LEX LUTHOR (L-3)
The nemesis of Superman, Lex Luthor has been reinvented several times since his creation. Originally, he was a brilliant mastermind with a full head of red hair but over time he was in some manner amalgamated with Superman’s earlier bald-headed nemesis Ultra-Humanite (who went on to become an enemy of the entire Justice Society of America, often in the body of an albino gorilla). Later, he was reinvented as a scientist growing up in Smallville that became good friends with Superboy. He would develop an antidote to Superboy’s weakness to Kryptonite but a fire broke out, and in the attempt to save his life Superboy caused Luthor to lose all of his hair and destroy his experiments. Believing Superboy was jealous of his brilliance and purposely harmed him, Luthor became the hero’s greatest enemy. He would to some small extent move beyond his hatred of Superman when he saved a planet and became its ruler, naming the world Lexor and taking a wife and having a son (however, the planet and its inhabitants would die due to complications caused in a battle with Superman, Luthor blaming the hero for its demise). After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Luthor was yet again re-imagined, this time as a scientist turned unscrupulous businessman running LexCorp that observed the emerging Superman in Metropolis a threat to his power. One of these schemes involved bonding his DNA with Superman to make an imperfect clone of the hero at Project Cadmus that become the modern day Superboy. He would go on to become President of the United States of America and later make an alliance with Apokolips during Our Worlds at War. And yet again, after Infinite Crisis, Luthor and Clark Kent crossed paths again as youths in Smallville. Luthor became an expert in combating Kryptonians, employed when the prisoners of the Phantom Zone were released and when Earth went to war with New Krypton. As Superman held a great authority among heroes and acted in the Justice League of America, Luthor was notorious among super-villains, leading the Secret Society of Super-Villains, Injustice League, and Injustice Gang.
For about as long as Superman has existed beyond comic books, Lex Luthor has accompanied him. Beginning in 1950’s Atom Man vs Superman, Luthor’s been featured in film, television, radio, and video games, perhaps his most famous role as the leader of the Legion of Doom in Challenge of the Super Friends or the Superman film franchise beginning in 1978 to the fifth and final film Superman Returns in 2006. His latest incarnation in Young Justice he again plays the role of a powerful shady businessman operating Lex Corp and part of the ruling council of the Light. As with the comics, his DNA was used with Superman’s in order to create Superboy (as part of his conditioning, by Luthor saying the phrase “Red Sun,” the hero is left in a trance for an unspecified amount of time). Mercy Graves, Luthor’s bodyguard introduced in Superman: The Animated Series that made the transition to comics, returns as his bodyguard and a cyborg in Young Justice.
QUEEN BEE (L-4)
Originally introduced as the queen of the hive planet of Korll, Queen Bee sought to conquer other worlds but was consistently foiled by the Justice League of America. In one of her attempts to destroy the League, she formed the Anti-Justice League made up of each hero’s most dangerous foe and was nearly successful until Superman managed to free his allies. In the late 80’s, the character was re-imagined as the dictator of a small Middle Eastern country called Bialya. Just as the previous Queen Bee would enslave the minds of the League, this new variation enslaved the Global Guardians and battled Justice League International and Justice League Europe. After she was assassinated, her sister picked up where she left off employing the robotic Extremists. In the late 90’s, the alien Queen Bee re-emerged as part of Lex Luthor’s Injustice Gang and later the Society.
For Young Justice, it appears the Bialyan Queen Bee has been adapted for the series. Thus far, all that is known of her is she wishes to conquer the neighboring nation of Qurac (the United States’ chief national threat in the comic books but an ally in the animated series), she can enthrall others in close vicinity, and rules on the council of the Light.
Aquaman’s human half-brother Orm Curry that resented the hero and became a techno-pirate on the seven seas. After several battles with his brother, Ocean Master dedicated himself to overthrowing Atlantis (at one time joining the Anti-Justice League). Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, as Aquaman’s father was changed from a man to Atlan, a powerful and wizard of ancient Atlantis, so did Orm’s father. His mother an Inupiat, Orm became Aquaman’s enemy after the hero began a romantic relationship with Orm’s cousin Kako (this union produced a son named Koryak). Orm would later pick up his old aims of becoming king of Atlantis, at one point joining Lex Luthor’s Injustice Gang and later the Society.
Ocean Master made his television premier as Lord Orm in the Justice League television series as part of Aquaman’s court trying to usurp his throne. Ocean Master again sets his sights on the throne in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In Young Justice, Ocean-Master sits on the Light’s ruling council and nearly conquered Atlantis by slaying Aquaman until the timely interference of sorcerers-in-training Kaldur’ahm and Garth (the former becoming Aqualad because of his actions). He leads a sect of Atlanteans that refer to themselves as the Purists, believing themselves direct descendants of the founders of Atlantis and superior to those that mingled blood with others. Prince Orm is portrayed as a loyal, caring, and level-headed brother and advisor to Aquaman.
THE BRAIN (L-6)
Nemesis to the Chief, Dr. Niles Caulder, and leader of the Brotherhood of Evil, a group of super-villains that rival the Doom Patrol, the Brain is a brilliant, bodiless scientist assisted by his gay lover Monsieur Mallah (a gorilla with augmented intelligence). Caulder, jealous of his brilliant French colleague, arranged an explosion. His brain surviving and placed in an apparatus to remain alive by Mallah, this colleague became the Brain and swore vengeance. This began a series of “accidents” arranged by Caulder which he used to experiment on survivors to create the Doom Patrol. The Brotherhood of Evil arose to destroy Caulder’s creations and adopted several enemies the heroes made into its ranks. When the Brain believed he had killed Caulder and his Doom Patrol (save Robotman), the Brotherhood went into hiding until being found by the surviving member and Doom Patrol ally Mento. The duo was outmatched and former Doom Patrol member Beast Boy, called Changeling at the time, came to their rescue alongside his friends the Teen Titans. Henceforth, the Titans largely adopted the Brotherhood as some of its most frequent opponents.
Brain and his Brotherhood of Evil appeared in the final season of the Teen Titans animated series becoming its primary antagonist, adopting virtually all surviving super-villains previously appearing in the series as its members. The Brain and his allies would also appear infrequently in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, including an adaptation of the supposed demise of the Doom Patrol. For Young Justice, the Brain sits on the ruling council of the Light and was responsible for the creation of pastiches for Krypto (Wolf) and Mr. Tawky Tawny (Mr. Tawny).