Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I was recently at a friend’s place and he recommended that I try reading the first volume of Squadron Supreme by J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank. So he lent me the Supreme Power trade and I eventually found the time to give it a whirl. We’d talked about it before and I knew the general idea behind it and in the end all I can really come up to describe it, is that first sentence he used to describe the series. It’s basically a Marvel version of an Elseworlds Justice League story that’s kind of trying to be like Watchmen.

Okay, maybe that is a bit harsh since there really isn’t anything wrong with this comic. The art is good, the characters are well developed and well written. The plot is engaging and the motivations for the characters all make sense. In the end, I sort of felt like this was all very familiar though and that while good it wasn’t the kind of pastiche I usually go for. On paper, it sounds like it should be my kind of thing and I’ve been trying to figure out for a few weeks now just why it wasn’t. I guess it just felt a bit too tied down to the analogous source material in some ways.

I don’t mind the riffs on the Justice League, but this just didn’t go far enough I think. These characters are full of potential, as is the plot, but the setup was just a bit too familiar and it all kind of felt a bit too much like what people who criticize superhero comics complain about. It’s all sort of been done before.

I’ll likely borrow my friend’s copy of the second volume and read a bit more of the plot since I do think it’s a decent conspiracy story and I’d like to see where the characters are going and how they all end up as players in the narrative. I guess I’m just a bit burned out on origin stories or something. I think it works as a more adult version of the Justice League but I kept wondering why I couldn’t just be reading a Justice League story instead. Does that make sense?

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