Created by Jack Kirby

The Original Universe


Former Members:  Dr. Anthony Rodriguez Dr. Thomas Thompkins John Gabrielli Patrick MacGuire,
First Appearance: (original): Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971)
(current): Superman Annual Vol. 2 #2 (1988)
Creators: Jack Kirby


A genetic research facility, responsible for the creation of Guardian III, Dubbilex, Superboy and a number of other heroes and villains, Project Cadmus has sometimes dabbled in research that is less than ethical, but is currently a respectable organisation.


Member First Appearance Joined Status Note
Dr. Anthony Rodriguez Star Spangled Comics #7      
Dr. Thomas Thompkins Star Spangled Comics #7      
John Gabrielli Star Spangled Comics #7      
Patrick MacGuire Star Spangled Comics #7      


The original intent of Project Cadmus was to be a government research agency, and attempt to better mankind's understanding of the genetic codes of known and unknown forms of life. The original director of Cadmus was Paul Westfield, a bureaucrat who was highly skilled at using his government pull to perform the impossible. One of the chief scientists at Cadmus was Dr. Dabney Donovan, a slightly mad scientist holding no qualms about genetic engineering. The former members of the Newsboy Legion from the Second World War were also heading the Project's agendas.

One of the first notable experiments Cadmus underwent was cloning what are known as D.N.Aliens and the cloning of human DNA. For years, the American government had access to alien DNA. Dr. Donovan decided to take the next step and clone the alien genetic codes. The results were species never seen before by humans. Eventually, many of these D.N.Aliens decided to leave Project Cadmus and live in Metropolis and became known as "Underworlders." One of the D.N.Aliens who stayed was a creature known only as Dubbilex, an alien with profound telepathic and psionic abilities. The project also arranged to clone a great hero from the past, who aided America on her homefront from enemies at home and abroad: The Guardian. The Guardian soon became their chief field agent in Cadmus's investigations of genetic anomalies. Due to conflicting factors, the former members of the Newsboy Legion also cloned younger versions of themselves, and the Newsboy Legion was reborn as well.

When the Man of Steel apparently met his temporary demise at the hands of Doomsday, Cadmus sent officials to break into his tomb and steal his body do they could study his complex Kryptonian DNA. The purpose for this was director Westfield's motive to clone Superman so the world could continue having a Superman. As Westfield's cronies soon learned, Kryptonian DNA has a genetic x-factor to it, making it impossible at this point for even advanced earth science to decipher. The closest they could get was patterning the human genetic code after Kryptonian genetics, enabling a human clone to do the equivalent of what the Man of Steel used to. Westfield also intended to have his Superman have code words implanted to make him a docile slave to Cadmus. During the clone's growth maturation process, the maturing Superman started fighting the programming, when the Newsboy Legion broke in the labs where the new Superman was being grown. While the Legion distracted the scientists, the clone escaped before achieving complete maturation to make it on his own. That clone was to become known as Superboy, probably the most powerful being ever created by the research agency (it was later revealed Superboy was a clone of Westfield). For a time Superboy decided to move to Hawaii in hopes of becoming their sole hero and training himself to become the next Superman whenever the current decides to retire. Cadmus ordered Dubbilex to accompany him to serve as their goodwill ambassador.

Cadmus easily made their share of enemies, including the Female Furies of Apokolips and Doomsday, but their worst was Lexcorp. This was because Cadmus was trying to make it their business as federal authorities to uncover what sorts of genetic research Lex Luthor was privately involved in. After several years of feuding, Luthor arranged to have Cadmus destroyed, and around the world created a clone virus which killed many genetic anomalies, including almost killing Superboy and the Newsboy Legion. Most of the underworlders were killed except Dubbilex. In the middle of the crisis, Dabney Donovan murdered director Westfield in the confusion. Dr. Donovan soon made good his escape and has not been publicly seen since.

Despite Luthor's efforts, Cadmus was not completely destroyed. The older version of the Newsboy Legion became new directors of the Project. The world now believes Cadmus no longer exists, and since Cadmus has the enemies they do, they have preferred to keep it that way.

Due to public outcry over cloning a certain sheep in Scotland, the government and the public at large are now very wary of cloning of any kind. The government has now been forced to start a major restructuring of Project Cadmus. The older version of the Newsboy Legion has been replaced as directors of Cadmus by a man named Mickey Cannon, also known as "The Mechanic." As Cadmus' new director-in-chief Cannon has hired military officer Adam Winterbourne to keep his new crew in line. Cannon's new team also includes a wunderkind scientist named Serling Roquette, aka "Retro Rocket." She's a sixteen-year-old girl with a master's degree in genetics. Superboy has now joined the fray as a Cadmus field agent, working very closely with the Guardian. The Mechanic's agenda at this point is unclear, but it is known he wants the project to show the public what kind of good their research can do in regards to understanding the metagene, the aging process, and the curing of diseases.


For a definitive list of appearances of Project Cadmus in chronological order click here


Who's Who in the DC Universe #12 (September 1991)

Team Superman Secret Files #1 (May 1998)