Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Superman Family Adventures #2

Superman Family Adventures #2 came out last week and was a boatload of fun.  I shouldn't be surprised given how much fun Art Baltazar and Franco's Tiny Titans book was.

In fact, this issue felt much more like Tiny Titans than the first issue. Where the first issue was one story involving all the characters, this issue went to a Titans-like format of several shorter stories and with much zanier and humorous endings. To be honest, both styles work for this sort of book. I do hope that we will still get some book-length stories here.

I hope to meet these creators again one day to ask them if they have a particular soft spot in their hearts for Supergirl because I have to say she was very much involved in this issue, more than even Superman. And she also had some of the best moments. (Of course, this could be observational bias from a Supergirl fan).

But as I said above, this was fun. I am starting to think the title of the book has something of a double meaning. Sure it is a Superman Family book of adventures. But it is also a Superman Adventures book that can be enjoyed by families. I know that the three supergirls at home loved the book as much as I did. On to the highlights!

I like the fact that Jimmy is something of a 'weirdness magnet' in the book, always in the wrong place at the wrong time. So even on a day off hanging out with friends he witnesses some 'Mr. Action' style shenanigans.

As for his friends, I wonder if Cloe is a version of Smallville's Chloe Sullivan, someone who had some romance with Jimmy Olsen on the show. She also looks a lot like Supergirl, down to the red and blue dominated outfit. I wonder if future issues will have Jimmy trying to uncover her 'secret identity' ... maybe by throwing himself off a building?

A square shaped rocket crashes right near where they are walking and out pops Bizarro.

This is the 'first appearance' of Bizarro in this universe so he is unrecognized by everyone. In fact Jimmy thinks he might be Superman.

Back at the Fortress of Solitude, Supergirl and Superboy are hanging out with the Titans. Supergirl hears Jimmy's scream and goes to investigate.

So a couple of things to mull/gush over here. First off, I love that Supergirl is the one who decides that she needs to go see if Jimmy needs help while everyone else continues their video game playing and snack munching. I think it shows that she is the sort of farther along on the hero's journey than the others.

But I also love the cameo by the Titans. These aren't Tiny Titans. And they don't yet look like Teen Titans. So I am officially dubbing them the Tweener Titans!

Supergirl arrives in Metropolis to find Bizarro up to all sorts of mischief. Unfortunately Bizarro thinks Supergirl has come to play. He starts tossing anything he can get his hands on to her - people, cars, trains, etc.  She even saves a swooning Jimmy, hearts floating around his head.

Even some of the train passengers have hearts for Supergirl. I think in this universe, Supergirl is beloved.

Superman arrives and is quickly swatted out of the way leaving Supergirl to figure out how to stop the damage.

She realizes that Bizarro was just cranky from waking up from his rocket ride. And nothing soothes crankiness like ice cream. Goofy and fun. I love that Supergirl asks to keep him like a stray dog!

In a move that seems destined for disaster, Superman takes Bizarro back to the Fortress and asks Superboy and Supergirl to babysit the imperfect duplicate. Of course, hijinks ensue.

It ranges from something benign and silly like nailing the furniture to the ceiling ...

To more serious problems like freeing the intergalactic zoo, tossing all the kryptonite around the fortress, and even playing with the bottle city of Kandor.

While the cousins do a good job trying to handle these disasters, Superman returns. It seems like nothing will stop Bizarro from demolishing the place.

Leave it to Supergirl to find the answer. If ice cream worked once, it should work again.

So Supergirl saves the day ... twice!

Okay, I don't know if the ice cream answer was as funny the second time around.

There are a couple of shorts mixed in with the Bizarro plot.

I love how Streaky is portrayed. He basically acts like a cat does ... aloof and sleeping much of the time but in action when called. Here he is annoyed that Fluffy keeps interrupting his catnap. After listening to Fluffy tout his new found skills, Streaky does what most cats would do ... send him flying and return to his nap.

I can never get enough streaky.

And in another short, Superman gives Jimmy the famous super-signal watch. Now Jimmy won't be relying on Supergirl's ears picking up his screams from the other side of the planet!

It's silly and crazy I know. It includes such Silver Age goodies like Kandor and signal watches. It has the Superman family working together for good. And it has portrayed Supergirl in a very positive manner. Plus, I get to read it with my own kids. What is not to love?

Overall grade: A

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