This next batch of issues that I’m reviewing continues the revolving door of creative teams. Rob Liefeld is credited with “story” on issues #20, 22–23, with Kurt Hathaway scripting #19–21, and then Gary Carlson takes over as scripter for #22-23. Artists on the ensuing issues include Marat Mychaels, Cedric Nocon, Joe Bennett, and Mark Pajarillo. This artistic inconsistency is evident when in Supreme #21 his costume suddenly sports the big gold shoulder-pads, which are once again missing in #22 (which is the 2nd part of a 2-part story), and then in #23 the white spaces on Supreme’s costume now have outer space imagery on it. There’s also some story contradictions, which I’ll get to later.
Supreme, recovering from his actions in the SUPREME MADNESS storyline, goes back to his former flame Louise Masterson’s grave. He remembers an incident where she was kidnapped by a local mob boss. We have a continuity conflict here as the flashback is said to take place in 1947, but it had been established in the first issue that Supreme left Earth in 1945, right after World War II ended. Anyway, this memory makes Supreme decide to look into modern day organized crime, which brings him into conflict with mob boss Tony Twistelli from Tod McFarlane’s SPAWN, who then hires a cyborg hit man named OVERT-KILL (whom Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane created under the direction Stan Lee in 1992), to protect him against Supreme. In this adventure we get the first official introduction of the new KID SUPREME. 16 year old Danny Fuller from California was in D.C. on field trip with his class, and he says that during Supreme’s fight with UNION in SUPREME #14 he was hit with with residual radiation or blast of energy that gave him super powers. His initial goal is to try and join YOUNGBLOOD, but he gets mixed up with Supreme and helps him fight Overt-Kill and in end he adopts the superhero name KID SUPREME. As you can see from this cover, his look is very 90’s (and similar to DC’s version of Superboy at the time), with his vest-jacket:
This was followed up by a two-part story where Supreme is summoned to Asgard and must face Thor in a series of contests to see who has the right to wield Thor’s hammer. Supreme, of course, desperately needs that hammer, now that he is powerless without it. Nevertheless, when Loki secretly offers to help him cheat, Supreme refuses, wishing to win fairly. But Loki uses his magic to help Supreme anyway. After Supreme defeats Thor, Loki’s deception is uncovered, and Supreme prepares to give back the hammer because he doesn’t want a tainted victory. But Odin is impressed with Supreme’s honor, and allows him to keep the hammer. And the penultimate issue is SUPREME #23, which is part 2 of an 8-part crossover called EXTREME SACRIFICE which ran through the Extreme Studios books at the time. The issue begins with Supreme on the moon, thinking of recent events, which are said to be Keith Giffen’s LEGEND OF SUPREME #1-3, which this issue says took place in between Supreme #22-23 (although that’s contradicted by the fact that Supreme was fully-powered in that series, but nevermind). A mysterious time traveling villain called CRYPT shows up.
He attacks Supreme, and the fight does not go well for Supreme.
The battles ends up back on Earth, where Crypt takes Thor’s hammer, leaving Supreme helpless. But Supreme still refuses to beg, and tells Crypt that if he wants to kill him “Shut up and get it over with!”
And that’s it, SUPREME is dead! Seriously, he’s dead. Crypt tosses the corpse into an ally and leaves (with Thor’s hammer).
In an epilogue, SPAWN appears, as some of his homeless friends take him to see the body, but all they find in the ally is Supreme’s bloody cape. The body is missing…