upcoming The Suicide Squad), Hellhound, and Primape.
The Crime Syndicate
As mentioned above, the Crime Syndicate is a formidable group of super-villains who have proven themselves capable of destroying even the mighty Justice League of America. Originally from Earth-3, an alternate version of Earth where evil triumphs over good, these twisted JLA doppelgängers are always trying to bring their morally corrupt reality to our own. On occasion, they’ve even been successful. Members of the Crime Syndicate include Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, the Sea King, Atomica, and Grid.
Justice League Dark
Magic isn’t always love potions and sparkly charms, which is why the Justice League Dark exists. Sometimes super strength and fancy gadgets aren’t enough to combat the demons and occult forces that lurk within the shadows. This supernatural squad of magic-wielders confronts the macabre and the mystical using their own knowledge of the arcane arts. Members of the JLD have included Zatanna, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat, Detective Chimp, and, most recently, Wonder Woman.
Batman is far from being Gotham City’s golden boy, which is why he assembled this team of outcasts who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. Certain missions might be hindered by the diplomacy that’s expected of the Justice League and that’s exactly where The Outsiders step in. The original members include Black Lightning, Katana, Geo-Force, Halo, and Metamorpho. Later iterations of the team have often had connections to the Bat-Family, with a particularly successful run for The Outsiders led by Nightwing and Arsenal.
The Female Furies serve Darkseid as his hand-picked, all-women military unit on Apokolips. These elite soldiers are as lethal as they come, each woman having her own set of devastating abilities. Granny Goodness, whose mercy is nonexistent and whose wrath is unmatched, raises her killers at sinister orphanages. Lashina is the field leader, Stompa provides brute force, and the treacherous Bernadeth is Granny’s closest commander. Finally, there’s Big Barda — originally she was the leader of the Furies but she fell in love with another New God, Mister Miracle, and now battles the forces of evil.
As the DCEU continues to grow, there are plenty of other teams available to headline upcoming ensemble titles. In addition to the more well-known rosters, these characters provide their own compelling backstories and complex motives.
Who are your favorite obscure (or not-so-obscure) DC ensembles? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!