Sunday, May 20, 2012

Villain spotlight: Crime Syndicate of Amerika.


One of my favorite concepts in both the super hero genre and just sci-fi in general is the idea of parallel universes. And a classic type of parallel universes is the 'evil universe' story. And no evil universe I know of is cooler then the one inhabited by the Crime Syndicate of Amerika (Suck it goatee and dagger Spock). Ultraman, Owlman, Jonny Quick, Superwoman, and Power Ring. I tell you if Warner Bros ever got its act together to do a JLA movie, I'd much rather see the CSA in it then Darkseid or Starro or whoever. OK Maybe the CSA should be saved for a sequel but still.

Now other then their appearance and deaths in Crisis on Infinite Earths I haven't read any of the stories of the Earth-3 pre-crisis CSA, so I can't really comment on any of them. The post Crisis CSA, the one we first saw in JLA: Earth 2, that's the one I love. Rather then living on Earth 3 this CSA lived in the anti-matter universe. Kurt Busiek would later use the CSA in both a cameo in his JLA/Avengers mini and an amazing story in JLA called Syndicate Rules. In it we see the basic moral code that keeps the CSA's world from tearing itself apart, the favor bank. Someone does something for you, you pay it back, no matter what.

But then came rough times for a CSA fan such as myself. Much like another villain I love, Carnage, writers seemed to not know what to do with this goatee and dagger Justice League. Ultraman and Owlman appeared in a pointless Superman/Batman Annual that turned out to both an imaginary story and a waste of paper. Then in the cluster fuck that was Countdown we were introduced to the new inhabitants of Earth 3 the Crime Soceity. These were like more of an evil Justice Society then a Justice League. While I actually thought that was pretty cool, in the editorial mess DC was going through in the Countdown era I feel like some writers were getting the Crime Syndicate and Crime Society mixed up. At one point in their last appearance in Justice League of America one of them mentions how they don't want to go back to their world because they 'don't trust it, it keeps changing'. So despite my love of these guys the only CSA stories I could recommend are JLA: Earth 2 and JLA: Syndicate Rules.

And now, with the hot fucking incoherent mess that is the new 52, its doubtful we'll be seeing the CSA anytime soon. And if we do, it's almost certain Jim Lee will have designed gay new costumes for them.

I'll miss you guys.


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