The end of an era occurs in “Superman Family Adventures” #12 as readers bid farewell to the magnificent corner of the DC Comics publishing line that Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar so lovingly cultivated. In the half-decade since the creative duo introduced “Tiny Titans” #1, they’ve provided words and pictures for all ages reads that feature Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel, all of the Teen Titans in any incarnation filtered through the cutesy lens Baltazar himself uses to see the world, the Green Lantern Corps and members of the Justice League. This final issue of their latest collaboration lives up to its title in every regard.
For the most part, editorial at DC stayed out of their way, allowing the duo to be creative and crazy, bringing readers such fun concepts as Bat-Cow and Super Pets. In “Superman Family Adventures” #12, Art and Franco bring each of Superman’s families in for a turn in the spotlight: Jonathan and Martha Kent; Jor-El and Lara; Superboy and Supergirl; the Justice League; Krypto and the Super Pets; but most importantly, Lois Lane. The New 52 has been a bit of a letdown for readers who were accustomed to romance between the Man of Steel and the tenacious reporter.
With the upcoming “Adventures of Superman” digital series on the horizon, this book taking a bow makes room for stories featuring “your father’s” Superman to have a moment in the sun. That Superman, and to an extent Art and Franco’s Superman, is a Superman I would much rather read than the current options available in the current DC Universe. Of course, I can always go back and re-read Art and Franco’s stories, as my kids have done. After all, fun stories never get dated, they just get more fun.
While I was hopeful the end of “Superman Family Adventures” would lead to a new title announcement from DC, a hope that was really inflated when I discovered the Justice League was going to be in this issue, I’m sad to see no such announcement. Thankfully, the duo are launching their own “Aw Yeah Comics!” at this weekend’s C2E2 and have “The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires” on the horizon. I’m really going to miss “Superman Family Adventures,” but not as much as my youngest will. Nothing on the racks today has similar energy or style, which appealed to her visually, but really hooked her with its heart. At least Art and Franco gave us plenty of reasons to say, “Aw yeah!” all the way through “Superman Family Adventures” #12.