|First appearance||Final panel of Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas; Sal Buscema|
The Squadron Sinister is a fictional supervillain team that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Squadron Sinister first appeared in the final panel of The Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969) and were created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema.
The first version of the Squadron Sinister is formed by Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster as pawns to battle the champions of the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror, the superhero team the Avengers. The Grandmaster creates four villains — Doctor Spectrum; Hyperion; Nighthawk and the Whizzer — to face heroes Iron Man; Thor; Captain America and Goliath (Clint Barton). In interviews, Thomas and Jerry Bails have stated that the Squadron was based on the DC Comics superhero team the Justice League of America.
The limited series Squadron Supreme, written by Mark Gruenwald, explains that the Grandmaster creates the Squadron Sinister modeled on the already-existing Squadron Supreme of the Earth-712 universe. The similarities also cause confusion in Marvel's production department, as the covers of The Avengers #85 (Feb. 1971) and #141 (Nov. 1975) "cover-blurbed" appearances by the Squadron Sinister, when in fact it was the Squadron Supreme that appeared in both issues.
The Avengers eventually defeat the Squadron who are in turn abandoned by the Grandmaster. The Squadron reappear in the title Defenders, reunited by the alien Nebulon. The villains receive greater power in exchange for the planet Earth, and create a giant laser cannon in the Arctic to melt the polar ice caps, thereby covering the entirety of the Earth's surface in water. The superhero team the Defenders are alerted to the scheme by Nighthawk and defeat the villains and Nebulon, with Nighthawk reforming and joining the Defenders the following issue.
After this defeat the three remaining members of the Squadron Sinister are teleported off world by Nebulon, returning with an energy-draining weapon. The villains plan to threaten the Earth again but are defeated once more by the Defenders and the Avenger Yellowjacket. During another brief encounter with several members of the Avengers, who seek a way to separate the Power Prism of Doctor Spectrum from fellow Avenger the Wasp, the characters are revealed to have disbanded.
While Nighthawk becomes an ongoing character featuring regularly in the Marvel universe, two of the other members of the Squadron make isolated appearances. Hyperion appears in the title Thor and battles the character once again and features in Marvel Two-In-One in an encounter with Fantastic Four member the Thing. Hyperion also travels to the Earth-712 universe, where after impersonating the Squadron Supreme's version of Hyperion for a time dies in a heated battle with the Earth-712's Hyperion. The title The Amazing Spider-Man showcases the Whizzer's return, who returns to crime with a new costume and the alias Speed Demon.
The Grandmaster reappears and reforms the Squadron Sinister: an apparently resurrected Hyperion; a new Dr. Spectrum (Alice Nugent, former lab assistant of Henry Pym) and Nighthawk and Speed Demon, who have both had bad experiences with superhero team the New Thunderbolts. Courtesy of a phenomenon known as the Wellspring of Power - an interdimensional source of superhuman abilities - the Grandmaster increases the Squadron Sinister's powers and they battle the New Thunderbolts. Thunderbolts team leader Baron Zemo defeats the Grandmaster, and in the ensuing chaos the Squadron Sinister scatter and escape.
The limited series The Last Defenders briefly features warped versions of Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum and the Whizzer. The trio are created by long-time Defenders foe Yandroth when confronted by Nighthawk. Together with a futuristic version of the Defenders, Nighthawk defeats the doppelgangers, who subsequently disappear.
- The Justice League Companion (2003), pp. 72–73.
- Squadron Supreme #1 - 12 (Sep. 1985 - Aug. 1986)
- Squadron Supreme #8 (May 1986)
- Avengers #69-71 (Oct.-Dec. 1969).
- Defenders #13-14 (May–July 1974).
- Defenders #15 (Sep. 1974).
- Giant-Size Defenders #4 (1974)
- Avengers Annual #8 (1978)
- Thor #280 (Feb. 1979)
- Marvel Two-In-One #67 (Jan. 1980)
- Amazing Spider-Man #222 (Nov. 1981)
- New Thunderbolts #15 - 16 (Jan. - Feb. 2006) & Thunderbolts #102 - 108 (July 2006 - Jan. 2007)
- The Last Defenders #5 - 6 (Sep. - Oct. 2008): The Last Defenders #1 - 6 (May - Oct. 2008)
- Squadron Sinister at the Marvel Universe