Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Supreme Power is a comic book published under Marvel Comics' MAX imprint (for mature audiences). It features a rebooted version of the superhero team Squadron Supreme, itself a parody of DC Comics' Justice League of America. It is written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Gary Frank, and issue #1 was cover-dated August 2003.
The first issue dealt with the character of Hyperion, a Marvel Comics version of Superman. This issue sold out immediately, and became one of Marvel's best-selling issues of the year. Demand was so great that Marvel put scans of the issue online.
Later issues introduced:
- Nighthawk, based on Batman
- The Blur, based on The Flash
- Doctor Spectrum, based on Green Lantern
- Princess Zarda (aka Power Princess), based on Wonder Woman
- Amphibian, based on Aquaman
Part I: Contact (#1 - 6)
The story begins of the origin of Hyperion, which paralells Superman's somewhat, with a baby in a rocket crashlanding on Earth and being saved by a couple, until the Government intervenes, abducting the alien baby and raising him with the objective of turning him into a supersoldier. Hyperion grows up in a controlled environment, but doesn't enjoy the confinement.
Other characters are soon introduced, starting with the Blur, whose speed poweres are unexplained, Amphibian, a freakish baby left to die in the ocean, but she survives somehow, Nighthawk, who is an african american in this reality, but with an origin similar to Batman's, and the Princess, apparently a Greek goddess who sleeps in a mausoleum. Dr. Spectrum is an army corporal called in to test a crystal-shaped weapon taken from Hyperion's ship, absorbing into his skin and lapsing into a coma.
After Hyperion's first field missions, the government outs him to the media as a state-sponsored superhero to prevent a media exposé. This prompts the Blur out of hiding as a corporate icon, while Nighthawk begins acting as a vigilante. Hyperion meets them both and Dr. Spectrum wakes up from his coma.
Part II: Powers and Principalities (#7 - 12)
The NSA removes custody of Project Hyperion from the military, unhappy with his public status. Hyperion starts acting more independently and fights Dr. Spectrum on foreign soil, discovering that he's being used as a decoy for American black ops around the world. Spectrum is defeated and Hyperion attempts to learn his origins from his superiors, who attempt to destroy him with a new weapon specifically designed to kill him. Amphibian is first spotted by humans, including Dr. Spectrum.
Zarda wakes up and finds the injured Hyperion, healing him. She alludes to having similar origins to Hyperion and a mission to colonize and conquer the planet, but her memories seem mixed up. After separating, Zarda goes on a rampage, disregarding human life and private property. Nighthawk recruits the Blur and Hyperion to find a serial killer, and the doctor in charge of Hyperion's project discovers DNA samples have been used to create new superhumans.
Part III: The Squadron (#13 - 18)
- Issues 13 to 15 is now out !
- Scheduled shipping date for Issue #16: April 27, 2005
- Scheduled shipping date for Issue #17: June 22, 2005
- Scheduled shipping date for Issue #18: TPB
Please dont' add any information about Arc III, as this is an ongoing storyline and won't be finished before July or August 2005
Titles of issues
- 1: Contact
- 2: Five degrees of Contamination
- 3: Coming Out
- 4: Assumed Names
- 5: Crank Up The Volume
- 6: Questions of Perspective
- 7: Powers and Principalities
- 8: Ubi Dubrun, Ibi Libertas (Latin for "Where is doubt, There is freedom")
- 9: Ten O'clock
- 10: Ladies' night
- 11: Never Alone
- 12: Ominous Tidings Expressed as Four-Part Harmony
- 13: Natural Orders
- 14: Objects In Motion
- 15: Collateral Damage
Marvel has published a six part mini-series featuring Doctor Spectrum, exploring the character's origins and his relationship to the crystal weapon that is the source of his power. The series is written by Straczynski's protegé Sara "Samm" Barnes.
Differences between Supreme Power and Squadron Supreme
While the Squadron Supreme had started off as Justice League knock-offs and had moved on in different directions thanks to the works of the late Marvel editor and writer Mark Gruenwald, JMS brought Supreme Power back to its JLA roots, in order to put a different spin to the concept.
The Squadron debuted as a fully-formed regular superhero team. When their origin was revealed, they all had previous experience as solo superheroes. This doesn't happen in Supreme Power, which doesn't focus on much superhero material, and where the characters have yet to act as a regular supergroup would. However, in the third arc, Hyperion, Nighthawk and the Blur have formed an uneasy partnership.
The Martian Manhunter doppelganger is missing in both Squadron Supreme and Supreme Power, due to its resemblance to Superman. However, a Skrull was shown in flashbacks and in the last published Squadron story to occupy the Manhunter's place. No equivalent is slated to appear in the current series.
It's been established that the Squadron Hyperion is an Eternal from his dimension. The alien origin in Supreme Power may contradict it, but until now it's still an open plot point, as the runaway ship Hyperion was jettisoned from could have been escaping from Earth.
Nighthawk and the Whizzer have been changed from caucasians to african-americans. The Whizzer's name has also been changed to the Blur. Nighthawk is still a wealthy industrialist, but the Blur was transformed from a suburban family man into a youthful farmboy living with his mother.
Zarda no longer bears the moniker Power Princess or acts a superhero, contradicting her origins as a peace ambassador and WWII superhero. She has alluded to similar origins to Hyperion, while in the Squadron she was a native of Utopia Island, equivalent to the Marvel Universe's Attilan.
Amphibian has been turned from a superpowered human male into a humanoid female with fish-like physical characteristics.
The villain Redstone was recently introduced, and the character of Tom Thumb was seen in one of his flashbacks, his origins now tied to prison experimentation.
We have yet to see new versions of former Squadroners Golden Archer, Lady Lark, Arcanna/Moonglow, Nuke, the Shape and Haywire.
Unlike Squadron Supreme, which gives a nod to its DC Comics inspiration with the use of fictional names for US cities and states, Supreme Power takes place in the "real" world.
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