At the end of the famous 12-issues limited series, the Squadron Supreme gave up their world domination plot, and ended using their "Utopia" machines that Nighthawk warned may be used to establish a dictatorship. However, they could not destroy them: in Death of a Universe they had to go to space and fight against a cosmic entity, and ended lost in the proper Marvel Universe. But now, finally, they have returned to their own reality.
But things did not go well: their ship crashed when landing. Doctor Spectrum took Shape and Lady Lark to an hospital, Whizzer and Arcana to see their families, and Hyperion and Power Princess to the Squadron headquarters. Shape and Lark were detained as unregistered super-humans by the Blue-Eagles (stormtroopers modeled after the late Blue Eagle), Spectrum escaped. Whizzer was attacked as well, but his family (not him) was rescued by the Nighthawks (resistance soldiers, modeled after the late Nighthawk). Arcana was told by the new Sorcerer Supreme that magic was changed during the Squadron's absence, and that she must study it all back from the beginning before rejoining the group. Hyperion and Power Princess, soon reunited with Spectrum and Whizzer, realized that the U.S. was now a totalitarian state, using their old Utopia machines.
They left for Power Princess' island, and the Sorcerer Supreme gave them advice: to know what to do, they must find "The Watcher, the In-Betweener and the Dark Phoenix". No, not the ones you thought. Doctor Spectrum located The Skrull, the alien who first gave him the prism. The Skrull had not leave the planet as he had told, he does not have the means for that, and stayed instead watching for all the UFO sights to see if any of them was a remain of the old Skrull empire. He is the "watcher". Power Princess visited the bottom of the ocean to recruit the help of Amphibian, who was against the Utopia project since the beginning, and who lives between worlds, not fully human, and not fully fish... the "In-Betweener". And Hyperion recruited the help of Nighthawk, the leader of the Nighthawks. Nighthawk died to stop the Squadron, and now he's back (sort of), so he's the "Dark Phoenix".
With the original Squadron reunited, they are ready to fight against the dictatorship, And the Adventure Continues...
Squadron Supreme: New World Order contains examples of:
- And the Adventure Continues: The end is the original Squadron Supreme reunited once more, and ready to fight against the dictatorship. Or not? (See "No ending")
- Captain Ersatz: Besides each character being a Captain Ersatz of a DC character, the group united at the end is composed by the respective Captain Ersatzes of the "Big 7" members of the Justice League: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. Hyperion, Nighthawk, Power Princess, Wheezer, Doctor Spectrum, Amphibian and The Skrull. This specific line-up of the Squadron was mentioned in flashbacks, but had never actually appeared as such before in comics.
- Also for the new Sorcerer Supreme, a mystery man with hat and jacket who appears out of nowhere, gives advice to the heroes and vanishes again. Who, to make it more explicit, describes himself just as a "Stranger in a strange land".
- The Extremist Was Right: Nighthawk warned Hyperion that the "Utopia" would only work if it was managed by Knight Templars, the day that others replace them, it would become a full-out dictatorship. He was completely right.
- He's Back!: The big 7 as a group, Nighthawk and Amphibian (The Skrull may be an exception, as he's technically a new guy).
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Normal people do not like the Squadron. Those who oppose the dictatorship blame them for creating the tools, and those who support it blame them for leaving Earth during a time of crisis.
- Island Base: The Squadron set their new base on the island that was once the home of Power Princess' race.
- La Résistance: the Nighthawks.
- Legacy Character:
- The "Blue Eagles" and the "Nighthawks", who took on the mantle of the late Blue Eagle and Nighthawk.
- Nighthawk as well. He's not the original one, who's still dead, but his adoptive son, who took on the legacy.
- No Ending: When the Squadron Supreme realizes the extension of this dictatorship, and that it may be led by Master Menace, their reaction seems clear as water: they must resist it. But as the story goes on, and the original Squadron is finally reunited, they begin to have doubts. Master Menace is not the leader, he's just a pawn exploited by the dictatorship. The government, harsh as it can be, has been democratically elected. And does the Squadron have the right to decide by themselves what is the best for all humanity... again? Does the Squadron have the right to decide the fate of the world by a vote among an elite of 7 super-powered beings... again? Serious, heavy questions... and you are free to speculate what do they decide, or what happens next: the story ends there. The story didn't get a conclusion until a crossover in Exiles, in 2006. They successfully get rid of the dictatorship by proving their corruption.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Skrull. He has followed the path of the scholar for a very long time.
- Put on a Bus: Shape, Lady Lark and Arcanna. This is a reunion of the "big 7", and those get in the way.
- Remember the New Guy?: Except for flashbacks, this is the first appearance of The Skrull. He's not the "new guy", he's a founding member of the Squadron (problem is, we never saw the adventures of the first Squadron Supreme). Everybody already knows him.
- Revisiting the Roots: With this story, the Squadron Supreme returned to the spirit of the famous 12-issues limited series.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Nighthawks are filled with revolutionary fervour and have no problem killing the Blue Eagles if it comes to that, much to the dismay of the actual Nighthawk who must remind them that Thou Shall Not Kill.
- Shooting Superman: When Hyperion visits the Nighthawks base, everyone begins to shoot him, to no effect. They consider the Squadron responsible for the existence of the current dictatorship. Nighthawk orders his people to stop firing: he agrees with them, but they were just wasting valuable ammo.
- Spoiler Opening: The characters in the cover already tell what are we going to find.
- Team Hand-Stack: The final scene.
- Thoughtcrime: A new use of the revamped "B-modding" machines that Tom Thumb had built.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Not only for the Squadron, but also for The Skrull, whose homeworld has been destroyed by Galactus
- Zero-Effort Boss: Master Menace. That's because he's not the real boss.