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Supreme Power, Volume 1 (Supreme Power #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,256 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Collecting Supreme Power Volume 1: Contact and Supreme Power Volume 2: Powers & Principalities - plus character designs, alternate cover treatments, the historic first appearance of the original Squadron Supreme in Avengers No. 85 and No. 86, and more!
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Marvel Comics Group (first published April 27th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

The Squadron Supreme has been around for a while in the Marvel Universe, acting as the MU’s alternate dimension “Justice League” whenever a JLA versus Marvel story was written. That changed a great deal in 1985 though; Mark Gruenwald and Bob Hall releasing an extremely thought-provoking 12-issue miniseries entitled Squadron Supreme, where these heroes decide to take over the world in order fix all its problems, resulting in horrible things all around and a lot
Apr 22, 2013 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, superheroes
3 – 3.5 stars

I guess you could consider J. Michael Straczynski’s _Supreme Power_ the bastard child (or perhaps grandchild) of books like Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in which the four-colour superheroes of old get a more ‘realistic’ make-over and are shown for the dangerous psychopaths they would all-too-likely be in our world. In this case we have Marvel’s Squadron Supreme coming under the deconstructive microscope. The Squadron is an interesting case
Mar 29, 2015 Logan rated it it was amazing
Wow, so this different! Supreme power is an alternate version of Marvel's Hyperion(Their response to Superman), its his origin; as you read through it you'll catch the feeling of this being a dark/twisted parody of Superman's origin. This book they also introduce heroes who are parodies of other DC heroes: Nighthawk/Batman, Stargirl/Wonder Woman, Dr. Spectrum/Green Lantern etc... Overall this is quite a big read, a lot to take in, but very good!
Apr 16, 2015 Danna rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Straczynski, and love his imagining of an alternate Marvel universe! A Superman raised by government agents and groomed to be used for whatever purpose the government decides upon is a much darker, more conflicted, and frankly more interesting character than the Superman of popular culture who was raised by good-hearted, practical Kansas folk (as much as I appreciate those values and what is truly wonderful about my home state). The artwork is stunning, and I particularly loved ...more
Apr 13, 2013 Travis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
JMS tries to turn a clone/homage/rip off of the Justice League into the Watchmen.
Not a bad idea, but it moves at a snails pace and the heroes don't seem to do much more then not get along with each other and get mistrusted by the government.
Nice art, but after awhile you start wishing a giant robot would attack or something more interesting than the heroes going on about how hard it is to be super powered.

When did it become considered unrealistic to have actual super villains in 'realistic' comi
May 17, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to expect a bit more from graphic novels. The writing and artwork were quite good, but in a graphic novel spanning 6 issues I expected a bit more story. By the time we got to the end of this span all we had managed to do was introduce what will presumably be the major characters that will be seen throughout the series. I enjoy getting to know the characters, but I really expected a bit more than just character introductions. Will I look for the following collections? Yes, though I don't k ...more
Matt King
Jul 07, 2013 Matt King rated it really liked it
I was initially annoyed at how closely it aped the Justice League members' powers and origins, but once I got past that, the story itself was awesome. If DC were honest with themselves, I think this is more of what they wanted to do in the new 52 than what they put out, which was a rushed re-telling of the stories we already knew. Even though Marvel used a lot of the same ingredients in Supreme Power, the difference in execution shows just how much better stories can be when you're not shackled ...more
Excellent book. This has all of the things I loved from Straczynski's "Rising Stars" series, with none of its flaws. This is a brilliant book from start to finish. Just ask yourself: baring the fantasy of super-powers/aliens, what would really happen with Superman's origin, or Batman, or Wonder Woman...etc. That's what this book is. And it goes from there. If you like smart and gritty super stories, then read this book. The art is amazing and the writing is a brilliant comic writer at his best. ...more
Noah Soudrette
May 20, 2008 Noah Soudrette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
A stunning book and easily Straczynski's best work to date. Not only does he take a classic set of characters (whose first appearance in the Avengers #85-86 is included in the back) and update them, he also shows what makes Marvel stand apart from DC (not that I don;t love DC). These characters are the Justice League, but the Justice League in a uniquely Marvel way: flawed, angry, sad, hated, loved, steeped in death and life and exceedingly real. A must read.
Dec 31, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off: I have the individual issues that make up this volume (and plenty past it). So, keep in mind that I'm reviewing the story more than this particular volume. I'm not sure how the content differs between the individual issues and the volume.

This story is playing with the tropes within the superhero world. Taking jabs at popular characters from DC and Marvel while doing so. Which I found fairly delightful.

I like the storyline (obviously since I bought so many issues). And do enjoy the d
Oliver Bateman
Aug 08, 2014 Oliver Bateman rated it liked it
Great start. Some interesting characterizations. Solid artwork by Gary Frank. But ultimately doomed by pisspoor execution and a mean-spirited emptiness that prevents this creative team from equalling Gruenwald's proto-Astro City accomplishment. Standard faux-gritty 2000s fare, ya know? Whatever.
Feb 07, 2016 Yuhuai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf
One of the best Superman stories I've read. The plot may move along slowly to some, but it serves an important purpose in this story. The various tropes commonly found in Superman stories - the paranoia of the government, collective public suspicion of superpowers, civil authority as easily abusable, and so on - are given elaborate and satisfying treatment here. Where in regular stories such tropes are hurriedly developed (and over the course of a single story forgotten after a giant battle with ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jan 22, 2015 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry
I guess you could consider J. Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Power the bastard child (or perhaps grandchild) of books like Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in which the four-colour superheroes of old get a more ‘realistic’ make-over and are shown for the dangerous psychopaths they would all-too-likely be in our world. In this case we have Marvel’s Squadron Supreme coming under the deconstructive microscope. The Squadron is an interesting case even without t ...more
Mar 13, 2007 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Just look at the average rating here folks! Oh, you mean I'm the only one who has read and ranked it? Well Dammit, you should too!
Joe Young
Apr 09, 2014 Joe Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J. Michael Straczynski - writer
Gary Frank - artist

Not so long ago, in a not-so-distant land, Marvel Comics published "adult" books under the label "Max comics." These comics were written for adults, portrayed mature situations, expressed interesting and new ideas, and featured realistic adult dialogue and exciting action.

One of the books published under the "Max comics" label was "Supreme Power" - basically, Marvel's take on the Superman myth. Written by J. Michael Straczynski with excellent art
Denis Ryan
Jun 12, 2015 Denis Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a trilogy, covering the full story of a select group of gifted humans as they grow from super-powered children into adults. Book One is incredible, filled with really clever ideas, plot twists, characters and concepts. But it's only part of the story, and Books 2 and 3 get progressively more baring and mundane, to the point that the climax of Book 3 is just plain stupid. It's hard to recommend this to anyone, because you will be disappointed.

So much potential in this, all w
Mary Overton
The original vol. 1:
During the Carter administration, an alien space craft crashes on earth ... with a foundling inside.
Carter gives the order that begins the top secret Hyperion Project.

"It's the law of this country that children orphaned without next of kin are to be wards of the state. I see no reason to make an exception in this case.
"He's a child of the United States.
"See to it he's raised like one."

The original vol. 2:
Mark Milton, boy alien and the reason for the top secret Hyperion Projec
Jan 01, 2009 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comic enthusiasts
We learn from the introduction that this is a rewrite of an older, seminal comic series. The writer points out that the original influenced many important comics, including Watchmen.

The problem with this new book, especially read immediately after Watchmen, is that the influence has turned around and gone back the other way.

Don't get me wrong. The writing is good, and in this first volume, some really cool threads are built up delivered to a classic cliff-hanger, pretty much ensuring that I'll r
Nov 05, 2012 Travis rated it did not like it
Shelves: comic-books
JMS takes marvel's knock off version of the Justice League and sucks every bit of fun, interest and likability out of them in the name of realism.
Four super heroes show up in the real world and nothing happens for about six issues.

The characters are flat and unlikable, the drama is forced and anything that approaches cool, interesting or an actual story is quickly buried under grim and gritty and overly dramatic dialogue.

The ideas here are interesting, but JMS takes so long that by the time anyt
Nov 14, 2015 B rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
I liked this, but it was probably a mistake. Squadron Supreme (Gruenwald) was about taking the Justice League as far as it could go.

Everything else is just going to be an extravagance. Here, Straczynski has put together a whole universe and if this were a from-scratch, say, Valiant or Wildstorm or whatever idea, it wouldn't be ad. As it stands, it seems like the avoidance of a Big Bad means it's really a conscience of the heroes story. Which doesn't seem like it can lead to anything other than
Gregory Dilcox
Mar 04, 2015 Gregory Dilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great look at what would happen if a Superman like creator was raised by the government instead of loving parents. Various origins of a such a character have been explored by many writings and companies. I'm partial to this one because I love the Batman esque character motivated by race, and a young speedster with corporate sponsors. I always enjoy Straczynski, this graphic held true to that.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 06, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if power corrupted a superhero, or the government decided to manipulate superheroes to their own use. Straczynski does a fantastic job telling the stories these questions pose. Well above average art and exceptional story and characters make these pure please to read. High recommended
Nov 16, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This reimagining of the characters from Squadron Supreme didn't thrill me, mostly because I find it to be too cynical and violent for my tastes. That being said, this first volume isn't too cynical yet, and it's got some gorgeous art and is very well written.
James Anderson
This was fine. Almost felt like a "what if?" Series for a whole team. But bringing do characters over and tweaking their origin story. I enjoyed it while I read it but don't really feel the need to seek out Vol 2
Aug 08, 2015 Matej rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first volume of Supreme Power collects first six issues that were published in 2003-2004.
The plot is intriguing, it is slow paced in the beginning, but it picks up, and I really like the more mature and more realistic take on these suspiciously familiar superheroes.
The art and the coloring looks great, but it is a bit overshadowed by amazing panel layouts.
All in all, this is a promising first volume that should appeal to all superhero fans.
Ondra Král
JMS a jeho realistický superhrdinský komiks, aneb co by se nejspíš stalo, kdyby sem fakt přiletěl Superman. Bohužel těžká nuda. Nemít to jako book, dávno bych to vzdal.
May 17, 2012 Aff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Very intriguing criticism or take on an alternate compositional Justice League with similar concerns and premises but taken in a different way. However, I was very disappointed with the treatment of Princess Zarda whose storyline, goals and aims largely revolves around Hyperion. It's possible that in later volumes she is explored further, but her satellite narrative, sense of objectification, and preoccupation with her body's presentation irritated me. That said, other characters, particularly M ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Kennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Of all the comics I've read to date, this is the most "realistic" so far (as in, it seems to take place in the real world, our world). It raise some interesting questions about what our actions might be in the sudden existence of "super-beings." How would we, our government, our society, react? What would be the consequences of those actions? In that regard, it is very similar to Watchmen - though the story isn't as good as Watchmen, I would still recommend Supreme Power. I'm definitely looking ...more
This was very enjoyable, reminiscent of Mark Millar's Ultimates, this series re-imagines the Squadron Supreme in a real world setting. For those not familiar with teh Squadron Supreme fear not, they a merely a pastiche of everyone's favorite DC characters the Justice League. Imagine if Clark Kent(Superman) landed in that Kansas field and was found by a farming couple, it wouldn't be long before government investigators discovered the truth, as they do here. Get ready for your expectations to be ...more
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Joseph Michael Straczynski (born July 17, 1954), known professionally as J. Michael Straczynski and informally as Joe Straczynski or JMS, is an American writer and television producer. He works in films, television series, novels, short stories, comic books, and radio dramas. He is a playwright, a former journalist, and author of The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. He was the creator and showrunne ...more
More about J. Michael Straczynski...

Other Books in the Series

Supreme Power (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Supreme Power, Vol. 2: Powers and Principalities
  • Supreme Power, Vol. 3: High Command
  • Doctor Spectrum: Full Spectrum
  • Supreme Power: Nighthawk
  • Supreme Power: Hyperion
  • Squadron Supreme: The Pre-War Years
  • Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk
  • Ultimate Power
  • Squadron Supreme: Power to the People
  • Squadron Supreme: Bright Shining Lies

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