The last page of the story within Avengers #700 re-introduces a superhero team that seem to threaten the future of the Avengers. Worst of all, they’re under the control of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and on the payroll of the United States.
We are talking about the Squadron Supreme Of America here.
For a team that started as a homage to DC’s Justice League, the Squadron Supreme has been appealing since long and also has a complicated history. The concept first came in Avengers #69-70 as the Squadron Sinister, where the faux-Justice League was established as the villains to present the readers with a fight between Marvel’s heroes and DC’s heroes. The concept kept evolving in Avengers #85-86 when the team showed up as the heroic counterparts of Sinister Supreme, even working alongside Avengers to overcome the Brain Child.
Hyperion was Superman, Power Princess was Wonder Woman, Whizzer was The Flash and Nighthawk was Batman. Doctor Spectrum was Green Lantern and so on. The lineup of the group has changed on multiple occasions over the years. The first change came in the 1985 miniseries by Bob Hall, Mark Grunewald and Buscema to their more recent outing in 2015 by Leonard Kirk and James Robinson. And now, there’s evidence that this new team from Avengers #700 might be yet another incarnation.
The current team is led by Black Panther and has separated itself from the US Government. While General Ross isn’t very happy about America not having a superhero team of its own, Namor is leading an Atlantean team called ‘Defenders of the Deep’. Ross takes the matter in his own hands and hires Phil Coulson to assemble a new team for the government.
By the end of #700, Coulson introduces General Ross to the Squadron Supreme of America, a new name for the team which seems totally fitting for the situation. There are some subtle changes in the characters, like minor costume changes for Whizzer and Hyperion, while Nighthawk is Black. Coulson introduces them saying that “they’re the country’s newest and greatest heroes”.
While Nighthawk and Hyperion have been prominent figures in the Marvel Universe for years now, this brand new version of the team may be imposters dressed like the Squadron Supreme or maybe something else entirely. We will get to know more as the story proceeds further.