The known versions of the team
Villainy, Incorporated appeared in 1948. Previously, Wonder Woman had foiled a plot by people from Saturn. Some of the Saturnic girls she had vanquished pleaded to be kept prisoners on Paradise Island, as they would be tortured if they were sent back to Saturn.
Wonder Woman agreed. But Eviless, one of the Saturnic girls, jimmied her Venusian metal girdle so it wouldn’t reform her.
Escaping, Eviless stole Wonder Woman’s lasso and rounded up other Paradise Island prisoners who were too determined to be reformed.
Thus was the group formed with :
- Cheetah (Priscilla Rich).
- Queen Clea (of sunken Atlantis).
- Doctor Poison (Princess Maru, a Japanese mad doctor).
- Giganta (a female gorilla turned into a young woman).
- Hypnota the Great (magician of the Blue Ray).
- The Blue Snowman (Byrna Brilyant).
- Zara (priestess of the Crimson Flame).
For details, see their individual profiles on writeups.org.
Eviless led her team to conquer Paradise Island. They captured the Queen, gassed the Amazons into unconsciousness, and attracted Wonder Woman into an ambush. This more or less worked, but many of the Saturnic girls had been converted and were now Amazons — and they freed Diana and Hippolyte.
Clea, Giganta, Zara and Hypnota escaped, but Wonder Woman recaptured them. As far as I can tell, that was the only appearance of this version of Villainy, Incorporated.
Though Wonder Woman was back then largely in its own continuity, this story can retroactively be considered to have happened on pre-Crisis Earth-2. The main clue is a later Nelson Bridwell story where the JSA’s Wonder Woman explains whom Clea is.
New Earth 1940s appearance
The continuity status of Wonder Woman’s 1940s adventures was in flux after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. But the version that eventually emerged was that Diana’s mum Queen Hippolyta had travelled back in time to the 1940s. Her adventures during that time period were roughly equivalent to the best-known 1940s Wonder Woman tales.
In this continuity, Wonder Woman (Queen Hippolyta) also encountered Villainy Inc. in 1948, but this time at the Fort Church naval base. This version of the group had been assembled by Queen Clea and was made up of :
- Cheetah (Priscilla Rich).
- Doctor Poison (Princess Maru).
- Hypnotic Woman (who looks slightly different from Hypnota but has comparable powers).
- Zara of the Crimson Flame.
Clea describes the group as “the combined might of [Wonder Woman I’s] greatest enemies”. Which I suspect was something of an exaggeration.
New Earth 2000s appearance
After the Imperiex War, the post-Crisis version of Queen Clea assembled a new version of Villainy Incorporated. She recruited :
- Giganta (Dr. Doris Zeul).
- Cyborgirl (LeTonya Charles).
- Dr. Poison II (the granddaughter of the original).
Clea wanted to use that group to conquer Atlantis, but they instead ended up in Skartaris . Undeterred, they used their great power to swat aside all resistance and conquer Shamballah, the greatest city in all of Skartaris. There, they defeated the Warlord (Travis Morgan) and his daughter Jennifer, Sorceress Supreme of Skartaris.
As per tradition, Villainy Incorporated was foiled by Wonder Woman, who led a rebellion to overthrow Villainy, Inc.. During this war Villainy Inc. was also betrayed by Trinity, who nearly destroyed all of Skartaris.
A note about Wonder Woman antagonists
Over the years I’ve seen a bunch of Internet comments about WW having a “weak” or “poorly defined” rogues gallery, so I figure this is a good place as any to suggest an answer to that.
Classic WW stories were about wonder and exploration rather than two guys bashing each other. Thus, villains are not at the core of the storytelling. With some notable exceptions such as Cheetah or von Gunther, antagonists appear but once once since they are story elements and not “super-villains”.
This is the case even for well-known WW villains such as Giganta. She has but one solo appearance I know of, and only returns with Villainy Inc. – which is a “special episode” where many of the one-shot encounters return.
Other versions of Giganta, including two during Kanigher’s “back to the roots” era, appear some decade later. But that’s it until her return among Circe’s army in New York City. Thus, she’s not a “super-villain”. She’s a character who appeared in a WW story where a mad scientist turns a gorilla into a girl.
Compare and contrast to, say, the way Doctor Octopus fights Spider-Man.
Source of Character: Wonder Woman books (DC Universe).
Helper(s): Encyclopedia of Super-Heroes volume 2 (by M. Fleisher, 1976) ; Darci.