The Superman Family

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The Superman Family
Cover of The Superman Family #164 (April–May 1974), the initial issue published under that title.
Cover art by Nick Cardy.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Bi-monthly #164-207 and monthly #208-222
Format 100 pages (#164-169)
64 pages (#170-176,191-204)
48 pages (#177-181,205-222)
80 pages (#182-190)
Genre
Publication date The Superman Family: April/May 1974 - September 1982
Superman Family Adventures: July 2012 - June 2013
Number of issues The Superman Family: 59 (#164-222)
Superman Family Adventures: 12
Main character(s) Lois Lane
Supergirl
Jimmy Olsen
Krypto
Nightwing and Flamebird
Clark Kent
Superboy
Kal-L and Lois Lane Kent
Creative team
Writer(s)
Penciller(s)
Inker(s)
Letterer(s)
Colorist(s)
Editor(s)

The Superman Family was a DC Comics comic book series which ran from 1974 to 1982 featuring stories starring supporting characters in the Superman comics. The term "Superman Family" is often used to refer to the extended cast of characters (especially super-powered ones) of comics books associated with Superman. A similarly titled series Superman Family Adventures was launched in 2012.

Publication history[edit]

The Superman Family was an amalgamation of the titles Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, along with the first series of Supergirl. The first issue, #164, took its numbering from Jimmy Olsen,[1] which had reached issue #163 and thus had the most issues published. Lois Lane ended at #137, while the newly launched Supergirl book had only made it to #10.

The Superman Family went through two distinct phases. In its inception the three leads Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Supergirl rotated new stories each issue with reprints for the other characters. Nick Cardy was the series' original cover artist and drew the covers for issues #164-169.[2] Changes were made in the setting of Supergirl's adventures during the character's run in the title. She moves to Florida to join the faculty at the New Athens Experimental School in issue #165.[3] In an "imaginary tale" set in a possible future in issue #200, Supergirl, now known as Superwoman, is depicted as being the Governor of Florida in her secret identity of Linda Danvers.[4] She leaves Florida and relocates to New York City to become a soap opera actress in issue #208.[5]

After the cancellation of Super-Team Family, a Supergirl/Doom Patrol team-up originally scheduled to appear in that title was published in The Superman Family #191-193.[6] Supergirl battled the Enchantress in issues #204-205[7][8] and teamed with the Legion of Super-Heroes in issue #207.[9]

The Superman Family became the first DC Comics series in the 80-page Dollar Comic format, consisting of 64 pages of new stories, beginning with issue #182 (March–April 1977).[10] With that issue, the "framing element" was removed from the covers, and the book switched to printing all new material. It became a monthly series in 1981 starting with issue #207.

Featured series included:

  • "Lois Lane"—The adventures of Lois Lane, where she regularly battled criminals. (#166, #169, #172, #175, #178, #181-222)
  • "Supergirl"—The adventures of Supergirl. (#165, #168, #171, #174, #177, #180, #182-222)
  • "Jimmy Olsen"—The adventures of Jimmy Olsen. (#164, #167, #170, #173, #176, #179, #182-222)
  • "Superboy"—The adventures of the Earth-One Superman as a teenage superhero. This series continued from Adventure Comics #458 and led to the feature leaving the title for its own in 1980, The New Adventures of Superboy. (#182, #191-196)
  • "The Private Life of Clark Kent"—The adventures of Clark Kent in which he used his powers and skills without becoming Superman. This feature had moved over from Superman after issue #328 of that series.[11] (#182, #191-196) After the cancellation of The Superman Family it returned to Superman for two more appearances in issues #371 and 373.
  • "Mr. and Mrs. Superman"—The adventures of the Earth-Two Superman and his wife, Lois Lane Kent. This feature had moved from Superman after issue #329 of that series.[11] (#195-196, #198-199, #201-222)
  • "Krypto"—the adventures of Superman's dog with the aid of detective Ed Lacy. (#182-192)
  • "Nightwing and Flamebird"—the adventures of the second Nightwing and Flamebird team of heroes (Van-Zee and Ak-Var) in the Bottled City of Kandor. (#182-194)

DC published several other ... Family titles concurrent with The Superman Family. These included Batman Family (1975–78), Super-Team Family (1975–78) and Tarzan Family (1975–76). As a rule, DC's other ... Family titles contained mostly reprints, and featured a higher page count and higher price than DC's other titles.

With issue #222 (September 1982), The Superman Family was cancelled and replaced with The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, which briefly featured a "Lois Lane" back-up series.

Superman Family Adventures[edit]

In 2012, DC launched a new series titled Superman Family Adventures written by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani and drawn by Baltazar.[12] Baltazar and Aureliani are the winners of the 2011 Eisner Award in the category "Best Publication for Kids" for their work on the Tiny Titans title for DC.[13] Fuzzy, the Krypto Mouse, a character who appeared in a single story in Superboy #65 (June 1958),[14] inspired a similar character created by Baltazar for Superman Family Adventures.[15] Superman Family Adventures ended with issue #12.[16]

Collected editions[edit]

  • Superman: The Adventures of Nightwing and Flamebird collects Jimmy Olsen story from The Superman Family #173 and Nightwing and Flamebird stories from The Superman Family #183-194, 144 pages, October 2009, ISBN 140122525X[17]
  • Deadman Book Three includes the Lois Lane story from The Superman Family #183, 176 pages, December 2012, ISBN 978-1401237288

References[edit]

  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. DC's 100-page Super Spectaculars were proving popular, so DC said goodbye to Supergirl, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, and housed the characters together in The Superman Family. Continuing the numbering from where Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen ended, the series featured classic reprints with new tales in the lead spot. 
  2. ^ Coates, John (1999). "Art Index". The Art of Nick Cardy. Coates Publishing. p. 167. ISBN 1-887591-22-2. 
  3. ^ Maggin, Elliot S! (w), Saaf, Art (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Princess of the Golden Sun!" The Superman Family 165 (June–July 1974)
  4. ^ Conway, Gerry (w), Mortimer, Win (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Something Swims the Time Stream" The Superman Family 200 (March–April 1980)
  5. ^ Harris, Jack C. (w), Mortimer, Win (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The Super-Switch to New York" The Superman Family 208 (July 1981)
  6. ^ Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: 1976-1980", Comics Buyer's Guide (1249): 128 
  7. ^ Harris, Jack C. (w), Mortimer, Win (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The Earthquake Enchantment" The Superman Family 204 (November–December 1980)
  8. ^ Harris, Jack C. (w), Mortimer, Win (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Magic Over Miami" The Superman Family 205 (January–February 1981)
  9. ^ Harris, Jack C.; Thomas, Roy (w), Mortimer, Win (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Look Homeward, Argonian" The Superman Family 207 (May–June 1981)
  10. ^ Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (57): 39–41. 
  11. ^ a b Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: The DC Implosion", Comics Buyer's Guide (1249): 134 
  12. ^ Parkin, JK (February 10, 2012). "First look at the cover to Superman Family Adventures #1". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012. DC Comics has revealed the cover to the first issue of Superman Family Adventures, the new all-ages title by the former Tiny Titans team of Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani. 
  13. ^ "2011 Eisner Award Winners List". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2011. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  14. ^ Coleman, Jerry (w), Sikela, John (p), Sikela, John (i). "The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse" Superboy 65 (June 1958)
  15. ^ Nagorski, Alex (May 24, 2012). "Superman Family Adventures: Character Descriptions". DC Comics. Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  16. ^ Johnston, Rich (January 14, 2013). "Saucer Country And Superman Family Adventures Cancelled". BleedingCool.com. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Superman: The Adventures of Nightwing and Flamebird". DC Comics. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]