The Fatal Five was the name given to the five most dangerous criminals in the galaxy of the 30th Century/31st Century. Brought together by the Legion of Super-Heroes to help them stop a runaway Sun-Eater in exchange for a full presidential pardon, the Fatal Five instead united their forces to conquer and pillage to their black hearts' content through the United Planets. Over subsequent encounters, the Fatal Five proved themselves to be the Legion's most powerful and tenacious adversaries.
Tharok, the Emerald Empress, the Persuader, Mano, and Validus were the five most notorious fiends that the United Planets had ever known. In the latter half of the 30th Century, all five individually made a name for himself or herself by committing some type of atrocious crime. For Tharok, it was a one-man war against all agencies of the law in revenge for his transformation into a cyborg. For the Empress, it was conquering her home-world Venegar with the power of the Emerald Eye, and after being overthrown by a popular revolution, raiding U.P. merchant vessels to amass enough wealth to finance a coup attempt to retake power. For the Persuader, it was his career as an enforcer for intergalactic organized crime. For Mano, it was the genocide of his home-world Angtu, followed by a career as a professional assassin. Lastly, Validus's crime was to appear at random at various worlds in the U.P. and wreak unreasoning destruction and havoc, drawing comparisons between the monster and an unbridled force of nature. The Fatal Five were sought out by members of the Legion of Super-Heroes and propositioned with the offer of helping to avert the extinguishment of Sol by a Sun-Eater device in exchange for full presidential pardons. As Mano and Validus in particular were about to face the executioner within only moments of the Legionnaires' arrival, the Legion considered the offer to be one the Five were unlikely to turn down. Indeed, the Five consented, but with the secret agenda of conserving their energies while the Legionnaires exhausted themselves neutralizing the threat, at which time they would reveal their true colors and kill the Legion. The Fatal Five went through with their scheme after Ferro Lad's sacrifice disabled the Sun-Eater, but Princess Projectra convinced Validus to turn on his comrades for treating him like their mindless lapdog. Validus's psychic lightning clashed against Persuader's Atomic Axe and caused the Fatal Five to disappear in a flash of light, seemingly annihilating them.
In actuality, the Fatal Five were shunted into another dimension, cut off from the physical plane of reality. After establishing total mental domination over Validus, Tharok extended his control over the rulers of the rim world Talok VIII and influenced the military reorganization of Talokite society, interfering with interstellar shipping lanes using Talok's defensive weapons systems in order to attract the attentions of the Science Police. The S.P. sent the Legion Espionage Squad in to infiltrate the citadel of Talok VIII's government, with assistance from an S.P. contact native to the planet named Tasmia Mallor, A.K.A. Shadow Lass. The Legionnaires were allowed to breach the citadel after an arduous days-long trek through the merciless Talokite desert and death-traps were sprung upon the Legionnaires. Although the Legionnaires broke free from the death-traps through willpower and cleverness, the energy output generated in so doing was fed into a machine constructed by Talok VIII's brainwashed ruling body to break the dimensional barriers, allowing the Fatal Five to return to corporeal reality, as it was Tharok's plan all along for the Legion to surmount the obstacles facing them and thereby facilitate his release. The villains then headed for Earth to occupy the U.P. capital megacity Metropolis and seize control of the central command console of the U.P.'s automated weapons systems, to enforce their control over all other U.P. worlds. One of the 3 keys needed to authorize access to the console was kept in the Legion Clubhouse, however, drawing the Fatal Five into a conflict with the LSH over the fate of the galaxy. Although the Legion did not succeed in vanquishing their Fatal Five adversaries, they did succeed in holding them off long enough for U.P. military reinforcements to be called from other nearby inhabited worlds, driving the Fatal Five on the run. In the aftermath, the Clubhouse was left in ruins, requiring the construction of a larger, more elaborate, and more heavily fortified HQ complex for the Legion to use as a base.
Some months after this incident had passed, the Fatal Five were planning their next act of grand larceny from an asteroid lair when the Legionnaire Karate Kid confronted them by himself, feeling suicidally reckless due to the knowledge that the Rakurga toxin in his system would kill him within hours anyway. Devoid of any true super-powers, Karate Kid's mastery of all known forms of armed and unarmed combat, masterful technique and unsurpassed agility, and hot-headed impulse to succeed at any cost won him the day, as the Fatal Five were forced on the run again and their hideout was trashed during the heat of battle.
The Fatal Five would go on to menace the Legion of Super-Heroes on countless other occasions and earn a place in the annals of super-villainy for all time.
- 48 Appearances of Fatal Five (Pre-Zero Hour)
- 4 Images that include Fatal Five (Pre-Zero Hour)
- Team Gallery: Fatal Five (Pre-Zero Hour)
Links and References
|Legion of Super-Heroes Villain(s)|
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