Squadron Supreme (Supreme Power)
Cover art for Squadron Supreme #1 (May 2006)
Art by Gary Frank.
|First appearance||Supreme Power #1 (Jan. 2003)|
|Created by||J. Michael Straczynski
|Member(s)||Hyperion; Blur; Dr. Spectrum; Zarda; Amphibian; Tom Thumb; Arcanna; Emil Burbank; Nuke; Shape; Inertia|
The Squadron Supreme is a fictional superhero team that appears in publications under the mature-audience MAX imprint by Marvel Comics. The team first appears in Supreme Power #1 (Jan. 2003) and was created by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Gary Frank.
Alien Hyperion arrives on Earth as an infant, and is taken into custody by the US government and raised in a controlled environment. Army corporal Joseph Ledger is given a strange crystal removed from Hyperion's spaceship by the government that bonds to him causing him to fall into a coma for years.
Discovering Hyperion has superhuman abilities, the government uses him as a secret weapon, and is eventually outed by the media. The government then announces and introduces Hyperion as a state-sponsored hero, which encourages other beings to appear, such as Blur, who can move at superspeed. Ledger awakens, and harnessing the energy powers of the crystal becomes Doctor Spectrum. Hyperion and Spectrum are initially hostile to one another and fight, with Hyperion accessing lost memories when coming in contact with Spectrum's crystal. Amphibian is seen on dry land for the first time and Princess Zarda heals Hyperion after his battle. Nighthawk solicits the aid of Hyperion and the Blur to deal with a superpowered serial killer, who Hyperion now knows is actually the product of experimentation with his DNA.
Although successful, Hyperion is outraged by the government exploitation and leaves, warning that he has no wish to be contacted by humankind again. The government gathers the remaining superhumans into a team to capture Hyperion.
The story continues in the limited series Supreme Power: Hyperion with new Squadron members Emil Burbank, Arcanna, Shape and Nuke tracking Hyperion to what they believe is an alternate reality. In this world Hyperion and a version of the Squadron rule the world, with only Nighthawk and a small group of superhumans opposing their rule. Although the heroes locate the true Hyperion and convince him to return to their world, Burbank discovers that it was in fact not an alternate reality but their world two years from the present time.
The second volume of the series Squadron Supreme brings together all the superhumans (with exception of reluctant outsider Nighthawk), who are split into two teams--one for international/public missions and another for covert operations. The President of the United States calls the group the Squadron Supreme. The Squadron meets with mixed success: an attempt to kill an African dictator is botched and the target is murdered by local superhumans who state the group are not welcome in Africa, and a mission to Iran has member Inertia encouraging a victim to fight back and kill.
|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:|
China recruits Redstone, the superpowered serial killer created from Hyperion's DNA, in a bid to protect itself. The final issue is a battle to the death against Redstone (with the Blur recruiting Nighthawk to assist) who threatens to detonate a nuclear weapon. The outcome is not revealed, as the series concluded with issue #7.
An unrelated nine issue series titled Ultimate Power, written by J. Michael Straczynski; Brian Michael Bendis and Jeph Loeb with art by Greg Land, features the Squadron in a crossover into the Ultimate Universe. Courtesy of a deception engineered by Nick Fury and the Ultimate villain Doctor Doom, the Squadron travel to the Ultimate universe, thinking that the Ultimate Reed Richards is responsible for releasing an organism that has destroyed much of the United States.
A series of misunderstandings ensues, and after a series of battles between the Squadron, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimates and the Earth-712 Squadron Supreme (whose world was also affected by the organism), the third culprit is revealed as Burbank, who was asked by the government to develop a weapon to kill Hyperion. Nick Fury is detained in custody in the Earth-31916 universe, while Squadron member Power Princess remains in the Ultimate universe to ensure that Doom (who escaped custody by using a Doombot) is captured.
An unrelated four issue limited series titled Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk, written by Marc Guggenheim and with art by Paul Gulacy, relates how Hyperion and Nighthawk, after an initial skirmish, join forces to try and alleviate the Darfur conflict in war-torn Sudan. Hyperion discovers Nighthawk has a prototype weapon built from stolen plans of Emil Burbank's journal that cannot actually injure him, but can convince him that he is being injured.
A third volume of the title Squadron Supreme, written by Howard Chaykin and with art by Greg Land (and other artists), is published, with the 12 issue series being set five years after the battle with Redstone. Most of the Squadron have disappared, with Ultimate Nick Fury; Burbank and Arcanna, are now a team of intelligence officers working for the government and investigate a group of returning astronauts (apparently this universe's version of the Fantastic Four) that exhibit strange abilities. The astronauts infect many people they come into contact with, also giving them superhuman abilities.
Fury eventually leads a new version of the Squadron that features characters that are pastiches of long-time Marvel characters such as Spider-Man (or the Black Widow), Captain America and Iron Man. The group eventually come into conflict with many of the original members of the Squadron who have been gathered by Hyperion. The heroes unite to stop a group of superhuman terrorists from the Middle East but then, via a government device, apparently all lose their abilities. Arcanna secretly reveals to Fury that she, and likely many others, still possesses superhuman abilities. Fury later returns to the Ultimate universe.
Later, the members of Squadron Supreme are apparently killed by Namor and the Cabal after the villains raid the Squadron's universe. Versions resembling these characters later appeared on the Battleworld created by Doctor Doom during the Secret Wars event, only to be killed again at the hands of Squadron Sinister. Nighthawk is left as the group's only survivor. While these characters strongly resemble those who appeared in the previous Supreme Powers series, there has not been an official editorial statement by Marvel Comics confirming if these characters are those from Earth-31916 or a similar parallel universe.
- Supreme Power vol. 1 (MAX imprint) #1–18 (August 2003 – August 2005) collected as:
- Contact (tpb collects #1–6, 144 pages, 2004, ISBN 0-7851-1224-3)
- Powers and Principalities (tpb collects #7–12, 144 pages, 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1456-4)
- High Command (tpb collects #13–18, 144 pages, 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1474-2)
- Supreme Power vol. 1 (hardcover, collects #1–12 and Avengers #85–86, 352 pages, 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1369-X)
- Supreme Power vol. 2 (hardcover, collects #13–18 and Supreme Power: Hyperion #1–5, 264 pages, 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2133-1 )
- Doctor Spectrum (MAX imprint) #1–6 (August 2004 – March 2005). tpb, 144 pages, 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1586-2)
- Supreme Power: Nighthawk (MAX imprint) #1–6 (September 2005 – February 2006). tpb, 144 pages, July 2006, ISBN 0-7851-1897-7)
- Supreme Power: Hyperion (MAX imprint) #1–5 (September 2005 – January 2006). tpb, 120 pages, July 2006, ISBN 0-7851-1895-0)
- Squadron Supreme (vol. 2) #1–7 (March–November 2006) collected as:
- Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk #1–4 (February–April 2007). tpb, 100 pages?, July 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2434-9)
- Ultimate Power #1–9 (December 2006 – December 2007). tpb, 232 pages?, September 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-2367-5)
- Squadron Supreme (vol. 3) #1–12 (September 2008 – June 2009)
- Supreme Power vol. 2 (MAX imprint) #1–4 (June 2011 – September 2011). Gods and Soldiers tpb, 96 pages, December 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-5571-3
- Supreme Power #1 - 18 (Jan. 2003 - Oct. 2005)
- Supreme Power: Hyperion #1 - 5 (Nov. 2005 - Mar. 2006)
- Squadron Supreme vol. 2, #1 - 7 (May - Nov. 2006)
- Ultimate Power #1 - 3 (Dec. 2006 - Feb. 2007); #4 - 5 (June - July 2007); #6 - 7 (Sep. - Oct. 2007); #8 (Dec. 2007) & #9 (Feb. 2008)
- Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk #1 - 4 (Mar. - June 2007)
- Squadron Supreme vol. 3, #1 – 12 (Sep. 2008 – July 2009)
- New Avengers (vol. 3) #24
- Squadron Sinister #1
- Diamond Comic Distributors shipping list for 2011 June 8 at a Diamond Comic Distributors website. Retrieved July 8, 2011.