The VIPER Nest Commander in New York had a problem. Even after the Renegades were disbanded, there weren't enough supernormals available to further the Nest Commander's plans. He had enough trained soldiers and armored firepower, but he didn't want to risk an all out attack on the Federal Special Police Division (FSPD). VIPER didn't want to dominate the city, just rule it from behind the scenes. So they needed supernormals to keep the FSPD and the new Shadow Watch group busy. Where were the supernormals VIPER needed? In Stronghold, of course, but how to get them out? Operation Janus was born.
At first, Operation Janus was an attempt by VIPER to infiltrate Stronghold and break out a few villains who were willing to pledge loyalty to the New York Nest Commander. But soon VIPER discovered that the villain Clubfoot could use his flesh mastery powers to make copies of the inmates in Stronghold. Clubfoot made the copies, and over a dozen villains were smuggled out of the facility before the security breach was eliminated.
The escapees have formed a loose association, led by Pulse, and in general take their directives from VIPER. However, the personalities in Operation Janus aren't the types to be anyone's lapdogs. They're grateful for the rescue, and more grateful for funding, but in general they work together only to further their personal ends.