Comic Review – Squadron Supreme #1 (Marvel Comics)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Atlantis has risen… Now watch me make it fall again!” – Hyperion

This week I should be doing coursework, and not writing comic review. Should. But I know where my priorities lie! Procrastination! So, what’s to be looked at this week? Well it hasn’t been released with a huge amount of fan-fare (as far as I’ve seen…) but Squadron Supreme (written by James Robinson, artists: Leonard Kirk, Paul Neary and Frank Martin) caught my eye. Why? I’ll get into that properly in a moment, but it’s a comic I’ve heard a bit about online before. I liked the concept and I’m sure many of you will too, I just hadn’t tried it.

Who are the Squadron Supreme? Well, we get introduced to them in the first few pages. They’re a group of heroes who have formed a “League” of sorts, to fight for “Justice”. We have Batman Nighthawk, Superman Hyperion, The Flash Blur, The Green Lantern Doctor Spectrum and Wonder Woman Power Princess. Who have united to form the Justice League Squadron Supreme. This is not subtle. It is not meant to be subtle. Marvel and DC have been ripping characters off each other for years, and this is Marvel’s take on the Justice League. Our heroes aren’t entirely the same though, most of them just have a very similar power set and pretty similar backstories…

But, the key difference here is they’re all from different universes that have ended. Why you may ask? Actually, that’s my biggest criticism of the comic. They know who did it, and we get a vague justification, but no real explanation. For a first issue this makes for a pretty glaring hole. Anyway, the team, survivors from dead universes have combined their might to make sure this never happens again, that this universe will never suffer the same fate and those behind the destruction of their homes will pay.

SquadSo who did it you may ask? Well, it was Aquaman Namor. And we kick things off with a fierce battle between the Squadron Supreme and Namor and his Atlantic forces. They’re out for revenge and Namor admits he did what he must, and shouldn’t be held to account because all he did was hasten the deaths of their dying realities. Well, OK. A bit more of an explanation here would be nice. This seems to tie in to Secret Wars? It’s not clear if it does. A hint for where to get more info would be very nice. Anyway, the battle does not go well for Namor.

We see the sorts of heroes this team is made of. They may be like the Justice League, but they cross the line the real team won’t. They kill. It feels like very family territory if you’ve read or watched Justice League: Gods and Monsters or similar. Public support around the world is mixed for the team, some loving their brutal ways. Meanwhile, a hero prepares to take on these extremists. The original Human Torch, Jim Hammond. He fought alongside Namor and Captain America in World War 2. He’s back, with his old (now literally) team mate and the Uncanny Avengers to take on the Squadron.

The art looks great, the fights are action packed and have these cool blur effects on them, the colours are vibrant and the whole thing comes together really well.

Final Verdict

I like the idea behind this, it’s fun to see a take on the Justice League that does manage to feel original if going over slightly familiar ground. I love the art… but… there are some issues: it felt too short, the whole thing was 23 pages long, and a page or two more for some exposition would have been really useful. I knew of these characters and I needed a little guidance, this is meant to be an issue #1 where complete newbies can join in. Still, I want to know what happens next and I’ll give issue #2 a shot myself!

Final Score – 7.5 DC Clones out of 10!

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