OK, for anyone who hasn't worked it out yet, in true Squadron Supreme style, the team is sort of an analog of the Justice League. So HyperionSuperman, ProwlerBatman, Speed DemonFlash, SersiWonder Woman/Green Lantern, SwordsmanGreen Arrow(ish), MagdelenaBlack Canary, ZcannMartian Manhunter. It's not perfect, but I'm too lazy to come up with new characters.

They'd met Blade at a manhole in the Bronx. Introductions were made, and Blade led them down the hole. As they walked through the sewers, Blade told them about Hunger.

"A few years ago, HYDRA had a super-hitman called Crown. Deadly as they came, over a hundred kills to his name. Got his powers from some dimensional wormhole that HYDRA discovered. Unfortunately, the energy came with a built-in time limit; he knew that within a few years, he'd be sucked through his own powers, to the other side. But then, HYDRA discovered Morbius, the living vampire, and his unique cellular structure. Crown reasons that maybe Morbius' enhanced body could help him to beat the time limit. So, he talked the local HYDRA bosses into it. Except, that same night, Crown and Morbius were both sucked through the wormhole, everyone writes them off. And then, a few months later, Morbius shows up in the middle of a gang war. Seems he came back. But when he did, he brought back Hunger.

"Now, I know vampires – and let me tell you, most of the stories are rubbish. They can't fly, and they can't change shape. But this guy, Hunger – he's got all that. From what Spider-Man's told me, Hunger's fast, strong, tough – and he's got this psychic link between himself and his 'children'."

"Sounds dangerous," said Hyperion looking around the sewer.

"Yeah," said blade, continuing the story. "A few weeks ago, when Hunger became active again, I stepped in. Dude almost flattened me. So I came to my boy Hobie for help."

"And you got us," Speed Demon cut in. "I just hope we survive this."

"Oh, we will," said a voice from the shadows, "don't you worry your pretty little heads about that. But you – no, I don't think I could stomach that."

A humanoid stepped out of the shadows. His commanding manner and lack of fear shook the heroes. He might as well have been expecting them.

"Welcome. I am Hunger," said the man. His eyes ran over the group. "Very interesting… Blade, is this truly the best you could do? Really, this is demeaning. What will Kang say when he discovers that all I had to beat to serve him was a group of part-time Avengers?"

"You won't make it as far as Kang," said Swordsman, taking his sword out of its scabbard…

"Stop," Hunger said, and the group immediately froze. Hunger grinned at the shocked Blade. "It is one of the gifts of the vampires that we can control the minds of lesser beings. This extends to almost most humans and almost all superhumans."

"But not all," said Speed Demon. He stepped out of the group. "See, my power allows me to think several times faster than an ordinary human, letting me shake off your hoodoo."

"And the energy that gives all Eternals their power saturates the brain and encephalic system, making me immune," said sersi, also stepping forward.

"Interesting," said Hunger. "But your friends, I am sure, cannot say the same."

Suddenly, Hyperion turned around and knocked Sersi through the wall of the sewer. Prowler, Swordsman and Magdelena began battering Blade into submission. And Zcann lashed out at Speed Demon, telepathically forcing him to go to sleep.

"Hmm," said Hunger. "Yes, I think we'll leave them here now. It'll be far more fun to watch their expressions when their own friends, newly reborn as my undead slaves, kill them!"

Speed Demon woke up, and immediately wished he hadn't. The after-effects of Zcann's assault had left him with a mother of a headache. "Is anyone still alive?" he said.

"I am," said Sersi, appearing in his field of vision. "By Hoggoth, that boy can throw a punch."

"Yeah. Hey, where's Blade?"

Sersi went pale. "They must have taken him with them."

Speed Demon spread his hands. "Well, that's it. We tried. We failed. Worse epitaphs, yadda yadda yadda. Now let's go home and move on with our lives."

"How can you be so callous?"

"I'm not. I'm being practical. Look, to do this involves a high risk of loss of life. Maybe in the old Squadron, I would have tried to get back Hype, 'cos that's what you do in a team or a gang: you look out for your team-mates because no-one else will. Now, Hype is some sort of super-Boy Scout, truth and justice and all that crap. He only got me on this team 'cos he tried to kill me. If he's waiting for me to rescue him, let him wait."

"So that's it? You know that a man's about to be killed, and now you're going to do nothing about it?"

"Yup." Sersi picked up a brick. "Hey what're you doing with that?"

"It's my power. All Eternal have power, but with effort, we can all use that power to some personal affect. Like me, my power is that I can turn matter into energy…" As Speed Demon watched, the brick slowly turned into a nimbus of light between Sersi's fingers.

"…and energy into matter." Suddenly, the light began to coalesce into a new brick. But this one was made of gold. She threw it to him, and he caught it, marvelling at it.

"There's another one in it for you if you'll help me get them back."

Speed Demon looked up suddenly. "What? You can produce gold bricks on demand, and you're handing them out so I'll help you rescue some clowns from a vampire?"

"Firstly, I don't like the idea of Hunger killing them, especially not for such a petty reason. And, secondly," she grinned, "rushing to the rescue of our team-mates through the sewers of Manhattan? People would kill to be involved in something like this."

"Well said," said a voice from the shadows. Out stepped the man in the suit who'd convinced Hyperion to bring them together.

"Agent Garrett? What are you doing here?" said Sersi.

"My bosses want a comprehensive case-file on your abilities and performance. To help them evaluate your probable tactical usefulness."

"So you followed us through the sewers?" Agent Garrett nodded. "God, you're a stubborn bastard."

"Yeah, my wife tells me that a lot. So are we going or what?"