Superman Family Adventures #10 came out last week and after the bitter taste of H'El on Earth this issue was like a little scoop of sorbet to cleanse the palate.
I will admit that this issue veered more towards Tiny Titans than prior issues. But this was chock full of silliness and joy and optimism and frankly, I needed it. In Superman, Supergirl is stabbing people in the chest with Kryptonite. In Superman Family Adventures she is eating breakfast with Kon and the Kents. It is good to see Supergirl smile every so often. And it is good for comics to be fun once in a while too.
With only a couple of issues left in the title and an endpoint in mind, creators Art Baltazar and Franco move things forward pretty quickly in this issue. And there is a healthy dose of outright zaniness. Add to that a couple of riffs from mainstream DC continuity and this was a silly issue which helped clear my mind.
Last issue, Brainiac was supposedly defeated and brought to Kandor to face some Kryptonian justice. However, a Brainiac drone crawled from the wreckage of the Brainiac ship.
The drone heads to the orbiting Fortress with its Brainiac based tech. And it picks its camouflage. It might say western cowboy but it looks much more like Nimrod in Vyndktvx' Anti-Superman Army. Nice!
Since this is Superman Family Adventures, I am a bit more easy with my continuity concerns. So I applauded the return of Lara to the living last issue.
In an interesting twist, Franco and Baltazar figured out a way to temporarily bring back Jor-El. Jor-El is usually seen as a Marlon Brando-like ghost in silver robes a la the Donner films. Now, using the 'red sun chamber' from Superman 2, they can grant Jor-El 24 hours of solidity.
Crazy? Yes. But fun and breezy.
In the aftermath of Jor-El's return, the Phantom Zone villains also escape. This time, at least initially, General Zod decides to rule the Earth by wooing people with delicious hot dogs. That is insane.
Those who read this blog back in the New Krypton days know how much I loved the Ursa character. Here her violent tendencies rear their ugly head. She simply wants to crush people. I love it.
Still ... just bizarre.
While Jor-El and Lara have some quiet time, Clark heads to the Kents to see his other parents.
I love that Clark gets flustered at the mere mention of Lois!
I called it before. I will say it again. Clark marries Lois in the last issue of this book.
As for the Phantom Zone criminals, Zod changes his mind and starts yelling ... you guessed it ... 'Kneel before Zod'.
And to help him with his destructive goals, Zod sprinkles red kryptonite on some of the hot dogs he is selling, turning them into Godzilla-like weiners.
I said this was a bizarre issue.
This is my favorite moment in the book. While Zod changes his mind to become destructive, Ursa tones things down. When she sees her old friend Lara suddenly friendship becomes more important than devastation.
It is truly fantastic. And it felt natural for some reason.
And things get better.
How wild is it to see Superman and Jor-El in the same heroic pose and fighting evil. There is something so Silver Age about that.
Meanwhile, Ursa and Lara continue to rekindle their friendship.
And the Zod/Superman fight on the car also smacks of a similar fight in Superman 2 as well.
The issue ends with a nice cliffhanger. General Zod is rounded up and is going to be tossed back into the Phantom Zone. But before he is imprisoned, he sprinkles some of his red Kryptonite salt onto Kandor which enlarges it, demolishing the fortress from the inside out. Kandor enlarged in the Arctic? Reminds me of the New Krypton story.
But Brainiac is also re-enlarged and suddenly a bigger bad than a hot dog selling Zod is around.
Okay, this was pretty bizarre issue. But you get the sense that Franco and Baltazar are moving all of these pieces of Superman mythos to end this book with some closure. Giant hot dogs aside, we have the return of Lara and Kandor. We have the Lois/Clark simmering romance.
I think we will see a wedding. I think we will see Rokyn. And I think we will have more fun stories.