‘Not So Super:’ Comic Book Review (Just an Ordinary Guy with Superpowers)

Have you ever started to dwell on how monotonous life can be, and then wondered how everything would be better if you had superpowers? Well, Not So Super shows us how x-ray vision or flight is a poor substitute for solving life's problems. Meet Dan Douglas, your average 30-something techie for the kind of evil Techyon Corp. whose weekly highlight is a cosplay party, who one day wakes up with superpowers.

Dan is a highly sympathetic and relatable character; he's a little nerdy and not fully satisfied with where his life has gone, but not distraught by it enough to make a change. This first issue mainly focuses around Dan's average day before the craziness starts. As such, it's a little mundane, but writer Jacques Nyemb uses Dan's narration to keep the issue moving along at a steady pace, hitting the highlights without dwelling any longer than is needed for the later story while having fun with every scene along the way, making full use of abstractions to represent what a mundane life feels like rather than what it actually is. In addition, Not So Super sets up a compelling mystery right away, sprinkling hints throughout of what's to come—though we'll still have to wait for the why.

On the downside, Not So Super highlights the story of one guy. Secondary characters like the creepy secretary, Dianne, or Dan's buddy, Roy, are only seen in passing, which makes them nice catch-alls for a reader to insert their own experiences, but I was hoping for a bit more to grab on to. Not So Super is a dialogue-light book, with the longest conversation—and, therefore, the secondary character I gravitated towards the most—being between Dan and his cosplaying friend, Hina. Outside of evil secretary Dianne or Hina, I couldn't name a trait for any of the other characters. I'd like to have seen more of the characters Dan might later confide in or have to work around with his new abilities, though the book does a great job of making me interested in learning more about them based on their brief introductions. While it's got the mystery and is establishing Dan's life from before, I'd like to have seen something more of what problems the powers will bring in this first issue as that part of the premise feels tacked on near the end.

Joe Hunter's art style falls on the cuter side. Hunter makes full use of the ability to be abstract and metaphorical, such as having smoke billow out of the elevator when arriving on Dan's floor at Techyon. Dan's expressions are priceless, able to convey the emotions we've all felt when working at a dead-end job or coming home to an empty apartment. Hunter's style makes good use of perspective to help convey these emotions, such as in that same elevator scene having the camera tilted lower to show Dan's lack of confidence. The writing and art work together perfectly, hitting the same tonal notes; Nyemb and Hunter manage to bounce back and forth the humor and the mundane events to create a book that is wholly entertaining from start to finish.

You can check out a five-page preview of Not So Super for yourself here, and the issue can be bought digitally here as a pay-what-you-want title.


Four Cans of “Spazzler” out of Five

Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo
Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream

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