“Superman Of Smallville” by Art Baltazar and Franco- Classic comic storytelling with so much charm

When I was at the Superman Celebration in 2018 I had the honour of speaking with the charming artist/writer, Art Baltazar. He was one of the guests who was attending the exciting event and he was on my list of people to meet! I wanted to speak with him about his comics, his characters and dive into the mind of a comic creator.

Art’s panel about his career and passions was inspiring and to find out that he actually makes his own sound effects while drawing characters make me like him even more! During his panel he mentioned a new character and story he was working on and it instantly got my attention…

It was going to be about a young Superman, but not Superboy. The way Art described how the young hero would look and act sounded very interesting and was a fresh take on my favourite hero. Everything from his sneakers to the S on his school sweater made me want to see this version of Superman as soon as possible as I wanted to know if it matched the image I had in my head.

Shortly after the panel I went to find Art at Artist Alley to ask more questions about his work. We talked about Superman Family Adventures, Tiny Titans and it wasn’t long and I was asking about this new story that he had mentioned, “Supermann Of Smallville“. The excitement and passion I could see in Art’s eyes as he talked about this project was contagious and I wanted to read it there and then!

We talked about some of the possible storylines and where he got ideas for the look. I noticed that Art had a sketchbook on his table, as well as mountains of colourful books. I kindly asked if he could sketch me a version of this new version of Superman and I was so happy when he picked his pens and described his process as he brought this character to life for me. This art item is now one of my most loved pieces in my collection.

Well, here we are one year later and “Superman From Smallville by DC Comics is now available. I was very lucky enough to get a copy to review and as soon as it arrived I turned off all of my notifications and sat down to enjoy this story by Art Baltazar and Franco. A double act who I really hope to get to keep on telling these stories together as this book gave me nothing but joy from start to finish. Read this synopsis from the DC Comics website and try NOT to get excited!

Thirteen-year-old Clark Kent knows. He has a super-secret—one his parents are constantly worried will get out. Clark promises to be extra careful, but when random objects begin to take flight and disappear, his parents threaten to ground him. Except he’s innocent! If Superman isn’t responsible…who is? Join Clark in this hilarious adventure as he sniffs out the real culprit. “

I need that sweater and those sneakers. They have the “S” on them!

Now, there will be no spoilers from me in this review but I will say that it is going to entertain readers of all ages. The die-hard Superman fans and the ones who might just be discovering the Man Of Steel for the first time. There are some Easter Eggs in there that young readers might not pick up but they sure did make me smile! Also, if your book comes with a Kryptonian decoder then it already has a place in my heart! I know a little of the Kryptonian alphabet so I was happy that the book came with the tool.

I now know the Kryptonian for “I need a white doggo!”.

The storyline is light, enjoyable, and perfect for those who are just starting to discover books for themselves. It gives an introduction to the characters in a joyful way, young Lex Luthor’s outfit is amazing! The story also gives some valuable lessons about the importance of honesty and being true to one’s self. At one point Pa Kent makes Clark do the farm chores again WITHOUT using his powers. “A good honest day’s work is the key to a good foundation in life”. A classic Pa Kent Quote!

The surprise character that is revealed at the end made me smile like a fool even though I guessed who it was but seeing these two characters together made me want to visit my nearest dog rescue centre…(slight clue).

I really hope that we get to see more of these characters in the future as this story by Baltazar and Franco only scratched the surface for me. I want to see more of Clark figuring out why he uncontrollably floats around Lana Lang, the adventures that will happen with his best pal Pete Ross and after cracking the Kryptonian code I am ready to see what happens with the villain that was mentioned on the final page…

This book is a must for readers of a young age, parents that want to read a fun story for their children who may not know of this hero just yet and also big kids, like me! For me it was a classic origin story with so much charm and each new page gave me a new smile. I am ready for a sequel, a TV show, a movie and all the merchandise that goes with it!

Superman Of Smallville is out now.

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