KID SUPREME

kidsupreme1

Even before the Lady Supreme series there was this spin-off solo series of Kid Supreme, with Dan Fraga on art and plot, and Eric Stephenson on the script. I wrote before about the events of Supreme #36 where Kid Supreme fought a racist female supervillain named LATINA, which resulted in the death an innocent bystander, and led Kid Supreme to reconsider if he was cut out to be a superhero.

So, a month later, in March 1996, KID SUPREME #1 was published. The first issue sets up the new status quo. Kid Supreme has moved to the small town of Martinez, California, to live with his grandparents. For reasons which aren’t adequately explained, instead of his real name Danny Fuller, he is now using the name Sam Preston, and has enrolled in High School there. His grandparents know about his powers, but he’s vowed to not use them anymore, he’s just going to just be a regular teenager. This vow is tested when he immediately runs afoul of Crash Duncan, a football jock and the local school bully who humiliates him in front of the other kids. But he also makes two new friends a boy with spikey red hair called “Red” and boy with dyed blue hair called “Blue.” He also catches the eye of Tiffany Moretti, a popular rich girl who is driven to school in limo every morning.

But this small little town isn’t so ordinary. It turns out that Tiffany’s father is a Mafia boss (Tiffany appears to be unaware of her father’s criminal activities), and when one of his associates is set to testify against him in court, he puts a hit out on him. Sam happens to be around when the hit is about to go down and switches into his costume to save the day, revealing to the city that there’s a new superhero in town. His grandparents are upset when they found out that he broke his promise, but Sam swears that he had no choice, and it was just a one-time thing. But in ensuing issues, hiding his powers becomes more and more difficult…

kidsupreme2

The next month, in Kid Supreme #2, Sam faces his first local supervillain. The High School Science teacher invents a potion that, when he drinks it, transforms him into REPTYLE, a big monster who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Spider-Man villain The Lizard. Also in this issue Sam tries out for the High School football team, getting accepted thanks to secretly using his powers, which makes Crash even angrier at him and Tiffany even more interested in him…

Three months later, in July 1996, Kid Supreme #3 came out.

Tiffany’s father hires a supervillain named Killowatt to destroy Kid Supreme. Killowatt is a complete rip-off of Horace Pinker, the character played by Mitch Pileggi in the 1989 horror film SHOCKER He was criminal who was sentenced to death, but the electric chair somehow gave him super powers, making him a being of electricity. He can fire electric blasts and also directly invade airwaves, letting him travel through wires and appear inside TV shows (no, it doesn’t make much sense, just go with it). Killowatt calls out Kid Supreme over TV, they meet and fight and then Killowatt drags Kid Supreme inside the Television where they encounter several TV characters, including the cast of CHEERS and FRIENDS, then luckily for Kid Supreme they end up in the middle of a live swimsuit special starring GLORY. The two heroes team up to defeat Killowatt.

So although this issue ended with news for Kid Supreme #4 and an ad for Kid Supreme #5, a month after this issue came out Alan Moore took over the main Supreme title, and in his first issue he rewrote all of Supreme’s reality, wiping out all previous continuity and consigning this version of Kid Supreme to The Supremacy…

Issue41

So that seemed to be it for Kid Supreme…

However, 7 months later, in the 9th issue of ASYLUM, an anthology series published by Rob Liefeld’s new imprint Maximum Press, a full-length Kid Supreme story appeared, by the same creative team (although Fraga is not credited with the plot in this issue, just pencils, with Stephenson credited as writer).

It opens back in Martinez, with Sam talking to his grandfather. Through flashbacks we get a replay of the events shown in Supreme #41, except although in the issue, as you see in the above panel, Kid Supreme was eager to stay in The Supremacy. Here, he says that although The Supremacy seemed like a paradise, he objected to being “written out of existence”, and at the last second managed to escape back to the real world, finding himself crashing in his Grandparent’s kitchen, just wearing his pajamas. Unsure of what to do next, he tries to resume his regular life in Martinez. He has a date with Tiffany to a party, she picks him in a limo but on the way to the party they stop at a store to get some beer. Then a new supervillain named Blacktop attacks, and Sam is forced leap into action as Kid Supreme, but now with a brand new costume…

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Sorry for the poor quality of the image, it’s not online and I don’t have a scanner, so I just took a picture of the page with my phone.

But, despite the TO BE CONTINUED caption, this was it. There were no continuing Kid Supreme solo adventures (although he would return a few other comics from Rob Liefeld years later). I have to say that this very brief series is pretty enjoyable. First, up, Fraga’s artwork is beautiful here. He was only 21 at the time, so still a relative newbie, but he was drawing like a seasoned pro. And the writing is better than average. There are a few flaws, such as how I mentioned the confusion surrounding Kid Supreme’s name, why he’s using Sam Preston instead of Danny Fuller. There’s also that fact that he doesn’t wear a mask as Kid Supreme, so it’s never explained why nobody recognizes him. And, of course, the villains are not very original.

However, this series was fun. It felt like a classic teenage superhero story, in the vein of early Spider-Man, Milestone’s Static, or Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. I liked that they actually established a secret identity and personal life for him, compared to original Supreme and Lady Supreme, who just stayed in costume all the time. But in this series we got to see Kid Supreme trying to balance his school work, and after school activities, along with his superhero adventures. And with his grandparent, and kids at school, there was a good supporting cast. I think there was a lot of potential in this series, I wish it had lasted longer. It’s not essential to your Supreme collection, but I still recommend it.

*Note: Asylum #9 also contains an 8-page story of THE FOOT SOLDIERS, written by Jim Krueger and drawn by Phil Hester and Bill Sienkiewicz

  6 comments for “KID SUPREME

  1. jeremydanielking
    May 31, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    I was always intrigued by the Supreme universe line of titles. As a facsimile of Superman, it made sense that there would be a Supergirl and Superboy (and eventually even a Krypto) replica to go with it.

    I greatly enjoyed the Superboy series from the early 90s by Kesel & Grummett. Kid Supreme was an obvious nod to that character, but he looked to maintain the same sense of fun and I looked forward to trying this series out. Sadly I never saw a single issue of it in stores. Since you gave the series such a high rating I think I’ll track it down.

    And thanks again for this trip down memory lane regarding all things Supreme.

    Like

    • May 31, 2015 at 6:36 AM

      I liked that 90’s Superboy series too. I always loved Tom Grummett’s art.

      Like

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