THE SOLDIER SUPREME

Real Name: Sebastian Szardos

Identity/Class: Human magic user (World War II era)

Occupation: Military sergeant

Group Membership: The Secret Invaders (Blade/Eric Brooks, the crew of Tank 666, War-Thing)

Affiliations: The Ancient One, Phil, the Secret Invaders, Steve;
    indirectly the Avengers (Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, Echo/Maya Lopez, Starbrand/Brandy Selby, Thor/Thor Odinson, Valkyrie/Jane Foster)

Enemies: Mephisto, U-666

Known Relatives: Unidentified grandmother, unidentified ancestors

Aliases: "The American Wizard," "the Sorcerer Joe," "the Two-Fisted Mystic"

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout Europe

First Appearance: Avengers VII#50 (February, 2022)

Powers/Abilities: Sgt. Szardos, the Soldier Supreme, was sufficient in the mystic arts, familiar with and able to cast a variety of spells, including exorcism spells and spells that allowed him to levitate and communicate with astral projections.

He also wielded a mystic Breathing Gun, which was capable of destroying demons with its bullets, and the Eye of Agamotto artifact, which he used to commune with the Ancient One.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'2")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 175 lbs.)
Eyes: Blonde
Hair: Light brown

History:
(Avengers VII#57 (fb) - BTS) - Sebastian Szardos grew up with his grandmother telling him that the Szardos family had witch blood in their veins going all the way back to the "Old World" of Wundagore Mountain. In 1942, soldier Sebastian Szardos was chosen for a secret mission against occult Thule Society tomb raiders. While on the mission in the Himalayas, Szardos' entire unit was wiped out by astral assassins. Somehow killing all of the assassins, Szardos ultimately passed out and later woke to finding himself facing the mystic Ancient One. Training for a time with the Ancient One in the ways of the mystic arts, Szardos ultimately returned to his military service with incomplete mystic training.

(Avengers VII#50 (fb) - BTS) - Sgt. Szardos was assigned the Secret Invaders military unit, which he assumed command of.

(Avengers VIII#50) - As he passed through time towards his own present day, the time-traveling Ka-Zar briefly saw Sgt. Szardos, the Soldier Supreme.


(Avengers VII#57) - By 1943, Szardos had grown a mustache and he was trailing the Nazi secret weapon devised by the Thule Society known as U-666. He hitched a ride on a hospital ship full of nuns as it crossed the Irish Sea, figuring both the nuns and himself would be sufficient bait for the Nazis. Sure enough, the Mephisto-possessed ship U-666 appeared and attacked the vessel. Szardos fought back with his Breathing Gun, eventually sinking the demon-possessed u-boat. His diving suit damaged in the battle, Szardos passed out and was pulled out of the water by soldiers on a nearby deserted island, all of which had been equally stranded by U-666. Gathering his gear, Szardos suspected something might have survived of U-666 and he became a bit antsy, warning the soldiers to keep their distance, as they might all possibly be in danger. One of the soldiers, Phil, soon collapsed and became possessed by the demon Mephisto, attacking the other soldiers and rushing Szardos. Szardos cast a spell and ordered the other soldiers to get away from Phil but they ignored orders and dogpiled onto their possessed friend in an effort to hold him down. Szardos quietly remarked that it wouldn't make any difference as Mephisto departed Phil's body and jumped into another soldier, Steve, whose body he used to shoot Phil dead. Mephisto/Steve then began shooting wildly, forcing the other soldiers to flee as Mephisto demanded the Eye of Agamotto from Szardos' neck.

    Realizing the same demon that had been possessing U-666 had washed up on the island shore just as he had and was now possessing the soldiers, Sgt. Szardos, unfamiliar with Mephisto directly, gunned the possessed Steve with his Breathing Gun. He then ordered the remaining soldiers to leave or risk themselves also being possessed. Weeks later, after all of the soldiers had ultimately become possessed and had to be killed, Sgt. Szardos kneeled at the grave of the most recently killed soldier and meditated, contacting the Ancient One to ask how he could end Mephisto's attacks. The Ancient One identified Mephisto as a Hell-lord and warned that exorcising him from the Earthly plane would be a struggle unlike any Szardos had ever faced. The Ancient One managed to inform Szardos that he would have to learn the demon's true name and lay hands on the body it possessed before the astral connection was cut short by an attack by a Mephisto-possessed plane. Szardos ducked for cover and he commented that laying hands on the possessed might prove a bit harder than he had imagined before yelling at the plane to reveal the demon's name. As if in response, fiery birds appeared next to Szardos and revealed the demon's name as Mephisto and moments later, the Mephisto-possessed plane and its Nazi support was attacked by the time-traveling Avengers of the modern era.

    Taking advantage of the distraction, Sgt. Szardos searched for a means to attack Mephisto directly and surprisingly found a plane nearby, unaware that it had secretly been left for him by the Avenger Captain Marvel. Using the plane to get into the air near the Mephisto-possessed plane, Szardos allowed Mephisto to shoot up his plane and when Mephisto drew in for the kill, Szardos leaped onto the Mephisto-possessed plane and invoked the power of the Vishanti to exorcise Mephisto from the Earthly plane. Crashing back to the ground in the damaged, formerly possessed plane, Szardos waited for his unit to pick him up and eventually, his Secret Invaders squad arrived.

(Avengers VII#64) - Not long after, the modern day Phoenix Force host, Echo, reached out through time to seek the aid of history's greatest heroes and she telepathically contacted Sgt. Szardos in 1943. Hearing the call, Szardos lent his mystic aid from across the years, invoking the power of the Vishanti and the authority of the Allied Powers.

(Avengers VII#50 - BTS) - Over time, the legend of Sgt. Szardos became forgotten and lost to the ages.

Comments: Created by Jason Aaron, Aaron Kuder, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Ed McGuinness and Javier Garron.

    Sgt. Szardos appears on the cover of Avengers VII#61 amongst the various Avengers from other realities and time periods but he does not appear in the actual issue itself.

    With that distinctive surname & magical heritage, there's a good chance he's related to Margali [Szardos, of the Winding Way]. Also, his Breathing Gun might be the partner to the one used by Jaine Cutter. The reason why I said the Breathing Gun might be the partner to Cutter's one is because there was supposedly only two ever made. Since her gun is a pistol, it's presumably not the same gun being wielded by [Sgt. Sebastian] Szardos..., unless the guns can change shape. Hence, it is most likely the other, aforementioned but previously unseen, Breathing Gun. --Loki

    For what it's worth, the issues involving Sgt. Szardos do not specify that he existed in Earth-616's past. One might argue that he could be from an alternate reality, given the inclusion of many other alternate reality Avengers during the course of the "Avengers Assemble" storyarc that ran through the final issues of Avengers VII & Avengers Forever II. However, there is nothing shown to exclude him from being an Earth-616 native and he is first seen/mentioned when Ka-Zar was traveling through time on his way back to the modern era from Earth-616's 1,000,000 B.C., further suggesting that he was an Earth-616 native.

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Soldier Supreme
should be distinguished from:


Phil

Phil was a World War II soldier whose boat was sunk by the Mephisto-possessed German U-666 boat, stranding him on a deserted island with other soldiers who had been equally stranded. After Sgt. Szardos the Soldier Supreme sunk U-666, both Sgt. Szardos and Mephisto washed up on the shore of the island where Phil and other soldiers had been stranded. Mephisto quickly took possession of Phil and attacked Sgt. Szardos but the other soldiers pinned Phil down. Mephisto then jumped from Phil into another soldier, Steve, and used Steve to murder Phil.

--Avengers VII#57d

The Secret Invaders

The Secret Invaders were a supernatural military unit during World War II led by Sgt. Szardos the Soldier Supreme and comprised of the young vampire hunter Blade, the swamp-like War-Thing and the Spirits of Vengeance driving Tank-666. At some point, the time-traveling Ka-Zar witnessed Sgt. Szardos and the Secret Invaders while passing through the timestream. Some time later, when trailing U-666, Sgt. Szardos went on a solo mission with the Secret Invaders tasked with providing pickup once the mission had ended. Following a battle with the demon Mephisto that spanned several weeks, Sgt. Szardos was finally picked up by the Secret Invaders, who had been off battling the Vampire Luftwaffe. When the unit regrouped, War-Thing asked (translated by Blade) if Sgt. Szardos was going to remain part of the Secret Invaders or if he had picked up a new crew during the mission but Szardos replied that he wasn't sure what he'd found.

--Avengers VII#50 - BTS (#57,


Steve

Steve was a World War II soldier whose boat was sunk by the Mephisto-possessed German U-666 boat, stranding him on a deserted island with other soldiers who had been equally stranded. After Sgt. Szardos the Soldier Supreme sunk U-666, both Sgt. Szardos and Mephisto washed up on the shore of the island where Steve and other soldiers had been stranded. Mephisto quickly took possession of the soldier Phil and attacked Sgt. Szardos but Steve and the other soldiers pinned Phil down. Mephisto then jumped from Phil into Steve and used Steve to murder Phil. Forced to fight Mephisto, Sgt. Szardos ultimately ended up having to kill Steve as well.

--Avengers VII#57d


U-666

U-666 was a giant German u-boat devised by the occult Nazi Thule Society and constructed using cursed metals and enchanted leviathan bones. Possessed by the demon Mephisto, U-666 operated without any crew and it sank several boats during World War II, stranding many of the surviving soldiers on a nearby deserted island. Learning of U-666, Sgt. Szardos of the Secret Invaders unit tracked down U-666 and sunk it using his Breathing Gun, forcing Mephisto to find a new host to possess.

--Avengers VII#57d

images: (without ads)
Avengers VII#57, p9, pan2 (Soldier Supreme with Breathing Gun, main image)
Avengers VII#57, p5, pan3 (Soldier Supreme, headshot)
Avengers VII#50, p22-23, splash page (The Soldier Supreme with machine gun)
Avengers VII#57, p1, pan3 (Soldier Supreme in diving gear)
Avengers VII#57, p7, pan2 (Soldier Supreme casting a spell)
Avengers VII#57, p6, pan4 (Phil)
Avengers VII#57, p20, pan1 (Secret Invaders)
Avengers VII#57, p5, pan2 (Steve)
Avengers VII#57, p3-4, pan1-2 (U-666)


Appearances:
Avengers VII#50 (February, 2022) -
"An Earth Unlike Any Other (Just Like All the Rest)" story - Jason Aaron (writer), Aaron Kuder, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Ed McGuinness, Javier Garron (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers VII#57 (August, 2022) - Jason Aaron (writer), Javier Garron (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers VII#64 (March, 2023) - Jason Aaron (writer), Javier Garron (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First posted09/26/2023
Last updated: 10/01/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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