Grace Randolph’s Supurbia #1 Review.

From Boom Studios, Grace Randolph, Russell Dauterman, Gabriel Cassata, Steve Wands.

Supurbia, and the creative team, are the biggest secrets in comics that are hiding right under your noses.  Not since you bought your first thumbdrive have you seen so much information in such a tiny package.  Each and every character reveals so much in subtle ways.  One read is not enough to truly grasp all that is taking place within the pages of this comic book.

There have been some complaints on other sites that the cast of this book is too large.  These readers aren’t looking at the comic book in the right way.  It is not a one issue, one and done, story.  This is the first episode of a whole season and thus people need to be introduced and plots need to be set up.  Grace not only sets up “season one” (to continue my analogy) but the entire series.  From this first issue alone I can see at least two years worth of stories.  That’s only based off of what I know is already there from the mini series.  I have no doubt that more subtle hints are sprinkled within and I will only realize their meaning in the months and years ahead.

To just take one couple, there is a scene with Jeremy and Batu that defines not only their relationship, but so so many real world relationships.  I know this family is about to have a huge story to tell, and I cant wait to see with their children, Sara and Eli.  Now look at this panel and think about how much it shows.

“Mate of Batu”.  Not husband, partner, lover.  That word “mate” was very carefully chosen.  That is how Batu sees Jeremy.  She finds his mind, body and penis acceptable for creating children.  And that’s about it.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Batu doesn’t love Jeremy.  But I do feel that she loves him as best as she understands that concept.  Her definition and expectations of love are not the same as our Western world.  Plus, look at how she’s sleeping!  There is no cuddling, no spooning.  Batu does not need a man to give her comfort in her sleep.  This is a woman who probably welcomes nightmares as another battle to win, another opponent to vanquish.  She does not need a protector.  Even though Jeremy would make a fine one.  “Famous explorer and author.”  In any other story, Jeremy is the hero.  He’s Indiana Jones.  Not in Supurbia though.  This is the comic that turns any and all of your expectations on their heads.

All of this from one panel!  I gushed over Russell’s work in the mini series and its even better in the ongoing.  A year from now I’m going to have to read this comic in two parts because his art will be too awesome for one sitting.

The ongoing love (?) story of Night Fox and Agent Twilight could become one of the all time great relationship stories in comic books.  Not that the relationship will be great.  No, between the two of them and Alexis (and now Tia?!) nothing will end well here.  However, it is how Grace writes the characters and Russell draws them that really brings across the mixed emotions felt by all involved.  Agent Twilight is an Adonis.  Its easy to see how Gio would be desirable to women, gay men, and even a straight man who works side by side with him every day.  Its not about lead and sidekick, hero or villain, gay or straight at that point.  To label them as one or the other would be to label comics as just a book or just a drawing.  Its both and neither and so much more all at the same time.  In the super hero world where each powered woman and costumed man identify themselves by at least two names it would be impossible to label any relationship under just one title.

I still haven’t gotten to the main focus of this arc!  The super villain turned housewife and the god among men that she lives with.  Sovereign and Helen Heart are showing the difference between being good and doing good.  Any asshole can do a good deed.  Just because Sovereign does good, doesn’t mean he is good.  Helen’s selfless sacrifice in the mini series is more heroic than anything I’ve yet to see out of her man.

To top it all off, there isn’t a fight in this issue.  No Big Bad, no war.  The interaction between these couples, between these families, gives more conflict and drama than any punch could provide.

I’m looking forward to much more from Supurbia for many months and hopefully years to come.  This series is like all of your favorite guilty pleasures, but with one fantastic bonus.  There’s nothing here to feel guilty about.

(Side note.  I bought this digitally through Comics Plus.  Supurbia is not available on ComiXology until a later date.  Get the free Comics Plus app for your device of choice if you would also like to purchase and enjoy this title.)

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