Supermansion graphic novel review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Titan Comics - 978-1-7858-6130-7
  • Volume No.: 1
  • Release date: 2018
  • UPC: 9781785861307
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

Have there been enough superhero parodies over the years? Probably. And how many of them have actually been funny? Well there’s The Tick, and… um…

The omens weren’t good for the start of SuperMansion as an animated series when it began in 2015, but it survived a rocky beginning to become an enjoyable sleazy watch. The potshots are sometimes obvious, and the characters certainly have their analogues, but the joke ratio is high, admittedly more from the pure poor taste comments than the superhero parody. That’s just a high octane visual means to facilitate the jokes.

Barry Hutchison has nothing to do with the TV show, but is known for his funny young adult novels. He rapidly proves he knows his way around the League of Freedom, their incompetent ways, and their egos, foibles and eccentricities. His imagination is responsible for several astonishing plot devices, not least the way early on that the League suddenly manage to transform themselves into paragons of efficiency. There’s a good laugh on pretty well every page, and that’s some ratio. The caveat is that anyone who’s likely to be offended by swearing, off colour comments, national stereotypes and a robot called Jewbot should stay well away from SuperMansion (in both incarnations).

At first it’ll take some getting used to seeing the cast as two-dimensional cartooning rather than their digitally generated 3-D video versions, but the gears soon slip into place. Jake Elphick is a lively slapstick cartoonist, whose pages provide the bombastic exaggeration needed to sell the plots, and his visual mind is as filthy as Hutchison’s scripts.

A pair of two chapter stories are presented for your consideration, the first involving clone troubles, and the second sending the League on an exchange trip to Germany, while their European counterparts take their place in the USA. Does it succeed? Well, who could have predicted the Ranger is still wanted for war crimes in Germany…

Will you be offended? Possibly. Will you laugh? Certainly.