Following the reveal of “All-New, All-Different Avengers” by Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Adam Kubert, another superhero team will assemble in the post-“Secret Wars” Marvel Universe. Writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk will chronicle the adventures of “Squadron Supreme” in their first ongoing series since 2008, as revealed over on Marvel.com.
“[A]lthough they are somewhat classic icons they’re also versions that have not had a lot of exposure,” said Robinson of the super-team in the announcement interview. “So yes, the name Doctor Spectrum as part of the Squadron Supreme has for instance, had some cache and some value but the version that I’m using, which is the one from the Great Society, is a relatively new version from one of the worlds created and then destroyed by Jonathan Hickman. So, taking this Doctor Spectrum as an example, she’s somewhat of a blank slate. In fact, it will be many issues until we see her without her mask on and see her face. That character is that much of a blank slate I’m really adding everything to her and also I’m having quite a lot of fun with her; Jonathan only had a few issues to really deal with everything.”
Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, the Squadron Supreme first appeared as heroes of a parallel universe in 1971’s “Avengers” #85. The team got their first series as headliners in 1985. This new version of the Squadron will feature members pulled from multiple destroyed worlds. The cast will include the Great Society’s Doctor Spectrum, the Nighthawk from “Supreme Power,” Blur from the New Universe’s DP 7, and the Hyperion featured in Jonathan Hickman’s “Avengers” run. “I’m having a lot of fun with the flashbacks and memories that the Squadron members have of their past,” said Robinson, “showing that they all came from interesting worlds so that hopefully it will be sad that those worlds no longer exist and so the readers kind of get some of the feeling that our characters are going through.”
Kirk added in the interview that he will use the flashbacks as an opportunity to reference imagery from previous comics. “One of the ideas that James had that I think is a good one is shifting my style to match more the artwork from those various previous appearances,” said Kirk. “So it’s a bit more jarring visually [as] the artwork looks more like it did in the original publications from years ago. I do enjoy doing flashbacks.”
Robinson has become a Marvel mainstay over the past few years after enjoying a lengthy career with DC Comics. The writer worked on Marvel team books like “All-New Invaders” and “Fantastic Four”; he is currently writing the “Secret Wars” series “Armor Wars.” “Squadron Supreme” pairs Robinson up with his “Fantastic Four” collaborator Leonard Kirk. The artist has a history of working on team books, having also previously worked on “X-Factor,” “New Mutants” and “Captain Britain and MI13.”
While Squadron headliner Hyperion recently played a prominent role in “Avengers,” which culminated with “Secret Wars,” the rest of the team has kept a relatively low profile. The franchise did receive a “Secret Wars” series in Marc Guggenheim and Carlos Pacheco’s “Squadron Sinister,” which is currently on the stands. This squadron, though, will have a much more altruistic mission than that team — but they’ll still have a dark edge.
“In terms of the characters, their attitude is that they’ve all lost their own worlds and they’ve got to save this world no matter what,” said Robinson. “So at times that will put them often at odds with the Avengers… They’re willing to do a lot of things that turn people off. They aren’t necessarily adverse to a degree of damage, collateral damage. They can seem a little cold blooded and ruthless but their idea is ‘we have a planet to save.’ And if that means we have to sacrifice a few people to do it, we will. ”
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