Superman Family Adventures #1
Title: When We All Lived in the Forest
Writer: Art Baltazar & Franco
Art: Art Baltazar
Editor: Kristy Quinn
Publisher: DC Comics
I was, I admit, somewhat despondent when DC Comics announced the end of their brilliant all-ages series, Tiny Titans. That heartbreak was assuaged, however, when word came that the creators of that book were going to take the same comedic sensibility and apply it to a new title, Superman Family Adventures. Having read the first issue of this new title, I feel like they haven’t missed a beat.
Set in the same continuity (such as it is) as Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures #1 picks up a few years later. Superboy and Supergirl are a little older, but still children, and the focus shifts over to their older cousin Superman and the rest of his friends (and foes). This issue, his arch-rival Lex Luthor plans yet another of his many attacks on Metropolis, and Superman and the gang – including Krypto and a new friend – team up to save the day.
This book takes a very interesting approach to the story. The plot feels like it could have been pulled straight from any number of silver age adventures. Luthor is legitimately trying to do bad things here, but there’s a sort of goofy innocence to the plot – no murderbots, no women in refrigerators, no Dr. Light-style attacks on the Justice League satellite to worry about. Just some good old fashioned robots programmed to steal Superman’s powers. Simple.
What makes the book great, though, is how the creators take that simple, silly concept and apply their unique style of comedy to it. The puns, the visual gags, and the situational humor is all distinctly their own, and it all blends very well with the Silver Age flavor of the plot. They also bring in satire of some of the contemporary DCU elements – for example, discussion of the new costumes that the characters are wearing in the New 52 era. This sort of modern lampooning is the sort of thing they did in their previous comic, and it still works here. The combination of familiar elements makes this a comic that feels very much like a spiritual successor to Tiny Titans while, at the same time, succeeding as its own entity.
In fewer words, I really liked this book, and I’m really glad this creative team still has a home with the toys of the DC Universe.