Tiny Primer: Super Powers #1 (Review)

Nov 25, 2016

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Super Powers #1
DC Comics

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani
Art by: Art Baltazar

This Thanksgiving weekend as much of America is gathered together and spending time with family and friends or out shopping for family and friends, comic fans may find themselves looking to share their love of the medium. Comic loving parents and family friends looking to get young readers interested in super hero comics have a great starting point with the new Baltazar and Franco series, Super Powers. Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani are a fun, light, kid-friendly creative team perfect for younger fans. In 2008, Baltazar and Franco applied their whimsical cartoony style to the Teen Titans for DC’s Tiny Titans series. In 2012, Tiny Titans stopped and Baltazar and Franco applied their creative style to Superman and his supporting cast in Superman Family Adventure. Baltazar and Franco also applied this same kid-friendly style to Dark Horse’s Hellboy. Regardless of the base characters, Baltazar and Franco successfully took the comic history of the characters and wove them into approachable and enjoyable stories. Super Friends falls into that successful pattern.tiny-history

This new series plays out like a kid-friendly version of Trinity or a modern take on the Hanna-Barbara classic Super Friends cartoon series. The plot provides a justification for Superman to take a quick tour through Batman’s rouge gallery before heading off to save Batman from one of his own villains, Brainiac. Superman needs Wonder Woman’s help to defeat Brainiac, but the real brains behind the villain is revealed to be Lex Luthor and another mystery villain. In addition, Themyscira, New Krypton, and the bottle city of Kandor all make appearances in the story. If all this sounds like a mash up of characters and situations, it is and it works.

This mash of characters, locations, and historical knowledge of universe lore is exactly what made Tiny Titans and the other series successful. While these are not deep stories with intricate plots, they honor the history of those narratives by referencing them and incorporating pieces into a new approachable tale for younger audiences. Baltazar and Franco’s style and storytelling reflect the complex and rich narratives and lore of these beloved characters, but do so in a way that makes these characters accessible for the youngest of audiences. The awareness and respect of comic lore allows Baltazar and Franco to reference pieces of these character’s history, but remix it in a way that anyone could enjoy.

Super Powers is an excellent start to a new series destined to bring in young readers looking for a light Saturday morning cartoon take on these classic DC icons. Readers of Super Powers are not picking up the series for the rich narrative, they picking up a title with a sense of humor and a big heart.

Parents and others looking to get younger readers interested in comics have a great new series in Super Friends. Thanks to Batlzar and Franco, Super Friends is a prefect jumping off point for younger readers looking for explore the rich history of DC’s legacy.