It was years ago that I stumbled upon Youtuber Grace Randolph. I may not have agreed with what she had to say but I had to respect that she was coming at things in an informed, articulate, and passionate way. Then I learned that she was writing a comic series, Superbia. I gave it a chance and gladly collected the TPB as they came out, up until the series ended.
What’s it About?
The Meta Legion work together to fight crime, but what can they do to protect their loved ones? Grace Randolph’s answer is that they move them to the safest neighbourhood ever. Just because they hang out at barbeques together doesn’t mean that they get along any better than any other suburban families.
What I liked
Not only do we get to see some classic super hero archetypes revisited (the dynamic duo of Night Fox & Agent Twilight, the all-powerful Sovereign, the warrior woman Batu, and the patriotic Marine Omega, you get the idea) but we spend more time on their families than on their heroics. Really, it’s the significant others and their children that are center stage here. We see this community of spouses to the supers face their own challenges, have their own crises, and attempt to unravel at least one mystery.
I’ve been a sucker for these sorts of stories for some time now. Normally it would be ‘a day in the life’ in format, following Clark Kent as a reporter or Wally West trying to prepare for his anniversary dinner and still keep the city safe or even the classic troubles of Peter Parker that plague him with and without the mask. Sometimes you would get The Wedding of Donna Troy (Tales of the Teen Titans #50). Not a super villain to be punched or a disaster bigger than the caterer not being on time. Comics that show that there’s more to them than cosmic battles and two fisted action, that there can be a story and character without the mask and tights.
Other Comics Like It
More than one comic has focused attention on the home life of the hero, but I’m going to point to Noble Causes as one that gave at least as much story to the family stories as it did to the action. Family is the theme, the driving force, and the outcome of pretty much every storyline. Picture the Fantastic Four after the kids have grown up and started fighting / dating the kids of Doctor Doom.
It is nearly impossible to discuss ‘a day in the life’ stories without mention of the genre love letter that is Astro City. It has its share of super hero action, but it lives primarily in the spaces between them. The series is well worth the read, though you may find certain arcs more appealing than others (Confession and Tarnished Angel are two I enjoyed a great deal, while the Dark Age worked as a story but didn’t draw me in as much). It is nigh impossible not to find a glowing review or award nomination for this series.