CadmusBack to Villains Main > Cadmus
Real Identity: Not Applicable
Affiliation(s): Central Intelligence Agency
Appearances (STAS): Where There's Smoke, Legacy Part One, and Part Two
Appearances (JL/U): Wild Cards Part One, Fearful Symmetry, Dark Heart, Ultimatum, The Doomsday Sanction, Task Force X, The Balance, Clash, Question Authority, Flashpoint, Panic in the Sky, Divided We Fall, Epilogue, and Patriot Act
Voiced By:Not Applicable
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States federal government agency founded during World War II to conduct espionage behind enemy lines. One of their known operatives was a man codenamed Spy Smasher. In 1944, he infiltrated a castle stronghold occupied by a Nazi scientist named Dr. Krieger. Krieger had just completed Project Captain Nazi, a secret program dedicated to synthetically creating a super soldier. Spy Smasher fought Krieger and his associates for the serum and caused a fatal fire. Smasher got away and delivered the serum to OSS. Following the end of the War, the OSS was dissolved by President Truman and replaced by the Central Intelligence Bureau (CIA), based in Langley, Virginia.
Over the decades, the federal government had interest in studying metahumans, extraterrestrial aliens, and mutants for the interest of securing advanced technology, weapons, and soldiers for the defense of the nation and profits. The military willingly collaborated with select businesses to achieve this purpose. Eventually, this directive became so lucrative that the CIA spun it off into its own agency called Project Cadmus, named after the Phoenician prince of the same name from Greek, Phoenician, and Roman mythology. Cadmus was then formally structured into multiple divisions such as genetics and mysticism. Projects that became too large were also spun off on their own with oversight conducted by Cadmus.
The government, most likely through Cadmus, funded the Center for Paranormal Studies, a Metropolis-based institute dedicated help metahumans understand and control their unique abilities. The government became increasingly interested in crafting them into loyal human weapons. Sometime in the 1980's, Claire Selton, a gifted pyrokinetic was taken by Agent Kurt and became the focal point of Project Firestorm. Selton's identity and records were deleted and she was codenamed Volcana. In order to make her loyal to the cause, Volcana was subjected to basic brainwashing procedures and was even seduced by Kurt. Eight years later, Volcana fled the Project while on an assassination contract. For two years, the Project was decommissioned but still pursued her to sell to a foreign government. Superman intervened but he was unaware of Cadmus' involvement.
Another early project was Sector 12, a facility in the Arizona desert that also crafted metahumans into weapons. Five young metahumans were conditioned and taught by a nameless agent with a facial scar. At least one of them, the youngest female, resented the facility for stealing her childhood and had to be restrained with a special headband because of her evolving mental powers.
The debut of the super hero Superman prompted the formation of Project Achilles, a division dedicated to studying the alien Kryptonian. Lex Luthor allied himself with Achilles' supervisor, General Hardcastle, and provided off-the-book funding. Their worst fears were realized when Superman returned to Earth in command of an invasion force from Apokolips. Luthor supplied the Project with Kryptonite warheads, red sun radiation lamps, and liquefied Kryptonite. However, Lois Lane infiltrated their facility and freed both Superman and Supergirl. Hardcastle was deemed a failure and forced to voluntarily retire. Professor Hamilton allied himself with the Project and took a role in cloning, later ascending to head of the Genetics Division in Project Cadmus. Doomsday and Galatea, clones of Superman and Supergirl respectively, were created under his supervision.
While trying to dispose of Doomsday, it escaped its prison and fought the Justice Lords, heroes from a parallel universe. After Superman bargained with the government for a presidential pardon for Lex Luthor in exchange for his help in neutralizing the Justice Lords, many in the intelligence field began to fear that the Justice League would eventually try to take over the world, too. Cadmus became a higher priority and Amanda Waller was assigned the title of director of Project Cadmus. Its primary goal was changed to develop counter-measures against the Justice League. Because of Waller's experience, she and Cadmus were also given a direct line to the President of the United States. Lex Luthor was brought in as the main source of off-the-books funding and a business collaborator. General Eiling headed the Special Projects Unit and was in charge of coordinating military with Cadmus. Hamilton was still head of Genetics and cloned a superhero team called the Ultimen, designed to outshine the League. Tala was head of a division dedicated to using magic as a weapon.
The Ultimen were supervised by businessman Maxwell Lord. Other people brought in were Professor Strange, Dr. Moon, and Dr. Milo. The latter was tasked with perfecting splicing mutants with research conducted by individuals such as Dr. Emile Dorian and Dr. Kirk Langstrom. Much like its original incarnation, OSS, an espionage team named Task Force X conducted special missions for Cadmus. They were led by Colonel Flagg Jr. and he recruited assassins, criminals, mercenaries, and supervillains. They would serve the Force for five years in exchange for a full pardon. Their known operatives in order of seniority are Captain Boomerang, Plastique, Clock King, and Deadshot. Recruits are secretly fed Cadmus-issue nanites to prevent them from betraying a mission and fleeing. Spies were also employed in various sectors. A man named Vance was given a means of avoiding viewing by telepathy and became a Watchtower technician for the Justice League.
The Justice League had several skirmishes with Cadmus operatives and operations such as Joker's Royal Flush Gang, an unsanctioned mission that led Supergirl, Question, and Green Arrow to encounter Galatea, General Eiling leading a unit to confiscate the remains of the Dark Heart, stopping the Ultimen from destroying a former Cadmus facility, Batman stopping a Kryptonite warhead from killing Doomsday and Superman and the theft of the Annihilator. Surveillance was officially conducted on Cadmus after a standoff between the League and Amanda Waller over the first generation Ultimen. The Question was assigned by Batman to find all the possible connections Cadmus had. General Hardcastle and Dr. Gilbert Halstrom were assassinated by Galatea to keep Cadmus secret. However, the Question managed to hack into a Cadmus terminal and steal 3 Terra Bytes of data. He discovered 12 files marked: Temporal Flux, Overload[Para.]. Multiverse, Pandora Proj., Pres. Luthor, Ishershop[W.], Zarathustran, Djinn Bottle, Stratagem 5, Brazil Boyz, Paradigm[Eng.], and Quantum Theory.
Question primarily focused on the Pres. Luthor file and discovered more files marked: Cause/Effect, Worldview, Voter Fraud, Kaznia Crisis [Pos.], Rushmore -A.L., Comm. Suppression, Hirsute Act-[Rev.], Flashpoint-23, Aztech, Metawar Dec., DC Siege - 6 hr, Oval Office, New Deal 08, N. Hampshire Reb., Could It...[Q], Counter Measures, W.C. Scenario, and Conclusion. One of these included a video simulation of the Justice Lord Superman killing President Luthor. To prevent all-out war, Question attempted to assassinate Luthor but was knocked unconscious and turned over the Cadmus. Over several weeks, he was tortured by Dr. Moon at the Covenant, New Mexico facility. Around the same time, Eiling reactivated Captain Atom's commission and assigned him to his Special Projects Unit, specifically in New Mexico. Huntress discovered the video simulation and alerted the Justice League. With Superman, she stormed the New Mexico facility and extracted both Question and Captain Atom. As per normal protocol, Cadmus gathered its belongings, destroyed any remaining evidence, and recruited to a new facility.
Lex Luthor took advantage of this event and hacked into the Justice League Watchtower with Cadmus technology. He then fired the Watchtower's Binary Fusion Cannon onto the abandoned New Mexico facility, devastating the surrounding city. Rather than await an investigation conducted by the National Security Agency, Waller commenced a counter-assault. She assigned Galatea to lead a strike force of hundreds of Ultimen clones and destroy the Justice League. Launched in 12 LexCorp Damocles-Class Missiles, the League managed to defeat the Cadmus assault while the founders turned themselves into federal custody. Batman approached Waller and led her to realize that Luthor betrayed the Project. She freed the founders and confronted Luthor. Brainiac revealed itself and agreed with Luthor's plan for ascension. They broke into a Washington D.C. Cadmus facility and assimilated the Dark Heart Drones. The Justice League founders intervened and ultimately, the Flash destroyed Brainiac. Waller called the President and informed him an air strike was not needed.
The need for Cadmus was investigated. It was then ordered to be disbanded, personnel and operatives reassigned to other agencies, and all research and development were classified and sealed. Other than Luthor, nobody affiliated with Cadmus were ever charged with any criminal offenses. General Eiling was transferred to a desk job. Still believing the Justice League was a threat, he broke into a former Cadmus facility and injected himself with the Project Captain Nazi serum. Eiling transformed into a monster and attacked a unit from the League. After being chased off by some citizens, Eiling remarked he'd always be around when the League turned on the planet. Some time later, Cadmus was reactivated and Amanda Waller was reassigned to act as a liaison between the Justice League and U.S. federal government. After Cadmus Psy-techs predicted a catastrophic event, Waller met with a unit led by Batman to safely take down Ace, a former metahuman studied by Sector 12. Over the years, Waller came to respect the League and Batman and realized the world would always need them.
The Joker broke into another Cadmus facility and stole nanotechnology for his own twisted use. While torturing Tim Drake, the second Robin, at the abandoned Arkham Asylum, Joker encoded his DNA using the device onto Drake's. This was undetected during Drake's rehabilitation and the Joker eventually gained the ability to transform to his self using Drake's body. In the 2030's, Amanda Waller refused to accept a world without Batman and used her Cadmus contacts to commission Project Batman Beyond and artificially create a successor. A young Neo-Gotham couple matched the psych profiles of the late Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne, Warren and Mary McGinnis. Waller then hired the assassin Phantasm to murder the McGinnis' in front of their son Terry McGinnis to manipulate Batman's origins. Phantasm refused to complete the contract and argued that it violated everything Batman stood for. Ironically, McGinnis still became Batman. After decades, the Joker was almost able to completely take over Tim Drake's body permanently but was defeated by the second Batman in the 2050's with an electric joy buzzer.
In 2068, Terry McGinnis discovered he was a complete genetic match with Bruce Wayne and confronted Amanda Waller for the truth. Waller admitted her role and revealed McGinnis' true origins and purpose to him. Aside himself, Waller advised McGinnis with musings on faith and choice.