Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CBR Superman Family Adventures


Aw Yeah, Superman comics!

You know how to recognize a good DC Comics book these days? By the lack of the "New 52" label on the cover!

Aw Yeah, Comics!!

Comic title: Superman Family Adventures Vol. 1
Art by Art Baltazar 
Written by Franco Aureliani & Art Baltazar

Published by DC Comics
From 2012
Lineup Superman series
Format: Trade paperback collecting Superman Family Adventures #1-6.

The return of Art Baltazar and Franco to a fun all-ages DC Comics title!

Superman Family Adventures is their take on the entire Superman mythos. While the series starts pretty rooted and close to its recently rebooted "New 52" counterpart, as the book went on they started to tap more and more into old material.

Superman Family Adventures takes inspiration from over 70 years worth of material from the original Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster era to the early 60s Silver Age stuff to the Christopher Reeve movies.

The series was launched right following the end of Tiny Titans.

Tiny Titans ended on such a high note. We got this mysterious "Purple hooded figure" walking through those last few issues, the Superman family got new costumes thanks to Jor-El to better match the DCnU and while we never got to see adults heroes (only their legs in the background) the very first and last one they finally showed us on panel was revealed to be Superman!

Most issues of Superman Family Adventures start the same way -

In the far reaches of Space...

A fiery Meteorite is on a collision course with Earth!

More importantly... Metropolis - the city of Tomorrow!

Cue to the story...

Superman Family Adventures, as the title says, follows the adventures of the Super-family.

They're all here! Superman! Superboy! Supergirl! And even Krypto the Superdog!

In case of problem, you can always count on the Man of Steel! A giant meteorite aiming for our world? Robots invading the city? Giant monkeys on the loose? Looks like a job for... Superman!

Clark Kent also works at the Daily Planet. Everyone is here, in one form or another. Chief Perry White sure loves his coffee, that's why he always has Jimmy Olsen running left and right to bring him a cup. And let's not forget Lois Lane's love affair... with journalism!

Like Tiny Titans, it's very much kid friendly.

A good old simple fun read.

The book also features a lot of inside jokes for older fans and even several allusions to DC Comics (such as publisher Dan Didio, a way to keep their book running?). We even get the Supermobile in one issue!

This first volume collects the first 6 issues of the run. The story structure is in place right starting with issue 1. A threat happens to Metropolis. Superman jumps to save the day. Some mischief happens. Secret identity shenanigans with Lois. And Lex Luthor trying to get his revenge on Supes.

Speaking of, while it's very much episodic and follows a "villain of the week" formula, there's a bigger emphasis on an on-going plot behind the scenes. One issues subplot might carry over to the next.

Also some issues feature word-games at the end and other playful activities.

And the Tiny Titans also appear in slightly New 52-ysh-altered costumes.

Fun tales of Superman's friends and foes from the Eisner Award-winning team of Art Baltazar and Franco!

This feels... right. Classic Superman reinterpreted  for a new generation!

They even (re)introduced a new Super-pet, Fuzzy the Krypto Mouse inspired by a 1958 character from a single Superboy issue.

Jor-El's ghost is always up for some advice at the Fortress of Solitude. Pa Kent and Ma Kent are proud of their son. All the classic elements are here!

The first issue revolves around Lex-bots destroying the city. Then you get such diverse villains as Bizarro, Parasite and Metallo. The Super-pets help save the day! Robot-Clark Kents running lose around town... And the introduction of Steel!

Lots of funny jokes for everyone to enjoy!

Overall, a good fun comic, recommended!

Superman Family Adventures is a true all-ages comic. One of the best new titles coming from DC in these last few years.

Franco and Art Baltazar get all the basic dynamics right, from the Daily Planet to Lois, including all these recurring family members and villains.

Sadly the series was canceled with issue 12, just short of the release of the Man of Steel film on theaters.

There is a second issue collecting the entire second half of the series' run.

And unlike it's cynical New 52 iteration, this much happier friendler Superman book ends with Clark actually kissing Lois!

We also get (Lunch Lady) Darkseid and the rest of the Justice League!

The cancellation of the book prompted Baltazar and Franco to go seek work elsewhere (more precisely, at Image Comics and Dynamite).

Thankfully DC realized since then there error and a return of Tiny Titans is now scheduled to hit soon.

All in all, good ol' fun. Cartoony and goofy, not unlike original Superman comics.

In a market oversaturated with similar gritty titles and dozens of Batman and Spider-man iterations, give this one a look! It's never too late. 

I give it:
2 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

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