I'm reading Supreme: Blue Rose #1 and the first thing that comes into my mind is, "Tula Lotay's gonna be huge."
Lotay draws Warren Ellis' story about Supreme, the Superman archetype that may best be known for the time Alan Moore used him to write a love letter to Silver Age comics. Unlike Moore's take on the character, which was to intersperse a modern superhero story with flashbacks set in the Silver Age style, Ellis gets rid of the superhero altogether, focusing instead on Diana Dane, Supreme's equivalent of Lois Lane.
Diana Dane, a journalist, is hired by Darius Dax, a businessman, to go to a town called Littlehaven and investigate a crash site. What exactly fell on Littlehaven, no one knows, but Dax believes a man named Ethan Crane has something to do with it.
It's a first issue so it's pretty much all setup, but it's very rich in terms of setting the scene. Diana has dreams, and you know the dreams are going to mean something. Diana watches a serialized show on her phone while waiting for a meeting, and several characters that you can already tell we'll be seeing more of. Ellis and Lotay are able to introduce characters in just a couple of pages each and somehow have you feel like you already know who they are and the role they're going to play.
Ellis uses concepts Moore introduced, but starts from the beginning, rebooting this universe almost from the ground up. If you read Moore's or Erik Larsen's subsequent runs, you'll have an idea of what's going on, but that actually makes me jealous of the people going into this cold, because I think Ellis has successfully built up an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue that will make anyone curious about what's going on and wanting to buy the next issue.
Even so, it's common for a setup issue to feel like it's just going through the motions. That's not the case here. Not only do Ellis' words evoke a sense of mystery, but Lotay's art is just unbelievable. There isn't a single page of the comic that didn't blow me away. The dreamlike nature of the entire book, with the small waves of color operating outside and over the panels, gives it just enough of a feeling of magic that even if we're following the most grounded, "real" character in the story, you're always reminded something more is going on.
I know in a review I'm supposed to add a negative point that could be improved on, but you know what, I got nothin'. Just go buy and read it. It was the best comic I read this past week and I can't wait for the next one, so just, you know, go. Go already!