Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Who's Who: Dark Circle

Dark Circle
by Russell & Siskoid

Members: Ontir, Golgoth, various unnamed
Super-Power(s): Vast humanoid and technological resources.
Planet of Origin: Various
Relationship to Legion: Villains turned organized religion.

Legion Log
The Dark Circle is a secret society created by five individuals from five different worlds whose mission is the complete subjugation of the United Planets. Their leaders and their home-planets have never been explicitly known, but three of the members were Gorgoth (also spelled Golgoth), Grullug, and Ontiir.

They first made a name for themselves in the late 30th Century when they attacked Earth, knowing that the Universal Control Panel for operating all of the UP defenses would fail due to the recent attack by the Fatal Five. They came very close to taking over Earth, but were stopped at the last minute by Brainiac 5 and the Miracle Machine.

They continued to plot, supporting various dictators and anarchists while biding their time and enlarging their sphere of influence. One of their puppet leaders, Deregon, took over the Australian state and would have started a new World War if Chemical King had not stopped his power sphere from exploding. The Legion captured Deregon, reluctantly letting the Dark Circle remain in existence.

Eventually the Dark Circle allied themselves with the Khunds and Mordru in another attempt to conquer Earth. Their first step was to take over Weber's World, the bureaucratic head-quarters of the United Planets. The "Earthwar," as it was later called, was stopped through the actions of the Legion.

The Dark Circle then allied itself with the notorious Emerald Empress in another attempt to take over Weber's World. During this time their double-agent, Ontiir, was clearly "outed" and then arrested. When a group of Legionnaires led by Supergirl and Brainiac 5 attempted to track down the Dark Circle on their own planet, they learned that the Dark Circle was composed of clones of the five leaders. (Note: the foot soldiers shown in earlier stories do not match the body types of the five leaders. Perhaps they are clones of a more-humanoid type, as the leaders had tried to clone Dev-Em to populate their troops?) During this encounter, the leaders all chose ritual suicide rather than imprisonment.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap, members of the Dark Circle were depicted wearing hoods with a prominent dark circle (zero) over their faces. The cult was said to have existed for millions of years, even before New Genesis and Apokolips, but had little influence over events and were outmaneuvered by other factions. Instead of five individuals cloned, now they were formed primarily from five worlds. The Circle was portrayed as more of a philosophical or quasi-religious movement, one which specifically turned aside from intellectual knowledge to focus on "blood" emotions like anger and fear. They did maintain a high level of technology however, with a renegade Dominator world supplying most of the tech. Their primary foe was Valor, who not only opposed them physically, but philosophically as well, and his influence on many worlds stood as their plans' main obstacle. Nevertheless, Tellus joined the Dark Circle during this time. When the Dominators  conquered Earth, the Dark Circle secretly aided the resistance movement, hoping to gain control of the planet themselves. However, the group was ultimately betrayed by its ally, Universo.

After the Reboot, the Dark Circle was the secret power behind the Affiliated Planets (a rival political grouping to the United Planets) and was run by Brainiac 4. Other members of the Circle included Tyr, and the leaders of the Khunds, the Gil'Dishpan, the Dominators, and the Sklarian Raiders. All were killed by Brainiac 4 when they realized the level of her insanity.

After the Threeboot, the Dark Circle does not seem to be a factor.

After Infinite Crisis, the Dark Circle's original history has presumably been more or less restored.

The Dark Circle appears as a terrorist organization seeking to overthrow the United Planets in the Legion of Super Heroes animated series episode "In Your Dreams." Their origin is not elaborated upon. Leaders Gullug (voiced by Dave Wittenberg) and Ontirr (Bumper Robinson) become aware of the Legion of Super Heroes via Dream Girl, and plan to capture her so that they can use her to their advantage.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Superboy/Legion #228
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
Deregon, a Dark Circle agent, is responsible for the death of Chemical King

Important Dark Circle Stories:

Adventure Comics (v1) #367
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 7)
The Dark Circle nearly succeeds in overcoming Earth on their first invasion attempt

Action Comics (v1) #390-391
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9)
The Dark Circle supports terrorism and anarchy

Superboy/Legion #229
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
The Legion goes to the Dark Circle's planet for the first time

Superboy/Legion #242-245
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5)
The Dark Circle plots with the Khunds to take over Earth. 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #302-303
The Dark Circle teams with the Emerald Empress to attack the United Planets. 

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #314-315
The Legion uncovers Dark Circle spies in the UP government

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #322-325
The Dark Circle is put out of business....or so it appears

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) Annual #2
Five years later, the Dark Circle is a cult fighting Valor's ideals

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #18
The Dark Circle wages philosophical war with Valor

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) Annual #3
Tellus speaks of a mainstream faction of the Circle

Legion of Super-Heroes (v7) #27
The Dark Circle is in cahoots with Universo to conquer Earth for itself

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #34
Universo terminates his alliance with the Dark Circle

Legionnaires #56
The Dark Circle makes its first Reboot appearance

Legionnaires #60-62 and Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #106-108
The Dark Circle Rising storyline puts the group in the hands of Brainiac 4

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series "In Your Dreams"
The Dark Circle's animated appearance

1 comment:

  1. When you call yourselves "The Legion of Super-Heroes " you better have some galaxy shattering foes!

    The Time Trapper, Mordru , Darkseid , Brainiac, The Khunds, The Dominators, The Fatal Five, The Legion of Supervillains, The Dark Circle .....

    They wouldn't be the 31st Centuries champions otherwise !!!