Image Comics co-creator and Savage Dragon maestro Erik Larsen took the reins of the title as both lead writer and artist earlier this year with issue #64, inheriting plenty of baggage (not to mention sky-high expectations) left behind by Alan Moore’s acclaimed run, which reads like a metafictional love letter to Silver Age Superman stories.
Larsen wisely decided to make a clean break from Moore’s style by dusting off elements from series creator Rob Liefeld’s work on Supreme from way back in the 1990s and slamming the whole concoction head-on with his own creative predilections. What we’re left with is a narrative landscape strewn with over-the-top archetypes, unabashed melodrama and outlandish humor.
In Supreme #65, we see the disastrous aftermath of the previous issue’s battle between the Supreme family and arch-nemesis Darius Dax, who found a way to create a thousand different versions of himself. Rob Liefeld’s version of Supreme (basically a maniacal take on Superman) is running loose and out for revenge because, from his perspective, he’s been locked away for years inside the Supremacy while an imposter (Alan Moore’s version of Supreme) took his place.
As I said earlier, the book seems to positively crackle with outrageous energy.
Much like the script, the art doesn’t much concern itself with subtlety, which is pretty much the point. Lots of bright colors, dramatic facial expressions and sound effects that end in exclamation points. And it’s great fun to see Larsen ape Rob Liefeld’s version of Supreme so faithfully.
Supreme #65 is such a strange mash-up that I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but it’s compelling enough to hit the spot for readers who are prepared for what’s inside. If the idea of a grim/dark antihero created by Rob Liefeld punching his way through a meta-heavy Silver Age setting built by Alan Moore intrigues you in the slightest bit, consider picking up a copy.