Squadron Supreme-The Just-Them League of America! Feb 13, 2019 4:13:16 GMT -5 Roquefort Raider, The Captain, and 3 more like this
Post by codystarbuck on Feb 13, 2019 4:13:16 GMT -5
Squadron Supreme; a name to conjure with! Earth's biggest losers.....er mightiest heroes, brought together in a sort of society, or a league even! Join me on a journey that starts with something a bit sinister and ends with......well, a rather final ending!
We start out in 1969, as Roy Thomas pokes a bit of fun at the Distinguished Competition, by introducing a new threat for the Avengers. Kang the Conqueror is poking around in the past, looking for a game, to past the time, when the Grandmaster shows up and we begin our journey into a parallel world, where the Just-Us League becomes the Just-Them League.
Creative Teams: Roy Thomas-writer, Sal Buscema-penciller, Sam Grainger-inker, Artie Simek & Sam Rosen-letterers, Stan Lee-editor
Synopsis: The Avengers are at the hospital, to look in on Tony Stark, who got messed up fighting a robot. He is being guarded by SHIELD agents and they don't have much in the way of a colelctive sense of humor. The gang wonders what happened to Iron man, since he is Tony Stark's bodyguard. Well, they will have to wonder.
Wasp finds a doll...
...which glows. She tosses it into a pail of water and it grows, leading the SHIELD agents to attack, which makes it keep growing and the Avengers ID him as the Growing Man, a henchbot of Kang. They set to a-feudin' and a-fussin' with it and he smashes his way out of the hospital, just as Goliath, aka Clint Barton, tries to grow to face him, but hits his limit. Yje Avengers go after GM and the kidnapped and comatose Stark and end up in 4000 AD, in Kang's palace...
Turns out the Avengers are to be human chess pieces for Kang, in a battle against this dude...
...the Grandmaster, who can help restore Kang's love, Ravonna, or he can destroy the Earth, Kang and the Avengers. So, the Avenge
You can blame Roy Thomas for the dopey costumes, especially Hyperion's lack of pants. The gang includes Hyperion, Dr Spectrum, Nighthawk and the Whizzer.rs agree, provided Stark is sent back for treatment. One techno-babble later and Stark is back in the hospital and the Avengers enter the game board (a three-tiered platform, ala Star Trek's chess thing) and meet their opponents, the Grandmaster's Squadron Sinister...
You can blame Roy Thomas for the dopey costumes, including Hyperion's lack of pants. the gang includes Dr Spectrum, Hyperion, Nighthawk and Whizzer. Not exactly names to strike fear into anyone, especially the Whizzer. Sounds like a guy with a yellow streak!
In issue 70, the Avengers face off against the Squadron, who are replaced by images of famous monuments and the team gets the idea that they have to head to each place to face one of the Squadron members. Sounds like the cunning plan of a Fox, or even a Gardener. They split up and Cap first runs into Nighthawk, stealing the Statue of Liberty. He is going to blow it up and Cap stops him, with much punching, kicking and smashing. Along the way we learn that Nighthawk is Kyle richmand, bored tycoon who was given heightened powers, at night, by the Grandmaster. Still didn't help!
Next Iron Man faces Dr Spectrum, at the Taj Mahal, despite Tony Stark being sent back to the past. IM figures out that Dr S is vulnerable to ultraviolet light and zaps him with some...
Thor battles hyperion, at the Sphinx...
and Goliath fights Whizzer, at Westminster, by Big Ben
and Black Knight shows up.
Grandmaster sends them elsewhere, leaving Black Knight to try to catch up to them.
Issue 71 sees Black knight consult the spirit of the first Knight, his ancestor and get the exposition dump. Kang prowls around the future and sends Vision, Black panther and Yellowjacket to Occupied Paris, where they meet up with Grandmaster's pawns, the war-time Invaders (before the name existed). Cap, Namor and the Human Torch whoop on the Avengers, thinking they are Nazis.
Faster than you can say, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," the groups are fighting. Black Knight turns up in the future, finds Wasp andthe sleeping former chessmen Avengers, in Kang's control. he frees them and they head for Kang. meanwhile, the Avengers beat the Invaders and Kang wins the power of life or death, but he has to choose just one; save Ravonna or kill Avengers. Well, they show up with Black Knight and Kang chooses death. Turns out Grandmaster cheated and made Kang's death power only affect the Avengers; but, not Black knight, who isn't a member. he whoops Kang and the Avengers are saved and elect BK as a new member.
Thoughts: Exciting, if a bit cliched 3 issues, as the Avengers find themselves pawns of Kang, in a battle with the Grandmaster. The Squadron's appearance is more of an after-thought and they go down rather easy. Like the local babyfaces were going to lose to the heels from another promotion. i've seen enough wrestling; I know how this works out. really, the Squadron is rather forgettable, as they aren't much of a menace and each is defeated singularly, in some far flung locale, aping the structure of Gardner Fox's JLA takes. Black Knight saves the day and becomes a new member.
Roy could have done so much more here, though the Squadron is a supporting group, while Grandmaster and Kang are the main event players. He puts more heart into the battle with the Invaders, a battle he will revisit, in the Invaders Annual, down the road (from the Invaders' point of view). Sal Buscema makes the whole thing lively, even if he is stuck with roy Thomas' dopey designs for the Squadron. Hyperion's trunks don't look right and that is rectified in future, with red tights. Dr Spectrum will go unchanged, as his suit is the best of the lot (though hardly original). Whizzer's remains and the name remains far longer than you would think. His costume is decent, though he would eventually wise up and change his name to Speed Demon. Nighthawk is middling; but, the beak on his mask sinks the design. he tools around a bit, before joining the Defenders, as we will see.
DC would respond, in the JLA, with the Champions of Angor, in JLA #87, from Mike Friedrich and Dick Dillin. Quite frankly, until Giffen, Dematteis and Maguire get their hands on them, they aren't mch of a parody/pastiche.
Nighthawk would be the first member of the team to reappear and that will be our next spotlight.