THE SUPER SOLDIERS

Membership: Dalton (Dauntless), Dragonfly (Andre LeRoux), Gog (Owen Llewelyn), Guvnor (Andrew Black), Joseph Hauer (Invincible), Xantia; formerly Paul Turner (Dreadnaught, deceased), Kenneth Wright (Victory, deceased), Oscar Black (Challenger, deceased), Lee Childs (Revenge, deceased)

Purpose: Autonomous superhero response unit

Affiliations: absorbed into the Mercy Corporation;
Captain America, Dr. Jahved Khan (deceased), Mr. Stasser,
Sarah Wilde, U.S. Agent;
formerly the British Government and Empire Chemical Enterprises (ECE)

Enemies: Empire Chemical Enterprises (ECE), Childs, Sir Marcus Grantby-Fox, Hydra, Warlord of the Savage Land (Huang Zhu), Mandarin, Shinobi Shaw

Base of Operations: Mercy Science Central, Alaska;
formerly the Super Soldiers headquarters in London and various ECE safe houses in the U.K.

First Appearance: Super Soldiers#1 (April 1993)

History: (Super Soldiers#1(fb)/#2(fb)) - Black, Childs, Dalton, Hauer, Turner and Wright were subjected to a super soldier program devised by Doctors Richard Brown, Jahved Khan, Bruce McDonald, Simon Ogilvey and Arnold Stratton. They were given genetically altered organs to control their moods and increase their fighting abilities by producing the same drugs that the pill-popping Nuke had used. The team were originally ran by the cabinet and answered only to the prime minister. On a mission on the Thai/Cambodean border, Childs lost control and killed Black, Turner and Wright, while seriously injuring Dalton, who limped off into the jungle, and Hauer. Around this time the british super soldier program was cancelled, and Hauer was placed in suspended animation, while Childs became personal bodyguard to Sir Marcus. Sir Marcus also used early test subjects from the super soldier program as a Corporate Commando unit, also known as the Super Squadies.

(Super Soldiers#1-5) - Hauer awoke from suspended animation and broke free. Quickly making friends with journalist Sarah Wilde, they tracked down Doctor Khan in order to fill in the gaps in Hauer's memory. They travelled to the Thai/Cambodean border, where they found Dalton. After a brief battle with U.S. Agent and Sir Marcus's Super Squadies, Hauer convinced U.S. Agent and Gog (one of the Squadies )to help them attack ECE headquarters. With help from Captain America, the attack was successful. During the fighting Childs was killed.

(Super Soldiers#6,7) - Dalton, Gog and Hauer decided to work for the British government, with Sarah in an advisory role. They were recruited by SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) to capture the Warlord (Huang Zhu), who was working with Hydra, and hosting a martial arts tournament in the Savage Land. SHIELD and the Super Soldiers broke up the HYDRA operation, which involved the creations of some genetically engineered "super-poppies" (synthetic opium-derivative). Unbeknownst to them, the information they gained had been leaked by the Mandarin and Shinobi Shaw, who wished to have the HYDRA operation eliminated for their own reasons. As a result of this adventure, the Super Soldiers gained three new members: Dragonfly, Guvnor and Xantia.

(Super Soldiers#8) - After an uneventful U.N. peacekeeping mission, the team returned home to find that funding for the Super Soldiers had been cut by the Cabinet Office. The team was sold to Mercy Corporation, who only wanted superhuman recruits, and Dragonfly, Sarah and Xantia had to leave. The remaining members were relocated to Mercy Science Central in Alaska, where they were tossed in with Mercy's group of malcontents and tested for future missions.

COMMENTS: Created by Lee Stevens and Andrew Currie, for Marvel UK.

All in all the Super Soldiers stories had great potential, I enjoyed rereading them while doing this profile. Hauer and co were great fun to read its a shame that Marvel UK these days are limited to reprints of mainstream U.S. titles such as Spider-man and the X-Men (where us brits all seem to talk like Chamber for some reason). Some of these stories and others were collected in the Marvel UK publication Overkill which ran for fifty two issues before being cancelled.

The British Government placed a D-notice on anything to do with their Super Soldiers project. The Super Soldiers comic described the D-notice as "a banning order that the British Government can impose for reasons of National Security". Perhaps that's the real reason why the comic was cancelled...

Here's some more on the D-notice courtesy of Loki:

The D-Notice or Defense Notice to give its full name, is an agreement by the media to self-censor their output when news they are giving out may be harmful to the safety of the nation, because it will provide enemy intelligence services with information best denied to them.

Loki also confirmed for me that the D-notice had been used in Doctor Who Magazine:

Known instances of the D-Notice being used in Doctor Who are pretty much all the UNIT stories (at least according to the books and Doctor Who Magazine, if not the actual series itself), particularly those involving Sarah Jane Smith, who was a journalist. It was probably also applied during the Dalek incursion of 1963 (Remembrance of the Daleks). This of course makes no sense if you actually know what the Notice is meant for, as UNIT is an international organisation run by the UN - which enemy are you denying knowledge to? All you are doing with press censorship in UNIT's case is stopping the public from finding out the truth. This might make sense to prevent panic, but it wouldn't be a D-Notice that would be used.

It should be noted that the D-Notice is a voluntary agreement between the press and the authorities, and can be ignored (although there would be consequences as the authorities wouldn't be too happy with whoever chose to ignore them). There is a fuller detailing of what it involves on the following website: The D Notice

Super-Soldiers#9 and 10 were scheduled to be part of the "Red Mist" cross-over storyline, which never came out. It involved a virus accidentally induced in government's super soldier program, set have run thru new series Death Duty, 'Roid Rage, and Bloodrush, as well as Wild Thing#9+10. Super-Soldiers#9 would also have featured the Punisher (Frank Castle).--Snood.

Black can be seen in a colorless faceshot in Super Soldiers#2, but I can't identify him well. Turner and Wright aren't shown on panel, unless you want to count their char-broiled corpses after Childs was done with them.

The full names of Dreadnaught, Challenger, Victory, Revenge and the several doctors involed in the project were revealed in Marvel Atlas#1.

Profile by: Changeling

CLARIFICATIONS:

The Super Soldiers have no known connection to:

Challenger (Black) has no known connection to:

Dreadnaught (Turner) has no known connection to:

Victory (Wright) has no known connection to:


Sarah Wilde

Journalist Sarah Wilde had worked for the Guardian and the New Statesmen, and lived in Brixton, London. Unbeknownst to her M.I.5 were tapping her phone line, and she was listed as a subversive to be rounded up in the event of World War III. She met Hauer upon his escape from the Orgley Biological Warfare Research Centre. She had been working on a story based on the rumours of a Super Soldier project, after several genetic research scientists, and former employees at the centre, had committed suicide in dubious circumstances (they had actually been executed for reasons of national security). She ended up helping Hauer and getting her story, but the Government banned it. She found herself on the dole until Hauer offered her work with the Super Soldiers. When the team was sold to Mercy Corporation she had to leave, but still helped Hauer to find information on Strasser and his organisation. She had journalistic skills and was a superb hacker.

--Super Soldiers#1 (2-7


The Super Soldiers Headquarters

Used by the Super Soldiers after their initial defeat of Sir Marcus, until they relocated to Mercy Science Central. The main entrance was in Temple, London, and appeared to be a normal building, but it led into a vast underground complex. It had originally been a command bunker, and was built during World War II. It was one of several built under London, but had never been used. The hanger, where they stored their vehicles, had a tunnel leading several miles to a launch point near Battersea Heliport. There was, of course, a huge armoury, stocked with weapons supplied by Stark Enterprises.

Here (on the right) is a scan of Arundel House, of Arundel Street, London, which was where Marvel UK's offices were in the 90's. Compare this picture to the one of the Super Soldiers HQ and you will see the similarities! Obviously the two buildings are meant to be one and the same. I was under the impression that Avengers Mansion had the same address as the Marvel offices in New York at one point, though I can't remember when and where I noticed that!


Appearances:
Super Soldiers#1-5 (April-August, 1993) - Michael Bennett & Lee Stevens (writers), Andrew Currie (pencils), Rodney Ramos (inks)
Super Soldiers#6-7 (September-October, 1993) - Lee Stevens (writer), Andrew Currie (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks)
Super Soldiers#8 (November, 1993) - Lee Stevens (writer), Mike Ratera (pencils), Robin Riggs (inks)


Last updated: 04/20/03.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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