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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Family Adventures Comics

Superman Family Adventures #11

Superman Family Adventures #11

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 27, 2013

Cover date: May 2013

"And Now... Ma Kent!"

Writer: Art Baltazar and Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar

Reviewed by: Marc Pritchard

Click to enlarge

This month's Earth- and Metropolis-colliding object from space is carrying a bad guy - none other than Doomsday! Meanwhile, Ma Kent is taking Conner, Kara, Krypto and Streaky (all bespectacled, therefore impossible to identify) on a field trip to Metropolis, with the Daily Planet as their prime destination!

At the Fortress of Solitude, however, Brainiac has declared Superman, a conflicted Zod and the entire city of Kandor to be his servants! Quickly tired of explaining, Brainiac beats Superman and Zod around for a while until Lara interrupts, reminding Brainiac that Jor-El would be very disappointed in him!

Cut to the Daily Planet, where Jimmy Olsen is introducing the Ma Kent and the kids to Perry White and Lois and Ma have a you-know-I-know-you-know kind of conversation about Clark and Superman. Then, just as Perry offers everyone some of the fresh coffee he's just made himself, Doomsday makes his presence known out on the street! Conner and Kara excuse themselves and "There you go!" says Perry. "Supergirl and Superboy are on the scene!" The two kid heroes descend on Doomsday, who wants to know where Kal-El is. "Where is Superman?!" he demands to know. This surprises the kids and Ma Kent advises Jimmy to summon the Man of Steel with his signal watch.

But Superman is in a fierce battle with Brainiac, who seems more than able to defend himself against the combined might of Superman, Lara, Zod and Ursa! So Lara, recognizing that Brainiac is out of control, uses the Fortress's crystal technology to summon Jor-El again. But, this time, not even Jor-El can help them as Brainiac has the power of all the colors of Kryptonite, which he acquired by betraying Lex Luthor, and is eager to use them to destroy the "lousy, good-for-nothing stinkin' Kryptonian scum!" It is again Lara who steps in, this time to offer herself instead of her husband and son! Brainiac is happy to oblige but, just then, he detects a second heartbeat coming from Lara, deduces that she, to everyone's surprise, is pregnant, and decides to spare them all, leaving with Kandor, which immediately and inexplicably turns into a new planet called New Krypton. (!)

Back in Metropolis and realizing that Superman isn't answering the signal watch, Ma Kent tells Jimmy to stand back - she's got this! Ripping open her blouse to reveal a Superman t-shirt, she launches herself at Doomsday, who has subdued Superboy, Supergirl, Krypto and Streaky! Swatting him on the wrist, Ma tells Doomsday to go home, that he'll have to worry about Kal some other time! As Jimmy is taking their picture to commemorate the victory, the Brainiac Cowboy Robot appears on a masked horse and demands their surrender! But Ma Kent saves the day again while, elsewhere, a dejected Doomsday, sitting on the curb, is joined by Solomon Grundy, also beaten at Ma Kent's hands - she pulled his ear! They are then joined by the Brainiac Cowboy Robot: he lost his horse to Ma Kent, who has ridden off with the kids, the pets and Superman's pal, Jimmy Olsen all of them into the sunset!

Finally, at Sidekick City Elementary School, Lunch Lady Darkseid answers the cafeteria phone while serving splatty-sounding slop to Robin and Batgirl. "More Kryptonians?!" Darkseid asks. "A whole planet of them? Who is this?!"

It is he, Lex Luthor! "Ha Ha Hee Hoh!"

4Story - 4: I guess it's true, that when Baltazar and Franco "found out [they] had to wrap it up, [they] just unloaded." This thing is pretty full and it all works with only two exceptions - Brainiac just dropping everything and leaving at the discovery of Lara's pregnancy, and the immediate transition into the revelation of "New Krypton." In the first instance, it's just un-Brainaic-like - but probably something will come of it. In the second, we have a very un-Baltazar-and-Franco-like breakdown of the symbiosis of word and image. It's not at all clear, even by the standards of this book, how Kandor went from a returned-to-scale city to an entire planet just like that. If, perhaps, Superman's dialogue ("New Krypton?") and the exposition text in the following panel ("I think Kandor has just become a new planet!") had been reversed, this would have been much clearer, even without any kind of explanation. Otherwise, good romp. Forrester, who adores his grandparents and sees them often, had a great time with Ma Kent's heroics, though his own grandmother didn't end the ensuing horseplay quite as energetically as Ma Kent did here, riding off into the sunset without her grandson in tow and stooping just a bit, from the strain, but still smiling, nevertheless.

5Art - 5: No change in my view from every single month:

"This work is exactly what it's supposed to be - iconic, expressive and simple. And all of those things consistently."

4Cover Art - 4: This cover ultimately lands on the safe side for this title, by which I mean it's just the main characters in a neutral setting and pose. It does, though, end up making a nice ironic play on the secret identity trope for suggesting here that she spends all her time on the farm (or that Superman thinks she does) while, in the book, we see her save the kids and send all the bad guys to the curb while Superman and the other adults have their hands full with Brainiac.

Forrester's Final Word(s): "My Grandma is Super Grandma, too!" Aww. Yeah.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2013

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