I don't get it.
Is Squadron Supreme, like, a parody or something?
This book isn't for real, is it?
I could so see it being a parody. After all, the Squadron Supreme was originally introduced as take-offs of the Justice League, so perhaps this is now writer J. Michael Straczynski doing a take-off on "serious comics," by pointing out how absurd they often are.
Please note that, even as a parody, this comic isn't, well, any good. But I think viewing it as INTENTIONAL humor is much better for the story than viewing it as UNintentional humor, and lordy, is there plenty of unintentional humor in this comic book.
To be honest, though, the basic concept "What would it be like if the United State government had a super army that they sent off on missions" is pretty interesting. However, that really isn't the idea, but rather "Here, JMS, here's a book where you can express whatever happens to irritate you in America, however sloppily you want to do so!" I'd hate to cut JMS off while driving, I'm sure we'd see some Squadron Supreme issue where he has a character have a flashback to when someone cut off the character's parent, causing them to run off the road and die - or something to that extent.
There is one great scene in the issue, as Greg mentioned in his bit on the issue, where team member Emil Burbank comes up with a device to incapacitate the enemy soldiers, who he then walks around and shoots in the head. And his reaction when his fellow soldier has a problem with his behavior? Cool stuff.
But everything else is so darn hackneyed, it really does read better as a parody of serious comics.
The evil Christian preacher. The beatings. Rape. Infidelity. Bizarre death.
And that's just in the flashbacks!
In the present, we get some, "Man, war is lame" or "Should we really be doing this?" I don't mind if you want to write some comic criticizing the government. Go right ahead. Heck, JMS was pretty darn critical of the government in the MAX series leading up to this series, but it never came off as hackneyed as in this version.
Ah well, at least Gary Frank's art is nice (although I think I'd like to see someone else take a crack at his inks. I have enjoyed Jonathan Sibal's inks in the past, but I'd like to mix things up a bit - let's see Sibal on someone else) and, to paraphrase Casablanca, we'll always have Burbank (Emil, that is).