The Hellfire Club is a secret organization that manipulate and influenced world events for their own cause. Although the Club appears to merely be an international social club for wealthy elites, its clandestine Inner Circle seeks to influence world events to their own agenda.
The Hellfire Club originated in some form or another that predates back to the Roman Empire, and function supposedly to provide a stabilizing influence during the most chaotic of times throughout history. By operating behind the scenes, the Club has exerted considerable influence; some of their activities may be somewhat questionable, but no more than most government administrations. Additionally, the hierarchy of the Inner Circle is modeled on the pieces of a chess set, with Black and White sets of Kings, Queens, Bishops and Rooks.
The Club's initial Inner Circle was led by Lord Imperial Sebastian Shaw and his allies Trevor Fitzroy, Harry Leland, Sage, Selene, Emma Frost, and Donald Pierce. Selene and Shaw attempted to lure Superman to side with them by offering him the position of White King, but Superman rejected their offer, with internal treachery within the club as Selene, Pierce, and Shaw's son Shinobi Shaw attempted to stage a coup resulting in the club being forcibly dissolved for the foreseeable future.