L-R: Shining Knight, Star-Spangled Kid, Stripesy, Vigilante, Crimson Avenger, Speedy, Green Arrow. Not shown: Wing.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1941
Creator: Mort Weisinger
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In 1940, DC Comics launched the first superhero team, The Justice Society of America. The thinking seems to have been that if The Flash, Green Lantern,

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The Spectre et al. could sell comic books on their own, then putting them all in one story ought to sell even more comics.

If that's the case, it's hard to guess what might have been on their minds a year later, when they launched The Seven Soldiers of Victory (aka Law's Legionnaires). Its members — The Crimson Avenger, The Star-Spangled Kid, Green Arrow, Vigilante, The Shining Knight, and their respective sidekicks — were far from the company's headliners. Only two of them were appearing regularly on a comic book cover, and of the two, one was a couple of months away from being ousted from that position by a more popular character. Right from the start, the group was nothing but a bunch of second-stringers.

Be that as it may, the team debuted in Leading Comics #1 (Winter, 1941-42), in a story mostly written by Mort Weisinger (later editor of DC's Superman line), and drawn by several different artists. Present in that first adventure were the five primary characters, plus Wing (The Crimson Avenger's sidekick), Stripesy (The Star-Spangled Kid's sidekick) and Speedy (Green Arrow's sidekick). That makes eight — brought down to seven by ignoring Wing for unstated reasons. (Could it be because the rest were all white, whereas Wing was Asian?)

The group had only 14 adventures (with no roster changes) before Leading Comics was converted to funny animals, with its Summer, 1945 issue. It went on for another ten years in that format, and even had the obscure distinction of introducing Otto Feuer's Peter Porkchops (later a member of Captain Carrot's Zoo Crew) in its 23rd issue — but The Seven Soldiers of Victory, as a team, were gone for good.

Until 1972, anyway. That's when The Law's Legionnaires turned up in the annual team-up between the JSA and The Justice League of America. A couple of years later, a 15th script, written by Joe Samachson (Tomahawk; J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars) and filed away for decades, was unearthed and drawn by modern artists, and serialized in the back pages of DC's Adventure Comics #s 438-443. Since then, they've made guest appearances here and there, appeared in back-up stories now and again, starred in the occasional mini-series or special — the usual, tho with The Spider retconned in during the 1990s to fit current continuity. A major series/event, revamping the group from the ground up, was engineered by writer Grant Morrison (Animal Man) in 2005

Despite that brief moment in the sun, they're still not stars and probably never will be. But DC very seldom turns loose of a superhero.


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Text ©2001-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.