The Pale Moonlight
In the beginning the Legion of Doom began as a black ops squad under the direct control of Luthorcorp. This squad was eventually divided into two units. Project Vanguard was responsible for identifying and eliminating threats to Luthorcorp. Project Rearguard was responsible for defending Luthorcorp interests around the globe.
Over time it became obvious to the world that Lex Luthor was more than a robber baron. After evading death on numerous occasions he was dubbed by the press to be a "man out of time" that could not be killed by ordinary means.
Eventually his black ops team learned also of the Kawatche Indian myth of Naman and Sageeth from Jeremiah Holdsclaw, and became further convinced that Lex had some kind of mystical ability to evade death. Lex Luthor became a cult figure.
When Lex's black-ops team was given the name "Legion of Doom" by the metahuman gangs in Metropolis they became even more cult-like, using the name between themselves. Terms like Project Vanguard and Project Rearguard were replaced with 'Vanguard' and 'Rearguard'. Tina Greer, the commander of Project Vanguard was given the title and rank 'Sword of the Vanguard'.
Likewise the Hand of Vengeance, a vigilante group led by the notorious criminal Star Sapphire, began as an idealistic crusade to save the world from dangerous Kryptonians and meteor freaks. But over time the awesome power of Star Sapphire made her a cult figure as well.
Star also took advantage of the abilities of Kevin Grady, who eventually left the group and joined the Justice League under the code-name Vesper, convincing him to alter the memories of her followers for the greater good. In addition, it was believed that her Zamaron power ring also has some kind of affect on the human brain.
Later when Jason Dante (AKA Hellfire) and Van McNulty (AKA Vendetta) joined her group Star had abandoned her previous goals of defending humanity from dangerous aliens and meteor freaks. Fighting had become a way of life for her as it did with other members including Van, Jason and Byron Moore. She and Jason eventually led her group to become more cooperative with Lex's Legion.
(photos from left to right: Mxyzptlk, Tina Greer, Jason Dante, Van McNulty)