Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Adventures of Superman #533

Scavenger Hunt!

Karl Kesel – Writer
Stuart Immonen – Penciller
Jose Marzan Jr. – Inker
Digital Chameleon – Color Sep
Albert DeGuzman – Letterer
Mike McAvennie – Impulse-ive
KC Carlson The Fastest Editor Alive!
Superman created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

We've heard of going for a new world record, but this month's cover is ridiculous! Stuart Immonen, Jose Marzan, Jr. and Color Works put this image together so fast, it's no wonder it takes our breath away! Yeah ... it takes my breath away, too, but for the wrong reasons. I really hope Immonen, Marzan and that coloring company were rushed, because this cover is just bad. Superman racing Impulse should be a glorious image, but instead of using Humberto Ramos' Impulse as a model, Immonen seemed to go back to some of those awful New Titans issues.

And another thing that plagues this cover and the issue as a whole is the coloring. I believe this is the beginning of the digital coloring era, and it got off to a rough start. I wish I could see a black-and-white version of this issue, because the colors were just awful. There is no sense of shading or depth — just horrible black blotches on top of everything. Well, I guess DC needed to learn through trial and error.

Our story begins with Superman stopping a bomb from exploding in Metropolis. But it turns out, the bomb was merely a clue, sending Superman on a scavenger hunt across the world, set up by the aptly named villain, Scavenger. Since these "clues" are all ticking time bombs, Superman decides to call the fastest man alive to help him out. But when he calls Wally's house, Max Mercury answers. I guess a few of the speedsters took Linda back home after Dead Heat. Anyway, since Wally is mysteriously missing, Max decides to send Impulse to help out Superman.

Impulse and Superman have met before — during Zero Hour and the rebuilding of Metropolis — but Superman wishes he could have Jay Garrick or Jesse Quick helping him out. But he's stuck with Impulse. Superman tells him Scavenger's clue directs him to a pyramid, church and skyscraper all together. Impulse throws out a bunch of possibilities, ranging from the back of a dollar bill to Tokyo, oh wait — not 'til 2099. Superman suggests they try Mexico, and Impulse heads down and back with a sombrero before Superman finishes speaking, earning Impulse the nickname Speedy Gonzales.

In Mexico, Impulse quickly becomes bored and asks for quesadillas before they stop the bomb. But Superman refuses, stops the bomb, and plays the next clue, which leads him to something he's both faster and more powerful than. So our two heroes head to the bullet train in Japan, where Impulse finds the bomb on the tracks and punts it to Superman.

Impulse and Superman continue to find more bombs off page, including one in the Vatican, where Impulse had to ask the pope whether he was Catholic — since he's heard so many people ask that question. The next clue leads them to the San Diego Convention Center, which is holding a scrap metal art show. Impulse quickly finds the bomb disguised as a sculpture, but Superman holds him back, wanting to test a theory. He believes all the bombs have been fakes, so he wants to see what happens when this one counts down to zero. Just to be safe, he has Impulse evacuate everyone out of the room.

Turns out, Superman was right, which means Scavenger only wanted to keep Superman away from Metropolis. Superman and Impulse return to Metropolis to find the villain battling a hero named Alpha Centurion. Impulse quickly dissipates Scavenger's paralysis gas by creating a small whirlwind. Superman smashes the villain's robotic hand, but then he quickly teleports away, leaving everyone wondering what exactly Scavenger was doing. Impulse then returns home, telling Superman he needs to cut himself some slack. He was right all along about the fake bombs, but kept doubting himself. Impulse leaves Superman with these words of wisdom: "Smart guy like you's gotta trust his — Impulses!"

So this was a pretty fun adventure. I wish I knew what was going on with Scavenger and this Alpha Centurion guy, but I guess I'd need to read more Superman comics to find out. But it was really fun seeing Impulse interact with Superman. Even if the digital coloring almost made this comic unbearable.

None of the letters in Kryptograms mention Impulse, so I'll head straight to the ads.

Black Sheep. There's one in every family. Starring Chris Farley and David Spade.

He am back! Superman: Bizarro's World!

Free five-minute phone card when you subscribe to 2 or more titles. You could get 12 issues of Adventures of Superman for $18 when a single issue cost $1.95.

Comic Buyer's Guide 1996 Fan Awards ballot.

Next time, Impulse and XS squeeze in one more adventure in Impulse #12.

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