DCAU #162: All Creatures Great and Small

IN THIS ONE... Mala and Jax-Ur are shrunken, but escape; Superman gets tiny too; then Jax-Ur gets real big! (Two-parter)

CREDITS: Written by Scott McCloud; art by Rick Burchett and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: I wasn't impressed with Jax-Ur and Mala in their television debut, but this comics story is a lot more fun. Size-changing shenanigans always make for interesting fights and situations! There's something,  I dunno, satisfyingly comic-booky about superheroes hitting each other with pencils. And when one of these becomes a freaking kaiju, and our hero must nevertheless fight him while HE'S 2 inches high, well... Fun, fun, fun. And the villain show a little more personality, I think, like in that lovely moment where Mala asks to be made a giant, and Jax-Ur responds that there can only be one like him. She bows her head, slapped down, bristling, and perhaps a little hurt that he would chose an existence that doesn't include her (physically, I mean). Jax-Ur's ego is bigger than his body, and it's quite entertaining.

But cool action isn't what takes this one over the top. Rather, it's all the small character moments that charm me. Turpin getting in Superman's face, but getting unwavering respect from the Man of Steel. His capture of the thieves in the opening act, getting physical with them. Lois' embarrassment at her apartment's clutter. The recurring gag about her stuff getting broken, always played on her face. Hamilton's distracted mistakes. Superman maintaining that the Phantom Zone represents cruel and unusual punishment. These add a lot, and are a good way to use the extra space a double-sized story allows.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Keeping shrunken Kryptonians evokes the bottled city of Kandor, which was shrunken by Brainiac.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A fun action story that fleshes out the Kryptonian villains in a humorous way.



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