The Cast: Gladiator, Supreme
The Catalyst: A being whose power rivals that of Gladiator’s has destroyed a Shi’ar vessel and is interfering with the planet called Denum-7, a planet critical to the Shi’ar.
The Convergence: The Shi’ar send Gladiator out to confront the person they believe responsible, a being called Supreme and that is indeed what happens.
The Critique: In what is perhaps the best crossover to come from Rob Liefeld’s studios and Marvel Comics, it would feature two characters that nobody would really be clamouring for to meet and yet, it would work quite well when all was said and done. One has to assume that the book takes place during Supreme Madness for this version of Supreme seems to be just that, mad as a hatter while he continually spouts religious verse about false idols and judgement and so forth. It is refreshing to see the hero as the villain and the sometimes villain as the hero and Giffen does a great job at setting that all up. Here, readers will see Supreme destroying a ship for essentially no reason and then move on in his seemingly purposeful quest to rid the universe of false idols or whatever it is he thinks he is doing. As for Gladiator, he does what he is ordered to do and as Denum-7 is a planet the Shi’ar needs, defending it becomes his top priority. What follows is a battle between the two powerhouses that lasts for nearly the entire issue and as such, even though it is oversized, it flies by in no time at all. The artwork by Ed Benes and Carlos Mota is quite good and a perfect fit for the book, the two delivering throughout on a consistent basis with the action looking particularly great. What would have been nice to see was a little context as to why Supreme was acting as he did, just why it is that he seemed to think of himself as some sort of redeemer and why he thought his will should be imposed upon others in the universe but as it stands, the book fires on all cylinders and ends up being quite enjoyable as a whole. Though one might think it a strange crossover, it will surprise and more than likely delight and is worth seeking out if one wants to read a fun, inconsequential crossover.
The Credits: Keith Giffen – Writer, Ed Benes and Carlos Mota – Artist, Jose Pimentel with Wellington Diaz and Rene Micheletti – Inkers, Scott Rockwell and Graphic Colorworks – Colours, Richard Starkings – Letters
Companies Involved: Marvel Comics, Maximum Press
Chronology: March 1997