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The Crime Syndicate of America is a team of supervillains from Earth-Three, and are the evil counterparts of the Justice League of America. This team consisted of five loosely associated superpowered members who were able to largely conquer their world, though they were never able to completely control it.
With the lack of other superpowered beings than these five, the Crime Syndicate were able to largely overwhelm the local police and military forces native to their own Earth. Finding less resistance to their excessive powers the five were able to basically control large portions of their Earth and became basically bored with their control of the planet.
Becoming more and more restless and unsatisfied with their open control, the Crime Syndicate of America was wholly enthusiastic of Ultraman's then latest emerging superpower a dimensional scanning super-vision that revealed the existence of other realities. Arrogantly deciding that they would challenge the superpowered beings of these other realities and conquer these other worlds protected by these beings, the Crime Syndicate attacked the Justice Society of Earth-Two and Justice League of Earth-One. Deciding to challenge the heroes of the Earth One's Justice League and Earth-Two's Justice Society, the Crime Syndicate are defeated by their own arrogance thinking they could defeat TWO Earths' heroes groups, as well as the fact that the Crime Syndicate were not a tightly unified team themselves. Following this defeat, the Crime Syndicate were originally imprisoned in an unbreakable bubble generated by Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)'s power ring, and placed in a "limbo" dimension between the Earths.
Over the following years, the Syndicate or one of its members would occasionally escape and attempt to wreak havoc on many different Earths including their own native home.
The most notable escape involved Ultraman breaking free and joining with Alexei Luthor of Earth-Two and Lex Luthor of Earth-One who sought to overwhelm the residual controlling governments of Earth-Three and use it as the criminal Luthor's new base of operations. The open bloodthirsty Alexei sought to destroy his home Earth which allowed their Earth-Three counterpart Alexander Luthor, Sr. to bring the Earth-Two and Earth One Supermen to Earth-Three in order to stop them. The plan worked so well that Alexander decided to remain as the only superhero of Earth-Three to oppose Ultraman and the other members of the Crime Syndicate who would routinely escape from their prison.
This basic repeat of escape and recapture with Luthor, Sr. would continue until this Earth and its complete dimension was completely destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. All native life forms of the Earth Three dimension were destroyed during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" save for Alexander Luthor, Jr.
One post-crisis story reveals that the crime syndicate actually survived their encounter with the Anti-Monitor and instead of being killed, were converted into anti-matter. As Alexander Luthor travels to the main universe to seek the help of the Justice League, they travel to his world and imprison the Crime Syndicate. Owlman notes that as anti-matter, any move the Justice League makes will inevitably cause a counter-reaction. This causes them to teleport to the Justice League's universe and while the League saves one world, they attack the other.
Eventually the Justice League realise that nothing they do will fully heal the damage done to this universe, as it thrives on cruelty. The Syndicate realise the same thing as their best-laid plans go up in smoke. It's revealed that an anti-matter version of Brainiac was the one who helped Luthor travel across universes out of spite for being enslaved by the Syndicate. Ultraman kills him and both groups go back to their worlds, accepting that their ways only work for them.
In the New 52 universe, the Crime Syndicate are forced to invade Earth-1 in order to escape both the Anti-Monitor and Darkseid. They manage to open a gate, but their technology is limited and they can only send two of their members in at a time. Atomica and the Outsider go first, with Atomica infiltrating the Justice Leagues and the Outsider setting up the Secret Society.
After five years of refining the science, the Crime Syndicate eventually make it through the portal, albeit Sea King dies upon entry. The Crime Syndicate then incapacitate the Justice League. First, Atomica places a fragment of kryptonite in Superman's brain. Then Cyborg's prosthetics take on a life of their own and join the Syndicate as Grid. Finally, Deathstorm traps Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter and several other superheroes within Firestorm's matrix, causing him to lose stability. With no one to stop them, the Syndicate place the moon in front of the sun to give Ultraman added powers and override all electronics so that ordinary humans will be helpless. Finally, they kidnap Nightwing and reveal his true identity to the world.
All the enemies of the Justice League are then brought to the destroyed watchtower to commemorate the triumph of villainy. Some take advantage of the opportunity and wreak havoc, but a small number of villains decide to revolt for personal reasons. They include the Rouges and the Injustice League, led by Lex Luthor. Batman, Catwoman and Victor Stone manage to slip by the Syndicate and regroup, with Victor gaining a new body and allying himself with the Metal Men. Batman reluctantly allies with the Injustice League after Sinestro kills Power Ring.
Eventually, the Crime Syndicate is brought down, with the Outsider and Grid killed. However, a hostage they brought with them is released. He is revealed to be Alexander Luthor and he has the powers of MAZAHS. Alexander then kills Johnny Quick and Deathstorm, revealing himself to be Superwoman's secret lover and the father of her unborn child. With Ultraman incapacitated, it's up to the inustice League to stop Alexander. Their methods fail at first and Bizarro is killed, but Lex Luthor manages to get close enough to Alexander and uses his voice-activated powers to turn Alexander back to normal. Lex then kills him before he can change back and crushes Atomica.
Ultraman and Superwoman are arrested and held in a super prison, with Ultraman too depressed to even try to escape and Superwoman gloating about how in a matter of months she will give birth to the last son of Earth-3. Owlman eludes capture and hides within Gotham City, presumaby to cause a new wave of crime.
Forever Evil Allies
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
The Crime Syndicate appeared in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, which was based on the abandoned Justice League: Worlds Collide project. This version of the Crime Syndicate is based on actual crime syndicates, consisting of different families and bosses. This version of the Syndicate consists of Ultraman (voiced by Brian Bloom), Superwoman (voiced by Gina Torres), Owlman (voiced by James Woods), Power Ring (voiced by Nolan North), Johnny Quick (voiced by James Patrick Stuart), and J'edd "The Martian" J'arkus (a counterpart of the Martian Manhunter), collectively known as the "Bosses", with Ultraman as the "Boss of Bosses". Below them are lower-tier villains called the "Made Men" who were granted superpowers by the "Bosses" in exchange for joining the Syndicate.
Ultraman's henchmen include "Mister Action" (a super-powered version of Jimmy Olsen).
Owlman's faction is based on the Outsiders which consists of consist of Black Power (the Crime Syndicate version of Black Lightning), Model Citizen (the Crime Syndicate version of Looker), Sai (the Crime Syndicate version of Katana) and Aurora (the Crime Syndicate version Halo), as well as the surviving members of J'edd J'arkus' faction.
Superwoman's faction is based on the Marvel Family (with Superwoman being based on Mary Marvel instead of Wonder Woman), the Justice Society of America, and the "Satellite" incarnation of the Justice League which consists of Captain Super (the Crime Syndicate version of Captain Marvel), Captain Super Jr. (the Crime Syndicate version of Captain Marvel Jr.), Uncle Super (the Crime Syndicate version of Uncle Marvel), Manhawk (the Crime Syndicate version of Hawkman), Mr. Horrific (the Crime Syndicate version of Mr. Terrific), Mary Mayhem (the Crime Syndicate version of Mary Marvel), Megamorpho (the Crime Syndicate version of Metamorpho), She-Bat (the Crime Syndicate's cross between Man-Bat and Catwoman), Scarlett Scarab (the Crime Syndicate version of Blue Beetle) and unnamed Crime Syndicate henchmen based on Wildcat, Sandman, Power Girl, Doctor Fate, Zatanna, Firestorm, Red Tornado, Cyborg, and Swamp Thing.
Johnny Quick's henchmen include Warwolf (the Crime Syndicate version of Lobo), Archer (the Crime Syndicate version of Green Arrow), and Scream Queen (the Crime Syndicate version of Black Canary).
Power Ring's henchmen include Olympia (the Crime Syndicate version of Wonder Woman).
J'edd J'arkus' faction was based on the Detroit incarnation of the Justice League and consisted of Breakdance (the Crime Syndicate version of Vibe), Extruded Man (the Crime Syndicate version of Elongated Man), Vamp (the Crime Syndicate version of Vixen), Fortuneteller (the Crime Syndicate version of Gypsy), and Angelique (the Crime Syndicate version of Hawkgirl). Jarkus's faction was dissolved when Jester sacrificed his life to detonate a bomb that killed J'edd J'arkus and Angelique. The surviving members as well as the faction's territory was divided among the remaining five members.
Owlman used most of the surviving members of J'edd J'arkus' crew in the raid of Luthor's Justice League HQ. The Crime Syndicate's opposition was the Justice League (a version of the Justice Underground), an alliance of superheroes forged by this Earth's Lex Luthor. Surviving members briefly seen in the film include Jester (this Earth's version of The Joker), and Harley (the Jester's pet monkey). The President of the United States in this world is famed war hero and former government agent Slade Wilson, who is depicted as missing his left eye rather than his right. President Wilson is reluctant to speak out against the Syndicate due to being afraid of what they would do to his daughter Rose, and it is implied that his wife was killed by the Syndicate for similar reasons. During one of Rose's speech against the Crime Syndicate, the Crime Syndicate sends Archer to assassinate her, only to be defeated by Martian Manhunter and arrested by the authorities. The Crime Syndicate leaders were not pleased with the news of Archer's arrest. Following the deaths of Owlman and Johnny Quick, the Syndicate's remaining leaders are arrested by Marines led by President Wilson, who sees to it that his world's law enforcement hunts down and arrests the remaining members.
Lego DC Supervillains
The Crime Syndicate are central antagonists of Lego DC Supervillains, working for Darkseid.