On Earth-3, Lex Luthor has assembled his own version of the Justice League, and when it falls apart, Red Hood doesn’t hesitate to tell him why.
Spoilers for Crime Syndicate 5 ahead!
On Earth-3, Lex Luthor’s Justice League is falling apart, and this universe’s Red Hood has some insight into why. Formed in response to the rise of the Crime Syndicate, Lex Luthor’s Legion of Justice seriously flubs its first mission and as Luthor tries to figure out what went wrong, Red Hood fills him in.
Earth-3 is a unique world in DC’s Multiverse; in many ways, it is a dark mirror of our own world. Its resident super-team, the Crime Syndicate, are dark analogs to the Justice League: Ultraman is Superman, Owlman is Batman, and so on. After saving Earth-3 from Starro, Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman and the rest banded together, a move that drew reactions from many sectors—including Lex Luthor, who in this world, is a good guy. Lex brings together a group of his own, calling them the Legion of Justice; the groups’ membership consists of Sinestro, Lonar (of New Genesis), and the Red Hood—revealed in this world to actually be Harley Quinn. The Legion of Justice leaps into action in this issue—and thanks to unstable and untrustworthy membership, their first mission is a total disaster.
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In Crime Syndicate #5 from Andy Schmidt, Kieran McKeown, Dexter Vines, Steve Oliff, and Rob Leigh, the Legion of Justice was sent to capture Johnny Quick (a dark pastiche of the Flash) and Atomica (the Atom), and as soon as they arrive, matters start going off the rails. Power Tower, who can increase her size, panics after discovering corpses in Quick’s barn. She loses control of her size-altering abilities and blows the team’s cover. Atomica kills Savana, another member of the Legion; finally, Emerald Knight delivers the fatal blow to Johnny Quick, ending him once and for all. After the mission, Luthor frantically calls a meeting to figure out what went wrong, and Red Hood (who still has a doctorate in psychology in this universe) tells him that he picked the wrong people, that all of them were tainted by tragedy and trauma long before Luthor got to them. Luthor counters by saying the group’s psychiatric evaluations were good, and counseling and therapy were being provided. Red Hood dismisses Luthor, telling him the evaluations were a joke and it would take more than a few therapy sessions to cure them.
Red Hood’s assessment of Luthor’s Legion of Justice is dead-on. Readers never learn the specific backstories of these characters, but given that it is Earth-3, where nothing good ever seems to happen, they can assume the worst. The Legion of Justice has as many issues as the Crime Syndicate, only the Legion has an official backer. It shows the dark nature of Earth-3—that there are no true heroes here. Lex Luthor may seem to be the only person on Earth-3 whose heart is in the right place, and it reinforces how tragic this alternate world is, that it is a world where good simply cannot prevail.
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