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In a recent episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, (Raiders of the Lost Art) Nate Heywood, aka Commander Steel, gives the supervillian team they're up against the moniker of 'The Legion of Doom'. While this is an established name in comics, the in-universe explanation for the name he gives is that:

"It's from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon."

Is there any truth to that? What cartoon is he referring to? And was the original comic-book team name inspired by this cartoon too?

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The "Legion of Doom" was originally created for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Challenge of the Superfriends, which aired in 1978. This was the third series in the Superfriends franchise, which were basically a kids Saturday morning cartoon version of the Justice League -- Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern plus a few created specifically for the shows (mostly some bad cultural stereotypes like Apache Chief).

The original Legion of Doom was 13 villains, primarily led by Lex Luthor, whose base was essentially a giant Darth Vader helmet that submerged under a swamp somewhere.

I believe the group shows up again later in the 1980's Super Friends cartoon; I'm pretty sure this is the first one I actually watched as a kid, and it had them as the main villains at least part of the time.


The name "Legion of Doom" was later incorporated into the comics on a few occasions; the one that comes the closest to the original concept is probably from mini-series Justice from 2006, which includes all 13 of the original villains, plus a few more. The "Hall of Doom" building itself also shows up a few times. The "Injustice League" is also, basically, a renamed version of the Legion of Doom.

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  • Thanks for answering. So it was a DC cartoon, not some other property. That makes sense, I guess. OTOH, did Steel really watch a cartoon starring Batman and Superman? Coz that'd be awesome :)
    – Tushar Raj
    Feb 3, 2017 at 7:10
  • I would say that the Injustice League and the Legion of Doom are both retreads of the Injustice Society.
    – Politank-Z
    Feb 3, 2017 at 21:06
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    You forgot to mention the Wonder Twins. They were my favorite. Lol
    – iMerchant
    Nov 20, 2017 at 5:11
  • They fall into the category of "created specifically for the TV shows"
    – KutuluMike
    Nov 20, 2017 at 11:52

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