Review by Ian Keogh
Bright Family is the story of a renowned adventurer and her technical engineering genius husband, but far more about the two children they adopted, brother and sister Nia, aged twelve, and Jayden, ten. After a misdemeanour with a flying skateboard Nia and Jayden are saddled with a sort of robot Mary Poppins by their parents to ensure compliance in their absence.
Even if co-writer Matthew Cody hadn’t provided a thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the start, it wouldn’t take long for older readers to see their spirit shining through a story opening the imagination and proving the kids know what they’re doing after all. The real action begins when Nia and Jayden investigate a portal to another world in their father’s basement lab. It turns out there are a number of these transportation devices on a number of worlds, and as the kids jump from one to the next trying to find their way home, there’s always another adventure to be had and another puzzle the resourceful kids need to solve.
Derick Brooks pitches the art with just the right level of wide-eyed wonder, literally in the case of Nia. As seen on the cover her worlds are viewed from behind strong glasses. Brooks is aiming at younger audiences, although there’s fun to be had for all ages, and keeps the threats at an appropriate level, even when they’re what seem to be giant monsters. The style is simple, and the kids are appealing.
The writing also credits Carol Klio Burrell as “with”, offering no further breakdown of her contribution, but it’s also indicated as secondary, so presumably it’s Cody taking the conceptual lead and thus providing much of the joy. Bright Family remains upbeat and cheery despite mistakes made and lessons learned, and it’s a series that returns with Vacation.