proteus_lives: (Default)
[personal profile] proteus_lives posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Greetings True Believers! I have been inspired to do a series of posts about Mark Milton/Hyperion of Earth-31916 A.K.A the Supreme Power Universe. Hyperion is a Superman analog and the whole concept of the Squadron Supreme is a Marvel riff of the Justice League. What began as a shallow idea really took off. I really suggest the 1985-86 Squadron Supreme maxi-series by Mark Gruenwald. It's fantastic. In 2003 Marvel published a MAX reboot of the series called Supreme Power and it is also excellent.

This series has some simple but interesting themes. What if a Superman wasn't raised by kindly farming couple? What if it wasn't so easy to fit into the human race, even if you look like them? Would people, governments and others react to the sudden induction of superhumans to the equation? What effect would superhumans have on a realistic world?

This post is about Hyperion's arrival, childhood and the first stage of his super-hero career. Enjoy!

Suggested Tags: publisher: marvel comics, creator: gary frank, creator: j michael straczynski, char: hyperion, nsfw: sex, title: supreme power

The story begins like many others. A farming couple witness something fall from the sky into a cornfield.

The story starts to change here. They take the baby home but this event has not gone unnoticed....

The baby is taken into the custody of the American Government. I liked this because Hyperion came down during the seventies. There is no way in hell that the US government wouldn't see something like this coming down in their own backyard.

Carter cameo!

I liked this page too, it shows people grappling with what was just science fiction yesterday. They also recognize the power and danger of their situation.

Two government agents are brought into the project. This man and woman are going to be the alien's parents. It's a twenty year mission with them cutting off all contact with the outside world and devoting themselves completely to their mission.

They meet the baby.

I like the scope of the operation. Choosing the name and already they are attempting to shape the mind of Mark/Hyperion.

His parents give him a puppy for his birthday. In a survillerence room two operatives discuss how many breeds and names they went through until they settled on one that seemed to fit the subject psychologically. His name is spot, his comics career will be a short one.

More reality. Toddlers are too rough with dogs sometimes and sometimes dogs don't like that. Or is it because the dog can smell Mark's alieness? Either way, he got his powers a lot earlier then Clark did.

His parents are freaking.

I understand their reaction. They are monitored at all times but how would you react to living with a child that could kill you whenever he wanted?

Mark starts to grow up, being home-schooled by his parents and "teachers" in a very special curriculum. And like all American children, he grows up in front of the TV.

I also like the progression of real-world events.

Mark is entering his teenage years and he's lonely. He's also starting to question why his parents don't let him outside the fence and the guarded area.

This converstion with his father with effect Mark's entire life.

I can barely express how much I love this page. The father's whispered, "god" while Mark hovers in front of the sun, layers of meaning and foreshadowing. And both them are so scared. The father, "Is this when he starts killing us or not following instructions? Mark: "Please don't say no, don't make me do something. Please don't reject me."

Later destroys a book with his flash-vision while his teacher is holding it. She is unharmed. He has another conversation with his father.

The project leaders decide it's too dangerous to send Mark to a real school, Project: Hyperion would be too exposed. So they create a school manned by project officials and populated by children of the project members.

Mark is taken to school in an APC and it goes down hill from there. None of the other students will speak or sit with him. They're scared.

Mark uses his x-ray vision to follow an overheard conversation in the girl's restroom.

Ouch, social rejection to the max.

Mark tells his parents he doesn't want to back to the school. Life returns to normal for a few years until it's time for the first Gulf War and Hyperion's first operation.

President Bush asks Mark to assist in the ousting of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Mark destroys Iraqi tanks and planes.

This pattern continues for a few years. Mark does secret missions for government but a being like Hyperion can't be kept under wraps forever. One journalist is on the trail and putting it together over the years piece by piece. He meets with a government contact who tells him the basic truth under pain of death if his name is mentioned. The reporter's reaction.

How would you react to such forbidden knowledge?

It's not just him. Word and rumors are slowly leaking out. The new Clinton administration decides to head them off and control Hyperion's exposure to the world.

The same reporter receives a phone call in the middle of the night asking him to step out to his balcony.

That's another page I loved. I love the change from the previous page and I adore that costume. It's functional and stormtrooperish. It's very dark and cool.

Of course the world flips out and the president holds a press conference Slick-Willie style.

And he introduces....

And "The greatest weapon in the United States strategic arsenal becomes the world's first super-hero."

Mark visits the reporter again.

So Hyperion does the hero thing for a while and the Project decides it's time for the parents to exit stage-left. They fake a plane emergency to ensure that Mark doesn't discover the meeting.

Mark is supposed to go on a fishing trip with his folks but they give him a bogus mission to distract him. (What they think is a bogus mission.)

They send him after the "Atlanta Blur" an urban legend that might be another superhuman. The emergence of other superhumans will factor in enormously on Mark's life.

I like what he does to track the Blur.

Creepy huh? But smart use of super-hearing.

Mark catches up to the Blur but the speedster doesn't want to talk. He does a left at super-speed and Mark can't make a course correction in time.

Mark is excited about discovering another superhuman, "I'm not alone!" Then some army guys arrive and tell him there's been an accident. Mark zips off to the accident and admits to find his parents.

I love the dead ocean life. It's realistic, he used his flash-vision under water and it was deadly.

The government puts Mark up in a new apartment in a major city. He has a request.

Isn't that fucking sad? Mark is still isolated and alone. All his life he's been lied to and manipulated. In part two, the US government and the world will learn the consequences of that. Mark will also encounter other superhumans and begin to discover the wider aspects and results of his fall to earth. I hope you enjoyed!

Date: 2009-12-29 09:54 am (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
The greatness of this makes the current state of the series even sadder.

Date: 2009-12-29 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] infinityandbeyond
This is a really great introduction, I had never heard of this character before. One thing I appreciate is how... restrained the whole thing was. Mark himself is very believable in his simultaneous frustration and understanding of his life. He seemed to be relatively well-adjusted even with all the madness he had grasped early on, per his conversation with his adopted dad about his reason for staying with them.

That scene with the dead ocean is heartbreaking.

Date: 2009-12-29 12:24 pm (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
That part with the puppy always is heartbreaking.

I found this a lot more plausible than Ma & Pa Kent, if for no other reason that Kal landing any time after WW2 would have been picked up on radar.

Date: 2009-12-29 12:59 pm (UTC)
savitar: Tardis (Default)
From: [personal profile] savitar
Great book, it was simply a great book, it's a shame that Marvel decided to tone it down at which point the writer decided it was no longer for him and quit.

It never regained itself after that.

Date: 2009-12-29 01:35 pm (UTC)
halialkers: Smilodon (saber-toothed cat) right side profile view. Mouth open, ears back (Meremi)
From: [personal profile] halialkers
Damn, this is good. And I like how it approaches the different US Presidents. Though one could argue that in this particular Timeline Jimmy Carter did everything to fuck up this particular USA by giving it a ticking time bomb.

Date: 2009-12-29 02:53 pm (UTC)
geoffsebesta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geoffsebesta
Yeah this is great.

I think my favorite part is all the Georgia in-jokes. Not just Carter, or standing at the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree, but the Atlanta Blur actually was an urban legend in the early 90s:

The version we always heard of this story was that it was some dude in Atlanta who was delivering drugs and driving 200mph.

Straczynski, right? Boy when that guy feels like it he can deliver.

Date: 2009-12-29 03:55 pm (UTC)
kenn_el: Northstar_Hmm (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenn_el
It's even more fun now that Gary Frank is drawing the Superman Origin series! My only problem with it is my usual problem with inserting real life figures into comics, in that it dates the book and doesn't allow for artistic license outside of satire.
Good point about the Gruenwald mini, BTW, for anyone who wants to see how "Identity Crisis" was first done!
Bring on Whacko Woman!

Date: 2009-12-29 04:04 pm (UTC)
cmdr_zoom: (oops)
From: [personal profile] cmdr_zoom
"God exists, and he's American."

Date: 2009-12-29 04:11 pm (UTC)
mcbangle: Gary Frank! (Scary_Faces)
From: [personal profile] mcbangle
This is great reading, but I keep getting distracted by Gary Frank's terrifying faces!!

Date: 2009-12-29 04:14 pm (UTC)
ext_171733: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Really a great series by JMS. Make sure you include SS: Hyperion in your posts although Hype isn't really alone in it. Too bad Chaykin F'ed up this franchise.

Date: 2009-12-29 04:48 pm (UTC)
amaniwolf: (Phantom)
From: [personal profile] amaniwolf
I kind of like it, but at the sametime, it kind of bugs me they keep going back to the Superman well and dredging up stuff and going ....see...see..this is stupid because, insert panel. I'm a big JMS fan, don't get me wrong.....i generally love his writing as in the Thor run, but i actually like my comic to be a comic, i get enough real life, in real life. I know that's not a popular opinion, but it is mine.
The art is gorgeous and it's very well written, but in the end, all i could see is doom for Hyperion in a world with people who treat him like the horrible alien, while they want him to save them from danger X. Why care about anyone when no one cares about you?

Date: 2009-12-29 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hybrid2
I realy liked that serie. it was diferent.
then it started to go bad.

I gess after JMS left. with to many unansered questions.
I think i droped everything halfway in the horrible ultimate crossover.

is there still a Squadron Supreme comic or was that cancel?

Date: 2009-12-29 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know I saw this at a store and it just really felt really odd to me like overdone what if superman wasn't the all american hero kind of thing but wow I just read this and put in context I really like it

I think I'm gonna go stalk amazon now :)

Date: 2009-12-30 02:38 am (UTC)
nothingbutcake: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nothingbutcake
Aww, I love his hopeful little glasses face.

And his wtf are they doing face.

"What can go wrong?"

Date: 2009-12-30 03:36 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
You can't help but think of the ultimate cliche of raising someone in a government's belief... how soon the guy would figure it would, be devastated, and does God know what in the world. That is a factor that is overlooked by many in comics and tv.

Date: 2010-01-01 08:30 pm (UTC)
gamerguy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gamerguy
I always thought that comment about 'I love you as much as you love me' was the first indication that he knew it was all a set-up. He may not have wanted to believe it, but I think he knew they didn't love him.


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