Squadron Supreme

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This article is about the original Squadron Supreme superheroes and series. For the 2003 revamp, see Squadron Supreme (Supreme Power). For the similar team of supervillains, see Squadron Sinister.
Squadron Supreme
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #85 (February 1971)
Created by Roy Thomas
John Buscema
In-story information
Base(s) Rocket Central
Squadron City
Member(s) Original Team:
Amphibian
Doctor Spectrum
Hyperion
Nighthawk
Power Princess
Skrullian Skymaster
Whizzer

Later Additions:
Arcanna
Blue Eagle
Golden Archer
Lady Lark
Nuke
Tom Thumb
Roster
See:List of Squadron Supreme members

The Squadron Supreme is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Squadron Supreme first appeared in Avengers #85–86 (February–March 1971) and were created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

The core members of the Squadron Supreme are Hyperion, Nighthawk, Doctor Spectrum, Power Princess, and the Whizzer. The team also has several minor members. As with the Squadron Sinister supervillain team, members of the team were initially based on characters published by rival DC Comics.[1] Characters not based on DC heroes were added later.

Publication history[edit]

1970s[edit]

The Squadron Supreme are first encountered by four members of the Avengers — the Vision, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and Goliath — who have arrived in the Earth-712 universe by mistake.[2] The Avengers are initially confused, since several members of the Squadron Supreme have identical names and powers to the Squadron Sinister, a group of previously encountered villains.[3]

Marvel Comics Alternate Universes
Marvel stories take place primarily in a mainstream continuity called the Marvel Universe. Some stories are set in various parallel, or alternate, realities, called the Marvel Multiverse.

The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Worlds 2005 designates the mainstream continuity as "Earth-616", and assigns other Earth numbers to each specific alternate reality.


In this article the following characters, or teams, and realities are referred to:

Character/Team Universe
Squadron Supreme Earth-712

Although this parallel was a deliberate choice by writer Roy Thomas, it created confusion in Marvel's production department,[citation needed] as the covers of Avengers #85 and #141 (Nov 1975) claimed the issues featured appearances by the Squadron Sinister, when in fact it was the Squadron Supreme that appeared in both issues. After a brief battle, the Avengers assist the Squadron Supreme against the global threat posed by the mutant Brain-Child, before returning to their own universe.[4] The Squadron Supreme have another series of skirmishes with the Avengers engineered by the group the Serpent Cartel, but eventually they join forces and prevent the use of the Serpent Crown.[5]

1980s[edit]

The team features briefly in the title Thor, when the evil version of Hyperion attacks the Earth-712 version and then the Earth-616 Thor.[6] The Squadron appear in the title Defenders as mind-controlled pawns of the entities the Over-Mind and Null the Living Darkness, but are freed and aid the Defenders in defeating the villains.[7] Earth-712, however, is left in a post-apocalyptic state.

The Squadron Supreme were next featured in a self-titled 12-issue miniseries (Sep 1985 – Aug 1986) by writer Mark Gruenwald,[8] which picks up from where Earth-712 was last seen in Defenders #114. The Squadron, led by Hyperion, believe they have the knowledge and power to recreate the world and create a utopia. Nighthawk protests, believing that the Squadron should serve and not rule. The issue is put to a vote, with the so-called "Utopia Program" favored by the majority of the Squadron; Nighthawk, unable to agree with the decision in clear conscience, resigns from the team. The Squadron assume overall control of the government of the United States and remake the nation into a virtual utopia. The team implement a series of sweeping changes, including revealing their secret identities; instituting a program of behavior modification in prisons (inmates are forced to submit to a process that mentally inhibits their criminal instincts); enforcing a strict gun control policy; and developing medical technology to resurrect the dead.

Despite the economic and technological advances, there are setbacks. The Golden Archer abuses the behavior modification technology by forcing fellow member Lady Lark (who had just turned down his marriage proposal) to love him, resulting in his eventual removal from the team. Amphibian becomes increasingly disgusted with the Squadron's methods, especially the behavior modification technology; his disillusionment eventually leads him to not only leave the Squadron, but abandon the surface world altogether. Nuke inadvertently kills his own parents (via unnoticed and uncontrollable release of radiation); after a rampage, he dies battling Doctor Spectrum. Tom Thumb, while developing many of the technologies used in the Squadron's Utopia Program, discovers he has cancer, but chooses not to inform his teammates; he eventually succumbs to the disease.

Predicting a nightmarish outcome, Nighthawk, with the aid of his world's Sorcerer Supreme, Professor Imam, crosses the dimensional border into Earth-616 to solicit the aid of the Avengers. Although his request is denied, he is able to enlist the aid of three of his former enemies, who had fled to this Earth to escape the Squadron's actions.[9] Returning to his home world, Nighthawk is eventually forced to confront his old teammates with a new team he calls the Redeemers, which also includes former Squadron member Golden Archer (now known as Black Archer). A brutal battle ensues in which several members of both teams are killed, including Nighthawk. A horrified Hyperion realizes that Nighthawk was right: the Squadron, despite having good intentions, had inadvertently created a totalitarian state, with themselves as its dictators. The Squadron surrenders, disbands, and returns control of the United States to the government.[10]

In a graphic novel sequel by Gruenwald, Ryan, and inker Al Williamson, Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe, remnants of the team reunite to battle the Nth Man. Although they succeed, several members of the Squadron are killed, with the remainder (Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, Whizzer, Power Princess, Lady Lark (now known as Skylark), Moonglow, Haywire, and Shape) marooned in the mainstream Marvel universe.[11]

1990s[edit]

The Squadron encounter the hero Quasar, and relocate to the government facility Project Pegasus. After another encounter with the Overmind and a visit to the laboratory world of the Stranger,[12] the Squadron attempt unsuccessfully to return to their own universe,[13] and members Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, and the Whizzer battle the entity Deathurge.[14]

The entire Squadron Supreme appear in an Avengers storyline with the Avengers that finally returns them to their home universe.[15] The one-shot Squadron Supreme: New World Order reveals that Earth-712 is now dominated by corporations using the Squadron's own Utopia technologies, with the characters eventually reinstating democracy.[16]

2000s[edit]

The Squadron come into conflict with a new government when an interdimensional team called the Exiles, traveling from the Earth-616 universe, reveal that the government had rigged the election through worldwide vote fraud. The Squadron and the Exiles depose the new government and attempt to allow society to progress without superhuman involvement.[17]

2010s[edit]

The Squadron Supreme appears in the 2011 series Marvel Zombies Supreme, which sees members of the team infected with a zombie virus developed by a deranged geneticist.[18] It is revealed in the series that these are clones of the Squadron Supreme, and the story is set in Marvel's primary Earth-616 universe.

Earth-31916 version[edit]

The mature-audience Marvel MAX imprint showcases the adventures of the Earth-31916 version of the Squadron Supreme. This team is a rebooted version, with all characters completely redesigned.[19]

This version of Squadron Supreme met the Ultimates during the Ultimate Power miniseries.[20] The conclusion of this series left Zarda, a member of Squadron Supreme, in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, and Nick Fury in the Squadron Supreme Universe.[21] Nick Fury, however, eventually returned to the Ultimate Marvel Universe.[22]

Membership[edit]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Squadron Supreme appears in the "Whom Continuity Would Destroy" episode of The Super Hero Squad Show. The members present are Nighthawk, Power Princess, and Hyperion. Thanos and Grandmaster pit Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, and Hulk against the Squadron members.
  • The Squadron Supreme also appears in Avengers Assemble. The group consists of Hyperion, Power Princess, Nighthawk, Whizzer, and Doctor Spectrum. They are shown in a flashback in the episode "Hyperion", where the Squadron Supreme is presented as heroes from Hyperion's home world who were killed when the planet was destroyed in a civil war. This was proven false in the episode "Nighthawk",[23] when Nighthawk appears on Earth and uses S.H.I.E.L.D.'s contingency plan on the Avengers. When Falcon is his captive, Nighthawk mentioned that he is the "architect" of the Squadron Supreme while Hyperion was the "hammer" of the group. It was also mentioned that the rest of the Squadron Supreme are heading to Earth. At the end of the episode, Hyperion springs Nighthawk from his cell on the Tri-Carrier. They both leave to get their team back together.

Collected editions[edit]

  • Squadron Supreme (Trade paperback, 352 pages, 2005, ISBN 0-7851-0576-X) collects Squadron Supreme #1–12 (Sep 1985 – Aug 1986)
  • Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (Graphic novel, hardcover, 1989, ISBN 0-87135-598-1)
  • Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (Trade paperback, 240 pages, 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2091-2)
  • Squadron Supreme Omnibus (HC, 2010, ISBN 0-7851-3772-6), collects Squadron Supreme #1–12, Captain America #314, Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails in The Justice League Companion (2003), pp. 72–73.
  2. ^ Avengers #84 (Jan 1971)
  3. ^ Avengers #69–70 (Oct–Nov 1969)
  4. ^ Avengers #85–86 (Feb–Mar 1971)
  5. ^ Avengers #141–144 (Nov 1975 – Feb 1976) & #147–149 (May–Jul 1976)
  6. ^ Thor #280 (Feb 1979)
  7. ^ Defenders #112–114 (Oct–Dec 1982)
  8. ^ Squadron Supreme #1–12 (Sep 1985 – Aug 1986)
  9. ^ Captain America #314, Feb 1986)
  10. ^ Squadron Supreme #12
  11. ^ Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (1989)
  12. ^ Quasar #13–16 (Aug–Nov 1990)
  13. ^ Quasar #19 (Feb 1991)
  14. ^ Quasar #25 (Aug 1991)
  15. ^ Avengers #5–6 (Jun–Jul 1998) and Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual '98
  16. ^ Squadron Supreme: New World Order (1998)
  17. ^ Exiles vol. 2, #77–78 (Apr–May 2006)
  18. ^ JK Parkin (27 Oct 2010). "Robot 666 | Exclusive: Marvel Zombies Supreme coming in March 2011 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment". Robot6. Retrieved 2 Aug 2013. 
  19. ^ Supreme Power #1
  20. ^ Ultimate Power Vol. 1 #1
  21. ^ Ultimate Power #9
  22. ^ Ultimatum #3
  23. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55040

External links[edit]