Splitting Up The Tribe In Sukeban Turbo #3

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Jared is pissed at the Sukeban Tribe; they’ve been drawing attention to themselves with random acts of street violence. Worse yet, Kate has betrayed Shelby to Jared, and Kate told Jared about an “accident” Shelby and Sam orchestrated that ended with a teenager in a wheelchair. Shelby meets up with the other Sukebans later to decide how to handle Jared and Kate. Meanwhile, Sam has been cornered by the rest of Urban Smile and their manager about his relationship with a pornstar. Sam retaliates by quitting the band.

Sukeban Turbo #3 cover by Victor Santos
Sukeban Turbo #3 cover by Victor Santos

Sukeban Turbo #3 finds the Tribe falling apart under the weight of their ambitious dealer and boss. Shelby isn’t the forgiving type of course, even if it is apparent that Kate didn’t know how far this would spiral out.

The connection between Shelby and Sam is still strange, and we are left with two narratives that are technically connected but thematically disparate. The Sam and Urban Smile half of the narrative is easily the less interesting half, with Shelby being a far more compelling if nihilistic protagonist.

This issue defines the other members of the Sukeban Tribe better than the previous installments, if only Kate and Charlotte and only a little. That does leave the fourth member out to dry, though.

Sukeban Turbo #3 art by Victor Santos and letterer Shawn Lee
Sukeban Turbo #3 art by Victor Santos and letterer Shawn Lee

Victor Santos’ artwork once again strikes the perfect aesthetic and atmosphere for Sukeban Turbo. The graffiti-like style of the artwork suits this tale of gangs, drug-dealing, and inner-city violence well. Santos handles the more elaborate scenes well, keeping each element distinct from those around it on the page. The color work is drab and dirty, also suiting the narrative quite well.

Sukeban Turbo #3 is another engagingly youthful and nihilistic tale of this gang of girls and their destructive exploits. While the Urban Smile half of the narrative is less interesting, it still has time to come to an interesting head. On the whole, this is a damn good comic and worth a recommendation. Check it out.

Sukeban Turbo #3 comes to us from writer Sylvain Kunberg, artist and cover artist Victor Santos, letterer Shawn Lee, and variant cover artist Claire Roe.

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