Posted By Keith Hendricks on January 30, 2013
After many issues of foreshadowing, Braniac lands on Earth in Superman Family Adventures #9 and abducts Lex Luthor to be his collaborator in an attack on Superman. Braniac flies his spaceship to the Fortress of Solitude, and enlarges the bug robot that he had used to infiltrate the Super Family. A fight is joined, but Luthor betrays Braniac and their bad intentions are thwarted with a minimum of violence.
There are a number of reasons to share this with your kids. Aside from being clever, witty, and simply entertaining, a constant theme is that of widening the definition of the family unit. Kara is so tolerant as to embrace both of her son’s duplicates, Superboy and Bizarro, and even scolds Braniac as if he was her son, telling him first that “Jor-El would be very disappointed in you!” and later that “Jor-El wouldn’t approve of this!..Because he created you! He’s like your father!” Superman is about to come to the inevitable conclusion, that he is a brother to Braniac, when the melee continues.
Not that this comic is a sermon; the main reason to read this comic is for the fun, and it is probably twice as fun when you’re reading it aloud to a child audience, as the lines and sound effects underscore the sight gags and vice versa. If you’re new to Superman Family Adventures, or considering picking it up to see why so many people on Twitter were upset by its cancellation, you should know that each issue of SFA contributes at least one unforgettable original Superman joke to the Man of Steel’s folklore, and at least one gag lifted from Superman the Movie. Possibly the funniest bit is that, with a full palette of Kryptonite rays at his disposal, Braniac passes over the Gold K (which would make Superman lose his powers) and the Green K (which would kill Superman) beams to irradiate Superman with Periwinkle Kryptonite, which is Baltazar and Franco’s contribution to the Kryptonite family of minerals. Periwinkle K makes Superman “fabulous,” so that he drops his pursuit of Braniac and hallucinates pink walls and a disco ball while dancing with Lois Lane.
This continues into the obligatory Superman the Movie reference, when Lois ambushes Clark Kent with the Periwinkle K. Obviously the Lois Lane in this continuity isn’t fooled by the glasses one bit. He leads her onto the hallucinatory dance floor caused by the Peri K, and she says “I like periwinkle very much, Clark.”
It is true there are only three issues left to this series. But don’t let that stop you from joining the party. After that there are 24 volumes of DC Super Pets, 50 issues of Tiny Titans, and a secret project alluded to by Ah Yeah Comics on Twitter.