Comics Reviews

Marvel’s Superman and the Eternals Are Connected


Today, discover the surprising connection that Hyperion, Marvel’s Superman, had to the Eternals.

This is “Foundationed Deep,” a feature where we look at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II).

The Squadron Supreme’s history is built around a faux-crossover between the Avengers and the Justice League. In 1969, Roy Thomas was writing the Avengers and his friend, Denny O’Neil, was writing Justice League of America. Thomas was actually the person who directly recruited O’Neil into comics (O’Neil was working for a newspaper in St. Louis and would occasionally write about comic books in his columns and those columns drew Thomas’ attention and so he recommended O’Neil try out as a writer for Marvel. O’Neil worked for Marvel for a few years before moving to DC in the late 1960s), so the two were close.


They came up with the idea of having a “secret” crossover between the Justice League and the Avengers. In Avengers #70 (by Thomas, Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger), the Avengers are forced by the Grandmaster and Kang to battle against a collection of supervillains known as he Squadron Sinister.

The Squadron consisted of Hyperion, Nighthawk, Dr. Spectrum and the Whizzer. Thor, Iron Man, Goliath and Captain America were matched up with those four villains. As you might have gathered, Hyperion was based on Superman, Nighthawk was based on Batman, Dr. Spectrum was based on Green Lantern and the Whizzer was based on the Flash. Over in Justice League of America #75 (by O’Neil, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella), O’Neil handled the faux crossover in a less obvious fashion. He had the Justice League face off against duplicate versions of themselves, just had each of the evil duplicates stand-in for the aforementioned quartet of Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Goliath and Captain America). For instance, Evil Superman mentions that he’s as strong as Zeus or Thor, evil Hawkman mentions that he’s as strong as Iron, evil Atom notes that he can become a goliath and evil Batman uses a trash can lid as a shield.


In Avengers #85-86 (by Thomas, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Frank Giacoia and Jim Mooney), the Avengers found themselves transported to another dimension where they met the heroes of that world, the heroic versions of the Squadron Sinister, the Squadron Supreme! And Hyperion was there, of course (like most first meetings between superheroes, a misunderstanding led to the two teams fighting each other)…

RELATED: The Eternals’ Movie Villain Was Secretly Behind the Fantastic Four’s First Mission

HYPERION COMES TO EARTH!

Years later, in the epic maxiseries, Squadron Supreme (by Mark Gruenwald, Bob Hall, Paul Ryan, John Buscema, John Beatty, Sam De La Rosa, Jackson Guice and Keith Williams), Hyperion decides that the best way to cure the problems of Earth was for the Squadron Supreme to essentially take over control of the planet and fix all of the problems of humanity. Hyperion’s best friend and teammate, Nighthawk, quit the team over the plan and silently put together a team to take down the Squadron from within.


The final conflict was bloody and left a number of heroes dead, including Nighthawk. Hyperion realized that they had gone too far and so he called off their control of the world and disbands the Squadron Supreme. This, though, was followed up directly by a striking graphic novel called Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (by Gruenwald, Ryan and Al Williamson), where the heroes of the Squadron Supreme (who had fought each other practically to the death a week earlier) now had to face the fact that the earth had only twelve hours left before it was destroyed! So they all had to work together again for the greater good.


The rest of the volume is a somber examination of just how the heroes of the world would react to something like this. In the end, after exhausting all of their options, the heroes prepare for the end, only to see reality shared by the unborn child of one of their members, who sacrifices itself to save the universe. However, the Squadron are then sent to the main Marvel Earth after it was all done in Quasar #13 (by Gruenwald, Mike Manley and Dan Panosian) and briefly have a fight with Quasar…

Gotta keep that “misunderstanding when heroes meet leading to a fight” streak going!

Quasar signals to his friend, the Eternal Makkari, for help, but by the time Makkari gets there, things had settled down, but Makkari’s arrival is worth it just for the X-Men joke…


RELATED: Which Sinister Six Villain Was Recruited by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants?

HYPERION DISCOVERS HIS CONNECTION TO THE ETERNALS

Makkari oddly keeps on staring at Hyperion…

He’s so obvious about it that Hyperion even asks him what his deal is…

The old Squadron Supreme villain, the Over-Mind, shows up and takes control of the Squadron again (except for Hyperion) and Quasar has to go save them. Over-Mind takes them to the Stanger’s planet, which is filled with obscure characters from Marvel history. When Quasar, Hyperion and Makkari travel to the Stanger’s planet, they split up and Hyperion and Makkari are really sort of out of it for most of the story (we see them accosted by other obscure characters, but they’re not really part of the main story). Hyperion, by the way, had his eyes injured in the Squadron Supreme maxiseries, but suddenly his eyes are healed. But WHY?

Well, you see, off-panel (and revealed in Quasar #16 by Gruenwald, Manley, Panosian and Keith Willams), Makkari explained to Hyperion that Hyperion is ALSO an Eternal, just an Eternal from the Squadron Supreme’s universe and is the only survivor of that universe’s Eternals and since Eternals have control over their molecules, Hyperion was able to fix his own eyes…

Hyperion’s Eternals connection never really played all that big of a role with the character moving forward, but it’s still a clever idea by Mark Gruenwald.

If anyone has a suggestion for a Foundationed Deep (retroactive connections between characters), feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com.

KEEP READING: How Did a Forgotten Daredevil Villain Turn Marvel’s Kate Bishop into Hawkeye

Marvel’s Powerful New God of Hammers May Kill Thor – Here’s Why (and How)


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