Squadron Supreme

DC vs Marvel. Always the way it should be. 

Keep that amalgam garbage and the painful crossovers away from me.

However – the playful back and forth between creators was/is/always will be excellent. Especially early on, it can’t be argued that Marvel co-opted many character templates from DC and built them out into their own universe. But, in the fine Marvel tradition, gave them a great character flaw or defect that was often missing in the DC counterpart. In recent times, there has been some parallels but they seem to be growing further apart. (Though the recent expansion and prevalence of the Nova Corps is always a reminder of the Lantern Corps..) 

My favorite example of this concept is the Squadron Supreme. Take the Justice League and throw in any and every other relevant (or not so…) DC character, exacerbate whatever their defining characteristic was, and BOOM. Squadron Supreme. They first appeared pretty early on… well, actually the Squadron Sinister appeared first. Here. 

So – this is a confusing bit of history. I’ll let wikipedia explain. 

The Squadron Supreme are first encountered by four members of the team the Avengers – the Vision;Quicksilver; the Scarlet Witch and Goliath – who have arrived in the Earth-712 universe by mistake. The Avengers are initially confused as several members of the Squadron Supreme have identical names and powers to the Squadron Sinister, a group of previously encountered villains. 

Although this was a deliberate choice by writer Roy Thomas, it created confusion in Marvel’s production department, as the covers of Avengers #85 and #141 (Nov. 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…

The Squadron Supreme feature in a self-titled 12-issue miniseries (Sept. 1985 – Aug. 1986) by writer Mark Gruenwald. The series reveals each character’s origin and explains why the Squadrons Sinister and Supreme are similar: the Grandmaster creates the Squadron Sinister modelled on the already-existing Squadron Supreme of the Earth-712 universe.”

AH! Now this is where I got on board. Mark Gruenwald’s masterpiece. At his request, some of his blood was mixed into the ink for the initial printing of the Squadron Supreme graphic novel. Honestly, a must own for any comics fan. 

Finally, a weird find. A custom made set of 24 Squadron Supreme action figures. These were all made by hand – hefty price tag, but it’s apparently worth it to someone. They look incredible, and they are all done to scale. Really impressive, check the link for pictures of each individual figure. Wow. 

2 Comments

  1. morgado
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Damn, you beat me to it. Those customs might be some of the best I’ve ever seen. One thing tho, it wasn’t Gruenwald’s blood mixed in the ink, it was his ashes. Blood was KISS and their comic.

  2. Bob
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    AH! true, good point on the ashes. Even as I was typing that I knew something was off… the customs are incredible.

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