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    Review: Supurbia #1

    By | March 9th, 2012
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Written by Grace Randolph
    Illustrated by Russell Dauterman

    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! From rising star writer Grace Randolph (Marvel’s Nation X, Her-oes) and hot new artist Russell Dauterman, this series takes the familiar super-team and turns it on its head with a scandalous, TMZ-fueled look at what it’s like to live with a superhero!

    This week, BOOM Studios! launched the new mini-series Superbia, a open book look into the personal and private lives of a close knit group of somewhat familiar superheroes. With enough sex, scandal, and sadness to fill up a week’s worth of comics, it’s about as close to watching Bravo as you’re likely to get. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    Join us after the cut as we try to figure that out.

    A couple days ago someone described this book to me as “The Real Super-wives of Atlanta.” I’ve seen only one episode of The Real Housewives of Fill In The Blank, and I wasn’t impressed, so with that in my head, I fully expected to fiercely hate this comic.

    But I did not hate this comic. In fact, I liked Superbia quite a bit.

    Before yesterday, I had no idea who Grace Randolph was. When I first saw the cover, I honestly thought it was the name of one of the characters in the book. Like, Superbia was a community founded by Lady Grace Randolph or something. I guess I wasn’t 100% wrong, as technically, it was created by her, so there’s that, but yeah, she’s totally a real person. She’s also someone with a relatively large and loyal following thanks to her various YouTube channels and a variety of other geek related goings-on. And more importantly, as it turns out, she’s a pretty damn good writer, too. Honestly, it’s hard to believe she’s new to comics, because this certainly doesn’t feel like the work of a newbie.

    Artist Russell Dauterman compliments Randolph’s script nicely, and brings a lot to the table. He’s not flashy and he’s not too bold with his storytelling, but this is definitely his book. Designing analog costumes is difficult, and most artists either go too far with it or not far enough. With Sovereign and the other characters, Dauterman does a great job of evoking a look but not stepping all over it. He’s also a pretty amazing draftman when it comes to scene construction and perspective. Starting with the very first panel of Hella in the foyer, to Jeremy Metzger’s well-furnished library, by the end, the settings have almost as much personality as the characters who spend time therein.

    So what exactly is Superbia about? Let’s assume that the Meta Legion is this world’s major superteam. They’ve got a Sovereign super-man, a dark knight known as the Nite Fox, and a wonderous female warrior called Batu, a Daughter of the Bright Moon. The team’s exactly what you think it is, but do yourself a favor, and don’t get hung up on the analogs. This group of not-the-Justice Leaguers isn’t what this book’s about. Superbia’s a story about the people waiting at home while the heroes are out saving the world; those who choose to engage in relationships with men and women with lives so spectacular that they can’t help but outshine everyone else. It’s what happens when the pedestrian bed down with the spectacular, and they all pretend it’s normal.

    Final Verdict: 8.0 — Solid first issue, and well worth a look.

    Chad Bowers

    Chad Bowers has been reading comics for most of his life. His transition from fan to professional is a work in progress. He’s the co-founder of ACTION AGE COMICS, creator of the webcomic MONSTER PLUS, co-creator of AWESOME HOSPITAL, THE HARD ONES, and DOWN SET FIGHT (coming soon from Oni Press) with Chris Sims. He reviews comics, writes G.I. JoeVersity, and co-hosts The Hour Cosmic for Multiversity Comics! If you've got nothing better to do, you can follow him on Twitter or Tumblr.