Reviews: Best ’90s Supreme Storylines

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REVIEWS

In 'The Legend Of Supreme' (1994) #3, Supreme leaves the Earth in anguish over his killing of Father Beam.
In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1995) #3, Supreme leaves the Earth in anguish over his killing of Father Beam. Photo/Image Comics

IN Reading Guides, Lists, Reviews

’90s SUPREME STORYLINES RANKED BEST TO WORST

STAR RATINGS:

Best: 5 to 4.5 stars.

Good: 4 to 3 stars.

Bad: 2.5 to 2 stars.

Worst: 1.5 to 0 stars.

BEST: ‘THE LEGEND OF SUPREME’ (1994).

Collects ‘The Legend of Supreme’ #1-3.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dialogue: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Plot: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Characterization: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Art: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Notably, Alan Moore’s Supreme has been celebrated as the definitive version of the character. In 1994, Keith Giffen previously worked on the series. In many respects, ‘The Legend of Supreme’ gave the anti-hero his most distinctive style.

Really, the world of superheroes has its saviors, anti-heroes and vigilantes. To begin, the story is set in 1939. Fortuitously, a reporter named Maxine Winslow investigates Supreme’s “origin story.” But, what she finds about the hero is shocking. In “The Gospel According To Ethan Crane,” the savior reveals in a manuscript his religious motivations behind his particular brand of justice.

Here, Supreme blends the vigilantism of the Golden Age with religious crusading. In the Modern Age, superheroes are rarely portrayed as saviors, with right reason. However, Liefield’s more self-righteous hero is properly a messiah. And when Father Beam disapproves of his methods, tragedy follows.

Definitely, this story is a good primer on Supreme. What makes it work, is the earnestness of the characters and their chemistry. Without a doubt, it is geared towards an adult audience.

INTERESTED IN THIS STORY? CLICK ON “LEGEND OF SUPREME #’s 1-3 Complete story BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

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BEST: “SUPREME: THE STORY OF THE YEAR” (1996).

Collects ‘Supreme’ #41-52.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dialogue: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Plot: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Characterization: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Art: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

To this day, Alan Moore is revered as a legendary writer in the comic genre. In fact, he won the 1997 Eisner Award for Best Writer. To this end, the comic legend has produced for DC Comics some of the most celebrated works in the genre. Namely, I speak of “Watchmen” and “V For Vendetta.” Furthermore, his work on Supreme led to a rebirth of the character in 1996.

Without a doubt, “The Story Of The Year,” is Moore’s most influential work on Supreme. Successfully, Moore converted Supreme from a violent ’90s Superman analogue to an optimistic Superman-like hero. As Reed-Hinckley Barnes from Multiversity notes, there is a meta message in Supreme’s story arc about superheroes and the stories about them.

SILVER AGE

To this end, Moore’s story arc incorporates Silver Age-style flashbacks into each issue’s narrative structure. In some sense, they are the result of editorial “revisions” that function as comics within the comic issue. In reality, following his quest for meaning, Supreme’s amnesia caused the character’s Limbo. Therefore, it was up to the character to regain his roots in order to truly become a Silver Age Superman. Certainly, the effect is to turn the whole work into a classic.

Indeed, Alan Moore completely revamped the hero. In fact, Supreme is every bit the Image Comics version of Superman: He was raised in Littlehaven where he began his superhero career as a Kid Supreme; as an adult, he moved to Omegapolis; Darius Dax, his nemesis is a Lex Luthor pastiche; Supreme even joined the Allies and the Infinity League in the 1940s. Overall, what makes the story arc work is its emphasis on family, tradition and child-like adventure.

Definitely, this story is essential Supreme and Alan Moore fans will love the Silver Age flashbacks.

INTERESTED IN THIS STORY? CLICK ON “Alan Moore’s: Supreme: The Story of the Year” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

CHECK OUT THE REVIEW: ’80s HE-MAN AND MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE STORYLINES RANKED FROM BEST TO WORST.

BEST: ‘SUPREME: THE RETURN’ (1999).

Collects ‘Supreme: The Return’ #1-6

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dialogue: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Plot: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Characterization: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Art: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Notably, ‘Supreme: The Return,’ marks the grand return of Supreme’s arch-nemesis, Darius Dax. In “The Most Powerful Image Heroes From The ’90s,” Supreme is at the top. Unfortunately, due to a Moore company collapse, the last two issues in the arc were not completed. Nevertheless, this story arc is included on this list as important Supreme comics.

Moreover, Supreme’s level of power in the final issue is unrivaled. Indeed, in a meta-narrative, Supreme meets DC and Marvel pastiches before meeting the “Monarch.” In grand style, Supreme encounters the Writer, Jack Kirby, in idea space. Faced with Kirby’s world, the Writer states Supreme’s level of power allows him to achieve virtually anything. In fact, such is the nature of Supremium that it warps reality.

In the end, Supreme recounts his adventure to his new girlfriend, Diana Dane. Certainly, Supreme seems to have come of age, finally accepting his secret identity and his superhero life. Definitely, this is a must-have to your Supreme collection.

INTERESTED IN THIS STORY? CLICK ON ‘Supreme. The return’ BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.


RESOURCES

VISIT SUPREME READING ORDERS:

Alan Moore’s Forgotten Awesome: The Upcoming Forgotten Awesome Reading Order.

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SOURCES

The Legend of Supreme #1 in Comic Vine.
SUPREME: The Story of the Year in Publishers Weekly.
Supreme: The Story of the Year in Multiversity Comics.
Alan Moore at Awesome, Day 1: Supreme in The Comics Cube.
Supreme: The Return in Comic Vine.
The Most Powerful Image Superheroes From The ’90s, Officially Ranked in CBR.com.
SUPREME: The Return in Publishers Weekly.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Superman #204.

Image Day: Ethan Crane Gains Super Powers In ‘The Gospel According To Ethan Crane’

IMAGE DAY

In 'The Legend Of Supreme' (1994) #1, Supreme kills researchers at GeneTech World Headquarters in condemnation of genetic research.
In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1994) #1, Supreme kills researchers at GeneTech World Headquarters in condemnation of genetic research. Photo/Marvel Comics

IN IMAGE UNIVERSE

ETHAN CRANE KILLS TWO MEN BECAUSE OF RAPE

In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1994) #1, a reporter named Maxine Winslow investigates the “origin story” of Supreme and of how he gained his super powers. He was born Ethan Crane. In 1937, in St. Louis, Ethan Crane walks up to two men in a bar and accuses them of the rape of a 15 year-old girl.

Declining comments about religion and penance, Crane pulls up a gun and kills the two men. Walking into the street with the gun in his hand, he gets stopped by two police officers. Crane gets shot.

In 'The Legend Of Supreme' (1994) #1, Ethan Crane shots two men with a gun over the rape of a 15 year-old girl.
In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1994) #1, Ethan Crane shots two men with a gun over the rape of a 15 year-old girl. Photo/Image Comics

ETHAN CRANE PARTICIPATES IN GOVERNMENT EXPERIMENT

Crane survives the shootings by the two police officers. However, he gets sentenced to life in prison for his crime. Maxine in her investigation interrogates Sophie, the 15 year-old that was raped by the two men Crane killed.

Sophie Miles reveals that in prison, Crane received the proposition to participate in a government experiment to enhance humans and grant them super powers. Crane accepted. One of the researchers on the project revealed to Maxine that Crane was the seventh of all the participants who were experimented on to grant them super powers. Crane actually died.

In 'The Legend Of Supreme' (1994) #1, Ethan Crane is the seventh participant in a government project to enhance humans.
In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1994) #1, Ethan Crane is the seventh participant in a government project to enhance humans. Photo/Marvel Comics

SUPREME IS BORN AND LEAVES EARTH

Ethan Crane actually is reborn from the government experiment. In 1939, he reaches out to Maxine and sends her the manuscript of “The Gospel According To Ethan Crane” which details his life since being reborn and the manifestation of his super powers. “On The First Day”, in 1939, Crane finds sanctuary at Father Beam’s church.

Looking at the Cross, Crane has a religious experience that triggers his super powers. It is flight. Supreme is born. During an argument with Father Beam over Supreme’s killings of seven men, Supreme accidentally kills Father Beam. Supreme leaves Earth in anguish.

In 'The Legend Of Supreme' (1994) #3, Supreme leaves the Earth in anguish over his killing of Father Beam.
In ‘The Legend Of Supreme’ (1995) #3, Supreme leaves the Earth in anguish over his killing of Father Beam. Photo/Image Comics

COMIC GALLERY

In ‘Supreme’ (1997) #49, Supreme and the Allies face the menace of Optilux.


SOURCES

The Legend of Supreme #1 in Comic Vine.
The Legend of Supreme #3 in Comic Vine.
Supreme #49 in Comic Vine.

FAN REACTION

How do fans feel about Supreme gaining super powers? Sound off in the comments.

Feat: Supreme, Supreme #1

SUPREME (ETHAN CRANE)

In ‘Supreme’ (1992) #1, titled ‘Second Coming’, Supreme performs a super-speed feat. Supreme returns to Earth. In space, Supreme flies into Diehard of Youngblood.

How much super-speed does it take to fly into Diehard in space?

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In ‘Supreme’ (1992) #1, Supreme performs a super-speed feat. Supreme flies into Diehard of Youngblood in space. Photo/Image Comics

SUPREME FLEW INTO DIEHARD, BOTH WITH A TOTAL KINETIC ENERGY OF 58,454,593 J BEFORE THE COLLISION.

SUPREME FLEW WITH THE EQUIVALENT OF THE SPEED OF A COMET OF 2,000 MPH ENOUGH TO INCREASE THE TOTAL KINETIC ENERGY OF THE SYSTEM TO 77,725,338 J.

SUPER-SPEED FEAT:

STELLAR

For more information on conservation of momentum, visit the Omni-Calculator.

Head over to ‘Gladiator vs. Supreme: Superman Clones Epic Fight Explained‘ by BannerIncredibleHulk.


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SOURCES

Supreme #1 in Comic Vine.

Image Day: Supreme

Supreme and Radar

Today we talk about a character that is lesser known. Supreme was created by Rob Liefeld for Image Comics as a violent and angry Superman analogue. He was taken over by Alan Moore who created him as a “tribute to [the] Silver Age Superman”. (Supreme)

A bit on his origin.

Supreme, Radar, and Suprema

Ethan Crane, the son by adoption of Joe and Joanne Crane of Littlehaven. Supreme gained his super powers through exposure to Supremium radiation in 1925. “The radiation caused his hair to turn white” and granted him formidable super powers such as:

super strength, flight, invulnerability, super speed, durability, heat vision, ice breath, x-ray vision, energy absorption, atom manipulation, immortality via superhuman adaptation, regeneration, the ability to come back from death, skill with alien technology. (Supreme)

Supreme is vulnerable only to Supremium radiation.

He served in the military during World War II and joined the Allied Supermen of America, the first superhero team. He became a founding member of the Allies, “the premier superhero team of the 1960s”. (Supreme)

SUPER FEAT: Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia “from the path of a tidal wave”

Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia "from the path of a tidal wave."
Supreme averts floods in India by pushing the continent of Asia “from the path of a tidal wave.” Photo/Image Comics

Supreme’s origin story is recounted in “The Origin of Supreme” in Supreme #42.