SKULL (DC Comics)
The Atomic Skull (Albert Michaels, in his first appearance by that name) and a SKULL operative vs. Superman and the Man-Bat in DC Comics Presents #35 (July 1981),
art by Ross Andru
|First appearance||Superman #301 (July 1976)|
|Created by||Gerry Conway (writer)|
Curt Swan (artist)
|Type of organization||Organized crime|
Duke of Oil
SKULL is a fictional DC Comics criminal organization, introduced in 1976's Superman #301. They were created by Gerry Conway and Curt Swan.
Fictional team history
SKULL actively recruited discredited geniuses and rogue super-scientists at the behest of Albert Michaels, the first Atomic Skull. Their criminal agenda often brought them into conflict with the terrorist organization known as Kobra. They later expanded their criminal empire to the West Coast. Albert Michaels was one of the sleeper agents of rogue SKULL scientist Alysia Damalis.
SKULL was seemingly inactive until Simon Pons revitalized the group. Pons first appears in Outsiders (vol. 1) #6, but does not take an active role until Outsiders Annual (vol. 1) #1 in a story entitled "The Skull..., The Serpent... and the Outsiders". In this story, Simon Pons rebuilds SKULL and renews their long-standing feud with Kobra.
The group was suffering from near collapse following Superman's capture of the Atomic Skull. Simon Pons rebuilt the organization as an international crime cartel that sought to forcibly recruit millionaires such as Earl J. Dukeston, prominent scientists like Helga Jace, and even Kobra himself. Pons blackmails Kobra using a cloned replica of his dead brother Jason Burr, which was genetically engineered by Doctor Chaysten. Pons threatens to kill the clone if Kobra does not work for SKULL. Kobra eventually joins with the Outsiders in order to defeat Pons and later escapes. Simon Pons and Doctor Chaysten were later captured by the Outsiders.
At one point, SKULL attempts to kidnap Metamorpho and use him to create plutonium. SKULL's last appearance was in Outsiders (vol. 1) #25 (November 1987).
Members of note
- The Atomic Skull - Albert Michaels, the original Atomic Skull, could not control his metahuman powers without enhancements created by the SKULL organization. With his powers under control, he eventually came to lead the organization.
- Alysia Damalis - Alysia was the rogue scientist and SKULL operative who recruited Albert Michaels.
- Doctor Chaysten - Head researcher and geneticist for SKULL under Simon Pons.
- Earl J. Dukeston - Also known as the Duke of Oil, a criminal millionaire cyborg recruited by Simon Pons. He most recently appeared in Green Arrow as a member of the Society.
- Major Disaster - SKULL operative under Simon Pons.
- Simon Pons - Current leader of SKULL, revitalized the group for a modern era.
Other DCU criminal organizations
In other media
- SKULL was referenced by S.T.A.R. Labs member Dr. Albert Michaels in the 1988 Superman animated series episode "Fugitive from Space". He is shown to be an employee of the organization.
- In Arrow season five episode "Vigilante", an unnamed gang of criminals using skull-like masks, nicknamed the Spooky Skull Crew by Felicity Smoak, were a group of robbers from Star City. The group was led by Eric Dunn, portrayed by (Toby Levins), who organized the crew multiple times after leaving prison on parole. The last version of the Crew was targeted by Vigilante. While there is no gang named "The Spooky Skull Crew" in DC Comics, the team is similar to SKULL, a team of thieves dressed up as skeletons founded and led by the Atomic Skull.
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