Justice League Better Beware of the Mighty Crime Syndicate of Amerika
One of the great things about DC Comics is the exploration of parallel universes. The Multiverse, as it is known, houses various versions of the same character. On one Earth, in the Anitimatter Universe, is the home of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika. They are that Earth's version of the Justice League except for one thing, as the name implies... they are evil. Before the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, the Syndicate lived on Earth-3. The latest version follows Grant Morrison's version from his JLA: Earth 2 story. It's this version that has brought about a wave of new merchandise and ideas.
JLA Earth 2
Back in 2000, Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely re-introduced the Crime Syndicate in JLA: Earth 2, a hardcover graphic novel, showcasing this Earth's super team of criminals. The team consists of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick and Power Ring who mirror Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash and Green Lantern, respectively. The lone hero out to stop this band is none other than Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, he cannot do it alone and travels dimensions in order to get the help of the Justice League to hekp restore order.
Considering that many of the new merchandise stems from this particular tale, it's best to be familiar with the source material.
Justice League Crisis on Two Earths
DC Comics, Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation have released an animated movie involving the Crime Syndicate in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the seventh film in the line of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It borrows from the 1964 Gardner Fox-scripted Justice League of America #29–30 entitled "Crisis on Earth-Three!" as well as the 2000 Grant Morrison JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel.
The premise is similar in which the heroic Lex Luthor from an alternate universe enlists the Justice League to help stop the Crime Syndicate. It is a star-studded cast starring Mark Harmon as Superman, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, James Woods as Owlman, Gina Torres as Superwoman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor, and William Baldwin as Batman.
In conjunction with the movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, DC Direct released maquetes based on the style of this animated feature. Maquettes are used to help animators and modellers in looking at these characters. Think of it as a three-dimensional blueprint. These maquettes are usally direct more towards the adult collector and cost a lot but they really do standout.
Justice League Unlimited Fan Collection
Interestingly enough, the concept of the Justice Lords, alternate versions of the Justice League, was inspired because of the Crime Syndicate. In a sense the Justice Lords and the Crime Syndicate are almost similar in nature, only one is a misguided force of justice while the other is just pure evil.
The Crime Syndicate in HeroClix
The game of HeroClix has found a way to marry comic book characters with the world of gaming in a very successful way. Over the years, many HeroClix sets have been created and the Crime Syndicate finally found its way into game play. These miniature game pieces have all the necessary stats on its base in order to combat opponents and eventually win the game through cunning and strategy.
The Crime Syndicate is scattered through various HeroClix sets but all of them have been created. They can be found in these sets:
R/E/V Superwoman (#46-48) — DC HeroClix: Legacy
Unique Ultraman (#242) — DC HeroClix: Legacy
Unique Owlman (#094) — DC HeroClix: Collateral Damage
Unique Johnny Quick (#092) — DC HeroClix: Origin
Unique Power Ring (#050) — DC HeroClix: Justice League
I really like the concept of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika and am glad they are getting the spotlight again. Gardner Fox introduced this evil version back in the 1960s and the concept of a totally evil version of the Justice League is still attractive to this very day.
There are many different merchandise relating to this unruly group. DC Direct has even manufactured the original versions in its action figure lineup so it's great to compare the two. In the end it's just great to have a group that can go toe-to-toe with the Justice League in every way.
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