Warren Ellis has some big shoes to fill. Supreme is a beloved comic book series with a lofty list of accolades behind it. Not only is it headed by one of the best comic book writers of our time (Alan Moore), but it also represents one of the finest accomplishments by that writer, earning him the Eisner award of “Writer of the Year.” It’s a long running series that was eventually ran into the ground and its return will be memorable, regardless of its quality. I do not envy this creative team.
A summary of this comic is going to be difficult because it is quite dreamy and, oddly enough, it starts off with a dream sequence. Diana Dane is on a beach and weird stuff is going on that I don’t really understand, but it feels like it should be disorienting anyway. After she wakes up she meets up with Darius Dax and he offers her a job investigating anyone’s involvement regarding a mysterious object that crash landed in Littlehaven. The rest of the comic deals with her decision whether to take the job when her dream man told her specifically not to. I’ll admit, I’m not a Supreme aficionado and only know a little bit about the universe. I know Diana Dane is supposed to be a stand in for Superman and Darius Dax is basically Lex Luthor and that the thing that fell out of the sky is Supremium and it made Supreme, but there’s a lot going on I didn’t quite understand.
Warren Ellis is one of my favorite writers because of his no-nonsense sensibilities and great characterization skills. This year he’s been wandering into the surreal end of the pool, and I’m not sure I like it. Moon Knight has probably reached a happy medium of weird mind fuckery and grounded storytelling. This book runs a little off course in terms of understandability but keeps itself grounded through its fun protagonist and general characterization. I feel like this is a comic series that I will want to re-read after every issue as it builds up to something great.
Warren Ellis has some big shoes to fill but he is Warren Ellis, so I’m sure he doesn’t lose too much sleep over it. But as far as I can tell, Tula Lotay is relatively new to the industry, having mostly done ink and coloring work, so this is her first book where she has done the art herself. Her style most notably reminds me of Matt Kindt’s stuff on Mind MGMT. There is a loose sketchiness to the characters and a lot of lines that appear to be on the surface of the paper rather than in the comic so to speak. At times her lack of realistic fidelity make facial expressions seem a little bland, but as an artist I think the piece has a distinct voice that fits the surreal writing style.
Honestly, I’m not sure I’m very much qualified to talk about this comic. I can’t really say I’m an expert on this subject and its already deliberately evasive in its own right. There’s a lot of meta lines of dialogue, which I’m totally into, but I fear that a reader might have to have read Supreme in order to sink their teeth into this reboot. Whereas I was hoping this would be a good place for new readers to jump on. I’m tempted to give this book a higher score just because of the promise it has for the future, rather than my own actual enjoyment of the book. Certainly I will pick up the next issue just to see what this powerful creative duo will do next. If nothing else it’s worth it just to see a so-called mature book that actually translates to mature in its story telling form rather than obscene violence. Not that this book couldn’t use some obscene violence; I mean come on, it is Warren Ellis after all.
“Supreme: Blue Rose #1” earns 7 / 10. If you are interested I recommend that you buy it.
Question of the Day: Do you think reading the Rob Liefeld stuff is necessary to understand Supreme? What about Moore? Who was better?