Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Lawful Good: Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb, resident inventor of the Squadron Supreme, played a pivotal role in bringing forth the Utopia Program on the Squadron's homeworld. Tom's most notable invention was a behavior modification machine designed to rehabilitate criminals by conditioning them to detest illegal thoughts … essentially compelling them to act in accordance of the Lawful Good alignment from Dungeons & Dragons. The behavior modification machine, along with other aspects of the Utopia Program, invited criticism for encroaching on civil liberties.

After developing cancer, Tom Thumb traveled to the 40th Century to steal a Panacea Potion from the Scarlet Centurion, only to find upon returning home that the fabled cure was nothing more than penicillin and a few complex vitamins. Before his death, the conflicted hero regretted compromising his principles out of desperation (Squadron Supreme #9). Tom Thumb was an example of a character who extolled the virtues of Lawful Good despite deviating from that alignment.

  Lawful Good    Neutral Good    Chaotic Good  
  Lawful Neutral    True Neutral    Chaotic Neutral  
  Lawful Evil    Neutral Evil    Chaotic Evil  
This panel from Squadron Supreme #10 recalls when Tom Thumb joined the team. On a surface level, Tom Thumb's below-average height was reminiscent of the DC hero Atom (as the Squadron was an homage to the Justice League of America). Unlike Atom, however, Tom Thumb did not have the power to change size. Rather, Tom Thumb's aptitude as an inventor earned him a unique place in the Squadron.

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