“Squadron Supreme” by Mark Gruenwald

I’d been meaning to read this for nearly twenty years. Mark Gruenwald’s masterpiece pre-dates “Watchmen” and I have to wonder how much of it inspired Alan Moore when he wrote that more elegant series. It certainly addresses realistic problems that might occur if we really had super-heroes – and super villains – in our world.

A central theme is the use of advanced technology on a general population by the essentially ‘ruling’ super-heroes.    The first half of the series deals with the ramifications of having a behavior modification device that can force criminals to be ‘good’ all the time.  The second half gets into the idea of cryogenic freezing with the hope of someday being revived in order to live a longer life.  Tragedy strikes in nearly every issue.

While the writing isn’t perfect, it is a cut above most traditional super-hero comics that I’ve read from that mid-1980s period.  There are a lot of big ideas brought up in this series that would seemingly serve as jumping off points for the next era in comics writing that would soon follow.

Gruenwald, Mark. Squadron Supreme Omnibus. Marvel, 2011. Print.
Moore, Alan, and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. DC Comics, 1987. Print.


D.S. Christensen
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