Squadron Supreme #2 Review: Pump The Brakes


Squadron Supreme came out swinging for the fences in its first issue, killing off a Marvel character who’s been around forever and basically grabbing readers by their collars and ensuring that good or bad, everyone would have an opinion on it. The second issue? Not so much.

That’s okay, though. Because a series can’t exist for very long on shock value alone, Squadron Supreme #2 is very much a slow the pace affair, with the members of Marvel’s most unlikely post-Secret Wars superteam not really even spending any time as a team.

Instead, James Robinson and Leonard Kirk spend a little time allowing us to get to know each character individually. Nighthawk is making moves in the business world in his secret identity and working on a case with extraterrestrial aspects. Power Princess is suffering some guilt over how she has to survive and is presented with an offer that might be too good to be true. Blur and Doctor Spectrum have a philosophical debate about Earth-616 and why it’s worth protecting.

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Some of them are small moments, but Robinson manages to instill them with bits that make sense and feel real. Blur, for instance, hails from the New Universe Earth and mentions how much more amazing daily life on the regular Marvel Earth seems compared to his original home. But by far the best scene is one where Hyperion talks to a truck driver in a Midwest diner in his civilian identity and gets some perspective. He seems to be suffering from doubts, perhaps in his role in the first issue’s big twist, and he should be. It would be a shame to think the Hyperion we got to know in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run just suddenly turned into an executioner for no good reason.

We should probably trust a veteran like Robinson to have something more nuanced in store. Kirk, meanwhile, is doing some of the cleanest, most easily accessible work I’ve seen from him teamed with inker Paul Neary. Yet there are subtleties to what he’s doing as well; witness the way he draws the confrontation between Power Princess and her mystery guest. Even if you knew nothing about them, you’d know just from the art that magic is somehow involved.

It seems like fans are still very divided about how this series kicked off, and this issue might not settle the qualms of anyone who wondered why the death in #1 was necessary. Still, I’ll admit that Squadron Supreme was the Avengers-related book I was least interesting in reading coming out of Secret Wars, and now I’m intrigued enough by what’s gone down that I’m going to stick with it, especially with a big throwdown teased for #3. However you slice it, that’s an endorsement.


Three Things to Ponder

  1. Did Kyle Richmond’s wealth just magically transfer with him from his world?
  2. As the lone member of the most famous version of the Squadron Supreme, shouldn’t Power Princess have more doubts about whether doing something questionable in the name of the greater good is really a good idea? Two words: Utopia Program.
  3. Can I pitch Marvel for a series called Hyperion: Big Rig Driver? On second thought, maybe that’s not such a great idea.

Next: Astonishing Ant-Man #3 Review

Favorite Moment

Nothing complicated about this, just a fun, classic teaser for a battle between two superteams. But it’s punched up by the fun dialogue for all involved.