In my last review, I openly worried about whether this otherwise enjoyable series had taken an unfortunate downward turn. After issue six, however, I am happy to report that Grace Randolph’s superheroes-meets-Desperate Housewives story is back to form. I think it was the pacing in issue five of Supurbia that made it feel so cramped and rudderless, but here, the book’s hugely diverse cast of characters feels regimented again, more properly aimed. Just like I hoped, the team has once again regained focus within its super vision.
Of course, a always, this issue continues to pack an orgy-like wallop by passing the reader about over more plot threads than an episode of Game of Thrones, albeit with slightly less nudity and dwarfism. The nougaty center of this book, however, is the Galactic Protection Systems Expo, which is now officially underway.
While the ironically-framed, yet not-ironically-demonic Hector Hunt suffers the indignity of incarceration with only the company of sycophantic demons for succor, the much-beloved Marine Omega arrives at the event to a throng of jubilant fans, who are both ravenous and quite buxom, and shower the hero with an overabundance of chesty affection ... much to the chagrin of his wifey, Eve White. Luckily, she is easily distracted with ingratiating herself to the exhibition’s attendees, in this case by pressing some extraterrestrial flesh. Sort of redefines the term “star fucker.”
Back in their little town, the young and growingly-wicked Sara Metzger continues her fascination with former villainess Hella Heart during a “girl’s night in” that would make the late Michael Jackson proud - minus the alleged pedophilia, but definitely with the Jesus juice. Between cheeky sips of wine, Sara draws Hella out of herself, reveling in the tales of bygone days when the once stone-cold murderess would spend her time practicing the dark arts, watching snuff films and fornicating with her former beau, the currently imprisoned Hector.
Meanwhile, the Nightwing-like Agent Twilight is tracking some sort of back-alley weapons deal, while his secret, spurned lover - and former crimefighting partner, Night Fox, meets again with his snooty pan-dimensional parents, this time outright revealing to his mother that he is actually quite gay, with less than favorable results.
The officially un-retired Aso continues her rumble in the jungle to free her fellow lady-warrior, the Amazonian-ish Batu, whose morbid shame in her son vastly outweighs the pain she feels in torturous captivity at her sisters’ hands. This was, for me, the most poignant part of the issue, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the direction this storyline in particular takes, especially as it ends the issue - with a beautiful mix of classic daytime TV and superheroism, might I add.
Visually, this issue is nothing short of fluid. Whereas Supurbia’s previous installment felt uncharacteristically static, in book six, Dauterman’s work is given a more spacious channel through which to flow and lap across the page, while plunging its characters into an even greater depth (literally in some cases). At the same time, he swills and spills others’ stories across the furniture like a still-wet stain, and because of that, this may be one of the best galleries of Dauterman’s Supurbia stuff I’ve seen since I started reviewing it. It’s vibrant, emotive, intricate and kinetic. This book’s knows when to steel itself, and when to fade beneath veil of vulnerability.
Randolph, as always, employs a writing style that is in one moment witty and quick and in the next, severe. I’m very happy to see that she is able to do this without having the story trip over itself, like I feel it did last issue. The plotting here feels furious, but not wild and uncontrolled and it was once again a really fun read. In fact, Supurbia #6 achieves no small measure of brilliance, and I can safely say I feel rededicated to the series as a whole.
Writer: Grace Randolph
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Gabriel Cassata
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: 4/10/13