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Comic Review: Supurbia #1
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Supurbia #1Supurbia #1
Created and Written by Grace Randolph
Art by Russell Dauterman
Colors by Gabriel Cassata
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover by Ale Garza
Cover Colors by Nei Ruffino
Boom! Studios
Release Date: March 7, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

The Real Housewives for superhero spouses? Ugh, what a revolting concept! How stupid. How insulting. How the hell did they make this work?!

Appropriately enough, as I was reading this book my girlfriend was watching a Real Housewives show. I hate Real Housewives. I really, really do. I hate the way the shows are shot, I hate how shrill the characters come off, and I really hate how petty and materialistic all their problems are. I asked her during the commercial what the program’s appeal was for her. Buried beneath all those problems, she said, there’s the story about the complex and competitive friendships women have with each other.

When you put the show that way it starts to sound interesting. Throw in some guys with capes, trade the reality TV format for a comic, and I’m there.

In an idyllic, tree-lined suburb, at the end of the cul-de-sac, there’s a lovely row of homes reserved exclusively for members of The Meta Legion. In Supurbia #1 (first of a four issue miniseries), the White family is moving into the neighborhood; Robert (a.k.a. Bulldog) has joined the team; and his newly wed, Eve, is adjusting to the major lifestyle change. Meanwhile, Alexis has walked in on her husband, Paul (Night Fox) in the arms of his sidekick; elderly matron Ruth is taking care of her ailing, bed-ridden husband Mike (Marine Omega); and Helen… you get the idea. Household drama, with superheros!

Surprisingly it reads a lot like the recent Wolverine And The X-Men #1; it’s a bustling first issue that maintains a light and playful tone while driving by a lot of engaging characters and scenarios, with art and colors by Russell Dauterman and Gabriel Cassata, respectively, that knows when to be cartoonish, when to be emotional and when to be menacing (a welcome surprise considering the underwhelming cover).

Upon first glance the heroes themselves may come off as generic, or even cliche riffs on Marvel/DC heavy hitters. Jumping off the premise that someone’s partner says much about them, this book is more interested in the way they treat their better halves. Remember, the heroes aren’t the main focus here.

Writer Grace Randolph keeps the action entirely in the perspectives of the wives, girlfriends, and one stay-at home dad, never leaving the freshly manicured lawns and cul-de-sac. There’s a rich tradition of supporting characters in superhero books, Commissioner Gordon, Foggy Nelson, J. Jonah Jameson, for example. Ordinary folks whose personalities are as memorable as the books headliners, but oddly it’s seldom that love interests get fleshed out as thoroughly. In these 24 pages Randolph has convinced me that she’s up for the task.

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