[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Squadron-Supreme-TPB.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:275:The original and still the best.]]

->''"We should not just randomly stop super-criminals, an alien invader, or a natural disaster, and leave the rest of the world's problems unaddressed... problems which inflict the majority of mankind with suffering and death."''
-->--'''Hyperion'''

A team of JusticeLeague {{Captain Ersatz}}es who starred in a twelve-issue MarvelComics comic book {{miniseries}} credited with being one of the earliest {{Deconstruction}}s of the superhero genre (it came out in the early 1980s, preceding Creator/DCComics' ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', but following ''ComicBook/SpiderMan''.)

The Squadron Sinister, four villainous {{Captain Ersatz}}es of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica, were created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema and first introduced in 1969. They clashed with Comicbook/{{the Avengers}} in an [[FakeCrossOver unofficial intercompany crossover]], with the two teams manipulated by Kang the Conquerer and the Grandmaster in one of their schemes. Subsequent stories focused on their heroic equivalents, the Squadron Supreme, which existed in the alternate universe of Earth-712. The Squadron Supreme themselves clashed with the Avengers in 1971 and 1975, with at least one of these encounters due to mind control.

''SquadronSupreme'' came into its own in Mark Gruenwald's 1985 limited series. It takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth; flashbacks reveal that the Squadron Supreme was dominated by the alien Overmind, who used them to turn the United States into a fascist nation and conquer the planet. After the defeat of the Overmind, the Squadron decide that the best and fastest way to repair the shattered infrastructure, quell civil unrest, and restore people's faith is to take control of the world and get it back on track. The Squadron also decide to take the opportunity to address ''all'' of the world's problems, vowing to eliminate hunger, crime, war, poverty, and disease. With little resistance, the Squadron appear on national television and announce their "Utopia Program", promising to return control after a year.

The series chronicles the Squadron's yearlong efforts; their steps include forcible disarmament of the world's armies and individual gun owners, inventing a "behavior modification" device for brainwashing criminals against crime, developing non-lethal weapons and personal force-fields, and creating life-sustaining hibernaculum to keep the terminally ill in suspended animation. Along the way, the Squadron must deal with dissension from within and without, along with assorted super-powered threats, and their continued slide down the slippery slope of morality. And watching them all is former team founder Nighthawk, who assembles his own team to stop the Squadron's super-fascism...

''[[ComicBook/SquadronSupremeDeathOfAUniverse Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe]]'' was released in 1989. It had little relation with the world domination theme, being instead a TakeThat to the CrisisOnInfiniteEarths DC crossover. The team was moved to the normal Marvel Universe, and returned years later to their original world. The world domination theme is taken again in ''[[ComicBook/SquadronSupremeNewWorldOrder Squadron Supreme: New World Order]]'', but on the other side: during their absence, their ''utopia'' tools were turned into the tools of a police state, and the Squadron became outlaws fighting against it.

The team was later given an UltimateUniverse version in the [[DarkerAndEdgier mature-rated]] ''SupremePower'' series in 2003.

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!!Tropes used in the ''Squadron Supreme'' limited series include:

* {{Acrofatic}}[=/=]BouncingBattler: Pinball.
* AmazonianBeauty: Power Princess, the WonderWoman CaptainErsatz.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: The Squadron is based in America, and all of its members are either Americans or otherworldly beings.
* AnyoneCanDie: This series has a surprisingly high body count for a Marvel comic at the time. Also surprising for a Marvel is the fact that people [[DeadForReal stay dead]].
* AxCrazy: Lamprey, especially under his own control. Even his B-Modded self was nasty, and he ''couldn't'' do evil acts, because of his brainwashing.
* BadassNormal: Nighthawk and Golden Archer, the Squadron's CaptainErsatz for Franchise/{{Batman}} and GreenArrow, respectively.
* BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork: When capturing former members of the Institute of Evil to be de-brainwashed, Nighthawk and his cohorts are discovered by Blue Eagle. Master Menace says the choice is clear: if they don't want to lose the element of surprise over the Squadron, they have to brainwash the Eagle, too. Nighthawk doesn't want to, and Menace says that Nighthawk doesn't need to dirty his hands and ''he'll'' do it. Nighthawk realizes that if he really believes it has to be done then he should be the one to do it, and not hide from the responsibility, so he does.
* BecomingTheMask: Hyperion's evil twin from the classic Marvel universe was recruited by [[LexLuthor Master Menace]] to infiltrate the Squadron but while he's there he falls in love with Zarda and decides he wants his new life. If only that other Hyperion hadn't shown up again.
* BeTheBall: Pinball.
* BigDamnVillains: The final showdown between the Squadron and Nighthawk's team is arguably this.
* {{Brainwashed}}: Courtesy of Tom Thumb's behavior modification machine, and the centerpiece of the Squadron's utopia program. The fact that it's the ''heroes'' doing the brainwashing is a major cause of conflict in the series.
** Happens a lot to the Squadron when they were trapped in the MarvelUniverse, leading to a lot of conflicts with [[Comicbook/TheAvengers the Avengers]].
* BringMyBrownPants: When the Institute of Evil is torturing Golden Archer, Foxfire says, "Good thing your pants are already yellow, huh, Archer?"
* CanNotSpitItOut: Occurs several times in the series, whether voluntarily by one of the characters or due to higher-priority instructions during brainwashing.
* TheCape: Hyperion, fitting as he is the team's {{Superman}} analog.
* CaptainErsatz: Aside from the blatant use of Ersatz Justice Leaguers, the series introduced much milder variants in Nighthawk's enemies - Remnant, Pinball, and Mink, who roughly correspond to Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman (although Mink is by far the most obvious), and the Shape, who is sort of like a good version of Clayface, himself a bumbling [[MinionWitHAnFInEvil henchman]] (later, he would take up a Plastic Man type of role, despite coming out years before Plas joined the JLA).
** Nighthawk's new recruits, who join the Squadron as infiltrators, are Ersatz versions of the Outsiders.
* ChekhovsGun: When the Injustice Gang tries to use behavior modification on the Squadron, it turns out the machines had been altered to prevent them from being used on the Squadron, allowing them to foil the gang. It would later be revealed during an investigation that Tom Thumb thought to do this after discovering that the device had been used on a Squadron member already. Lady Lark.
* ClassyCatBurglar: The Mink
* ClingyCostume: Thermite, whose temperature-based powers require him to always wear his costume and regulator pack to keep them in check.
** Also happens with Nuke as the story proceeds. As his power continues to grow stronger, he has to wear a lead-lined suit to avoid killing everyone around him [[spoiler:like his parents]].
* ComputerVoice: Aida, Tom Thumb's AI companion.
* ConquerorFromTheFuture: The Scarlet Centurion.
* CouldntFindAPen: Taken literally -- the first edition printing of the ''SquadronSupreme'' trade paperback included the cremated ashes of writer MarkGruenwald mixed in the ink, a request made in his will.
* CreatorProvincialism: Although the story begins with the entire planet on the brink of collapse, the entire series takes place in the United States. This is especially jarring given that much of it focuses on how the Squadron's efforts are impacting the rights of individuals, yet the laws and traditions of different countries are never addressed.
* CrossOver: In addition to the Squadron being a team of {{Captain Ersatz}}es from Marvel's "distinguished competition", the limited series also had a CrossOver with ''CaptainAmerica''. Both titles were written by MarkGruenwald at the time.
* DealWithTheDevil: When Tom Thumb visits the Scarlet Centurion for the Panacea Potion, the Centurion agrees to give it -- if Tom will poison Hyperion in return. Tom even calls it "a deal with the Devil".
* DespairEventHorizon: Happens to [[spoiler:Nuke. When he learns his radiation powers have given terminal cancer to his parents, he begs Tom Thumb to find a cure. Tom's failure to do so causes Nuke to blame him for their deaths.]]
* DoesntLikeGuns: Several of the Squadron members embody this trope, which makes it easier for the team to agree to disarming the populace. [[spoiler:The Whizzer]] later gets a mild HeroicBSOD when [[spoiler:he believes the Institute of Evil has brainwashed the team and attacks them with an automatic weapon.]]
* DirtyBusiness: Happens to Tom Thumb when [[spoiler:he compromises his values to travel to the future and steal the Panacea Potion from the Scarlet Centurion's regime.]]
* ElectricInstantGratification: As part of the Squadron's effort to eliminate guns, Tom Thumb invents Pacifier Pistols, which incapacitate the targets with pleasure.
* EnergyAbsorption: Lamprey.
* EvilLaugh: Lamprey has one of the all time best. "Heh-heeya-heeya-hee!"
* EvilOverlord: The Scarlet Centurion, the EvilOverlord ''[[{{INSPACE}} in the FUTURE!]]''
* EvilTwin: Played straight when Master Menace recruits [[spoiler:Hyperion's EvilTwin]] to infiltrate the Squadron.
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: A mild version is invoked when the Squadron uses the behavior-modification machine on convicted criminals. Granted, they had the choice of whether or not to submit to the device, but still...
* ExpositionBomb: ''SquadronSupreme'' was a 12-issue limited series printed at a time when trade paperback collections were uncommon. As a result, each issue was written as if it could be the first one for any new readers, and contains scads of exposition as a result. It is entirely possible to read only the last issue and fully understood the overall events (if not the details) of the entire series.
* FakeDefector: [[spoiler:The entire Squadron Supreme, when the Institute of Evil tries to brainwash them with the behavior modification device. Unknown to the Institute, Tom Thumb had earlier modified it to not work on Squadron members.]]
* FlyingBrick: Hyperion, and Power Princess to a lesser degree.
* FlyingCarpet: One of Remnant's abilities.
* FreakOut: [[spoiler:Nuke, after his parents die from radiation poisoning. He blames Tom Thumb for failing to find a cancer cure, runs away from the team, and lashes out at Doctor Spectrum when he tries to talk him down.]]
* GadgeteerGenius: Tom Thumb and Master Menace.
* GlamourFailure: Moonglow when she's knocked out, as her illusion powers are deactivated. [[spoiler: She's a frumpy, middle-aged brunette rather than the smoking hot blonde seen in the rest of the series.]]
** Arcana as well, [[spoiler:with her pregnancy-concealing illusion dropping when she goes into labor.]]
* GoshDangItToHeck: The Comics Code was still in full effect. Squadron members routinely use {{Narm}}-fully mild language in dramatic situations - "Son of a fish" is probably the most hilarious.
* {{Hammerspace}}: Presumably, this is where Quagmire and Haywire get the mass/materials for their powers.
* HarmlessVillain: Pinball, the guy whose power consisted of inflating his green jumpsuit into a ball and rolling into people.
* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Inertia. She has the power to transfer momentum from one place to another - a quirky, unusual power at the time of publishing. She manages to simultaneously disable and pummel the Captain Ersatzes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash with this power - she does the most damage to the Squadron by far, more than the resistance's supposed big guns.
* HeelFaceMindScrew: The [[spoiler:brainwashed]] villains who join the Squadron; their ultimate fates and alignments varied.
* HotWitch: Arcanna
* HulkSpeak: The Shape
* HumanPopsicle: Unable to cure all disease, the Squadron develops hibernaculums instead. People near-death would be kept in suspended animation, presumably to be revived in the future [[WeWillHavePerfectHealthInTheFuture once a cure to their ailment is found]].
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Tom Thumb is clearly the smartest member of the Squadron and their resident inventor, but he's socially isolated from the rest of the team, is often overlooked or belittled, and spends most of his free time in his lab instead. Though some of it has to do with him being very short, older than most of the team, and lacking the traditional heroic builds his teammates have.
* InternalHomage: The origin of the Institute of Evil, a cosmic chess game between the Scarlet Centurion and the Grandmaster (with the pieces being the Squadron Supreme and a super-powered group created for this purpose), is basically the same one of the Squadron Sinister. That one was a cosmic chess game between the Grandmaster and Kang the Conqueror, putting the Avengers against the evil Squadron.
** The Scarlet Centurion himself is another internal homage. It is a one-time identity took by Kang the Conqueror in an old Avengers annual. The character itself is the same thing than the usual Kang.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: And how -- Every geographic location is renamed from its real-life counterpart. Mt. Rushmore becomes Presidents' Mountain, New York City is Cosmopolis in the state of New Troy, Washington D.C. becomes Capitol City, Magelland, so forth and so on.
* ItsAllMyFault: Invoked by Doctor Spectrum [[spoiler:after he accidentally kills Nuke.]] Even when he returns to active duty, he remains hesitant as a result.
* JerkAss: Lamprey.
* LampshadeHanging: The fact that the Squadron are {{Captain Ersatz}}es of the JusticeLeague was eventually lampshaded in JLA/Avengers when Hawkeye; upon meeting the actually League, notices the parallels and repeatedly refers to the JLA as "Squadron Supreme-lite".
* LargeHam: Master Menace is one part DoctorDoom, one part [[{{Superman}} Lex Luthor]], and all parts HAM.
* LogicBomb: Former supercriminals are made to work for the Squadron with the directive implanted into their brains that they are to not betray any member of the Squadron. One such person witnesses a member covertly acting against the rest of the Squadron. Her mind is locked into a loop, as revealing the information would mean betraying one member of the Squadron, while keeping it secret means betraying the rest.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Golden Archer, after his marriage proposal to Lady Lark gets rejected. He [[spoiler:brainwashes her into loving him]] as a result.
* MadScientist: Master Menace.
* ManiacMonkeys: Ape X, a hyperintelligent simian whose lower torso is replaced by a treaded tank base.
* MasterOfIllusion: Moonglow, and Arcanna to a lesser degree. Moonglow appears to have numerous magic abilities like Arcanna, but they're all illusions. Arcanna sometimes uses her spell to change her appearance, most notably [[spoiler:during her pregnancy.]]
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Power Princess met her Steve Trevor-expy Howard during World War 2. At the start of this story, he's a sickly old man while his immortal wife is as healthy and active as ever. Its hinted that the relationship is loving but no longer sexual and Zarda is faithful to his death (though not for long after.)
* MindControlDevice[=/=]MoralityChip: Tom Thumb's behavior modification machine, which alters a person's behavior to the operator's wishes. [[spoiler:Though Tom says the effects are irreversible, Master Menace later devises a way to undo the effects.]]
* [[spoiler: MindRape: Golden Archer uses the behavior modification machine on Lady Lark after the course of her affections has passed to make her stay attached to him.]]
* ModestyBedsheet: Arcanna does this a couple of times; the comic clearly shows that she sleeps nude, even in the coed dormitory.
* TheMole: Nighthawk [[spoiler:gets several to infiltrate the Squadron.]]
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Decibel.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: Hyperion's EvilTwin develops an attraction to Power Princess and quietly kills her aged husband.]]
* NeverMyFault: Nuke blames Tom Thumb, after [[spoiler:his parents die from radiation poisoning. Even though it's obvious that Nuke's power killed them, he blames Tom for ''not finding a cure for cancer'' in time.]]
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: Nighthawk was the President of the United States when the Overmind invaded the planet. The Squadron moves to proactively take control of the planet when he steps down from office.
* PhlebotinumOverload: Happens to Lamprey, who [[spoiler:actually ''exploded'' after he overdosed on Doctor Spectrum's power prism. He ''didn't'' get better.]]
* PrettyInMink: The Mink. She even admits she was a SpoiledSweet gal who got into crime ForTheLulz.
* PromotedFanboy: Mark Gruenwald, an unabashed lifelong ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' fan.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Possibly the first mainstream superhero comic to address this. The entire series is about the slippery slope of inverting it.
* RestrainingBolt: A logic-based version occurs when [[spoiler:the members of the Institute of Evil were brainwashed to be loyal and obedient to the Squadron. Subsequently, several occasions arise where Institute members are unable to alert the Squadron about suspicious events because it would conflict with their orders.]]
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:After Foxfire turns on Nighthawk and kills him, The Mink stabs Foxfire a moment later.]]
* RunawayFiance: [[spoiler:Golden Archer, who abandons Lady Lark after she proved to be ''far'' too clingy when he brainwashed her to love him. And getting married was ''his'' idea...]]
* ShootTheDog: [[spoiler:When Quagmire falls into a coma and starts producing extradimensional muck at an unstoppable rate, Hyperion is forced to terminate his life-support to avert disaster.]]
** NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler:After doing so, Quagmire's body simply vanishes. As another comic would reveal several years later, this is because ''Quagmire wasn't dead.'' With the life-support terminated, he was pulled ''through the extra-dimensional hole in his own brain.'' He is sent to the mainstream Marvel Universe, is miraculously healed, and resumes his villainous ways.]]
* SonicScream: Lady Lark.
* SuperPowerMeltdown: [[spoiler:Happens to Nuke during his rampage against Doctor Spectrum. He ends up getting killed as a result.]]
* SuperSpeed: Whizzer.
* TinTyrant: Master Menace.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: The cause of the war among heroes.
* WalkingWasteland: Foxfire, who projects a luminescence rot that causes things to quickly decay. [[spoiler:She uses them as a TouchOfDeath against Nighthawk as part of her HeelFaceTurn at the final battle.]]
* WeWillHavePerfectHealthInTheFuture: Invoked by the Panacea Potion, the Scarlet Centurion's 40th century cure-all.
** Also invoked by the hibernaculums, whose purpose is to keep terminally-ill people in suspended animation until a cure can be found in the ''future''.
** Even more so about the Panacea Potion, [[spoiler:it's just a bit of penicillin and some vitamins - eugenics and genetic tampering have made future humans so resistant to illness that's all they need.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Squadron itself.
* WhatTheHellHero: Invoked several times during the series, most often by Nighthawk and Amphibian.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: [[spoiler:After Golden Archer brainwashes Lady Lark into loving him, she turns into a ClingyJealousGirl... with emphasis on the ''clingy.'']]
* WolverineClaws: The Mink.
* YouFailPhysicsForever: A mild case for either the writer or the character. Inertia's power is clearly the ability to transfer momentum or kinetic energy, not inertia (which is an object's resistance changes in motion.)
** Technically though, her name ''is'' fitting, because when she's stealing momentum from one person and transferring it to another, she was simultaneously inflicting inertia on the first person. What's weird though, is that she was quite competent at using her power, she just got her words mixed up.
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