Supreme #63

Story by
Art by
Erik Larsen
Colors by
Steve Oliff
Letters by
Chris Eliopoulos
Cover by
Image Comics

When Image announced Alan Moore's final script for "Supreme" was going to see print at long last, drawn by Erik Larsen and Cory Hamscher, I had to wonder if I'd fallen into an alternate universe. Since Moore's excellent run on "Supreme" back in the '90s dealt with (among many other things) alternate universes, that's not an out-of-the-question reaction. Published as "Supreme" #41-56 and "Supreme: The Return" #1-6, the series had not ended as much as merely halted; having one more issue felt too good to be true.

"Supreme" #63 doesn't so much wrap things up but offers a springboard for whoever comes next (in this case, Larsen adding writer to his "Supreme" duties with #64), but it's a doozy. Moore brings his run of "Supreme" full circle; a call-back to his universe-redefining moment in "Supreme" #41, a collision between all the alternate Darius Daxes and Supreme and a glimpse into how something that can be so wonderful for a hero can be so horrible in the hands of a villain.

It's funny that "Supreme" #63 was written over a decade ago, because if you didn't know better you'd think that Moore was re-introducing us to the world of "Supreme" deliberately here. Supreme's new girlfriend Diana Dane is our tour guide to the supporting cast and concepts of the series even as it feels like we're being reunited with an old, forgotten friend. If this had been published merely as "Supreme: The Return" #7 it would have been great, but as "Supreme" #63, it's much more poignant. (I'm sure I'm not the only person now hoping more than ever for some high-quality collections of Moore's "Supreme" run, plus his connected work on "Youngblood" and the like. While there were some volumes years ago from another company, they're not up to the publishing standard one would want.)

I'm used to seeing Larsen pencil and ink his own work, so his collaboration with Hamscher was a pleasant surprise. The general spiky nature of Larsen's pencils is still clearly on display, but I feel that Hamscher softens them just a tad. That keeps the art more in line with what Moore had built back in the day with artists like Chris Sprouse and Rick Veitch; this slightly gentler look for Larsen promises to serve well in the months to come. All in all, it helps make me feel like "Supreme" is in good hands.

"Supreme" #63 is a pleasant epilogue to Moore's "Supreme" run, even as it serves up an excellent cliffhanger for Larsen to move forward. The sky was always the limit in "Supreme," and I feel like it's even more so in its final pages. Where is Larsen going to take "Supreme?" Thanks to Moore, the answer is clearly, "Wherever he can possibly imagine." This is an excellent way to depart a series, even as it provides a final chapter that I didn't realize I had been missing. Good stuff.

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