Monday, December 14, 2015

Squadron Sinister!

It has been a mighty long time since Marvel put out a comic which attracted my attention sufficiently to get me to buy it. Squadron Sinister, a four-part tale featuring the infamous doppleganger super-villains did just that. Not least of the attractions was the artwork of Carlos Pacheco, a talent I've adored since his outstanding work more than a decade ago on Avengers Forever. He brings a muscular style which while still modern evokes enough of the classic looks to keep me interested in the proceedings.

This tale takes place on  "Battleworld", an aggregate terrain of various Marvel locales and dimensions which I know every little about, but which offers the Squadron a chance to rule their own territory and even annex other lands protected by oddly similar heroes and villains. All of this happens in the shadow of a godlike Doc Doom and his Thor Corps, but that story material is safely segregated from the main story here which focuses on the machinations of the members of the Squadron as they plot to achieve mastery of their world, their associates, and in some cases themselves.

These are not affable fellows, but cutthroats who rally together for common cause only so long as that cause coincides with each member's individual ambitions. How those disparate ambitions blend and fracture is the source of the tension in this sweeping story of crime. During the course of this story we encounter heroes from MAX's Supreme Power, Epic's Shadowline Saga, the New Universe, and as far as I can tell the Marvel Universe proper, both vintage and current.

I waited for the reprint package before committing to the story and even then I left it on the stands one time. But almost immediately I knew I'd made a mistake and went the next day to correct it. I had to read this tale.

Final page debut of the Squadron Sinister.

Not included sadly.
A nifty bonus is the vintage debut of the Squadron Sinister from the pages of Avengers #69 and #70, two of the three-part story line from 1968. It's a shame the powers couldn't see clear to give us the third and final part of the story which debuted the Invaders (and which does have a cameo flashback of the Squadron), but the two issues presented here by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, and Sam Grainger are fantastic.

Here are some alternate covers which appeared during the the brief run of the series.

This collection is recommended.

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