main image

HOWARD SHELTON

Real Name:  Howard Shelton

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-712/"Earth-S") human civilian

Occupation: Retired/pensioner,
    formerly member of the US Navy

Group Membership: Formerly US Navy (Earth-712)

Affiliations: Adrienne Dore, Andrew, Drusilla, Katrina and Philip Jones, Squadron Supreme (Arcanna/Arcanna Jones, Blue Eagle/James Dore Jr., Black/Golden Archer/Wyatt MacDonald, Hyperion/Mark Milton, Lady Lark/Linda Lewis, Moonglow, Power Princess/Zarda Shelton, Doctor Spectrum/Joseph Ledger, Tom Thumb, Whizzer/Stanley Stewart), Madeleine and Tina Stewart; unidentified nurse

Enemies: Hyperion construct of Earth-616 ("Zhib Ran"), Institute of Evil (Doctor Decibel/Anton Decibel, Foxfire/Olivia Underwood, Lamprey/Donald McGuigin, Shape/Raleigh Lund, Quagmire/Jerome Myers, Ape X/Xina)

Known Relatives: Zarda Shelton (Power Princess, wife)

Aliases: None revealed;
    (nicknames used by Power Princess) "My darling," "My dear," "Sport";
    "that geezer" (nickname used by Hyperion-616 construct)

Base of Operations: Shelton Hill (private burial ground), Squadron City's park quadrant;
    formerly Utopia City;
    formerly Capitol City, Magelland;
    formerly unspecified Navy vessel(s)

First Appearance: Squadron Supreme I#1 (September 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Howard Shelton possessed no known superhuman powers. Initially a capable Navy sailor, Shelton eventually grew old and physically frail, having to rely on a wheelchair, and a night nurse to empty his bedpan. Despite his failing health, Howard and Zarda remained passionately in love, and he often tried to wait up for his wife to return.

Height: 6'2"(by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White (blonde in youth)

 

 

History:
(Squadron Supreme I#1 (fb)) - During the 1940s, Howard Shelton was serving aboard a US Navy vessel. When the ship sunk through unrevealed ways (see comments), Howard was rescued by the arriving Power Princess who had only recently left her home of Utopia Isle to explore the world of man. After returning Shelton to civilization, the two fell in love and eventually got married.

(Squadron Supreme I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Shelton and Zarda were married for forty years, building a life together in Magelland's Capitol City. Despite the fact Shelton grew old and infirm over the years, even forced to use a wheelchair, his love and affection for the immortal Zarda never wavered.

 

(Squadron Supreme I#1) - Following an extended mission with the Squadron Supreme, Zarda returned home to her Capitol City apartment where Howard was waiting for her. He jokingly greeted her by saying he almost thought she'd forgotten about him, which Zarda answered by giving him a loving kiss before catching up with her husband.

 

 

 

 

(Squadron Supreme I#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Squadron Supreme's enemies the Institute of Evil managed to kidnap the Golden Archer. Using Dr. Decibel's sonics, they broke his will and forced him to share everything he knew about the Squadron, the Utopia Program, their base and the whereabouts of their family. When they learned of the Tom Thumb created B-Mod device intended to "brainwash" criminals into becoming model citizens, the villains decided to intervene. Ape X sent the Institute members to kidnap the various family members of the Squadron, including Howard who was "collected" by Foxfire.

 

(Squadron Supreme I#5 - BTS) - After locking up Shelton, the Golden Archer and the other Squadron members' families, the Institute mounted an attack on Squadron headquarters. Their fight was cut short when Tom Thumb told the other Squadron Members the Institute had captured their loved ones. Surrendering, all the members of the Squadron Supreme were subjected to B-Mod treatment and seemingly joined up with the villains (in reality, Tom Thumb had just redesigned it so the B-Mod couldn't affect Squadron members). Afterwards, the Institute took their new recruits back to their base where their hostages were being kept.

(Squadron Supreme I#5) - As soon as they saw their loved ones, the Squadron dropped the ruse and attacked the Institute, easily overwhelming the surprised villains and freeing their relatives. Zarda happily reunited with Howard, who dismissed the experience as "a bunch of ruckus."

(Squadron Supreme I#6 -  BTS) - Howard, along with all of the Squadron Supreme's family members, moved into the newly constructed Squadron City which was rendered invisible thanks to Arcanna's magics.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - Hoping to use him against the Squadron Supreme, Master Menace scoured the dimensional void for Earth-616's Hyperion construct ("Zhib Ran"), who had been lost in the interdimensional spaces. After a prolonged search, Menace retrieved the slightly unhinged alternate reality Hyperion. Promising to reunite him with his great love Thundra, Menace succeeded in securing his services.
    Master Menace tricked the real Hyperion into coming to him. Making it seem as if he'd been hit by an asteroid, Menace actually teleported Earth-712's Hyperion away, faking an explosion and allowing Zhib Ran to take his place. The Earth-616 Hyperion construct claimed the asteroid hit had caused amnesia.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Still feigning memory loss, Hyperion used the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Power Princess. During this period, he started to develop feelings for her, but couldn't understand why she was hesitant to reciprocate. He then spotted her coming home to Howard, watching through the bedroom window as she greeted Shelton who was already in bed. Concerned her husband had once again waited up for her, Howard assured her he was already awake because the nurse woke him when she emptied her pan.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - Confused and disgusted after seeing Zarda kiss Howard good night, Hyperion went to see Doctor Decibel to find out just who Shelton was and what his relationship to Power Princess was. Shocked to learn he was indeed married to her, Hyperion devised a plan.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Blinded by his lust for Power Princess, the Hyperion construct decided to take Howard out of the picture. Using his super breath, "Zhib Ran" sucked the air out of Shelton's lungs, asphyxiating the geriatric until his heart gave out, before returning the oxygen to his deceased form.

 

 

 

 

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - Zarda discovered her unresponsive husband the next morning. Distraught, she rushed him to Squadron City's medical facilities, hoping Doctor Decibel could revive him. However, Shelton was well beyond medical help by then. Decibel concluded he died of natural causes.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - A day after his death, Howard Shelton was buried at sunrise during a service attended by all the members of the Squadron and their families. Shelton's body was laid to rest on a small hill in Squadron City's park quadrant, a spot that following a proposition from Arcanna, was named "Shelton Hill."  

(Squadron Supreme I#8 (fb) - BTS) - After establishing a relationship with Zarda, the Hyperion construct was destroyed after real Hyperion returned and ousted his double; dying, "Zhib Ran" admitted to a shocked Power Princess he was responsible for killing her Howard.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), John Beatty (inks).

    It's no big secret Marvel based the Squadron Supreme on DC's premiere superhero team the Justice League. With Power Princess an obvious analogy for Wonder Woman, it only makes sense Mark Gruenwald came up with Howard Shelton as Earth-712's take on WW's  long time lover Steve Trevor.  Given the nature of comics, no one ages appreciably, which renders the fact a mortal is dating an eternally gorgeous Amazonian a bit moot. However, Gruenwald was able to toy with genre conventions when he wrote Squadron Supreme, exploring what married life with an immortal would truly be like: Howard aged, his wife didn't. By the time the 1980s rolled around, the once handsome, exciting Howard was well into his 70s and more like Zarda's grandfather than her lover, giving their pairing a sweet, but undeniably awkward vibe.

    Though entirely unconfirmed, given the timeline and the fact they were already dating by the 1940s, it's very well possible Howard Shelton also met members of the Golden Agency, the wartime superhero team Power Princess served with, which included Professor Imam and the original American Eagle among others. 

    Unless otherwise specified, all locations and beings related in this profile refer to Earth/Reality-712 versions.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Howard Shelton should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Squadron Supreme I#1, p28, pan2 (main image)
Squadron Supreme I#1, p28, pan3&4 (with Power Princess in the 1940s)
Squadron Supreme I#5, p15, pan2 (kidnapped)
Squadron Supreme I#7, p17, pan5 (had his pan emptied)
Squadron Supreme I#7, p24, pan3 (funeral service)


Appearances:
Squadron Supreme I#1 (September 1985) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#5 (January 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#6 (February 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa, Keith Williams (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#7 (March 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#8 (April 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 07/06/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info

All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Special thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters