Supreme Power is the newest Marvel MAX title to be released and the newest title from Amazing Spider-Man writer J. Michael Straccynski. It's based on Marvel's Squadron Supreme and has been recieving a bit hype on the internet. The first issue has already sold over 100,000 copies. So, its already a success. But, is it any good?
Well let me just say, I'm not familiar with the Squadron Supreme and I wasn't even thinking about picking up this book until I read a JMS interview with some preview pages. After that I thought it looked pretty good, so I picked up the first issue. And let me say it is really I've read JMS's Rising Stars, his Amazing Spider-Man and a couple of other tidbits and this is better than most of what he's done before.
The first issue is mainly an introduction for one of the characters. A couple are driving in the countryside when what seems like a comet streams across the sky and lands in a nearby field. They stop to investigate and find child nestled inside some alien spaceshuip. They rescue the child and take it home. They are childless and debate about keeping the child as their own. Sounds pretty familiar and at the time I thought it'd be some boring riff on Superman's origin. And JMS does do something different, but instead of being boring it turns out to be really cool. The military track down the ship and then arrive at the couples house in the middle of the night and take the baby. The baby is taken and tested and found to be superhuman. It's put in a facility with government employees as parents and raised to love America.
I won't spoil it all for you, there are some really neat ideas and it plays out very well. What comes through clearly though is how scary it would really be to have such a being land on earth. The baby Mark has super powers, but is still a child. What happens if the child is frightened? What if its upset? What if it doesn't want to do what its told? What is just as scary is the lengths the American government are portrayed as going to in their efforts to ensure control of Mark.
I can't wrap this up without mentioning the art by Gary Frank and co. It's just beautiful, it captures the story perfectly and manages to be great eye-candy at the same time.
This is easily the best first issue of a series that I've read in quite awhile. It's definitely better read and well worth picking up.