Writer: Mark Gruenwalkd
Penciller: Bob Hall
Inker: John Beatty
What They Say:
As the Squadron Supreme take the next step of their Utopia Program, Doctor Spectrum begins to feel animosity towards Power Princess. What sort of internal conflict will this lead to? Plus, Nuke is missing and Spectrum is on his trail!
With the Utopia plan moving right along, the Squadron Supreme continues to introduce new elements of the plan to the country. The latest one to hit involves eliminating the use of guns from the country, though they’re trying to do it in a lead by example scenario first. That has Power Princess filming a commercial in which they talk about how the military has moved away from guns to non-lethal forms, which makes a certain amount of sense as a lot of what they’re involved in now are things within the country to try and help restore order. While it’s given only a simple and cursory look, there is some resistance to it from the military, but more of it comes from the general citizenry. While many will be glad to be done with guns after the way things went to hell, the Squadron isn’t trying to eliminate peoples rights to them. They are offering trade-in incentives and have taken down all of the manufacturing and sales of weapons. People have to register their weapons, but they’re going to have a hard time acquiring new ones or ammunition over time.
In the middle of all of this, the book spends its focus on that of Doctor Spectrum, a powerful member of the Squadron who really doesn’t use his position well. He’s a bit of a jokester, something that we see early on again here as he causes Power Princess’ top to fall off after filming. He’s not a young member but he’s the kind that never truly grows up when you get down to it. Because of that action, he gets wrangled into the job of finding Nuke as he’s missed all the meetings for the past month and it’s turning into a problem. With Tom keeping his secret, and being fearful of what Nuke might do to him, Spectrum awkwardly goes after him and starts to figure out what happened as he gets to the truth about Nuke’s parents and what was going on in his home town.
The relationship between Nuke and Spectrum goes back a bit but it’s the kind where you can see that Spectrum’s personality has made it near impossible for him to really connect with anyone. He’s friendly and affable for the most part but he’s got a personality that pushes people away and keeps them from really knowing him. Being forced into finding Nuke only makes it more apparent as he just wants to get it over with so he can get on with the fun things he wants to do. When he does see that there’s something more serious going on here with Nuke, he does change a bit for it, but considering the time and the writing style, it feels very superficial overall. It’s not a bad working up of Spectrum and how he’s lived his life, but it feels like it demeans what we get out of Nuke and the conclusion of his storyline here since the focus is less on him and more on Spectrum. And to have it all washed away so easily at the end stings a bit.
This comiXology edition of Squadron Supreme comes with the main cover as released with the print edition and no other extras.
Doctor Spectrum is one of those manchild type characters with an immense amount of power and a need to live his life as he sees fit, which means mostly in search of pleasure and entertainment. While he’s a fairly standard flawed here in a way, it’s a bit different because of his age and how he deals with others on the team. It’s a bit more true to how someone would handle things with that kind of power and how it would affect them but it doesn’t make him an interesting character and the results here certainly reinforce that. I liked Nuke a lot, even with his aggressive flaws, so getting some closure here definitely helps. But like Power Princess, they’re just supporting the main story here rather than being a driving force along with Spectrum. It made me wish more time was spent with the guns storyline than this one, but at least this closes out Nuke’s storyline a fair bit.
Readers Rating: [ratings]