The Secret Society of Super Villains was first published by DC Comics in May of 1976 and starred some of the DC Universe’s most popular baddies as they decided to steal a page from the hero handbook and band together for a common goal – namely, world domination. It was a different, mostly untested concept for a monthly comic.
And it was terrible. Man, was it terrible!
Granted, the 1970s weren’t exactly known for high production values in any industry (Just look at the music and clothes!) but after a strong start, (Even with characters named Gorilla Grodd and Captain Boomerang!) this book went downhill at super speed. The first few issues focused on the villains’ discovery that they were intended as the first wave of the mega-villain Darkseid‘s invasion of earth – and their subsequent rebellion.
The bad guys actually saved the planet, but soon realized there was no money or power to be had in the good guy biz. Good thing they were evil, right?
Subsequent story lines featured a rotating cast and characters with great ’70′s names like Funky Flashman and the series’ token hero, Captain Comet! As for the high production values I mentioned, here’s a great example – Captain Comet captures a villain named Copperhead (He had a suit that allowed him to manipulate his body like a snake!) and Comet throws him in the clink with a bandage over his suit!
Not all that surprisingly, SSoSV was canceled in 1978 after 15 issues and some one-shots and guest appearances in other books. The Society found themselves victims of the DC Implosion.
More than 24 DC titles, like The Batman Family and Super-Team Family (It was the ’70s, after all!) got the axe but the Society lived on in various incarnations.
I have to admit, the book may have been terrible, but as a child of the seventies, I loved it! DC Comics has announced a hardcover collection celebrating the Society’s heyday, and I’ll be forking over my hard-earned cash to relive the 1970s, in all their terrible glory.