Supacell on Netflix review: move over Marvel, this is your new superhero obsession

Let’s face it: the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its day. American caped crusaders saving the planet over and over, from their glitzy headquarters in New York? Yawn! No wonder audiences are turning off.

Fortunately we have Supacell to entertain us instead. Netflix’s brand-new, six-episode series relocates the action from the US to Peckham and presents us with a tantalising new proposition: what if a group of black British Londoners got superpowers?

The end result is less MCU and more Top Boy by way of Misfits. Created by Rapman – a producer, musician and now director from Deptford – the series introduces us to Michael (Tosin Cole), who’s living his best life.

He’s got a house, a job and is just about to propose to his longterm girlfriend Dionne (Adelayo Adedayo) when he suddenly develops the ability to travel back and forwards in time. Haven’t we all been there.

To make matters even worse, Dionne’s life is in danger – and whether or not she survives hinges upon his ability to find four other budding superheroes in the next few weeks before she is killed. No pressure. And make sure to avoid the mysterious evil mercenaries tracking him down, because what superhero show would be complete without those?

Thus begins an extremely high-stakes game of hide and seek, as Michael tries desperately to track down the other members of his proto-Avengers gang, while they resolutely believe he’s raving mad.

The end result is a bit of a romp. The main characters – Michael, Sabrina (Nadine Mills), Rodney (Calvin Demba), Andre (Eric Kofe-Abrefa) and Tazer (Josh Tedeku) – all have very different lives, and the show takes its sweet time exploring their lives and setting up the evolution of their superpowers.

supacell on netflix review: move over marvel, this is your new superhero obsession

Michael (Tosin Cole) and Dionne (Adelayo Adedayo) (Ana Blumenkron/Netflix)

Tazer, in particular, has a fascinating arc that feels almost ripped out of Top Boy: a gang member, he uses his ability to wreak bloody havoc on his rivals, which of course has grievous consequences.

And as the only female member of this non-squad, Sabrina’s storyline – which includes a dramatic love life, a chaotic sister and trying to navigate life as an NHS nurse – feels like a breath of fresh air amid all the testosterone.

I would have have watched a whole show based around just those guys but, somewhat to its detriment, Supacell attempts to juggle a few too many characters. Five people who hardly interact with each other makes for a lot of competing storylines, which, while fascinating at times, means that all the setting up can drag.

What we end up getting as a result is a peculiar mix of heavy themes – gang violence, microaggressions, violence and racial profiling among them – spliced in with tantalising bits of good old fashioned superhero shenanigans, where the characters put their powers to selfish use.

Ever wanted to see a man rob a cashpoint by punching a hole in a wall? Or using super-speed to deliver drugs faster than anybody else in the biz? This is the show for you.

Does it work? Yes. The whole thing just about hangs together, thanks to the engaging cast (almost all of them are fresh faces), and the well-executed action sequences.

While I won’t reveal what causes the characters’ special abilities in the first place, it’s a fun idea that gives Supacell some unique superhero lore of its own. When it flies, it soars – but it does take its sweet time getting there.

Supacell airs on Netflix from June 27

Register now for one of the Evening Standard’s newsletters. From a daily news briefing to Homes & Property insights, plus lifestyle, going out, offers and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here.

OTHER NEWS

4 hrs ago

Who are the 38+ lawmakers boycotting Netanyahu’s address to Congress today?

4 hrs ago

Raw’s latest numbers won’t break anyone’s heart

4 hrs ago

Andy Murray sticks up for mother Judy after Emma Raducanu Wimbledon furore

4 hrs ago

Cyber chaos: Ukrainian hackers disrupt Russia's banking system

4 hrs ago

Comic-Con 2024 Issue

4 hrs ago

Motaung Jnr on why Turkey pre-season was crucial!

4 hrs ago

Donald Trump Misses 12 Putts Playing Golf With Bryson DeChambeau

4 hrs ago

Gildan’s Reinstated CEO Embroiled in Tax Dispute Over Forex Trades

4 hrs ago

Garage clothing rebrand draws backlash over racy ad: ‘More like GarBage’

4 hrs ago

Saskatoon Berries slugger Carter Beck nabs all-star game MVP honours, Division I transfer

4 hrs ago

After 8 years, cat missing from Montreal turns up in Ottawa

4 hrs ago

4-month-old Dusk is looking for a family to take him on outdoor adventures

4 hrs ago

65-year-old CEO turned at least 88% of his employees into millionaires after selling his company for $70 million

4 hrs ago

Chicago suburb ranks among Fortune's '50 Best Places to Live for Families'

4 hrs ago

Trump rally gunman looked online for info on JFK assassination, FBI director says

4 hrs ago

Live updates: USMNT playing France in 2024 Olympics opener

4 hrs ago

What is VAR? What to know about the 2024 Paris Olympics technology

4 hrs ago

Olympic breaking? Here's a look at all the new events at the 2024 Olympics

4 hrs ago

Look up! 3 meteor showers to catch over Chicago skies this summer

4 hrs ago

American hostage families' message for Netanyahu in D.C. meeting: Bring them home now

4 hrs ago

Deputy who killed Sonya Massey worked for 6 agencies in 4 years

4 hrs ago

British equestrian great Dujardin out of Olympics after video shows her repeatedly whipping horse

4 hrs ago

3 dead in Somervell County crash

4 hrs ago

Netanyahu seeks support for Gaza war in address to Congress that sparks large protests and boycotts

4 hrs ago

Former longtime Rockets radio announcer Gene Peterson dies, team announces

4 hrs ago

Texas Democrats say RFK Jr.'s application to get on Texas ballot 'must be rejected'

4 hrs ago

Want to vote this November? Here's how to register in Texas

4 hrs ago

Big price cut ordered for inmate phone and video calls across Texas

4 hrs ago

6 things you need to know about cooking with ghee

4 hrs ago

Israeli prime minister Netanyahu addresses Congress as scores of Democrats boycott

4 hrs ago

These companies reporting next week are at risk of an earnings blowup

4 hrs ago

Boy, 14, busted in random caught-on-camera baseball bat attack on woman, 58, in NYC: cops

4 hrs ago

What 20 Of The Most Famous USA Women's Gymnasts Look Like Then Vs. Now

4 hrs ago

Solly Mapaila slams the ANC, names preferred GNU partners

4 hrs ago

See Timothée Chalamet's Bob Dylan perform "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" in “A Complete Unknown” trailer

4 hrs ago

NASA releases eye-popping, never-before-seen images of nebulae, galaxies in space

4 hrs ago

What Manchester City & Sony television's deal means for the future of sports entertainment

4 hrs ago

How much passive income could I make for every £1,000 invested in Aviva shares?

4 hrs ago

The 10 most popular cars on Consumer Reports

4 hrs ago

Assam govt reclaimed encroached land exceeding the size of Chandigarh: CM

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global