We all know and love superheroes. We follow their exploits month in and month out. But what if those superheroes have spouses? What would their lives be like and how would they deal with putting their loved ones in constant danger? Grace Randolph’s Supurbia from Boom! Studios is a comic that looks at those exact issues and more. Major Spoilers has your review of the latest issue to see just what goes on behind the cape.
Previously in Supurbia: We were introduced to the spouses of this universe’s Justice League analogues. Each one deals with the problems and issues that come with being the loved one of a superhero. Now, on top of all that, a super-villain is thrown into the mix…
SUPERHERO SOAP OPERA
Let’s be honest. Comic books, the superhero genre in particular, are soap operas. Sure you have action and the good ol’ fighty fighty, but beneath all that is a lot of convoluted drama that is similar to that found in daytime soap operas. Grace Randolph’s Supurbia embraces that drama and runs with it. This is a book less about the heroes and more about relationships with their loved ones.
This issue expands on ideas presented in the first issue, and some from the previous mini-series, of what it’s like to basically love a member of the Justice League. Sovereign (Superman) is in a secret relationship with Helen Heart, a reformed villain. Jeremy Metzger tracks down Batu (Wonder Woman) who has taken their son to visit her tribe. Meanwhile, Alexis Fritsche, wife of Night Fox (Batman) deals with running the company that makes the tech that her husband uses to fight crime. Oh, and he’s sleeping with his partner, Agent Twilight (Robin). All of this provides fun and interesting stories, the most being the Sovereign and Helen story. Helen is dealing with the stress of being a reformed villain and the fact that Haley Harper (the Lois Lane character) wants to out her relationship with Sovereign. The love triangle between Night Fox, Agent Twilight and Alexis, while not an altogether original idea, spins a story that I want to keep reading. Agent Twilight wants to come out, but Night Fox is strongly opposed to the idea for fear of how it will make him look. Night Fox is gay but “loves” his wife enough that when he sees her kiss another man he gets angry. Alexis is aware of the men’s relationship but remains married for what appears to be monetary reasons. It’s a messed up situation and Randolph writes it so well that it feels entirely natural and realistic. These are adult themes and though it is a book about superheroes, it is presented seriously. And it all totally works. Emotion is at the heart of these stories and characters are presented with problems that could take place if superheroes existed. That’s not to say it’s not a fun read. Light-hearted storytelling keeps the book from getting bogged down with all the drama. There are a lot of characters to keep track of making it hard to follow at times, but a who’s who is provided in the beginning to help the reader. Though it deals with some heavy issues, it’s a fun book that should appeal to fans of drama and superheroes alike.
LIGHT HEARTED AND FUN
Russell Dauterman’s art is as fun as the story it is representing. Sure, these are adult themes and serious ideas, but just like the storytelling, the art lightens the mood and provides a light heartedness to make it all fun. His style is cartoonish in a way, but still packed with detail in every panel showing just how much work is being put in. Though the reader may not remember the names of the characters, each one looks different enough that you can tell them apart. Facial expressions all convey the emotions exquisitely. You can see the worry on Helen’s face as the government is interviewing her and Batu’s anguish because her tribe wants to use her son to “seed” their daughters. It all comes together in a package that works perfectly with the story it is trying to tell.
BOTTOM LINE: THE PLACE TO GO FOR DAYTIME SUPER DRAMA
What would Lois Lane do if she were dumped for a super-villain? How would the wife of Batman react if she knew of the homosexual relationship with Robin that so many people suspect? Supurbia is a book that looks to answer some of those questions. Not all the ideas are completely original, but the stories that come out of those ideas make for a compelling, fun read. Superhero comics are soap operas and Grace Randolph embraces it, providing drama worthy of daytime TV. I love the stories presented here and believe that readers who like superheroes but look for a new take on them will be happy with Supurbia. This issue continues the great storytelling of the first and earns 4 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!