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Squadron Supreme Paperback – September 21, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
Book 55 of 67 in the Marvel Graphic Novel Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; Fourth Printing edition (September 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078510576X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785105763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven E. Higgins on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Once upon a time, there was a superhero team that decided fighting crime wasn't enough. They finally realized that, if they really wanted to make a difference, they'd have to combat the ills of society, things like war, poverty, famine and disease. So they took over and started going about rebuilding society from the ground up, trying to turn their world into a utopia.
If the concept sounds vaguely familiar, it should. For years superhero comics have been exploring such moral questions as these, all the way back to the famous story "Must There Be A Superman?" In that tale, the man of steel wrestles with the fact that by doing so much to help society he might actually be holding them back from striving and succeeding on their own. In the end Superman decides that he will help the people of Earth with problems beyond their means like earthquakes and supervillains, but for the rest of it we were on our own.
Not so in the 1985 Marvel maxi-series Squadron Supreme. In this book, the heroes decide that we humans need someone to make decisions for us. So they usurp the government's power, take over America, and start fixing things the way they see fit. Now that description of the book makes it seem like these heroes are bad guys, but they're not. They're good people, heroes with the best of intentions. But you know what they say about the road to hell, right?
Pretty quickly one of the heroes speaks out against the rest of his team. He objects to the ideas of these heroes, stating that by taking control away from the common man, they are trampling on all the freedoms America stands for. But this hero is voted down by the rest, who say that a few of the individual's rights lost are nothing in the face of what will be gained by society as a whole.
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Format: Hardcover
Mark Gruenwald's titular creation comes to life within the 12-issue maxi-series he created. The story revolves around the Squadron Supreme and their decision to take the world over in hopes of bringing forth a utopia in which humans can live freely without worry of violence, crime, or disease! However, the path to this "heaven on earth" is more treacherous than the Squadron originally thought as old members become new enemies and the humanity of the super-human members begin to show. The utopian environments creation may very well be earth's darkest day! After that, within the graphic novel Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe, the Squadron is still trying to deal with the aftermath of their plot all while an entity is headed straight for earth and eating up the universe as he moves! The Squadron has to rely on the help of some of their worst enemies to save the earth and everything they fought for!

Mark's epic series is collected here in full in this oversized, sewn-binding hardcover with a nice dust-jacket depicting a cover by Alex Ross. The book includes the 12-issue Squadron Supreme series along with Captain America #314, and the Death of a Universe graphic novel following the series. All the original covers are there as well as a foreword by Mark's wife Catherine and Mark himself talking about his creation within the first few pages. At the end, we get an afterword by Ralph Macchio and an excerpt from issue 29 of the Marvel Age magazine that featured an article about the Squadron Supreme series. Also included is creator commentary that was included in the TPB.

Overall, the story here is a classic, ageless tale that goes deep within the confines of comic books and makes you really question the actions of the Squadron and their enemies.
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Format: Paperback
When this series was originally released, I didn't give it much attention and wrote it off in 4 issues. I saw it as a pale parody of the Justice League of America, and I only focused on my theory that Marvel was trying to copy DC's greatest heroes. After reading Waid and Ross' Kingdom Come years later and hearing the references to Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme, however, it all came together. I had to buy the collected edition.
Reading the Squadron Supreme storyline all at once, it's amazing that this was a sleeper. It may have been due to several factors, ones which led me to give this book 4 stars: the varying quality of the art (all of it good, but some much better), the cheesy Stan Lee-styled dialogue (sometimes hilariously so), or the outrageous melodrama (too many upstanding heroes wearing their emotions on their sleeves). Whatever the case, the overall storyline is exceptional, and Mark Gruenwald deserves much more attention for this story than he gets. There are WAY too many similarities between SS and KC, and I can't continue to give KC the fanatical praise I once did - Gruenwald did it first.
This is a fairly realistic treatment of a pseudo-JLA, showing what might happen to the world if a group with that kind of power existed. For all the potential that the real JLA has, they're held back by history, popular culture, and the editor's fear of alienating fans. Squadron Supreme has no such boundaries, and the result is a real treat. Don't waste your time reading (or more appropriately "looking at") The Authority. This is the way to go.
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