In my previous review I talked in broad terms about why I enjoy Supernormal Step, because I just wanted to outline why it’s worth spending your precious time on a new webcomic/graphic novel.
In Volume 2 (Chapters 4–6 of the webcomic), M Lee Lunsford broadens our understanding of Fiona and the main cast, but not before Fiona temporarily leaves them behind in search of solitude. (Hint: That does not work out well for her.)
Despite this being a serious story in many respects, humour is replete in this comic, and the opening to Chapter 4 is a great example. Fiona is just coming to terms with her “hero status” in the small town she fled to in Chapter 3. So, of course, it's a major inconvenience when she gets waylaid on her way to work one morning and asked to fight an mad scientist’s robot creation. Britta’s polite, meek apologies for disturbing Fiona at an awkward time contrasted with her thirst for battle and desire to capture Fiona, per her orders, are truly hilarious.
However, this volume is probably most notable for the amount of backstory Lunsford gives us. We learn more about Fiona’s relationship with her father, as well as the relationship between her father and Jim, who is also from her world. (I should point out that, while it’s easy to assume that Fiona comes from our Earth, Lunsford doesn’t come out and say that in the comics. It’s possible Fiona comes from an Earth that’s similar but also parallel to ours.) Van tells us about how he was raised in adolescence by a blood mage who wears a skull on his head (but hey, let’s not be prejudiced) until he fell in love with a vampire with a thick Scottish brogue.
And then things come to a head with Henderson. It’s becoming clear that there are more pieces at play than anyone thought—Van and Jim did not pull Fiona here by accident, despite their believing it was a mistake. But who is really pulling the strings? We’re just as much in the dark as Fiona, even though we have the benefit of seeing some things she doesn’t. But I love the suspense, the knowledge that there are plots hatched in the dark, and the idea that Fiona will bring them to light one way or the other (but at what cost?).
This volume ends on a downer for Van, in a way (and a wake-up call in others). But Fiona and troop as a whole now have a direction, a sense of purpose. Fiona’s working relationship with Henderson remains … tenuous at best; he hasn’t exactly threatened her so much as waggled his eyebrows gravely in her direction. Although we’ve seen the products of Henderson’s skill and power, i.e., the invincibility and irascibility of Hall and Eva, he has yet to demonstrate his own power “on screen.” (That being said, we are led to believe he took down a vampire and his goons single-handedly.) We know he’s not quite on the level though, what with Hall’s suspicions and now Fiona’s incentive to go digging.