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
Squadron supreme title.jpg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Avengers #85 (February 1971)
Created by Roy Thomas (writer)
John Buscema (artist)
In-story information
Base(s) Rocket Central
Squadron City
Member(s) Founding members:
Amphibian
Doctor Spectrum
Hyperion
Nighthawk
Power Princess
Skrullian Skymaster
Whizzer

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

The Squadron Supreme is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

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, and the team itself was a stand-in for the Justice League.[1] Characters not based on DC heroes were added later.

Publication history[edit]

The Squadron Supreme first appeared in The Avengers #85–86 (February–March 1971), created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

Fictional team biography[edit]

Earth-712 version[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 (November 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]

Earth-616 version[edit]

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 realities (which were destroyed during the Time Runs Out storyline) after the Secret Wars storyline such as Nighthawk of Earth-31916 (which was the setting of Supreme Power and was destroyed by the Cabal), Hyperion of Earth-13034 (which was destroyed upon colliding with another universe), Doctor Spectrum of Earth-4290001 (the home of the Great Society which was previously destroyed by Namor), Blur of Earth-148611 (the setting of New Universe), and Power Princess of Earth-21195 (which was salvaged for the Battleworld location of Utopolis).[18] Following the destruction of their worlds from the resulting incursions, Nighthawk of Earth-31916, Hyperion of Earth-13034, Doctor Spectrum of Earth-4290001, Blur of Earth-148611, and Power Princess of Earth-712 take refuge on Earth-616. Together, they formed the Earth-616 version of the Squadron Supreme and will protect their home from any threat at any cost.[19]

The Squadron Supreme's first action was to get revenge on Namor for what happened to the worlds of some of its members. They attacked Atlantis where Hyperion beheaded Namor and Zarda killed Attuma. The fight ended with Hyperion lifting Atlantis above the ocean and throwing it onto the ground enough to kill the remaining Atlanteans present.[20] The actions caused by the Squadron Supreme led to the Avengers Unity Division to apprehend them before anyone else ends up killed by their hand.[21] The Squadron Supreme were saved by Thundra and later teleported to Weirdworld.[22] It is here where the Squadron Supreme were separated and ended up encountering a resurrected Doctor Druid who planned to control the minds of Weirdworld's inhabitants.[23] The Squadron Supreme shattered the crystal that enhanced Doctor Druid's mind-control powers and returned home. It turned out that Power Princess remained on Weirdworld where she turned out to be Warrior Woman of Earth-21195's Squadron Supreme. Thundra sided with the Squadron Supreme while unsure if she should help the Squadron Supreme protect the world or protect the world from the Squadron Supreme.[24]

Membership[edit]

Other versions[edit]

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.[25]

This version of Squadron Supreme met the Ultimates during the Ultimate Power miniseries.[26] 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.[27] Nick Fury, however, eventually returned to the Ultimate Marvel Universe.[28]

Marvel Zombies Supreme[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.[29] 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 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, Zarda, Nighthawk, Speed Demon, Doctor Spectrum, and Nuke. They come from a different world within the same universe as this version of The Avengers. Hyperion was a hero in his home planet but became corrupted by his power, enslaving the population and ultimately destroying the planet. The Avengers imprison him to prevent the same fate on Earth, turning him into a sworn enemy of The Avengers which had led him to even join the Red Skull´s Cabal. During the second season, the Squadron Supreme get back together where they plan to become the protectors of Earth their way which led to them clashing with the Avengers on occasion.

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
  • Squadron Supreme Classic Omnibus (HC, 2016, ISBN 9781302900656), collects Avengers #69-70, #85-86, #141-144 and #147-149, Thor #280, Defenders #112-114, Squadron Supreme #1-12, Captain America #314, Squadron Supreme: Death Of A Universe, Quasar #13-16 and #51-52, Avengers (1998) #5-6, Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual '98, Squadron Supreme: New World Order Exiles #77-78 and Ultimate Power #7-9

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails in The Justice League Companion (2003), pp. 72–73.
  2. ^ Avengers #84 (January 1971)
  3. ^ Avengers #69–70 (October–November 1969)
  4. ^ Avengers #85–86 (Feb–Mar 1971)
  5. ^ Avengers #141–144 (November 1975 – February 1976) & #147–149 (May–July 1976)
  6. ^ Thor #280 (February 1979)
  7. ^ Defenders #112–114 (October–December 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. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/marvel-announces-squadron-supreme-from-robinson-kirk
  19. ^ Avengers Vol 6 #0
  20. ^ Squadron Supreme Vol 4 #1
  21. ^ Squadron Supreme Vol. 4 #2
  22. ^ Squadron Supreme Vol. 4 #3
  23. ^ Squadron Supreme #4
  24. ^ Squadron Supreme #5
  25. ^ Supreme Power #1
  26. ^ Ultimate Power Vol. 1 #1
  27. ^ Ultimate Power #9
  28. ^ Ultimatum #3
  29. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]