The post-Secret Wars horizon is getting a bit less cloudy by the day and we’re getting more and more details of what Marvel will be looking like once the Battleworld adventure blows over. One of the more interesting new announcements is Squadron Supreme #1. The Squadron Supreme is one of the more particular corners of the Marvel multiverse because there are a million versions of it and they’re all pretty much, “Let’s do the Justice League in our own way.”
There are so many incarnations of “Not Justice League” that rather than give a single one of them its own relaunch, they’re going ahead with a patchwork version. This fall we’re getting Squadron Supreme #1 by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk with a cover by Alex Ross. Kind of perfect for Robinson – the man who linked together a narrative with every DC superhero named “Starman” – to do something similar with Squadron Supreme.
This piecemeal crew is made up of sole survivors from various universes. Shockingly, the main Squadron Supreme team (the one that got their big 12-issue limited series in the 80s) is completely unaccounted for. Here’s who we do have:
Hyperion: This is the most recent incarnation of the team’s resident Superman knockoff and was last seen dying heroically in Avengers as Thor’s super bro. Hyperion was brought up to believe that the big picture was all that mattered, though it never sat right with him. His Earth and another collided into each other as part of the incursion process and he was pulled out of air by AIM scientists in the mainstream Marvel universe. He’s since joined the Avengers and has found meaning as a protector for the little people, even if his experiences have made him a bit socially awkward.
Warrior Woman: The first version of Squadron Supreme ever introduced in comics was the Squadron Sinister, a series of dark versions created to fight the Avengers. Those guys didn’t have their own Wonder Woman archetype, but one alternate universe surely did. Currently, those villainous folk are starring in the Secret Wars tie-in Squadron Sinister, which includes Zarda, otherwise known as Warrior Woman. She’s shown to be romantically involved with her world’s doomed Hyperion and has a strong distrust for men. If she’s the sole survivor, then it looks like that tie-in is going to have some real fireworks.
Nighthawk: Now we’re talking. This Nighthawk comes from the Supreme Power universe, a comic line that started strong and proceeded to sadly peter out after the head writer walked away during a cliffhanger. A billionaire with no powers, Kyle Richmond watched as his parents were gunned down in front of him as a child. The twist is that the Richmonds were black and the killers were racist. Kyle grew up to become Racist Batman, choosing only to punish white people and leave people of color alone. Overly cynical, Nighthawk slowly began to become a better person while his Hyperion’s demeanor darkened and became more twisted in time. During the Squadron Sinister miniseries, the Supreme Power team got wasted in battle and Nighthawk’s life was spared for reasons yet to be explained.
Dr. Spectrum: All the different versions of Squadron Supreme tend to have a Green Lantern-type named Dr. Spectrum in their ranks. Months back, in the pages of New Avengers, the Illuminati took on the Great Society, yet another off-brand Justice League. While they mostly had different names, their Green Lantern counterpart was still Dr. Spectrum. Also, she’s a she. While the Squadron Supreme concept usually means, “Justice League, but a bit twisted,” these guys were more pure. They were what the Justice League is meant to stand for: hope and unbending morality. Their world was wiped out by the Illuminati and Dr. Spectrum was on Earth 616 when it went down.
Blur: Back in the 80s, Marvel had their New Universe line about superheroes in a world that was far more grounded and realistic than the genre norms. No aliens, magic, etc. Welp. Throw that out the window! One of the comics was DP7 (Displaced Paranormals 7), which featured the Blur, a restaurant worker who gained super speed powers and was recruited by the government. While DP7 wasn’t really a Justice League knockoff team, the Supreme Power incarnation of Squadron Supreme featured a speedster named Blur in place of the Flash.
Thundra: Strangely, Thundra isn’t mentioned in the press release, but there she is on the cover. Thundra is a warrior from an alternate future where males and females have gone to war against each other and mankind survives via cloning. Because of that, she tends to hate or at least distrust most men whenever she returns to the present. Thundra was never a member of Squadron Supreme, but did briefly work together with the Hyperion from the original Squadron Sinister. Also, Marvel Zombies Return had a team of dominant zombie superheroes that were blatantly supposed to be JLA stand-ins with Zombie Thundra playing the role of Wonder Woman.
The plot is said to be about the group coming together to fight injustice by their own rules. This includes going after Namor, who took responsibility for wiping out the Great Society’s world. Then again…Namor is another guy who fights injustice by his own rules. He’s also rather aquatic. It’s almost like he could join the team and work as part of the gimmick.
Imperious Rex! That would be OUTRAGEOUS!
SQUADRON SUPREME #1 – Protecting The Marvel Universe By Any Means Necessary!
New York, NY—June 25th, 2015— They’re each the sole survivor of a lost Earth. Now, they’ll do anything to protect this one, whether you like it or not! But is the Marvel Universe ready for this new team of titans? Today, Marvel is pleased to announce SQUADRON SUPREME #1 – a brand-new ongoing series from Eisner Award-winning writer James Robinson (Fantastic Four, Starman), critically acclaimed artist Leonard Kirk (Fantastic Four) and covers by legendary painter Alex Ross!
Hyperion (Avengers), Nighthawk (Supreme Power), Dr. Spectrum (The Great Society), Blur (DP7) and Warrior Woman (Squadron Sinister) don’t care what the rules are, and they’re not out to ask for permission. Each hailing from different universes, their Earths were all destroyed. But there is no time to grieve for the loss of their homes – because they’re out to make sure it never happens again! All that matters is the safety of our Earth, and if you stand in the way – they’re going right through you!
Their first target? Namor! Responsible for the destruction of Dr. Spectrum’s reality, it’s time Namor paid for his crimes. But at what cost to the people of Atlantis?
“They’re willing to do a lot of things that turn people off,” says writer James Robinson in an interview with Marvel.com. “They can seem a little cold blooded and ruthless but their idea is ‘we have a planet to save’. And if that means we have to sacrifice a few people to do it, we will. So they’re definitely at the darker end of the heroic spectrum.”
This Fall, the Marvel Universe has new protectors. You may not like their methods. You may not like that they cross the line. But the Squadron gets results. And if you try to get in their way, you’re going down! Don’t miss their epic debut this fall in SQUADRON SUPREME #1!
SQUADRON SUPREME #1
Written by JAMES ROBINSONArt by LEONARD KIRKCover by ALEX ROSSComing Fall 2015!
Gavin Jasper is waiting for the Identity Crisis parody issue where Deadpool defeats the Squadron Supreme by himself. Follow him on Twitter!