Reviews: Supreme Power vol. 1

Published on June 30th, 2009

Since the conception of “Trade Tuesday” I’ve known that I’d cover this very special series that is my all-time favorite. Here at Comic Impact, we’ve all read a LOT of comics, so when we say something is our favorite – you better damn well listen up. I’m going to be splitting this up into three parts. The entire series of Supreme Power spans 18 issues, not including the spin-offs, so next month will be issues 7-12 while this month is obviously 1-6.

For those unfamiliar with Supreme Power it’s a retelling of the group Squadron Supreme that was created in the 1970s. If you’re not familiar with Squadron Supreme, they are essentially the Justice League of America in the Marvel Universe. Instead of Superman, they have Hyperion. Instead of Batman, they have Nighthawk (who actually appeared briefly in Civil War as a queer defecter). Not a whole lot has ever been done with Squadron Supreme as they certainly have never been mainstays in the Marvel Universe, nor participated in any epic story arcs. Well, not until 2006 when writer J. Michael Straczynski brought them back to a modern day setting.

supremepower1The story follows Mark Milton who, as a baby, crash lands on Earth in some kind of space pod only to be discovered by a Martha and Jonathan Kent type couple. Unfortunately, the government manages to get to the baby, and after studying him and seeing that he has abilities not from this world, decide to raise him in a controlled environment so as to use him as the ultimate weapon when he grows up. As Mark grows older he begins to feel the constriction of being kept inside his house, not having any real friends – he basically realizes his life is not normal. When Mark reaches the age of around 18 or so, there are other reports of people who may have super powers as well. One such person is a supposed urban legend called “The Atlanta Blur.” When the government asks Mark to investigate this Blur person, he is all too eager as he wants to meet someone like him for the first time in his life.

As the book unravels it’s interesting to see how each of the DC characters are reimagined in this Marvel Universe. Perhaps the best character in the entire series is Joe Ledger. He’s a soldier in the US Army who is known for being the best. He’s disciplined, obeys orders, and always gets the job done. When the research team uncovering Mark’s space pod stumbles upon a strange crystal, Joe is called in to see if he can have better success than others. You see, everyone else who has tried to use the crystal has either killed themself or other people because, as best as the researchers can tell, it responds to the users thoughts and does whatever they will. This isn’t a problem for Corporal Ledger who is able to use the crystal and not kill himself. The crystal seems to recognize him as a perfect match and decides to embed itself into Ledger’s hand.

I won’t tell anymore about this book for now, though I do reveal a bit more about Nighthawk in the podcast. I STRONGLY recommend you pick up this book, and please e-mail me and tell me what you think of it as I’ve never actually talked to anyone else who has read it.

Butner Brimberry
Butner@comicimpact.com

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