(w) Arkhein (a) David Jaxon (c) Sambas Suryadi (l) Chris Johnson
“Well, it’s time to suck the day’s dick.” That’s the opening line to The Super Support Group from Anomalous Comics. Following in the recent trend of putting superheroes in mundane or everyday situations, Super Support Group sees a group of powered individuals forced to partake in court-ordered group therapy. If it sounds similar to DC’s Heroes in Crisis, it’s because it is… to an extent. Whereas that high-profile book deals with trauma for full-fledged superheroes, Super Support Group deals with characters that are “super” insofar as they have what can loosely be defined as powers and little to no indication of actual heroics.
It is clear from the onset that the creative team, each of whom had a hand in developing a story, is attempting to strike a balance between comedy and commentary. Each character is distinct and brings with them their own boisterous personality, from the Ultra-Transvestite to Porno Pete. However, they are less characters and more caricatures, with the two aforementioned characters being emblematic of this issue. Arkhein’s script plays to the lowest common denominator by playing up stereotypes for laughs. It doesn’t help that the group therapy is facilitated by a shrink (literally a guy with Ant-Man’s powers) acts like the frustratingly apathetic therapist portrayed in countless films and television shows. Admittedly, the combination of the therapist’s powers with the colloquial term for the profession is one of the book’s genuinely clever moments.
Also of interest are two plot threads that are more captivating that the therapy sessions. One features a cowboy-clad bank robber that says the previously mentioned quote about felatiating the day, and the other sees a kinda-but-not-exactly mime frequently ignored by passers-by. Unfortunately, each of these plot threads look to play a bigger role in issues down the road. It’s a true shame, because the creative team appears to have something genuinely special going on here, but it is just bogged down by the “main” story.
Despite the story’s flaws, the art from David Jaxon and Sambas Suryadi is well executed. Vibrant and expressive, this duo makes the world of Super Support Group feel genuinely lived in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these two make their way through the ranks at Titan or BOOM! or IDW in the near future. The script may be a bit rocky, but the artwork is smooth from the cover through the last panel.
The Super Support Group #1 is a book rife with potential that is squandered by a subpar script. Though the artwork and a couple plot threads can hold the reader’s interest for the majority of the issue, its core just cannot seem to get out of its way. It a true shame, because I went into this book with high hopes and it just didn’t deliver the goods.