Supreme #63 Review
- Published on Monday, 02 April 2012 01:00
- Written by Andrenn
My most anticipated comic of 2012 was an easy choice: Supreme. Sure there have been plenty of other great looking new titles, most of them from Image, but Supreme beat them all for my attention. It has been a long wait since I first heard about the return of this series. My most anticipated comic is finally here. So is Supreme worth the wait or is this the first weak start of the Extreme relaunch? Let's find out!
Writer: Alan Moore
Artists: Erik Larsen and Corey Hamscher
Colors: Steve Oliff
Story Rating: 7 Multiverses out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Multiverses out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Multiverses out of 10
Synopsis: Supreme returns and he brings his greatest enemy, Darius Dax, with him. In this issue Supreme has his first date with Diana Dane, showing her around his citadel. Meanwhile Darius discovers a huge secret. Darius sets a plan in motion while Supreme dines with Diana that endangers everyone.
The Good: Supreme #63 was a good but uneven start for this new series. It accomplishes most of what a first issue needs to with enough back-story to catch up new readers and it gets the plot moving enough that by the end of the first issue we are ready for more. It's problems stem mostly from half the issue being devoted to the villain and inconsistent artwork.
The best parts of Supreme #63 are when we are with Supreme and Diana Dane. Moore's script treats these characters like long time lovers on their first date in a new life, which is kind of what they are. Diana sees and hears about all these amazing things and for Supreme these are all perfectly normal to him. Moore gets in a ton of strange sounding and cool ideas that we will probably never even see, but we can still wonder what it could be.
The relationship between Supreme and Diana is nicely done and it endears their characters to us right away. We instantly like Diana. She is nice and funny and the scene of her talking with Suprema is hilarious. Moore makes Diana the most likable character in the issue and because of that I'm invested now in her relationship with Supreme, even though we do not get much of Supreme in this issue.
The dialogue is kind of mixed for me. Like the issue, the dialogue differs in two ways. When we are with Supreme and Diana it is normal dialogue. With all the witty humor and fun little ideas sprinkled in like only Alan Moore can do. But when we are with Darius it is very stiff cheesy comic book villain dialogue. That is obviously the point, but the final product is a bit jarring to read. I almost wish the two stories had been totally separated as one half and then a second because reading back and forth between the two got to be vary jarring.
But then there is a reason the two stories are not divided and it is because the two actually do parallel each other nicely. At first you won't notice it. Even if it might occur to you, it does not become obvious until you flip through the pages and see that each moment of the Darius storyline mirrors the Supreme storyline in a weird way. And by the end of the comic it is clear that, while it may be jarring, it does work that both story lines are being shown at the same time instead of one and then the other.
I am surprised at how new reader friendly this issue was. While it has got some issues with how familiar it thinks the readers are with the characters, overall you can still jump in without needing to read the old stuff. The early scene with Diana and Suprema definitely helped make this comic easier for new readers. I did not think a script that is over 10 years old could still be that accessible but Alan Moore has proven me wrong.
Supreme #63 is a really fun start for this series. It is light on action but that is to its benefit. This issue is more concerned with having some fun and letting things build up. It plays around with some fun super villain concepts and it shows off how cool it is living in a house owned by a super hero. If you want a fun read then Supreme #63 delivers nicely.
The artwork to Supreme #63 is really good. I want to clarify that right now because in a minute I am going to have some criticisms of it in The Bad. But I want to make sure you know that never once when reading this comic did I say “That looks bad.” or was I bothered by the quality of the artwork for this issue.
Larsen and Hamscher are a solid team. Larsen's style is totally there even under Hamscher's pencils. His facial expressions, lay-outs and everything else are on display and because of it Supreme definitely stands out. Larsen has an eye for storytelling that everyone can appreciated. Hamscher is no slouch with the art either and in the end the two work well together.
Steve Oliff also deserves a shout-out for amazing work on colors. If we at the Revolution ever add a Colors Rating then Oliff would get a 10 out of 10. A great colorist adds a lot to the art of a comic and Supreme would definitely be a weaker looking book if not for Oliff's great coloring work here.
The Bad: Supreme #63 does carry one problem with being a 10 year old script. Its a definite continuation of the Alan Moore run and because of that there's a bit of familiarity expected of the readers. Now its not as bad as many other comics can get. But it was a problem at certain points and if you're a total new-reader to anything Extreme you will get confused by some of the references.
While I really enjoyed the scene with Diana and Suprema, there were a couple of nods that will leave new readers out in the cold. There's also a reference or two from Diana herself and Darius that confused me. So while overall it is new reader friendly enough, there are some bits in the middle that hurt that accessibility.
About halfway through reading I realized something. The artwork changed and it was significant. I am not sure who is to blame, Larsen or Hamscher, but by the end of the comic the art style differed some from the early pages. It was not enough to make me think a totally different artist did it. Just enough that its clear the way the comic was being drawn shifted a little half-way through.
The art change can best be described from going to Larsen's style of animated to an even more animated style. Looking a bit more exaggerated than it already was. Comparing Supreme to the earlier pages and then the later pages makes it clear that something was changed. It is very jarring and it leaves me worried about the art for future issues.
As mentioned earlier, we do not get much Supreme in our Supreme comic. While Moore succeeds at making Diana likable and interesting Supreme doesn't get much of anything to make new readers interested in him. While I have read some of Moore's earlier issues which did develop the character, the first issue for this new series does nothing to make us care about or be interest in Supreme himself.
Overall: While a bit uneven, Supreme #63 is still a really good comic. The story is a solid introduction to the characters both the heroes and the villains. While there is not a lot of action it helps us get to know the world better and gets us as readers interested in what happens next, which looks to be great. So as a first issue, despite some references that may throw you off, its still good. And while it may not have reached the hype I had personally for it, I'm still happy to be reading it and looking forward to more.
Definitely give Supreme #63 a read this week at the comic shop. If you like Alan Moore's writing even a little you'll find a read worth your time. It gets things started right and after everything is set up for next time you'll be hyped for it. It has got some issues but nothing big enough to make me cautious about recommending it. Supreme gets a solid check it for being a fun read and a good start.
Andrenn got back into comics years ago with a random issue of Spawn. From there he was hooked and a couple years later he had to share his thoughts with the world at his old blog New Age Comics with Andrenn. Now a huge Image fan and a horror geek, Andrenn writes for the Comic Book Revolution. You can follow Andrenn's ramblings and thoughts from the links below.