Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Who's Who: Dominators


by Russell & Siskoid

Planet of Origin: Dominion homeworld
Super-Power(s): High intelligence
Relationship to Legion: Villainous species

Legion Log
On the fringes of United Planets space lies a world ringed by the debris of its former twin, destroyed during a dispute between the two societies. This is the planet of the Dominators, also known as the Dominion.

In the 20th Century, driven to understand and control the human metagene, the Dominators assembled a large alien alliance and invaded Earth. They were ultimately repelled by the planet's superheroes. These events led to the creation of L.E.G.I.O.N., a precursor of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Some time later, the humans experimented on by the Dominion were freed by Valor and seeded across space in power-grouped colonies; these would go on to become members of the United Planets in the far future, many of which gave birth to Legionnaires.

The Dominion fought against the UP for several years in a vicious war over territory. Late in the 30th Century they finally sued for peace. The UP Council then asked the Legion to escort a contingent of Dominator ambassadors from deep space to Earth. At this time, the galaxy learned that the Dominion was a strict class society. The disks they wear on their foreheads signify their social position: the larger the disk, the higher the rank.

The galaxy also learned that although there is a majority of Dominators who prefers peace, there is a large minority who prefers war. Those two sides of Dominator society is what has caused conflict with the UP and the Legion over the years.

Although peace conferences were started at this time, it was several years later when the final peace treaties were finally signed. Part of the delay was the so-called "Earthwar" between Earth, the Khund Empire, and the Dark Circle. Negotiations were also stalled during Universo's manipulation of Earthers like chief negotiator Ambassador Relnic.

Not long before the so-called Five-Year Gap, a Dominator splinter group attempted to end the peace by destroying Weber's World, the chief bureaucratic planet of the UP. This terrorist act was thwarted by Cosmic Boy, Night Girl, and several Legion Academy students and teachers working as a new Legion of Substitute-Heroes.

During the Gap, the Dominion was able to secretly gain control of Earthgov in the aftermath of a galaxy-wide economic collapse. Their primary motivation was still the genetic potential of humans, and they conducted numerous experiments in secret underground chambers. Due to constant harassment by Earthgov, the Legion eventually disbanded, but the Dominators continued to fear its possible reformation, so they freed mass murderer Roxxas from prison and armed him with instructions to kill the former Legion members, but Blok's death instead caused the team to reform. Meanwhile on Earth, an underground resistance movement sprang up, including ex-Invisible Kid Jacques Foccart, the former Legion of Substitute-Heroes, and their unlikely ally Universo.

As safeguards against losing Earth, the Dominion placed a series of nuclear explosives on the Moon, which exploded during a fight with the mad Daxamite Dev-Em. The Dominion attempted to blame the explosion on Khund saboteurs, but their control of Earth started to slip in the wake of this disaster. The Earth was eventually liberated from Dominator control, but not before Dominator actions led to the destruction of Earth. The Dominators also attempted to gain control of Daxam, hoping for an army of superbeings, but Glorith destroyed the populace to prevent this from happening.

After the Reboot, the Dominators played a less significant role in Legion history. The Dominion was one of the core members of the Affiliated Planets ruled by the new Dark Circle. Their representative to the Circle was killed by its leader Brainiac 4, for opposing her plans.

After the Threeboot, the Dominators were inspired to invade Earth when a time-traveling Booster Gold inadvertently led them to believe that fifty-two planets were planning an attack on the them. They managed to seize control of Earth's technology, and sent genetically modified warriors (created using gene grafts from the former members of Terror Firma) through a stargate. The Legion, with the help of the Wanderers, managed to defeat this armada. Since the Dominators still had thousands of super-powered troops at their disposal, and would eventually regroup, Mon-El detonated a bomb that seemingly destroyed imprisoned their entire planet in the Phantom Zone.

After Infinite Crisis, the Dominators' original history has presumably been more or less restored. Recently, the Dominators had plans to recreate Brainiac 5's lead serum so they could recruit Daxamite soldiers, but the Legion spoiled their plans.

The Dominators appeared in the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series as allies of Imperiex, and in live action trying to invade the Earth shared by various CW shows - Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Invasion! #1-3
The Dominators lead an alien invasion of Earth

Important Dominator Stories:

Adventure Comics (v1) #361
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)

We meet the Dominators and learn of their rigid class system 

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #243
The Dominators are used by the Dark Circle and the Khunds during Earthwar

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #244

After the Dominators are freed by the Legion, 
they agree to sign a peace treaty and to fight against the Dark Circle

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #245

Peace is restored after the Earthwar has ended, 
with the defeat of the Khunds, the Dark Circle, and Mordru

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #32-34
The Dominators know that Ambassador Relnic has lied to them 
while being under the control of Universo

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v2) #3 (1987)
A vocal minority of Dominators does not want peace with the UP

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v4) #1
Glorith justifies destroying Daxam with a Dominion plot

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #3
The Dominators in charge of Earthgov hire Roxxas to kill the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v4) #2
The Dominion's part in Valor's seeding of worlds is revealed

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #19
A Dominion failsafe explodes, destroying Earth's moon and plunging the planet into chaos

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #25-35
As the reigns of power start to slip away from the Dominion, their secret chambers are opened
and the SW6 Legion slips out

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #38
The Dominion's scorched Earth policy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #107-108, Legionnaires #63
After the Reboot, the Dominators are minor players, allied with other powers

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #29-30
After the Threeboot, Mon-El is forced to send the Dominion homeworld to the Phantom Zone

Legion of Super-Heroes (v7) #10-12
The Legion stops a Dominion plot to make a Daxamite army

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
The animated Dominators are allied to Imperiex

Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow
The CW Dominators attempted to invade Earth to prevent the natives from carrying out time travel experiments


  1. The way the Dominators gradually evolve more ferocious teeth is kind of hilarious.

    They have a very Orientalist look in the art for Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #245. I guess it's always kind of implicit (alas), but Joe Staton really brings it out with the way he does their eyes.

    1. 245 was inked by Murphy Anderson. I see some of his style there, too.