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Top Five Syndicates

What’s that? It sounds like an oncoming train out of nowhere – no, wait, I think I can hear it clearer – it’s TOP FIVE MONTH!!!!

Yep, that’s right, boys and girls, you’ve had top fives, you’ve even had top five weeks, but get set for Top Five MONTH!!

To begin, let’s take a look at the top five syndicates in comic books (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!


5. Syndicate

This bizarre brother duo made their debut in Ultimate X-Men #58, an impressive “done in one” story by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Dillon.

In the comic, Professor Xavier is held hostage among with a group of other strangers when the bank he is at is held hostage by the twin mutants known as Syndicate, who are robbing the bank to help pay for an operation for their sister.

Xavier ends up cutting a secret deal with them in exchange for the pair working as secret agents for him.

It’s a strong issue by Vaughan with nice Dillon artwork.

4. The Chemical Syndicate

In the very first case of the Bat-Man, Bruce Wayne investigates the suspicious murders of partners of a chemical planet. The story was basically a complete knock-off of a Shadow novel, where the Shadow’s rich alter ego, Lamont Cranston, also investigates murders involving a chemical syndicate.

Still – the first bad guys Batman ever fought?

That’s still pretty darn big!

3. The Sinister Syndicate

The Sinister Syndicate don’t get much respect, and heck, that is partly why they were created! The Beetle formed the Syndicate towards the end of Tom DeFalco’s first run on Amazing Spider-Man, in Amazing Spider-Man #280, where the Beetle figures that there is strength in numbers, so he convinces the Speed Demon, Rhino, Hydro-Man and Boomerang to join with him to form a group of mercenaries.

Even then, Abe Jenkins was slightly smarter than the average crook!

Leading a group like the Syndicate, however, eventually took its toll on Jenkins, as detailed in the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man mini-series, spotlighting the Syndicate.

2. The Blood Syndicate

The Blood Syndicate was one of my favorite Milestone titles, and it told the story of a gang that found themselves all suddenly gaining superpowers, and how they would proceed with life now that they had powers.

Their leadership was torn between the villainous Holocaust and the super cool Tech-9, but when things change – can the normally reserved Wise Son step up and lead the group?

Ivan Velez Jr. did a marvelous job on this character-based series, and Chris Cross made his mainstream comic debut on this book, working on it for quite awhile.

This series was notable for the way it handled the coming out of one of the members of the multi-cultural group.

I sure would love to see more Blood Syndicate stories!!

1. The Crime Syndicate

End of the day, though, as much as I love the Blood Syndicate, the top Syndicate out there has to be the Crime Syndicate/Crime Syndicate of America/Crime Syndicate Inc.

Heck, if they only appeared in the great Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely graphic novel, JLA: Earth 2, that might be enough – as they were great there, but they have made a few other classic appearances over the years.

The Crime Syndicate are the reverse-Justice League – Ultraman (Superman), Owlman (Batman), Superwoman (Wonder Woman), Johnny Quick (Flash) and Power Ring (Green Lantern).

Come on, you can’t beat Reverse Justice League for coolness, can you?

Okay, that’s the top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!!

And enjoy Top Five Month!!


Your selection was right on the money

I’d rank Crime Syndicate #2 and Blood Syndicate #1, but otherwise good list.

Good call with Blood Syndicate. I got to Sinister Syndicate at 3 and couldn’t believe they ranked so low, but the top two choices were spot-on. As much as I love Blood Syndicate (having recently completed my collection of that book), the Crime Syndicate is obviously bigger, more well-known, and generally more important.

I like the fact that even the reverse-Wonder Woman felt that a bathing suit is proper crime-fighting attire. Although, if she’s reverse, I guess it’s crime-making attire but still…

Also, Owlman?

I always loved the Crime Syndicate, even when I was growing up back in the Bronze Age.

I haven’t heard of the Sinister Syndicate, but I’m guessing they were called that because the Beetle couldn’t quite rustle up a Sinister Six.

It’s also interesting that with Speed Demon there, formerly of the Squadron Sinister, you have representatives of two evil versions of the JLA in this one little list.

Ah, the Sinister Syndicate, the poor man’s Sinister Six. Good stuff.

Totally agree with the crime syndicate at the number one spot, I was so pumped the first time Morrison announced plans to use them again after so many years in creative limbo. I wish theyd get more use

I can’t wait for Top Five Top Fives: The Retrospective. Heh.

Morrison’s Crime Syndicate stuff was brilliant. Wish more was done with that concept.

I guess having Fade freak out and faint after a demonic fox spirit taunted him about being handsome and homosexual -was- notable way of coming out.

The Crime Syndicate are my favourite super team of all time, although I wasn’t too keen on the Syndicate Rules arc in JLA.

The Crime Syndicate are undeniably cool, but I think it’s important to mention that they are not a Grant Morrison creation – they are a Grant Morrison revamping of the equally-cool-in-their-own-way Silver Age Crime Syndicate. And their first classic appearance was in the second-ever JLA/JSA teamup in 1964. So Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky definitely deserve some credit here.

marshal tucker

July 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

I have #1-#9 of blood syndicate comics mint condish. and I wanted to know how much Icould get for them.

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