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) Founding members:
Doctor Spectrum
Power Princess
Skrullian Skymaster

Later additions:
Blue Eagle
Golden Archer
Lady Lark
Tom Thumb
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]


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]


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 where 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 cryogenically preserve the dead.

Despite the economic and technological advances, there are setbacks: 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, and his disillusionment eventually leads him to not only leave the Squadron but abandon the surface world altogether; Nuke inadvertently kills his parents via unnoticed and uncontrollable release of radiation and dies while battling Doctor Spectrum during a rampage; and 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, eventually succumbing 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]


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.[16]


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]


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.

In 2015, a new Squadron Supreme series was announced, with James Robinson writing and Leonard Kirk drawing. The series will incorporate characters from the various portrayals of the team over the years, such as the Supreme Power version of Nighthawk and the mainstream Earth-616 version of Hyperion.[19]

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.[20]

This version of Squadron Supreme met the Ultimates during the Ultimate Power miniseries.[21] 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.[22] Nick Fury, however, eventually returned to the Ultimate Marvel Universe.[23]


In other media[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, Speed Demon, Doctor Spectrum, and Nuke. 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",[24] 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. In the episode "Dark Avengers," Nighthawk and Hyperion have reunited with Zarda, Doctor Spectrum, and Speed Demon. Using the Reality Stone, Dr. Spectrum alters reality so the Avengers are all criminals with darker costumes and the Avengers Tower is headquarters of the Squadron. Due to a spike in energy, Iron Man sees the real reality and manages to convince his team to come together. However, Spectrum has created a machine that will give him complete control over reality, and plans to alter history so the Avengers were never born. Captain is able to get ahold of the stone and revert reality to normal. The Squadron leaves with Nighthawk activating charges placed at the base of Avengers tower. The Avengers manage to prevent the structure from falling onto New York in time for J.A.R.V.I.S. to activate the repair systems. Power Princess reappears in the episode "Secret Avengers," where she attacks Crimson Dynamo of the Winter Guard and tries to take a key from him. The Squadron planned on using the key to activate a power source that was taken by the Winter Guard from S.H.I.E.L.D., who first confiscated the source from HYDRA. After Power Princess sent Crimson Dynamo flying into a fast-moving river, Captain America's team of S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers attacked Power Princess. During the battle, Power Princess threw her sledge and severely damaged a nearby bridge, forcing the Avengers to save the civilians while she escaped. The Squadron returns in the episode "Terminal Velocity." When Hulk and Thor retrieve a communications satellite for Iron Man, the Avengers discover a bomb made by Nighthawk. Iron Man tries to fly the bomb away, but is attacked by Hyperion. Hulk manages to catch the bomb and bear-hug Hyperion in midair, causing the bomb to explode between them without collateral damage. During the ensuing battle, Hyperion is captured in a stasis field, but Speed Demon sneaks into the tower. Unseen, Speed Demon kicks Hulk through a wall and breaks Hyperion out of his cell. Hyperion then flies off, leading most of the Avengers to the ocean where he traps the Aven-Jet in his vortex breath. Meanwhile, Speed Demon uses his enhanced powers to trap the Hulk in the episode "Speed Time," where everyone in it moves too fast to be seen. Hulk manages to warn Iron Man, and Iron Man discovers that Speed Demon has accelerated Hulk's gamma energy, turning him into a gamma bomb. Hulk leads Speed Demon into the stasis field, which Iron Man activates, causing them to slow down. Hulk destroys the belt that enhanced Speed Demon's powers and channels the extra energy into super speed to chase Speed Demon to Hyperion, where Hulk tackles them and takes them to a nearby deserted island, where Hulk releases his energy, knocking Hyperion unconscious. Speed Demon brings the unconscious Hyperion to Nighthawk's hidden base, where Speed Demon gives Nighthawk a flash drive containing copies of all of the Avengers' files. Nighthawk smiles and reveals that his plan is only beginning. In the episode "Spectrums," it was revealed in footage found by Falcon that Nighthawk and Hyperion attached the Power Prism to Doctor Spectrum which caused him to destroy the Squadron Supreme's planet. After Ant-Man separated the Power Prism from Doctor Spectrum reverting him to Billy Roberts, the Power Prism made its way back to Nighthawk. Upon the Power Prism no longer needing a host, the Power Prism forms a new body that resembles Doctor Spectrum as Nighthawk welcomes it into the Squadron Supreme. In the episode "Midgard Crisis," Power Princess plotted to sway an Avenger to her side when she used her training island to try to convince Thor. After this plot failed, Zarda told Nighthawk the outcome for the mission and that she was wrong about her original outcome. In the episode "Avengers Last Stand," the Squadron Supreme make their move with the capture of Captain America and Iron Man. While each of the Avengers and Squadron Supreme members transported to different locations like the arctic and an abandoned factory, Falcon was left to fight Nighthawk. Once both groups have been transported back from their locations by Falcon. Then the Squadron Supreme use Stark Tower to try to transport Manhattan to Limbo. With Ant-Man's help, Falcon prevents this from happening only for the Squadron Supreme's citadel to rise and fire beams into the Earth. While Thor fights the Squadron Supreme, the other Avengers free Captain America and Iron Man only to discover that the citadel is restoring Nuke who then destroys the citadel. With Thor defeated upon Nuke reunited with the Squadron Supreme, Nighthawk announces his demands on television and showing a defeated Thor as proof that the Avengers are defeated. The Avengers are shown to have survived the explosion and plan to reclaim Earth from the Squadron Supreme. In the episode "Avengers Underground," the Squadron Supreme now rules the Earth, having dealt with Attuma's forces while leaving one alive to tell Attuma what he just saw, shackled Red Hulk, trapped Doctor Strange in a special container, and kept Spider-Man occupied with one of their Squadron Bots. However it is clearly evident that there is much infighting amongst the ranks. So after dividing the Earth up, the Avengers then take them down. Iron Man frees Thor and disables the Squadron Supreme's communications. Then Hawkeye and Hulk deal with Speed Demon as Falcon, Thor, and Iron Man trap Zarda and Nuke in the same box. Then Ant-Man transfers the Power Prism's powers to Captain America where he turns the sun blue so Black Widow can defeat Hyperion. As part of a contingency plan, Nighthawk then teleports Nuke and Hyperion to the tower where Hyperion absorbs Nuke's powers with the intent on destroying Earth. As Nighthawk prepares to leave Earth, Iron Man defeats him and the rest of the team stops Hyperion from reaching the planet's core. The Squadron Supreme is later mentioned to have been placed into a special wing of the Vault.

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 978-0785149712), collects Squadron Supreme #1–12, Captain America #314, Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe

See also[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. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/marvel-announces-squadron-supreme-from-robinson-kirk
  20. ^ Supreme Power #1
  21. ^ Ultimate Power Vol. 1 #1
  22. ^ Ultimate Power #9
  23. ^ Ultimatum #3
  24. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55040

External links[edit]