The Crime Syndicate of America is back, and they're taking over the New 52.
DC confirmed today that the evil team known as the Crime Syndicate of America will be the villains that overtake the Earth in Forever Evil, the seven-issue mini-series that starts in September.
According to Geoff Johns, DC's chief creative officer and author of Forever Evil, the Crime Syndicate is also involved in events that are currently happening in Trinity War, the Justice League crossover running this summer.
"“The Crime Syndicate will be the ones leading the charge to take the world in Forever Evil," Johns told IGN today.
The members of the new Crime Syndicate, who will hail from Earth 3, will be Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick and Power Ring, plus a new member, Deathstorm.
Deathstorm is described by Johns as "a scientist who’s been merged with the dead body of his lab assistant. It’s given him a cold demeanor and a clammy touch. He’s essentially a mad Nazi scientist with Atomic Power at his hand."
Forever Evil was previously billed as a story would tell what would happen when all the heroes died, an event that presumably happens at the end of the Trinity War crossover. Today, Johns confirmed that Forever Evil will show that although some villains will follow the Crime Syndicate, others will team-up to resist them. To echo that theme, DC released an image that said "Evil Is Relative," with several villains fighting against the new Crime Syndicate.
"“For them, and Ultraman in particular, it’s not about good and evil. It’s about strength and weakness. They’re the strongest, most powerful people on their planet, therefore they have ruled it," Johns said.
The characters, who first appeared in DC comics in 1964, haven't been seen in the "new" version of the DC universe that launched in September 2011's "New 52" initiative. In the past, they were "alternate earth" versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern — only they became supervillains on their earth, instead of heroes.
“Evil is relative – and what I mean by that, is that our villains are as complex, as deep and as compelling as any of our heroes. Every antagonist in the DC Universe has a unique darkness, desire and drive. And the reason for being of Forever Evil is to explore that darkness,” explained Johns. “We start literally, in the first issue, when the whole world goes dark; communication and power are gone. And as our Earth is plunged into darkness, the Crime Syndicate begins their plan for conquest.”
“[They] make themselves known and they enact their mission to take over. They will lead an army of super villains, but not every villain sees things the way they do,” he continued. “Every villain in the DC Universe wants something different and not all of them want to rule the world. Or at least, not all of them want to rule the world in the way the Crime Syndicate do."
Johns confirmed what he has stated in the past — that Lex Luthor will lead a resistance to the villains in Forever Evil, with a team that includes anti-heroes like Sinestro, Black Adam, Catwoman and Captain Cold.
Artist David Finch recently told Newsarama that Luthor's "resistance" team would also include Batman, who he implied would survive the "death" of all the heroes that sets up Forever Evil.
But Johns said today that the Batman costume might not have Bruce Wayne inside.
Finch has redesigned the characters their debut in Forever Evil #1. Finch, who is drawing the entire seven-issue mini-series, is well known for drawing dynamic-looking characters and larger-than-life heroes and villains.