There is some serious silliness going on in Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2 by creative duo Art Baltazar and Franco. While the character that is showcased the most in this issue is the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, the issue itself is so steeped in Superman mythology that this could have easily been labeled a crossover issue with the missed Superman Family Adventures by the same creative team.
You can see that emphasis on Superman right on the cover, the tiny Titans all donning the S-shield. And the Fortress ... or Fortress technology ... is also a key part of this issue so it also gets some cover love. As always, I marvel at how much the Donner movie still influences comics and Superman. In this issue, the Fortress and Kryptonian technology is all crystal based.
On to the fun!
One other thing to note before we get to the actual story. I love the role call that Franco and Baltazar put on the first page, showing us which Titans are predominantly seen in the issue.
But it looks like Supergirl might be getting some extra love from now on as DC places the Siegel Family acknowledgement.
In last issue, Brainiac 5 and Psimon shrank and stole the Titans treehouse leaving the team without a headquarters. Supergirl decides that Superman's fortress is the best place to try to track where the two 'villains' have gone. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to know how to get there.
As I said, this felt like something of a crossover with Superman Family Adventures (although Supergirl and Superboy are definitely in Titans mode). That includes seeing the SFA Superman again!
Unlike the prior Tiny Titans book (where all we saw where adults feet), we get to see Superman in all his glory. Like I said when Adventures were coming out, somehow Art Baltazar is able to make the New 52 super-suit look good!
Superman doesn't stick around too long. He is called away by Jimmy's signal watch. That first panel is pure Superman Family Adventures.
You might recall that a con I went to Art Baltazar said they had plots for 40 issues of SFA. Too bad DC pulled the plug. I can only imagine the fun they would have with Superman:Doomed.
With Superman gone, Supergirl uses the crystal technology of the Fortress like a "super cell phone" and calls Brainiac. Initially Brainiac denies having anything to do with the theft of the Treehouse. But Psimon and Brainiac 5 show up. Having shrunk the Treehouse, they are proudly wearing a Brainiac club shrinking badges.
Suddenly Brainiac is proud of his boys and disconnects.
Now why Brainiac 5 is doing something with the bad guys I don't wholly understand. I hope that somehow Supergirl is able to talk him into helping the Titans. I can never get enough of Kara and Querl together.
Franco and Baltazar take something of a left hand turn in the book, moving away from the Treehouse plot to bring in Bizarro, Match, and BizarroGirl for some funny moments.
I also can't get enough of BizarroGirl. There is something charming about her. Too fantastic.
Superman ends up making a mini-fortress for the Titans but it is made of ice and melts away. The quest for the treehouse must continue.
I am happy that this irreverent all ages book exists. I always chuckle when I read it. Thankfully, DC keeps giving Franco and Baltazar a forum for the work.