Boy was I wrong.
Supernaut has to be the most refreshing comic series that I’ve read in a long time. Michael Nelsen began creating Supernaut in 2012, writing the story, creating all the artwork and lettering everything. It took him two years to chip away at this project and the end product is a beautiful work of art. The story calls upon ideas of metaphysics, theology, mythology and a lil’ bit of Joseph Campbell. One could compare it to the movie Interstellar but Supernaut still stands on its own.
A quick synopsis: Our story, begins like any trans-dimensional, space and time altering story would: in the sorta-middle. We see now enlightened astronaut, Stephen Haddon, confront the manifestation of God to ask him not to unravel reality. God tells him to buzz off. Haddon aka Supernaut, bands together with other trans-dimensional heroes and thieves to collect magical artifacts that supposedly combined would take down God.
The best thing about this series is without a doubt the art. If anyone ever says comics is not an art form, share with them Supernaut. I can’t express how thoroughly impressed I am with Michael Nelsen. Nelsen is a graphic designer so it’s no surprise that each and every page is carefully crafted to fit this mind-bending story. Nelsen’s experience as a graphic designer especially comes to light when it comes to color. Each and every page is an explosion of beautiful colors in an “order-within-chaos” kind of way. No space is left a blank white and nothing appears unnecessary. The story itself challenges perceptions of reality and dimensions and the art suits this mind bending story perfectly.
As for the story, it perfectly pairs with Nelsen’s art style. The story originally was meant to be a Green Lantern-style story, because lord knows we need another one of those. Thankfully, Nelsen evolved the story into something so much more, a deep exploration into life, metaphysics and higher existence(s). You can tell he took the time to research the physics and theology behind what makes ups life. What is a soul? Are there parallel universes? Nelsen called upon literary quotes ranging from Albert Einstein to the Bhagavad Gita. At one point he references the Wow! Signal which is an actual thing. It’s no wonder it took him 2 years to make this series, the amount of work it must have taken to compile complicated ideas and translate them into equally complicated graphic works of art must be extremely time consuming.
The supporting cast might be my only negative I have to offer. Because there’s so much to cram into the story, you’re handed a brief profile of our supporting characters. This choice to introduce the characters by profile inhibited the story a bit. (I spent 5 minutes reading up about a “pheromone spy” only to learn that she gets a panel worth of action). However, with so much going on, it seemed like Nelsen’s best solution introducing the team of thieves. Perhaps he should’ve expanded his series to more than 5 issues?
You will bombarded with a lot of science. A lot. I’m sure a lot of it is inspired by actual science, but at times it struck me as heavily padded dialogue and narration. Most of the time it would be fascinating, other times simply draining.
“It stores coded information in its plasma substrate…and transmits by trans-space and quantum interference.”
-Supernaut #3, about a room in a tower.
Science fiction readers will love this text. Some comic book fans will appreciate Nelsen’s diligence to flavor text and the science, others won’t. Regular readers with gloss over it and enjoy the overall story. Despite how you feel about it (tell me below) I think it fits with the story but it’s a little too heavy.
Comics has always been about challenging the conventional with new and exciting ideas. I guarantee that this is some of the most unique artwork in the indie comics scene. "
I eagerly await the conclusion!
Ragnarok n’ Roll
*The author of this blog has never taken acid and does not condone it. However, if you feel inclined to take acid, we recommend you read Supernaut instead.