Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Squadron Supreme #1

By Al Kratina
March 26, 2006 - 17:56

Look! Batman and Nighthawk had a giant kid!
For comic geeks, getting a science fiction author to write a monthly series is like landing Jesus to host The 700 Club. There’s a great deal of expectation, and the results can be disappointing, but if you dare to voice a complaint you’re going to get your limbs torn off by the faithful. The devotion of sci-fi and comic fans to their idols can be horrifying and unpleasantly frothy, which is why I’ve stopped complaining about Firefly in public.

However, in the case of Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, this devotion is largely deserved. His ongoing run on Amazing Spiderman has been very popular with fans, and Risings Stars was one of Top Cow’s better-selling books. Book of Lost Souls, for Marvel’s Icon imprint, has remained a bit of an undiscovered gem, on the other hand, but its lack of success is probably due more to the fact that every second page is an ad for either a Playstation game or Pharrell’s Ice Cream clothing line. And last but certainly not least is Straczynski’s Supreme Power, a revamp of DC’s Justice League of America Marvel’s Squadron Supreme from the 1970s. Supreme Power, an adult-oriented book published by Marvel MAX, focused on Superman Hyperion from the old Squadron Supreme, but gradually introduced the rest of the team, climaxing with the end of Supreme Power and the launch of brand new monthly Supreme Power #1.

Considered as part of Straczyski’s larger Marvel game plan, which included Supreme Power and a Hyperion and Nighthawk miniseries, Squadron Supreme is an exciting look at where the series is going. As a mature team book that avoids the pornographically violent excesses of Image while clearly distancing itself from Marvel’s often kid-friendly editorial direction, Squadron Supreme looks like it has a lot of potential. The storytelling is tight and efficient, the mood realistic without being overly grim, and the art, from Supreme Power’s Gary Frank, is fluid and bright, bringing energy to the clear layouts.
Sadly, as a stand-alone issue, Squadron Supreme leaves a lot to be desired. If you haven’t read the earlier series, you’re bound to be either confused or bored, like starting to watch Alias halfway through the last season, or Lost at any point whatsoever. Essentially, the entire first issue serves as an introduction to a large team being formed by the American government for both public and covert missions, with the assumption being that the reader has met most of them before. With a few pages devoted to each team member, the comic quickly runs out of room for story, essentially functioning as a trailer for a really cool movie. But for fans who have been following Supreme Power and its various spin-offs for the last two years, it’s an exciting portent of things to come. Just don’t complain about it in public.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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