Monday, 24 February 2014

Supurbia Volume 1 by Grace Randolph

Supurbia is a comic series created by Grace Randolph and illustrated by Russell Dauterman. This review is of Volume 1, which consists of four issues. I purchased them separately (because on the Aussie version of Comixology it was 50¢ cheaper that way) but I'm treating them as a single volume for review purposes, especially since individually each issue does not tell a complete story. The cover art of the omnibus (top right image) is the same as the first issue and I've included the covers of the other three issues below. I've also included the blurb from Goodreads.
What goes down when the capes come off? Meet the "Real Housewives" of Earth's greatest super-team, the Meta Legion! It's the egos, the tantrums, and the betrayals of the super set. Find out what happens behind the masks as superhero families are faced with the sordid problems of everyday life - and then some!
This miniseries is primarily about the wives/girlfriends and children of a team of superheroes. The point of view jumps around a bit — especially in the first issue when we're being introduced to everyone, which I found a little difficult to follow — but generally it is the significant others of the Meta Legion superheroes who take centre-page. (see what I did there?) There's quite a variety among the characters. The character new to the scene who provides an in for the audience is the newly married Eve. She and her husband are just moving into the suburban street where the Meta Legion live in secret, pretending to be normal. There's also the strung-out druggie ex-villain girlfriend of one of the most powerful supers, the super wife whose given up her crime-fighting career to ensure her daughter doesn't loose both parents at once, the husband of an Amazonian super and their two kids, and a few others.

The epic crime fighting happens as a backdrop to the relationships between the characters. The blurb describes it as "Real Housewives" but I don't think that's accurate. (Mind you, that's without having seen the show, but it's certainly nothing like the image the show projects.) Really this first volume touches on a lot of issues that various characters are dealing with. Knowing that there are more comics in the series makes me happy that they will probably be addressed in more detail down the line.

My favourite sub-plot in this one was Amazonian super Batu's relationship with her kids. She has a boy and a girl and, according to her culture, her superpowers should be passed down to her daughter. She pretty much ignores her son and refers to her husband as her "mate". But her daughter isn't developing superpowers as quickly as Batu would like...

This four-issue introductory volume has a self-contained storyarc, although the end clearly sets up further stories about the characters. I would recommend reading the entire volume before deciding whether to continue with the series, as I did. The first issue only introduces the characters but doesn't give a good idea of what the rest of the volume will be like.

I recommend Supurbia to fans of alternative superhero stories (whatever that means, I'm not actually sure myself), superheroes in general and anyone who likes seeing female-led stories (which should be everyone, of course). As a relative n00b to comics, I would also recommend them to other n00bs looking for a relatively easy entry point.



4 / 5 stars

First published: 2012, BOOM! Studios
Series: Supurbia, Volume 1. Currently followed by "Supurbia Ongoing" which, as far as I can tell, is going to be much longer (already at 12 issues).
Format read: e-comic
Source: Purchased from ComiXology

2 comments:

  1. I will have to get this methinks, hearing good reports from all the peeps. Though I have an aversion to using Comixology

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    1. There are probably other ways. Like paper, if that suits.

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