Comicscape: Supurbia/The Secret History of D.B. Cooper (Mania.com)

By:Joel Rickenbach
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Source: Mania.com

“What happens when the capes come off?” “Meet the Real Housewives of earth’s mightiest heroes!” These are some of the sensational tag lines Supurbia has been saddled with since its launch a few months ago. I say forget all that. Why? Because Supurbia’s characters have more depth and are more interesting in two issues than any Real Housewives cast member can muster in any amount of seasons or cat fight-laden reunions. It’s pretty clear Grace Randolph’s intentions are not to provide us with bitchy tabloid hollowness, but with well thought out situations and personalities that will keep us hooked for the long haul. 

In the world of Supurbia the Meta legion is the super team of choice, and for safety and solidarity reasons, they all live in the same, nondescript, suburban neighborhood. Of course, they have a giant underground base beneath their cookie cutter homes, but the charming exterior keeps things feeling normal and anonymous. All the members of the Meta Legion are analogues of comic book icons, but instead of just being stereotypes, Randolph gives them interesting quirks that make them actually matter, even if they aren’t the stars of the show. Capes and spandex are all well and good, but the focus of this book is actually on what would normally be the supporting cast- Spouses, Boy/Girl friends, children etc. 

Helen Hart is a reformed super villain, now married to Sovereign, the Supurbia equivalent of Superman. Helen is trying, but her attempts at being a supportive wife are falling on cold, distant ears. Ones that can hear a bus crash in Peru, and what the Pope mumbles in his sleep. Not to mention a very disturbing superiority complex that will undoubtedly create some major problems. Helen is also still a wanted criminal, and even if she’s under special protection from the government thanks to Sovereign, how long can this fantasy really last?

Alexis, described as a “Hitchcock Blonde”, comes home early to find her vigilante husband, Night Fox, dispensing some “justice” to his sidekick in their underground lair. Catching your spouse in the act is one thing, but when you’ve spent your life building up your husband’s persona as a global brand, that’s quite another.

Jeremy Metzger is an explorer and best selling author, he’s also married to Batu, a fierce warrior woman from an ancient culture. Batu insists on chasing and ritualistically slaughtering a hog in the morning for breakfast, and imparting all of this knowledge to her daughter is paramount, as she is “The first Bright Moon Daughter to be born of the flesh”. Her son? Well, he’s a male, and will not inherit any power from Batu’s tribe. He’s not worth a minute of her time, and might as well be invisible. How long can Jeremy laugh off the “Cultural differences” while his wife is completely alienating one of their children? It’s questions such as these that drive Supurbia.

There are more couples and dynamics to discover when you delve into the book, each with a nice twist to keep you coming back for the drama that is no doubt just around the corner. Russell Dauterman’s art has a nice winsome quality to it, with bright colors that help sell the fiction of the lives lead by some very delicate characters. Supurbia was originally slated as a four issue run, but the first issue proved so popular that BOOM! Studios has picked it up as an on-going series.  

Issues #1 & #2 are on shelves now, with Issue #3 coming in May.
 
 
The Secret History of D.B. Cooper
By Brian Churilla

On November 24th 1971 a man named Dan Cooper bought a one-way airline ticket to Seattle at the Portland International Airport. He boarded the Boeing 727 and took his seat in the rear of the plane. He lit a cigarette and ordered a bourbon and soda. After take off he slipped a note to a stewardess. She ignored it, thinking it was another guy trying to score a date. Cooper then leaned over to her and said “Miss, you’d better look at that note, I have a bomb”. Cooper opened his briefcase just enough to prove he wasn’t joking. Cooper demanded $200,000 in “Negotiable American currency”, four parachutes and a refueling truck standing by in Seattle. Cooper wasn’t angry, agitated or even desperate. By all accounts he was friendly, conversational and calm. When the plane landed in Seattle his demands were met. The jet was refueled, the money and parachutes delivered. All the passengers and most of the crew were allowed off the plane, and at 7:40pm the plane took off with just Cooper, the pilot, the co-pilot, a stewardess and an airline engineer. The plane was headed in the direction of Reno, Nevada and was being shadowed by two F-106 fighters and a Lockheed T-33. Midway through the flight Cooper locked the crew in the cockpit, strapped on a parachute, lowered the aft airstair and jumped into the stormy night sky.

This is not a made up plot to a comic book, this actually happened. What followed these events was one of the largest manhunts in US history, and a massive amount of theories, conspiracies, mystery and intrigue. D.B. Cooper has never been found, and the reasons for his daring airline hijacking remain shrouded to the world. New suspects emerge, small threads of evidence surface, but the FBI is no closer to solving the D.B. Cooper mystery 40 years later.

Writer/Artist Brian Churilla has taken this real life paradox as his jumping on point to tell a wonderfully bizarre story. The book opens with newscasts reacting to the hijacking, but then quickly jumps back to a week prior, and we find Cooper in a very strange place. I have to admit- at first I wasn’t feeling it. I have been intrigued by the D.B. Cooper mystery for a very long time, and the direction Churilla’s book immediately takes was not what I was hoping for. I wanted an intrigue-laden story as deep and mysterious as the actual events, not the twisted nightmare we are thrust into. If there’s ever an edict to comics it’s “Keep reading”, so I did, and I have to admit- by the end of the first issue I thought it was brilliant, and even more so after the second. That twisted, Lovecraftian world becomes fascinating, and serves a very interesting and clever purpose. What and who D.B Cooper is involved with a week before the hijacking makes for a set-up I just can’t wait to see unfold. I can hazard quite a few guesses as to how Churilla’s ideas and the real life event connect, but somehow I think there are some wonderful twists on the horizon. Churilla’s art is not what you would immediately associate with a story such as this, but as you get further into the story you quickly realize how much of a boon it is. Particularly his visual cues between the two realities, they are pretty damned fantastic. I’ve been hooked for years on the real life mystery, and now Brian Churilla has hooked me on his tale just as much, and that’s saying something.

The Secret History of D.B. Cooper is monthly from Oni Press. Issues #1 & #2 are on shelves now.

Anyone read anything interesting this week?

New Comic Releases for 4/25/12

MARVEL COMICS
Age Of Apocalypse #1 (Chris Bachalo 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Astonishing X-Men #49, $3.99
Astonishing X-Men Exalted HC (Premiere Edition)(was 'Astonishing X-Men Exiled HC'), $19.99
Avengers Assemble #1 (Mark Bagley 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Avengers Roll Call, $4.99
AvX Vs #1 (Of 6)(Adam Kubert Regular Cover), $3.99
AvX Vs #1 (Of 6)(Stuart Immonen Variant Cover), AR
AvX Vs #1 (Of 6)(Amazing Spider-Man 50th Anniversary Variant Cover), AR
Battle Scars #6 (Of 6), $2.99
Captain America #10 (Alan Davis Regular Cover), $3.99
Captain America #10 (Gerald Parel Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
Captain America And Hawkeye #629, $2.99
Daken Dark Wolverine Big Break TP, $16.99
Daredevil #11 (Adi Granov Variant Cover), AR
Daredevil #11 (Marcos Martin Regular Cover), $2.99
Daredevil #11 (Steffi Schutze Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
Dark Tower The Battle Of Jericho Hill TP, $19.99
Dark Tower The Gunslinger The Way Station #5 (Of 5), $3.99
Darkhawk Classic Volume 1 TP, $24.99
Essential Daredevil Volume 1 TP (New Edition), $19.99
Essential Hulk Volume 4 TP (All-New Edition), $19.99
Fear Itself Wolverine New Mutants HC (Premiere Edition), $24.99
FF #17 (Julian Totino Tedesco Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
FF #17 (Mike Choi Regular Cover), $2.99
Incredible Hulk Pardoned TP, $39.99
Marvel Masterworks Daredevil Volume 3 TP, $24.99
Marvel Masterworks Daredevil Volume 3 TP (Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 41), $24.99
Marvel Previews #105 (May 2012 For Products On-Sale July 2012), $1.25
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (was 'Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures'), $2.99
Mighty Thor #13 (Richard Isanove Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
Mighty Thor #13 (Walter Simonson Regular Cover), $3.99
Moon Knight #12, $3.99
New Avengers #25, $3.99
Scarlet Spider #3 (Ryan Stegman 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
Secret Avengers #21.1 (Arthur Adams 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
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Secret Avengers #23 (Arthur Adams 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Secret Avengers #26 (Alan Davis Regular Cover), $3.99
Secret Avengers #26 (Joe Quinones Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
Spider-Man Flying Blind HC (Premiere Edition), $19.99
Supercrooks #2 (Of 4)(Bryan Hitch Variant Cover), AR
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Twelve #12 (Of 12), $2.99
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #9, $3.99
Ultimate Comics X Origins TP, $19.99
Uncanny X-Men #11 (Greg Horn Avengers Art Appreciation Variant Cover), AR
Uncanny X-Men #11 (Greg Land Regular Cover), $3.99
Winter Soldier #1 (Lee Bermejo 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $2.99
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Wolverine #305 (Jim Cheung Regular Cover), $3.99
Wolverine #305 (Steve McNiven Variant Cover), AR
Wolverine Wolverine's Revenge TP, $16.99
X-Force Toy Soldiers HC (Premiere Edition), $29.99
X-Force Toy Soldiers HC (Premiere Edition)(Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 88), $29.99
X-Men Legacy #265, $2.99
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, $19.99
 
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American Vampire #26, $2.99
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Batman Knightfall Volume 1 TP (New Edition), $29.99
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Blackhawks #8 (Final Issue), $2.99
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Flash #8 (Bernard Chang Variant Cover), AR
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Rich Johnston's ScienTHORlogy #1 (Fred Hembeck Variant Cover), AR
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Roger Langridge's Snarked #7
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Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #73 (Deluxe Edition), $19.99
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B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth The Pickens County Horror #2 (Of 2), $3.50
Classic Marvel Characters The Fantastic Four #4 The Thing, $49.95
Goon #39, $3.50
King Conan The Phoenix On The Sword #4 (Of 4), $3.50
Mass Effect Homeworlds #1 (Anthony Palumbo Regular Cover), $3.50
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Star Wars Blood Ties Boba Fett Is Dead #1 (Of 4)(Chris Scalf Regular Cover), $3.50
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Star Wars Crimson Empire III Empire Lost #6 (Of 6), $3.50
Star Wars Dark Times Out Of The Wilderness #5 (Of 5), $2.99
Star Wars Invasion Volume 3 Revelations TP, $18.99
Turok Son Of Stone Archives Volume 10 HC
, $59.99
 
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Game Trade Magazine #147, $3.99
Previews #284 (May 2012), $4.50
 
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Avengers DK Readers Avengers Assemble HC, $14.99
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Jerusalem Chronicles From The Holy City HC
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Green Hornet #24 (Brian Denham Regular Cover), $3.99
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Ninjettes #3 (Admira Wijaya Regular Cover), $3.99
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Warlord Of Mars #17 (Joe Jusko Regular Cover), $3.99
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FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
Any Similarities To Persons Living Or Dead Is Purely Coincidental HC, $19.99
Cruisin' With The Hound The Life And Times Of Fred Toote, $19.99
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E.C. Segar's Popeye Volume 6 Me Lil Swee Pea HC
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FILMLAND CLASSICS
Freaky Monsters Magazine #9, $9.95
 
GG STUDIOS
One Volume 1 TP (not verified by Diamond), $18.99
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HERMES PRESS
Dark Shadows The Best Of The Original Gold Key Series TP
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HIGH SPEED PRODUCTIONS
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IDW PUBLISHING
Art Of Amanda Conner HC, $29.99
Danger Girl Revolver #4 (Of 4)(Cover A J. Scott Campbell), $3.99
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Dungeons And Dragons Volume 3 Down HC, $21.99
Frazetta Funny Stuff HC, $49.99
G.I. JOE Retaliation Official Movie Prequel #4 (Of 4)(Salvador Navarro Black & White Variant Cover), AR
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Popeye #1 (Of 4)(Bruce Ozella Regular Cover), $3.99
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Snake Eyes #12 (Cover A Robert Atkins), $3.99
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9 (Cover A Dan Duncan), $3.99
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Transformers Robots In Disguise #4 (Cover A Andrew Griffith), $3.99
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True Blood Volume 3 The French Quarter HC
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Air Gear Volume 23 GN, $10.99
 
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MARKOSIA ENTERPRISES
Z Time GN, $12.99
 
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CLAMP In Context A Critical Study Of Manga And Anime SC, $35.00
 
MOONSTONE
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PAPERCUTZ
Classics Illustrated Deluxe Volume 8 Oliver Twist HC, $24.99
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PINWHEEL PRESS
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Much The Miller's Son Volume 3 Robin's Seven HC (not verified by Diamond), $20.00
 
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Titmouse Volume 2 HC, $24.99
 
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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Jungle Book #2 (Cover A Mike DeBalfo), $2.99
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Grimm Fairy Tales Myths And Legends #15 (Cover A Robert Atkins), $2.99
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Grimm Fairy Tales Different Seasons Volume 2 TP
, $17.99

 Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him onTwitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue.



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