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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Family Adventures Comics

Superman Family Adventures #12

Superman Family Adventures #12 [Final Issue]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 24, 2013

Cover date: June 2013


Writer: Art Baltazar and Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar

Reviewed by: Marc Pritchard

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A final meteorite is on its way to destroy the Earth. This one's going to be the one. Not even Superman can stop it. Or can he? For inside that very meteorite, that very Superman, along with Steel and some of their pals from the Justice League, are doing everything they can to stop Darkseid, meteorite pilot and all around evil doer, from carrying out his evil designs. It doesn't look good for the good guys, what with Darkseid's Omega Beams following them around and all the Parademons.

On Earth, meanwhile, Lex Luthor and Miss Tessmacher are on a boat in the ocean. Lex has a Kryptonian crystal and a hollow Kryptonite tube that he's going to [Superman Returns] and then live happily ever after with Mess Tessmacher and their clone Lex son in their very own Kryptonite Fortress of Domestic Oblivion.

Back on the meteorite, the battle rages on. None of the Justice League members can stop Darkseid. Eventually, he uses his Omega Beams to ensnare the League in the meteorite itself and it begins to seem that all is indeed lost.

Down on Earth, Jimmy Olsen spots the fiery meteorite and uses his signal watch to call Superman. Hearing the sound, Darkseid mocks the Man of Steel, points out that the humans are starting to panic. But Jor-El, Lara, Supergirl and Superboy - all of them together at the Fortress of Solitude, also hear the watch. Superboy calls Robin, surrounded at Wayne Manor by Beast Boy and multiple super pets, and says they need help. Then he and Supergirl fly off to the meteorite, where they express surprise that their lunch lady - Darkseid - is being a bad guy. Apparently, Darkseid is only evil on the weekend.

And then, just as the meteorite is about to reach Metropolis, it is stopped, caught mid-air by the super pets with the assistance of Green Lantern B'dg, who could be mistaken for a pet.

Meanwhile, at the Kent Farm, Jor-El and Lara pay a visit. They want to thank the couple who raised their son, though Jonathan Kent seems to be confused about whether they know that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person. That's when the meteorite arrives, set down with a thud in the field. Darkseid realizes it's late and decides not to continue defeating them - and anyway, he's got work tomorrow.

Then everyone gathers around, the world is safe again, Superman tells Lois he's Superman, which she says she already knew, Batman tells them to kiss, and they do.

3Story - 3: Well, though it saddens me to end this run on a downbeat, I'm afraid I was underwhelmed by this twelfth and final installment of Superman Family Adventures. Overall, the title has been a great deal of fun and I will remember fondly the times spent regaling my nephew with tales of the high adventures of the world's all-time greatest superhero in a reasonably age-appropriate way (at least in relation to the rest of the new Superman media currently available... I've mentioned it before but he's not quite four yet). Sadly, however, the title's culmination amounted more to a convolved mash-up of bits and bobs from old Superman media rather than anything characteristically fresh or, really, even all that entertaining (perhaps it should be mentioned that I'm, uh, thirty-six). I mean, Darkseid just gives up? Is that it for Luthor?

But yeah, this thing reads like an attempt to water down the first Crisis' multiversal convergence stuff by taking out any suggestion whatsoever that convergence is what's going on. So that it ends up being little more than a hodgepodge of barely reimagined scenes from other stories. Excluding, of course, the evident full resurrection not only of Lara but also Jor-El, which I suppose is cool for a kids' story - what happier ending can there be for children than the return to/of once lost parents?

And anyway, Forrester didn't much seem to share my gripes - no doubt, since he doesn't have any prior familiarity with any of the stuff that finds its way in here, most obviously the Donner and Superman Returns moments, not to mention an actual still image of Wayne Manor from the old Adam West Batman show! (I found that borderline hilarious, and yet still also sad.) But nor was he as captivated as he was back during the first half-dozen or so issues - and technically he's a full year older now, more aware. And maybe I was simply expecting more and was disappointed all the more for it.

Not that I let Forrester see that. He's got lots of time to become disillusioned, and anyway he'll also find that that's the one thing I won't knowingly help him with.

Awww? Yeah.

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."

5Cover Art - 5: Seriously, we all know this style generally wouldn't cut it for the "grown up" books, but Art Baltazar just might be the most consistent artist working in comics today. He also knows exactly how to get the subtlest of emotion and character out of the simplest of lines, which is a super-feat unto itself. I'll be looking forward to his next project.

Forrester's Final Word(s): "Uncle Marc, are they kissing???"

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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