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Squadron Supreme Paperback – September 21, 2005

25 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on November 9, 2000
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Faries on October 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
The late Mark Gruenwald was well known at Marvel Comics for his writing and editor positions (and lesser known for the occasional artwork he drew). Among his BEST works was Marvel's "Squadron Supreme." Originally established as a team of villains from a mirror universe (who occasionally guest starred in "The Avengers" and "Thor" in the 1970s) the Squadron Supreme were knock-offs of rival DC Comics's Justice League. Hyperion=Superman, Whizzer=Flash, Lady Lark=Black Canary, Nighthawk=Batman, etc. In the 1980s, writer J.M. DeMatteis wrote an intriguing storyline in "The Defenders" which brought back the Squadron Supreme. This time, the team featured additional members (borrowing again from some of the "Justice League" characters and adding a sense of warped nostalgia for comics fans). Following the success of their appearance, Gruenwald and Co. launched a 12-part mini-series which focused on the plight of the post-"Defenders" appearance Squadron Supreme. The mini-series was *outstanding*. The characters were given more depth and background. Subplots and mysteries abounded. Artist Paul Ryan blossomed into a mainstream artist with his pencilling work (and let's not forget Bob Hall's contributions). From issue #1 through #12 of this limited series, you wanted the Squadron Supreme to have a permanent place on the comic book store shelves. The stories were VERY well-done. And ironically, DC Comics's effort with its "Justice League" comic (at the time) paled in comparison to "Squadron Supreme." If you're a long time Marvel fan--even a DC Comics fan--take the time to purchase this compilation of issues #1-12 of the Squadron Supreme mini-series. It is a strong testament to why Mark Gruenwald is sorely missed in the world of comics. Rest in Peace, Mark.
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