Grace Randolph’s Supurbia #1 (Boom! Studios)
by Grace Randolph & Russell Dauterman
This new comic has a pretty strong buzz going, enough to pique my curiosity, and after reading it, I can understand why it appeals to a number of readers. While some have described it as Desperate Housewives mixed with the super-hero genre, I think the origins of the storytelling stem from something much more grounded. This story is about the spouses of powerful men (and a woman), and how they deal with lives of stress, publicity and privilege. The most telling bit of writing in the book is a description of a key character, Ruth Smith: “Army wife, superhero First Lady, a closed book.” It’s the “First Lady” part that resonates. In this book, we meet the wives of men whose power is matched only by their appetites and egos. Great men make great mistakes, and Randolph explores the personalities of the people who have to put up with and fix the problems that come along with lives of responsibility and opulence. I found the nerdy, meek but pleasant husband of the Wonder Woman archetype character to be the most likable figure in the book, and the most grounded. More importantly, it’s fun and interesting to see Randolph approach gender bias and inequity in a family from the opposite tack that one would usually expect.