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Netflix’s ‘SupaCell’ is a Slowburn Superhero Series

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How far would you go to save someone you love? For most of us, the answer is clear-we’d go to the ends of the Earth. This human desire, however, is bound by limitations. But what if you had superpowers? The possibilities and lengths you could go to would be nearly endless. We all know the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility,” but rules are meant to be broken when a loved one’s life is at stake. This intriguing concept drives Netflix’s latest superhero series, Supacell, now available for streaming.

Supacell is the brainchild of Rapman, the creative mind behind Shiro’s Story and Blue Story. For Supacell, Rapman is taking on multiple roles as the creator, showrunner, writer, and lead director of the six-part series. The story revolves around a group of Londoners who discover they have superpowers and must unite to alter the course of the world. With a star-studded cast including Tosin Cole (Doctor Who), Adelayo Adedayo (Some Girls, The Responder), and Yasmin Monet Prince (Hanna, Boxing Day), Supacell is ready to be your next superhero obsession, with the promise of an exciting and engaging viewing experience. 

Is it worth your time, or are there other series to spend your time on another? Continue on to see just what I thought of the first four episodes of Supacell.

[Warning: light spoilers from Netflix’s Supacell are below!]

Possible futures and developing powers in Netflix’s Supacell

If a word comes to mind for Michael (Tosin Cole), it’s normal; so average, in fact, that he’s practically dull. Working as a delivery driver for a company keeps him busy, but that doesn’t stop him from taking care of his mother, who is sick with sickle cell disease. He’s also obsessed with his girlfriend Dionne (Adelayo Adedayo), doing anything to give her the world, including an engagement ring and promising forever. At this point of ultimate happiness, his life is turned upside down, beginning with glowing yellow eyes.

As yellow flashes in his pupils, he teleports out of the moment he’s currently living, which for him is rather unexpected. Michael hasn’t exhibited powers until this point in his adult life, so why has he developed them now? While that answer is unclear, his ability to travel through time and space brings him face-to-face with a terrifying future.

Supacell Cast
Promotional still from Supacell (Netflix).

Dionne’s death is coming, and it isn’t far enough away from Michael’s present time. Not only that, he finds his future self fighting alongside four people he has never met in his life, all exhibiting superpowers as well. Getting pulled back to the present, Michael sets off on a journey to find the other heroes from his future and stop the death of his partner before it happens.

In the present-day story, audiences learn more about the other heroes, all of who begin to exhibit powers one day that they didn’t have before. Joining the ranks of Michael as South London’s newest heroes are Sabrina (Nadine Mills), a nurse who has horrid tastes in men and whose life is enmeshed with her sisters, Andre (Eric Kofi-Abrefa), an ex-con whose only goal in life is to find stability for him and his teenage son, whom he’s attempting to build a relationship with, Rodney (Calvin Demba), a basic level weed-dealer who doesn’t seem to have much going for him, and Tazer (Josh Tedeku), the leader of a gang.

All five Black South Londoners seem to be struggling in some aspect of their lives, with their problems only worsening with their powers’ introduction. Can Michael gather them all and shape them into a team in time to save Dionne? Or is the death and destruction he saw in the future destined to happen regardless? For those answers, you’ll have to watch all six episodes of Supacell.

A slow start for Rapman’s newest project

I was incredibly excited for Supacell before actually watching it for many reasons. I remember scrolling through the Netflix media website, and the poster of this new superhero series caught me instantly. I immediately recognized Tosin Cole’s face, which wasn’t surprising as I loved him in Doctor Who, but what caught me was the blazing yellow eyes staring back at me. It’s striking, and there is nothing else on the poster but the show’s name.

I didn’t need to see a trailer to know I wanted to watch it, as the concept alone and this simple image was enough to grab my attention, which I’m sure it will do for many people. I’m a sucker for comic shows, so this seemed right up my alley.

Supacell-Tosin Cole
Michael (Tosin Cole). Supacell (Netflix).

Unfortunately, the first four episodes of Supacell felt like a slog to get through instead of an enjoyable superhero romp. A big part of that is due to the need to understand and explore each character intimately, which adds stakes and reason to the bigger picture. Because of that need, these initial episodes focus on the exposition instead of pushing the story forward. It felt like we were sitting there with the characters instead of having the story speak for them.

Some shows work well with that idea and I have enjoyed that type of series in the past, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to Supacell. I wanted to like the series badly but found myself bored for most of it, and even as I write this article, I had to go back and watch parts of it again to remember what happened. In short, Supacell is boring and unmemorable in the landscape of the prime superhero series and movies that we currently have, but it has the potential to be something extraordinary. The wasted potential in the first four episodes felt the most aggravating because the concept is there, but the excitement is not.

The talent in Supacell is Supa-strong

Supacell’s saving grace is in the acting of its stars. Led by Tosin Cole, the entire cast is ripe with talent, creating intriguing characters that carry the show. The series is ripe with personalities and relationships, perfect for psychology enthusiasts. Cole is fantastic as Michael, a man who becomes riddled with panic and anxiety with the knowledge that his girlfriend is destined for death. This is completely understandable, as any of us would have become if we had learned that information. He also uses this knowledge to his advantage; he can stop it if he gathers the heroes and develops a plan. Cole gives incredible gravitas to his character, making him relatable and impactful for the story.

Sabrina, played by Nadine Mills, was the most interesting character in Supacell. Sabrina has worked hard to be a nurse after years of intense schooling to provide selfless service to the public but is constantly treated unkindly due to her skin color. There’s a justified anger within Sabrina as a result, which she attempts to keep in check. Keeping it in check becomes harder as her powers develop, providing her with an interesting struggle. 

Supacell may not be worth your time

Even with some great acting and interesting characters, I was still waiting for something from Supacell to catch my attention. The series’ pacing threw off most of its entertainment value, as it was a crawl through the first four episodes to get to the end. In my opinion, plenty of other superhero shows do what Supacell attempts to do in bigger and better ways.

Supacell is currently streaming on Netflix. Did you like the series? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

Brian Kitson has 368 posts and counting. See all posts by Brian Kitson