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Squadron Supreme Is Marvel’s Parody of the Justice League


Squadron Supreme Is Marvel's Parody of the Justice League


Summary

  • Squadron Supreme is Marvel’s version of DC’s Justice League, but with darker backgrounds and more government control over the heroes.
  • Each member has unique powers and a complex backstory, adding depth to the team’s dynamics and internal conflicts.
  • The series explores themes of manipulation by the government, the consequences of immense power, and the struggle for control within the team.



The world of comic books has given us some truly fantastic heroes. Not only do they show us a world where people wield amazing superpowers, but they also show us how those people go about their lives, dealing with their gifts. Consider the two leading companies that have made their heroes a staple of pop culture, Marvel and DC.


One company has provided readers with a team of near-gods who have arrived from other planets or been here for centuries. A team with a member who wields an alien gem that can create tangible items. Even a character who witnessed the death of their parents and now fights crime under a dark cowl. And then there is DC comics. That’s right, this description applies to Marvel’s Squadron Supreme.


Marvel’s Squadron Supreme Will Sound Very Familiar

Although there have been many iterations of the Squadron Supreme, let’s focus on Marvel’s Ultimate version of the characters. This was the same run of comics that the MCU drew heavily on in their initial version of characters. In this version, the Squadron Supreme exists in an alternate universe where they are the main superheroes. At one point, they clash with the Ultimates (Avengers) when Reed Richards accidentally sends a plague into their universe.


Although they seem very similar to DC’s Justice League, their characters and team makeup differ in some specific places. Consider the four main characters. Hyperion, AKA Mark Milton, is Superman if the character was raised by the government. Milton’s ship crash-lands when he is an infant, and the government raises him to be the perfect soldier on their side. However, he becomes jaded and suspicious of how his government has done its business and eventually becomes convinced that he and his teammates should be in charge.

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Power Princess, AKA Zarda, is an ancient Greek goddess and the team’s Wonder Woman. She has spent centuries in a sealed mausoleum, eating food offered as offerings by followers who never saw her. When she emerges, she is desiccated and must take the life force from a younger woman to regain her youthful appearance. Power Princess is extremely powerful, does not seem to care much for human life, and is devoted to Hyperion.


Doctor Spectrum, AKA Joseph Ledger, is the Squadron’s answer to Green Lantern. He was a decorated member of the US special forces brought in by the government to help test a strange prismatic gem found among the wreckage of Mark Milton’s ship. Upon touching the gem, he is immediately sent into a coma, even as the gem embeds itself in his hand. When he wakes up, Ledger can use the gem’s power to create powerful light-based constructs. He is also in love with Amphibian, the Squadron’s female version of Aquaman.

Finally, there is Kyle Richmond, AKA Nighthawk. He is the Batman of the group. However, in this version, he is Black and watches his parents being killed by white supremacists. This makes him angry, hardened, and driven to fight crime. He creates a persona that wears a dark cowl and night-vision glasses, and he carries a variety of weapons and tools. Hyperion sees Nighthawk as a vigilante and often conflicts with Blur, another Black superhero (their version of The Flash), who he sees as a tool of the white establishment. There are several other characters in the group, many added as the series continues, all of whom are some version of Justice League characters.


Infighting Within Marvel’s Squadron Supreme

The amount of infighting on the team is legendary. Hyperion sees himself as the rightful leader of the world, with Power Princess not only agreeing but pushing him to his full potential. The team is split in two, with some known to the public and others kept in the dark. These include characters such as Tom Thumb, a finger-sized man who has an issue with authority and is always on the verge of some kind of harassment claim, Shape, who can mold his body into any form but who has the mental capacity of a child, and Arcanna, who can warp reality based on probabilities.

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Each character has their own agenda and are often given little choice but to join by the US government. They are often drafted in a way that ends with their families or loved ones being threatened. Throughout the series, we see how the government officials have no idea how to handle this volatile team, even going so far as to show them being “handled” through various real presidencies.

Is Marvel’s Squadron Supreme the Bad Guys?

The Squadron Supreme started as a great idea: to bring together Earth’s mightiest heroes to protect people against larger-than-life threats. However, it is very clear early on that these characters are brought together to protect American interests. They are controlled and manipulated, and when they realize it, they are furious.


Hyperion is at the forefront of this rage. He understands the level of power he has and how stupid he is to allow himself to be manipulated by the government, the generals, and even the President. He essentially became the dictator everyone feared he would be when he first crashed. The rest of the team attempts to stop him with little success. Nighthawk seems to be the only one with the drive to continue, but Hyperion recognizes that he is hardly a threat since he has no actual powers.

The Squadron Supreme essentially exists as a parody of the Justice League. They show just how their government would see people with this level of power and how they would seek to control them. It is the Marvel version of “What if Superman actually existed?” and it does not end well. If you want to keep up with Marvel and their current MCU content, the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise is streaming on Disney+.


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