THE AVENGERS #85-86 (1971): First Squadron Supreme


A funny thing happens to The Avengers on their way back from Arkon’s dimension…Several of them get lost.  Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Goliath end up in the alternate universe of The Squadron Supreme.  They’re mostly obvious Justice Leaguer characters, brought to Marvel by Roy Thomas:

  • America Eagle: A mix of Hawkman and an extremely right wing Captain America.  He later becomes known as Captain Hawk, which isn’t a much better name.
  • Whizzer, who is obviously Flash, even though Marvel already had a Flash (Quicksilver) and a Whizzer (from Squadron Sinister, who later changed his name to Speed Demon), and yet another Whizzer from the Golden Age of Marvel (but that Whizzer wasn’t in continuity when Roy Thomas named this character).  Yes, Marvel has multiple Whizzers-despite the fact that it’s one of the worst superhero names of all time.
  • Hawkeye, an obvious Green Arrow parallel who later is named Golden Archer by the 616 Universe’s own Hawkeye who, at the time of this story, is still going by the name Goliath.  Confused yet?
  • Lady Lark, who is Marvel’s take on Black Canary only not nearly as sexy.
  • Nighthawk (Batman), who is not the same Nighthawk as the one from the Squadron Sinister that we met in Avengers #69-71.  No, this one is the one who soon joins the 616 Universe and becomes the leader of The Defenders.
  • Tom Thumb, who is like a more James Bond version of Iron Man.  He’s a dwarf, too.  No obvious DC parallel here.
  • Hyperion and Doctor Spectrum (Superman and Green Lantern), who also have Squadron Sinister analogs.

After they fight-because that’s what guys in costumes do instead of shaking hands-the Avengers realize that these are good guys, not the Squadron Sinister. 

So they all join together to fight an evil kid with massive psychic powers called, imaginatively  enough, Brain-Child.

And when it’s all over and the Avengers return home, Vision gives us our deep thought/lesson learned…

Because Marvel loved to end on those “the more you know” type notes.

Note: #86 is John Buscema’s last issue.

Creators: Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Grade: B.  Good stuff.  It’s clunky and dopey but I love all these types of crossover comics.




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