From the very beginning of the arc, Supurbia lays the groundwork for a new style of super hero book, one that isn’t concerning with the exploits of the super heroes themselves. The story concentrates on the regular people, powerless people like you and me, and it manages to be a compelling read without all of the big super villain brawls that clog up other super hero books. Issue number 4 wraps up the series’ first story arc and though there are quite a few threads left untied, it comes to a complete and thorough end.
Writer Grace Randolph crafted a perfect ending for the first story. The issue contains very little action, but plenty of heart and loads of characterization. There are a number of tender moments in the book, specifically between Dion Jenkins, the hero known as the Cosmic Champion, and his wife Tia. What made this scene so good is that it felt natural, like what a real conversation between a super powered human and their spouse would be like.
Given the way the issue ended, it almost seems as if the purpose of the book was to create this team of non-super heroes, all brought together through their compassion for the members of the Meta Legion. Kinda like an unpowered Teen Titans. And it works out well. With the exception of Eve and Alexis, the wives of Bulldog and Nightfox respectively, it’s hard to tell which characters could actually lend the support the super team can use. But by the end of the issue, each spouse serves a purpose in one way or another without their involvement feeling forced.
It’s evident that Grace is preparing the title for its upcoming ongoing run. Though at conception, Supurbia was meant to be a limited series, it became so popular that the people at BOOM! Studios decided to give it a longer run. Which is fantastic as it gives these characters the opportunity to evolve. I was very glad to see how Grace set up the future of Batu’s children. It’s a clever take on the Warrior Princess archetype and really enhances the dysfunctional dynamic of the character’s home life.
Russell Dauterman continues his streak of stellar art in this issue. His character work is superb, offering plenty of emotion through subtle facial expressions and body language. Meanwhile, he still manages to deliver over-the-top scenes when the writing calls for it. Gabriel Cassata’s color palate makes the issue vibrant without drowning it in obnoxiously bright colors.
I’m very glad that the series is being reintroduced as an ongoing. One of my biggest questions after reading the third issue was how Grace would tie up all of the loose ends being weaved throughout the story. Though only a four-issue miniseries, she seemed to be biting off more than she could chew given the number of plotlines being introduced. While a couple of them did find a completion in this final issue, the majority are left undone, dangling in the comic book abyss until the new number 1, due out later this year. If you haven’t been picking up Supurbia, I highly recommend getting it. It’s a title for fans of the super hero genre that want something else from the super hero genre, bridging the gap between the majority of the “Big 2” books on the shelves and the more personal, creator-owned titles.
(For more info on Supurbia, check out our interview with writer Grace Randolph.)