REVIEW: ‘Supermassive,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Supermassive #1

Supermassive #1 is written by Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom, and Ryan Parrott, illustrated by Francesco Manna (with assistance from Melania Palladino), Simone Ragazzoni (pages 24-33 and 46-50), Marcelo Costa, Abel, and Erica D’Urso (pages 19-21), colored by Igor Monti, and lettered by Becca Carey. It’s published by Image Comics. An interdimensional incursion brings a demonic being from another universe to the woods of Wisconsin, with Cássia Costa—better known as the superheroine Inferno Girl Red—hot on its heels. She soon encounters the gravity-manipulating hero Radiant Black and the hellfire-powered knight Rogue Sun, with the trio joining forces after the creature devours one of Radiant Black’s enemies, transforming into an energy leeching Kaiju.

Crossover events have become second nature in the world of superhero comics. The best ones, such as Secret Wars or Crisis on Infinite Earths, manage to balance blockbuster action sequences with plenty of character development and fantastic artwork. Supermassive hits that level. It’s a comic that features a massive threat that the trio of heroes have to work together to beat and has them confronting their fears as well as the potential apocalypse. Plus, you only have to buy this one-shot to get the full story; no tie-ins are necessary.

Much like their toku-inspired heroes, Higgins, Groom, and Parrott work insanely well as a team. Part of that is due to their previous work—both Higgins and Parrott worked on BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers titles and Higgins and Groom co-wrote a collection of Ultraman series for Marvel. Their love for toku tropes is on full display; not only do we have a giant monster, but there are plenty of transformation sequences and even a giant robot fight.

The interaction between Radiant Black, Inferno Girl Red, and Rogue Sun is a fun one. Black and Red hit it off immediately and even share their secret identities, while Sun is rather surly and standoffish. It’s not hard to see where his son Dylan, who will eventually inherit the mantle, gets it from.

Joining the trio of writers on art are Manna and Ragazzoni; they too have roots in tokusatsu comics as Manna illustrated Higgins and Groom’s Ultraman series while Ragazzoni is currently illustrating the Power Rangers Universe miniseries for BOOM! Manna handles the majority of the issue, drawing some insane sequences featuring the Kaiju—which is a mass of scaly reptilian features and power-draining technology—as well as Black, Red, and Sun transforming into their hero forms in a pair of double-page spreads. Ragazzoni illustrates the trio in their civilian identities—their first battle with the Kaiju leads to them taking an impromptu road trip. He also draws an emotional closing sequence when Cássia returns to her universe. Costa, Abel, and D’Urso, who serve as the co-creators of Radiant Black, Rogue Sun, and Inferno Girl Red, contribute a page of artwork that hints at future stories for their respective heroes.

Rounding out the creative team is a longtime Radiant Black letterer, See, and Monti. Monti delivers a kaleidoscope of colors, mostly bluish-black for Radiant Black, reddish-orange for Rogue Sun, and bright red for Inferno Girl Red. In addition, See gets creative with the word balloons for each character. For example, when Cássia transforms into Inferno Girl Red, her speech balloons become reddish-pink and are shaped like fireballs. In comparison, the Kaiju’s roars shatter its word balloons and look like broken stones.

Supermassive #1 unites three different heroes in a blockbuster crossover event, launching a new tokusatsu-inspired superhero universe in the process. Not only is this one of the best comics I’ve read over the years, but it also gives this year’s crop of upcoming superhero films a run for their money. So whether you’ve been following Radiant Black since its inception, or this is your first exposure to the character, this is a book you have to read.

Supermassive #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Supermassive #1
5

TL;DR

Supermassive #1 unites three different heroes in a blockbuster crossover event, launching a new tokusatsu-inspired superhero universe in the process. Not only is this one of the best comics I’ve read over the years, but it also gives this year’s crop of upcoming superhero films a run for their money.