Monday, December 3, 2007

Squadron Supreme

First off, I want to say that I am sorry if anything I say in this post comes across as rude, but I am in an incredibly bad mood, and I just don't feel that nice at the moment.

Everybody I know who has read it has really liked Watchmen and praised it a lot. Kingdom Come has also gotten a lot of praise. I haven't read Kingdom Come, but I have read Watchmen, and while it is good (a little too wordy for my tastes), I feel that they all take too much credit for their stories. Both are about societies in which superheroes try to take over the world (for the greater good). Before them though, Squadron Supreme was a story like those. And it was great.

Originally, the Squadron Supreme were villains. Well, actually not, but bear with me. Kang and the Grandmaster battled and Kang used the Avengers as his pawns while the Gamemaster used the Squadron Sinister as his. He actually created this team for the purpose of this battle. These characters resembled some recognizable characters, such as Superman (Hyperion), Green Lantern (Dr. Spectrum), the Flash (Whizzer/Speed Demon) and Batman (Nighthawk). As a tribute to the JLA, Marvel made their greatest heroes villains in the MU and as a tribute to the Avengers, DC made them villains in the DCU. The Squadron Sinister was popular enough that eventually, while dimension hopping, the Avengers came across an Earth similar to their own. Inside their HQ, however, were people they didn't recognize. Although they did recognize Nighthawk, the rest were unfamiliar. They fought until they realized that these people were not the same as the villains they had fought, and in fact were heroes on this Earth. The Squadron Supreme "actually" existed before the Squadron Sinister and were the template for them. They teamed up, defeated the villain, and returned to their own world. Many times then, over the course of the Avengers' history, the Squadron Supreme would show up, generally be mind controlled, they would fight the Avengers, make up, and then defeat the villain.

Eventually though, on their homeworld, they decide that the world is crappy enough that they need more than superheroes, but they need people who can stop crime before it starts. Most Squadron members decide to stay, except for Nighthawk, who says one of my favorite lines, and the reason I don't think a utopia would ever work with humans, "How meaningful will a Utopia be if it is not something man has earned himself?" So, he leaves, but the Squadron continue on with their plan, getting rid of lots of violence and creating a behavior modification device (BMD) that can make villains act like heroes if programmed to. Ape X, Foxfire, Lamprey, Dr. Decibel, Quagmire and Shape all were villains before being BM'd. A lot of things go wrong, including Nuke's parents' death because of the radiation he emitted, Nuke's death when he went crazy and Dr. Spectrum had to take him out, Amphibian leaves because of the BMD, Tom Thumb gets cancer because of trying to help Nuke and his parents and eventually is put into the Hibernaculum which keeps him in a slumber until they can cure him or raise him from the dead (or something) which is effectively like cryonics, Ape X has a catch-22 drive her mad (have to report that Moonglow is an enmeny, but cannot betray Squadron), Hyperion gets blinded while fighting the Hyperion from the Squadron Sinister, all while Nighthawk assembles an underground resistance, which he works with Emil Burbank (Lex Luthor of Squadron Supreme-verse) to do, getting some unknown super-beings to join the Squadron. Eventually there is a big battle, where many people die and the Squadron realizes that it wasn't worth it (like what Cap did in Civil War, only it was good) and decide to stop trying control the world and they leave.

The story is really good and I read it because of the Avengers VS. set, as I wanted to know who these people were. I have the series, in comic form, and it is great to have. I recommend the series to anybody. Literally anybody. You get to know all the characters from the series itself and it is easy to follow and a really good example of why utopias don't work, before they made Watchmen or Kingdom Come.

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