Review: Squadron Sinister #1

The Good

Writer Marc Guggenheim is best known today as an Executive Producer for some of DC’s TV properties, so he was the perfect fit for a Marvel title that’s really just a DC team book with Marvel spin. Guggenheim really gets the Marvel spin, too, and this alternate version of a team from an alternate publisher truly feels like the JSA of DC’s Earth-3 (is that place even a thing anymore?), but the writer also succeeds in pulling off the Secret Wars hook that’s necessary for the series. The evil, unrest, and distrust of everything the Squadron Sinister are involved with oozes out of the story, but never feels apart from either Marvel, Secret Wars, or the characters’ roots at DC Comics. Carlos Pacheco’s art is full of emotion and style, but truly shines during the brilliantly rendered action scenes. The fights on this ish are, in a word, incredible, and worth the cover price all on its own.

The Bad

There still something that feels gimmicky about both the Squadron Supreme and the Squadron Sinister that continues to make them feel like Marvel outsiders. I felt the same way about Hyperion in Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers run, and that’s been magnified to the Nth degree with an entire series dedicated to these ripoffs. There’s simply no way that these characters are going to make it into the Marvel U proper for any extended period of time, and even if Hyperion has risen to a level of popularity that makes him a viable B-Lister, that’s as high as he’ll ever get. It takes the air out of the entire premise of even dealing with these characters just a bit.

The Verdict

Despite feeling unimportant in the overall scope of the Marvel Universe, Squadron Sinister is wildly entertaining comic book, full of extreme violence, evil, and mistrust wrapped around something that is both inherently Marvel and DC, with an unmistakable Secret Wars flavor. Expertly crafted writing and artwork make this ish a terrific read that you should only miss if you’re dead set against the very idea of a JL ripoff…because this series has a lot of them.

Story: 4 Out of 5
Art: 4 Out of 5
Overall: 4 Out of 5

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