Essay: Gone, but not forgotten… the world of Supreme Power

A couple of years ago, I wrote an essay for an online magazine called The High Hat about an incredible comic-book series called Supreme Power. Written by J. Michael Stracyznski, Supreme Power — a darker remake of the 1980’s series Squadron Supreme — was basically a postmodern look at superheroes. How would the United States government realistically deal with the arrival of a Superman-esque force? How tempted would they be to use such super-powered individuals to advance their own agenda? And how would those those individuals act once they realized that they themselves were far more powerful than the folks they were serving?

I was generous with my praise of the book after having read the first dozen issues, but in truth, I probably didn’t recommend it as strongly as I should have… which is to say that I should’ve labeled it the best comic I’ve ever read. The next six issues were magnificent and ironed out the (very minor) flaws that I felt populated the series at the time, and after SP reclaimed the name of Squadron Supreme in a toned-down format — Marvel felt the graphic nature of the book stifled the potential size of its audience — Stracyznski was in the midst of building towards a cataclysmic showdown. In the most recent issue, Hyperion and Redstone, the two titans of the book, had locked horns in a brawl that had all but leveled Los Angeles. Reinforcements for Hyperion had arrived, Round 2 vs. the sadistic Redstone was about to commence, and then…. Nothing.

It’s been over a year since that last issue, and outside of the Ultimate Power miniseries (where characters from the Supreme Power and Ultimate Marvel worlds collided — who knows when it was placed chronologically?), there’s been not a peep from Marvel about when the book might resume. It’s one thing to put a book on hiatus at the end of a particular story arc, but right in the middle of a major battle? Shame on you, Marvel Comics. Shame.

Anyway, here was my initial take on an incredibly amazing story, complete with enough endnotes to make David Foster Wallace proud.

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Kevin Fullam is a writer and researcher, with extensive experience in fields ranging from sports analytics to politics and cinema.
In addition, he has hosted two long-running radio series on film and culture, and taught mass media at Loyola University.
Episodes of his two shows, Split Reel and Under Surveillance, are archived on the Radio page.