Cloonan's "Punisher" Is A "Violent, Bullet-Riddled, Bleeding" Good Time
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we take a look at the lesser-known SEQUEL to Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme, the 80-page graphic novel Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe, by Gruenwald, Paul Ryan and Al Williamson.
I’ll try to avoid as much spoilers for the ending of the original Squadron Supreme mini-series as possible, but suffice it to say, some people did not make it out of the first series alive. In any event, whatever happened at the end of THAT series it is overshadowed by the fact that the heroes of this Earth learn that the Earth only had twelve hours to live!!!
The rest of the volume is a somber examination of just how the heroes of the world would react to something like this – as you might imagine, they would do pretty much ANYthing they could, including bringing in former enemies to help.
Here’s a great extended sequence between Hyperion, the Doctor Doom-esque villain Master Menace and the time traveling Scarlet Centurion (Centurion is the framing sequence for the story – he is the one who first learns that the world of the past, the world of his hated enemies, the Squadron Supreme, is to be destroyed on this day in the past).
Pretty heady stuff, huh?
Later on, here is the Squadron trying to stop the entity (notice that things aren’t going so well)…
This is a very dark work by Gruenwald, Ryan and Williamson but it is also a well-told tale that really explores what it could be like to experience the very end of all existence.
With the high regard most folks seem to have for Squadron Supreme the maxi-series, I’m a bit surprised that there is not as much attention paid to the sequel – it’s a good work and, in a lot of ways, an even tighter story than the original maxi-series (this is the series that ultimately led to the Squadron Supreme becoming supporting characters in Mark Gruenwald’s Quasar series).
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