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Squadron Supreme (Earth-712)

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Information-silk
Information-silk Official Team Name
Squadron Supreme
Information-silk Team Aliases
Unknown
Information-silk Status
Information-silk Identity
Information-silk Alignment
Information-silk Universe
Information-silk Base of Operations
Utopia Isle, Satellite Headquarters, Squadron City
Information-silk Team Leader(s)
Origin
Information-silk Origin
The Squadron Supreme was formed when a number of heroes joined forces to stop an alien robot.
Information-silk Creators
First appearance

History

The Squadron Supreme were a team of super heroes from Earth-Squadron (also called Earth-S), a parallel reality of Earth-616. The team initially formed to stop a mad alien robot. They clashed with the Avengers on several occasions. During one of these battles, they became aware that US President Rockefeller of their reality had come under the control of the Serpent Crown[1]. They publicly denounced the government, causing Rockefeller to be ousted from office[2]. Nighthawk was then elected new President of the United States. After the Overmind and Null the Living Darkness left their world in chaos, Hyperion and Power Princess decided that the best option was to take control of the world.

They used behavior modification devices to forcefully rehabilitate a number of criminals and force them to join them in their mission. They called this the Utopia Program after Power Princess's race, the Utopians. Nighthawk immediately resigned as a member in protest of the unethical leanings surrounding Utopia Program and later formed his own team, calling them the Redeemers. Several members infiltrated the Squadron and undid the behavior modification. The Redeemers then confronted the Squadron at their headquarters in Squadron City. The teams battled and had several casualties on both sides. A dying Nighthawk was able to convince the others their idea was wrong, and Power Princess surrendered for the Squadron and the Utopia Project was dismantled. Tom Thumb soon died of cancer.

Due to the Scarlet Centurion and Grandmaster's manipulations, the Squadron has also journeyed to Earth-616. On quite a few occasions they have been forced to battle the Avengers, although they have since become allies.

The group was stranded in Earth-616 after battling the Nth Man. When they returned to Earth-S, they found that the Utopia Project was still ongoing and the world under the tyrannical one-world government of the Global Directorate. The Squadron then devoted in their new mission in ending the Global Directorate and reverting the damages that had resulted since their absence.


Origins

The Squadron Supreme is an organization of superhuman champions who have banded together to safeguard their world, which is an extradimensional alternate Earth sometimes referred to as "Other-Earth", "Earth-S", or Earth-712.

The Squadron was originally formed over a decade ago. Although the Squadron was at one point the largest and longest-lived team of champions Earth-S has ever known, it is not the first. During this Earth's World War Two, the U.S. War Department organized the Golden Agency, a small battalion of superhuman beings who helped the Allies. Power Princess is the only person to serve in both the Agency and the Squadron, although Blue Eagle's father, the American Eagle, was also a Golden Agent.

Like the Golden Agency before it, the Squadron Supreme has always had close ties with the U.S. government. Upon its founding, the Squadron sought government sanctions permitting its various peacekeeping operations. The government granted the Squadron various powers and made the superhuman team a special branch of the U.S. military, answerable solely to the President and the National Security Council.

At the height of its tenure, any new costumed crime fighters with established reputations were invited to join, and no one refused the honor. Thus the membership increased from its original founding members, although there have never been more than fifteen active members at one time.

The Squadron originally met in the mansion of industrialist Kyle Richmond (secretly Squadron member Nighthawk) located in Cosmopolis, the Other-Earth counterpart to New York City. Several years later, after Richmond took a leave of absence from the team to enter politics, the Squadron moved out of his mansion into a manned fixed orbit satellite called Rocket Central, designed by Squadron recruit Tom Thumb. The surveillance devices aboard the satellite enabled the Squadron to better keep watch over the planet.

At one point, the cosmic gamesman known as the Grandmaster had happened upon the Squadron Supreme's dimension and set up a tournament between himself and the time-traveler called the Scarlet Centurion. The Grandmaster used the Squadron as his pawns; the Centurion organized the Institute of Evil, a team of the Squadron's personal foes. Winning the contest, the Grandmaster resolved to create his own Squadron the next time he needed superhuman pawns, which led to his creation of the Squadron Sinister in the mainstream Earth.

Later, four members of the hero team Avengers (Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, the Vision, and Hawkeye, then Goliath) accidentally materialized on Other-Earth while in transit from Polemachus, the dimensional world of Arkon, to their own Earth. The Avengers mistook Other-Earth for their own Earth, Richmond's mansion for Avengers Mansion, and the Squadron Supreme for the Squadron Sinister, whom they had previously battled on their own Earth. After a brief misunderstanding, the Avengers were able to return to their native dimension.

Serpent Crown Affair

Some time later, the government of the United States of Other-Earth came under its first covert assault. A huge industrial complex called the Serpent Cartel was actually the base of operations for the various human agents of the extradimensional serpent-god Set, who manifested itself in the Serpent Crown. The Serpent Cartel invited then-President of the United States Nelson W. Rockefeller to address its executives at a business luncheon, and used the opportunity to put the President under the domination of the Serpent Crown. Having made inroads into high government, the Crown was able to put more and more high-ranking politicians and officers under its domination. At the same time, on the Avengers' Earth, Hugh Jones, then president of the vast Roxxon Oil company, was also made a slave to the Crown, and was attempting to mastermind a similar secret government takeover. The Avengers intervened and Jones asked Rockefeller for superhuman assistance in handling the problem. Rockefeller dispatched several of the Squadron Supreme, who were unaware of the Commander-in-Chief's new loyalties. Engaging in battle with the Squadron, the Avengers were teleported to Other-Earth[3], where they managed to seize Other-Earth's counterpart to the Serpent Crown and to convince the Squadron they were being misled by their President. The Squadron forced Rockefeller to resign and saw to the dismantling of the Serpent Cartel. At the next Presidential election, Nighthawk's alter-ego, Kyle Richmond, was elected by a landslide vote.

Mind-Control

Shortly after being elected to his second term, Richmond was mentally enthralled by the Overmind, a collective alien intelligence working in concert with Null the Living Darkness, a demonic entity. Unlike Set, the Overmind and Null wanted complete control over the Squadron's minds as well as the President's. Only Hyperion managed to escape the Overmind's mental onslaught, and he fled to the Avengers' Earth for aid, damaging the Squadron's satellite headquarters on the way. With the Squadron's help, the Overmind took over the mind of every major military, political, and industrial leader in the world. The Overmind then began to force the Squadron to build a vast nuclear arsenal on the moon with which he hoped to wage interstellar war on other worlds in the Squadron's dimension. Fortunately, Hyperion returned with a large battalion of superhuman champions from the Avengers' Earth, the Defenders, who managed to free the Squadron and, with them, to vanquish the Overmind and Null.[4][5][6]

With their satellite damaged and accidentally pushed out of orbit by Hyperion, it eventually crashed into the sea. The Squadron set up a temporary headquarters in a cave in the state of Moreland (equivalent to Vermont), but began construction on Squadron City, a sprawling headquarters and living community with an elaborate air-base, located in the Great American Desert (equivalent to the state of Nevada).

The Utopia Program

Other-Earth had been left in shambles in the aftermath of this alien takeover, and the Squadron was forced to cope with a world in total political, economic, and technological collapse. Although he was blameless for what had happened, Kyle Richmond resigned the presidency as had Rockefeller before him, and returned to his role of Nighthawk full time.[7] The Squadron explained to the people how they were also blameless in what had happened and declared a state of martial law, ultimately deciding to implement the Utopia Program, a plan for social reform designed to turn the United States from the shambles it was in to an ideal free state, the like of which the Earth had never seen.[7] The Utopia Program was designed to address all social problems afflicting societies since civilization began, including poverty, economic instability, war, crime, pollution, and even disease and death.

Squadron City was soon expanded to employ almost a thousand technicians, maintenance people, medical specialists, and support personnel. The City was climate-controlled and was camouflaged to look like part of the desert due to an elaborate illusion-casting spell created by Squadron member Arcanna.

The Squadron seized complete authority over the federal government, as well as control over the military and police. They then disarmed both the militia and the police, giving them "pacifier pistols," non-lethal devices capable of subduing perpetrators by overwhelming their pleasure centers. In exchange for their guns, the citizens were given "personal protection belts," devices generating small force-fields providing protection against all penetration wounds.[8] Both of these devices were the work of Squadron member Tom Thumb, the former in conjunction with Ape X. The Squadron also embarked upon their "decriminilization program," using Tom Thumb's behavior modification, a device that programs the human brain to be incapable of whatever actions are specified.[9] Behavior-modified convicts had their criminal records eradicated and were provided jobs in the various nation-wide restoration projects.

Tackling the problem of death, Tom Thumb invented the hibernaculum, a suspended animation capsule able to prolong life indefinitely through cryogenics. Citizens would be provided free "life-watches," devices to monitor their vital signs. If a remote sensor detecting a life-failure, a team of hibermedics, which were planned to become as common as firemen, would rush to that person's side and put him or her into an emergency hibernaculum. Eventually the death-arrested persons would be transferred to huge hibernacies, cathedral-like buildings where hibernacula would be stored. When medical science finally cured the ailment to which the hibernaculum-user succumbed, he or she would be revived.[10] The first person to use the hibernaculum was Tom Thumb himself, who died of cancer shortly after creating the tube. Both the behavior modification machine and hibernaculum were met with active resistance from certain segments of the population.

Kyle Richmond, as Nighthawk, opposed the Squadron's Utopia Program and had resigned from the group when they elected to implement it.[7] He spent the year the Squadron put the Utopia Program into effect trying to organize a counter-force powerful enough to oppose the Squadron. He managed to recruit three of his one-time personal foes, Pinball, Remnant, and the Mink; one expelled Squadron member, Golden Archer (banished from the Squadron for misusing the behavior-modification machine); three of the Squadron's new recruits culled from the ranks of the Institute of Evil, Lamprey, the Shape, and Foxfire; and five superhuman beings who had hitherto not gone public with their abilities: Inertia, Thermite, Haywire, Redstone, and Moonglow. This aggregation of superhuman beings was informally called the Redeemers.[11]

Nighthawk was also aided by Professor Imam, this Earth's Wizard Supreme and a former member of the Golden Agency, and Master Menace, Hyperion's greatest foe as well as one of the few people on Other-Earth who could match Tom Thumb's genius. Imam gave Nighthawk the means to locate his Redeemers, while Menace provided him with an anti-behavior modification device, able to counteract Tom Thumb's programming. On the day of the Squadron's announcement that they had met the goals they had defined a year ago, Nighthawk's Redeemers entered Squadron City and declared their opposition to all of the things the Squadron had done. Violence erupted, and the vastly outnumbered Squadron managed to hold their own for a time. Casualties in the war were numerous, with Thermite, Blue Eagle, Pinball, Golden Archer, Lamprey, Foxfire, and Nighthawk dying in battle. The war came to an abrupt end when Foxfire, hoping to prove her loyalty to Dr. Spectrum, killed Nighthawk. Hyperion formally surrendered.[12]

Before he died, Nighthawk had convinced Hyperion that the main problems with the Squadron's Utopia Program was that they had used basically ignoble, human rights-violating means to achieve noble ends, and the only reason why these ignoble means were not abused more than they were was that the Squadron is basically a benevolent group of individuals. The system they had devised, argued Nighthawk, required persons as noble and benevolent as them to oversee it. Since the Squadron is not immortal, they could not ensure that future generations would not be tyrannized by the Utopian technologies they created. The Squadron was convinced to begin dismantling the Utopia Program, and the Squadron agreed to disband.[12]

Death of a Universe

One week later, however, the Squadron's dimension was inadvertently infiltrated by the powerful Nth Man. The Nth Man was a product of the energy research facility Project: Pegasus on the mainstream Earth, but was shunted to another dimension. Absorbing this dimension, the Nth Man proceeded to one after another, nullifying each of them as he passed through. Unaware of the true nature of their threat, various members of the Squadron Supreme (Hyperion, Power Princess, the Whizzer, Dr. Spectrum, Arcanna (disguised as Moonglow), the Shape, Lady Lark, Inertia, and Haywire) assembled once more to discover a solution for the blight on their reality. They also sought help from Professor Imam and their enemies, Master Menace and the Scarlet Centurion. Despite the best efforts and sacrifices of the assembled champions, the group failed to turn back the force of the Nth Man. Ultimately, however, the Nth Man made contact with the infant son of the Squadron member, Arcanna, who had the potential to be the dimension's most powerful magic user. The two agreed to switch places, the Nth Man (Thomas Lightner) became the sorcerer supreme and Arcanna's son Benjamin began contracting the extradimensional force, regurgitating all that the Nth Man previously absorbed, restoring reality.[13]

Adventures on Earth-616

Unfortunately, when the Squadron tried to return to their Earth, they found themselves shunted to the mainstream Earth instead, due to the machinations of Master Menace who wanted the team to disappear even if the world survived. By this time, their number included only Hyperion, Power Princess, the Whizzer, Dr. Spectrum, Moonglow, the Shape, Lady Lark (later, Skylark), and Haywire. They encountered the hero Quasar who soon helped them settle at the Project: Pegasus facility, as they hoped to catch up with Benjamin when he completed undoing the Nth Man's damage and returned to its point of origin. They also hoped the Project could return them home, but that proved impossible. During their time on Earth, the Squadron aided Quasar and the Avengers on different occasions.

At one point, the Squadron was targeted by the villain Imus Champion who hoped to use them as pawns against the Avengers. He first used the mind-controlling villain Corruptor to influence the Squadron in believing the Avengers (who had recently re-formed their team after a long hiatus) to be impostors. The two teams fought, and the Squadron abandoned them to begin a media campaign against the Avengers. Soon, however, the Avengers infiltrated Project: Pegasus and uncovered the Corruptor's influence. Champion later revealed his part in the ploy, bringing together both teams so that he could force them into competing with him and he might prove to be their superior. The heroes made Champion believe he won, but ultimately trumped his plan. After remanding Champion to custody, the Avengers discovered in Champion's arsenal a variation of the Nth Projector which had created the Nth Man. They were able to use this device to create a dimensional portal so that the Squadron could return home, although one of their number, Haywire, elected to stay behind.

New World Order

The Squadron Supreme returned to find their world completely different than they had left it. The people of Earth-S had grown weary of the constant natural, political, and social upheavals that had plagued the world in recent years, largely because of the presence of the Squadron. Instead, they elected leaders into a Global Directorate with far-reaching and invasive political powers. The Directorate used the devices of Utopia Program for themselves, creating a totalitarian government. The Shape and Skylark were injured in the reentry to the world, but due to the new policies of the world, Dr. Spectrum was forced to abandon them at the hospital. Arcanna returned home but was ordered to stay there by Lightner, who now called himself Mysterium. Mysterium also implored the Squadron to fix what had begun by their Utopia efforts, charging them with contacting other members of their team. The Squadron recruited Amphibian, the Skrullian Skymaster (now, Skymax), and Neal Richmond, the son of Kyle Richmond, who had since taken his father's role of Nighthawk and had organized an underground resistance militia called the Nighthawks. The new Squadron thought Master Menace behind the tyrannical regime, but found him to be only a pawn of the Global Directorate. The Squadron rescued Menace and returned him to their new headquarters on Utopia Isle, which was left abandoned by the Power Princess' people. The team dedicated themselves to their new role, that of freedom fighters and champions of the oppressed.[14]

Earth-712 was later visited by Proteus in Hulk 2099's body and convinced the Squadron that the Exiles, who Hyperion had interacted with previously, had become corrupt and were hunting him for not complying with their plans.[15] The Squadron overpowered the Exiles, and put them on trial in Utopia Isle. Fortunately Heather Hudson was able to use the technology in the Crystal Palace to show the Squadron both that the Exiles were innocent, as well as how the Directorate had rigged the votes in their favor. The Exiles helped the Squadron confront the Directorate, and set things right in their world. Hyperion declared that there would be another democratic vote for who would be in power, and this time, it would be fair.[16]

Power Princess temporarily left the Squadron to watch the Exiles and help them battle Proteus. After Proteus was defeated, Power Princess saw that her mission was finish and returned to Earth-712.[17]


Paraphernalia

Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.


Notes

  • Most of the Squadron Supreme characters have a strong parallel to those of DC Comics's Justice League.
  • The MAX title Supreme Power also has shown versions of these characters with some notable differences.


Trivia

  • During the Avengers's momentous crossover with the Justice League of America in JLA/Avengers, Avengers' member Hawkeye derisively called the JLA a bunch of "Squadron Supreme wanna-bes".


See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

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