Friday, October 3, 2014

Impulse #12

Sonic Youth

Mark Waid, Writer
Humberto Ramos, Pencils
Wayne Faucher, Inks
Chris Eliopoulos, Letterer
Tom McCraw, Colorist
Ali Morales, Assistant Editor
Brian Augustyn, Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

Our cover by Ramos and Faucher shows Impulse rocking out on an electric guitar while crowd surfing. And it is perfectly awesome. My only slight nitpick here is the absence of XS, who does play a major role in this issue. But otherwise, Impulse playing the guitar is about the coolest thing ever.

Our story begins with a sexy encounter at Manchester Hotel with Lonnie Beale, lead singer of Generation Why. Apparently, Lonnie is good friends with Randall Sheridan, assistant principal at Manchester Junior High, and six months ago, Randall asked his friend to play at a school dance. But since then, Generation Why has become one of the most popular bands in Alabama. However, Lonnie assures Randall he will honor his commitment. But as soon as Lonnie hangs up the phone, a mysterious stranger enters the room and informs Lonnie he will not be playing at the dance.

Let's now check in with our heroes, Bart Allen and Jenni Ognats, fresh off their fight with Savitar.

The two are playing video games so fast the cartridges are melting. (I have no idea how the console can keep up, but whatever.) Bart and Jenni soon get bored and decide to stop, especially when Bart estimates they're spending $10,000 an hour on games. (Again, I have no idea how he was able to afford all those games in the first place. Maybe Max has accumulated a small fortune throughout all the years.) Anyway, Bart and Jenni begin talking about the new future Flash who has shown up in the place of Wally, and Jenni thinks this new guy can help her find a way back to the 30th century. This makes Bart suddenly sullen, so Jenni tries to cheer him by taking him on a field trip.

Impulse and XS visit the Rock and Roll Museum in Memphis. This was only recently discovered in Jenni's time, so she's real excited to see it new and pristine, especially an exhibit with a variety of instruments embedded in a wall. Bart points out that Jenni could visit the museum all the time if she stayed in the 20th century. An he reminds her that she wouldn't be alone — she'd have Bart, Grandma Iris and Max.

Speaking of Max, he is currently building a shelf for Helen Claiborne — the woman he'd like to avoid but can't quite stay away from. Helen is looking forward to spending some quality time with Max, but their conversation is interrupted by a rather intense phone call. Although Max was in the other room, he did hear Helen talking about court orders and how the person on the other side should leave her alone.

Later, Bart tries a different tactic, suggesting he return to the 30th century with Jenni. Bart tells Max he should be free to go since Savitar has been defeated, but Max tells Bart he never said his future had anything to do with Savitar and he's not done training him yet. Jenni then jokes that, according to historical records, Bart will be adopted by Max when he's 30, but by then he'll look as old as Max. Having been denied at every turn, Bart manages one small victory by convincing Jenni to at least attend the school dance with him.

We then head over to the Fall Rave, which has been delayed by the absence of Generation Why. Half the state and the local news have turned out to see the popular band, and Randall Sheridan is under a lot of pressure from Principal Farquhar to prevent the restless crowd from getting out of control. Bart and Jenni meet up with Preston and Carol, and Jenni asks Carol if she's listening to a universal translator through her headphones. Bart covers for Jenni by saying Universal Translator is the name of a new band. The kids then bump into Mr. Sheridan, who tells them Lonnie Beale hasn't been answering his phone and was last seen at the hotel. So Bart and Jenni decide to go retrieve the rock star themselves.

Turns out Lonnie is being held by his former, corrupt manager, the Colonel. He's trying to strong arm Lonnie into rejoining with him, but luckily, Impulse and XS soon arrive to take out the Colonel's goons. Impulse grabs a bat from one of the guys and vibrates it into the wall, then smashes a lamp over the henchman's head. XS uses her flight ring to stay out of reach and choke the other goon with a chain he was trying to use on her. The Colonel then asks Impulse and XS if they have representation, but Lonnie knocks him out. Lonnie then asks for a moment to lie down after being tortured for so long, but Impulse and XS won't let him, and rush him off to the school dance.

Lonnie suddenly appears on the stage and the crowd goes nuts. One girl in particular can't contain her excitement and tackles Lonnie into the drum set, knocking him out. Seeing the crowd on the verge of a riot, Bart and Jenni jump on the stage and grab a guitar and saxophone. Neither of them know how to play the instruments, and they start off really rough, even shattering a few windows with their awful playing. But thanks to their super speed, the two teens gradually get better and better, finishing with an amazing song that the crowd loves.

Bart and Jenni quickly exit the stage and celebrate outside. But Jenni has to turn down Bart's enthusiasm, telling him she has to go home — to where her dad and friends are. Bart asks to go with her, but she tells him his home is here with Iris, Wally and Max. She kisses Bart on the forehead and takes off toward Keystone City and the future Flash now staying in Linda's home. Randall Sheridan then finds Bart and congratulates him for saving the dance. He asks Bart where his friend went, and Bart very sadly can only say, "She had to go."

Bart then writes a letter to Jenni, telling her that Lonnie's going to be all right and all the kids in school now think Bart's a big deal. He says he hopes Jenni made it home and that she can come visit again since it was nice having someone to share stuff with. He ends the letter with a simple "Miss you." and stuffs it in Jenni's saxophone, which he vibrates into the wall at the Rock and Roll Museum.

What a heart-breaking issue of Impulse! Again! This book has become so sad and sweet lately, but I still love it. There's still plenty of humor and action here, as well as unique applications of super speed. I loved how tightly constructed this issue was, with every plot beat leading toward the ending (except for the scene with Max and Helen, which will come back in a later issue). It was also really nice to see Bart transition from hating Jenni to becoming best friends with her. I hope the two of them do get back together sometime because they really do make an amazing team.

David Taylor, of Christiansburg, Va., says XS is his favorite Legionnaire, and he absolutely loved watching her interact with Impulse. He also requests more adventures for these two cousins in the future.

Doud Ohmer, of Covington, Ky., says he enjoyed the role reversal XS presented Impulse, by making him the one to get annoyed and embarrassed for once. He also requests for XS to visit the 20th century more often.

Charles Skaggs, of Columbus, Ohio, also absolutely loved all the hijinks between Impulse and XS. He also asks for some Impulse merchandise, such as T-shirts, action figures and even an animated series.

Jeff DeMos, of New York City, enjoyed seeing Bart learn a little bit what Max has to put up with, and he asks for more time travel stories.

Joey Marchese, of Clark, N.J., praises DC for being able to maintain continuity between Impulse and Legion of Super-Heroes, and smartly handling the time-travel elements. He labels Impulse as a coming-of-age story masquerading as a humor book, and he asks how much Bart knows of the past, how he's related to Jenni and how old is he exactly. Brian Augustyn explains that Bart knows nothing of the future, only being a 2-year-old living in isolation in the 30th. Bart and Jenni are first cousins, both grandchildren of Barry Allen. And Bart is physically 14, although chronologically still 2.

There aren't any new ads this time, so I'll leave you until next time, when we finally wrap up all the loose threads from Dead Heat in The Flash #112.

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