Super Friends #5

Story by
Art by
Stewart McKenny, Phil Moy, Mike DeCarlo
Colors by
Heroic Age
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

Aimed at a younger demographic and based on a line of action figures for the same audience, this title serves as a modern-day equivalent to "Super Powers." Only less complex. This series, make no mistake, exists to push the Mattel action figure line. It does not, however, limit itself to that line, as Wonder Woman is part of the team and every issue has included little nods, cameos or flat-out appearances of other DC Universe characters. This issue is no different, as Grodd takes on the role of antagonist. A few of DC's other favorite primates appear as well, including Solovar, Detective Chimp and Sam Simian (Ape of "Angel & Ape" fame).

Featuring a plot that could have easily been the storyline for an old episode of the television "Super Friends" or even "Super Powers", this issue features a turn of the tables where all humans are changed to primates â€"- either apes or monkeys â€"- while apes and monkeys are transformed into humans.

Fisch uses that opportunity to enlighten the reader with little facts that are certain to stick in a young reader's mind. For example, Aquaman's simian counterpart is a proboscis monkey â€"- who can swim. Superman is a gorilla, the strongest of the primate world, and so on. The biggest downside is that Fisch lets the perfect opportunity to help clear up the distinction between monkeys and apes slip away. At more than one point, the entire mass of primates are referred to as "apes". It's a personal hang-up of mine, but it's one that could have received some attention in this issue.

That said, this issue runs the same course as all of the "Super Friends" issues â€"- one and done. The stories don't stand as tall as the "JLU" stories did, but they aren't intended to fill the same slot as the "JLU" title did. So I asked my middle daughter, a seven (and very soon to be eight, she'll tell you)-year-old what she thought of the issue. In the Zawisza household, I pick up this title and "Tiny Titans" and they disappear, never to be seen again.

At any rate, Bekka told me that of the five issues in this series to date, this issue "and the dinosaur issue (#2)" are her favorites. "This one is right there. The apes and monkeys were fun, and there wasn't anything confusing at all." This is from a girl who has been living for the next episode of "Spectacular Spider-Man" and telling her younger sister all about each episode, line by line. So, take my word for it, or take Bekka's, but there are certainly worse things you could spend $2.25 on.

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