Squadron Supreme #5
Written By: James Robinson
Pencils By: Leonard Kirk
Inks By: Paul Nery and Marc Deering
Colors By: Frank Martin and GURU-eFX
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 03/16/16
Rating: Rated T+
The Squadron Supreme’s trip to Weirdword concludes betrayals are revealed, enemies and friends are made. The team leaves victorious, but is Doctor Druid really defeated?
Plot: The Squadron Supreme are on Weirdworld, divided, powerless, betrayed, and defeated but not for long. Nighthawk and Blur are being held prisoner with Tyndall by Crystarr’s soldiers, and coordinate an escape. Meanwhile Hyperion and the very much alive Doctor Spectrum are forming a plan of attack on Doctor Druid with Thundra and Skull the Slayer.
Story: The Squadron Supreme has always been interesting to me and it has been through a lot of revamping over the years, because for some reason this team has never appealed to enough people. This current roster is made up of members from a lot of those reiterations.
This issue alone really showcases that with Nighthawk really being what Batman could have been, if not for Alfred. He is very cold and calculating while taking the ends justify the means approach. He isn’t above taking the life of anyone if it saves him and his. When Tyndall pleads with him not to kill the Crystal Warriors as they are being controlled by Doctor Druid, Nighthawk replies that it is a “necessary evil.”
Nighthawk and Blur seem to have this understanding and training with preset signals for certain plans to be played out. I thought this was a really cool thing to play off of and one I always wanted the Justice League (for whom the Squadron are analogs) to do with Batman and Barry given they are both detectives and have a lot in common. I can see Blur though bringing some humanity to Nighthawk, maybe playing his conscience.
The low point here for me was Warrior Woman. We knew that she wasn’t Power Princess but instead her Squadron Sinister counterpart and we find out vaguely that she “got rid” of Power Princess, leaving that plot open. This scene was just thrown in to explain to Nighthawk that she pulled the switcheroo with her, then she disappeared.
Doctor Spectrum who died when she arrived on Weirdworld returns alive and well because her Power Prism had to absorb the magical energies in this world and reconstituted itself and her. This part was also full of exposition explaining why she “died” and returned and why Hyperion is powerless, because apparently he is weakened by magic something I think they did to make him more of an analog of Superman who is often mistakenly said to be weakened by magic as well. Even though the exposition points in this issue was the weak points I really enjoyed the moments that Hyperion had in it. Hyperion’s inner monologue allows us a glimpse into him processing the fact that he has a weakness, even though he has been around magic previously with Thor and others in Hickman’s Avengers run.
Hyperion is my favorite character in this, which is no surprise to those who know me and know that my all time favorite character is Superman. I thought Hickman did a great job with him showing him adjusting to a new world and finding his way and his honor and humility, really added dimensions to him. The first issue of this series though had me worried with him destroying Atlantis and ripping Namor’s head off, but then they showed him wrestling with what he has done before they were sent to Weirdworld and I had hope for him which was further solidified here when he confides in Thundra that he is troubled by the Squadron’s actions which prompts her to return to Earth with them to monitor them and maybe keep them in check while filing the spot that Warrior Woman left when she betrayed the team. This really gives me hope for Hyperion and perhaps a future love interest for him with Thundra.
Art: The art was pretty good here for the most part, but I had a few issues with the detail from time to time. I like detailed art like a Steve McNiven but I get that that art takes a lot of time and can not be in every book, but I do expect a face to have a face and at times this issue suffered from what I called the “The Faceless Ones Syndrome” where a character’s face loses details the less they are in the foreground.
Verdict: Overall I did enjoy this issue and that was largely due to Nighthawk and Hyperion. I find these two the most interesting of the group and hope to see more of them explored.