Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Impulse #20

First Base

Mark Waid Story
Humberto Ramos Pencils
Wayne Faucher/Chip Wallace Inks
Chris Eliopoulos Letterer
Tom McCraw Colorist
Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt Assistant Editor
Paul Kupperberg Editor

Our cover by Ramos and Faucher is a bit of a departure from the usual Impulse covers of the time with bold, dark colors. But I enjoy the variety. A lot of white space is fun every now and then, as is breaking the fourth wall. Impulse is reading The Flash #118, which concludes the saga with the future Flash, John Fox. And Impulse has to read this issue since he doesn't appear in it. And my favorite part of this cover is the fake ad on the back of Impulse's comic: Just when you thought it was safe to go into the checkout lane ... Barcode IV. What a creative way to incorporate the barcode into the cover art.

Our story begins with Bart and Carol playing Sega while sitting upside down on the couch. But their fun comes to a quick end when Carol has to leave for piano practice. Bart complains he'll be bored if Carol leaves, so she suggests he join a club or a team. So Bart rushes off to the school to try his hand at sports. First up is basketball. However, Bart soon finds out he's at a bit of a disadvantage with his size.

Max soon arrives and drags Bart away before he's attempted to use his super speed. But Bart's insistent, and next gives football a try. But once again, the tiny teen fails miserably. So Bart heads to the track, knowing he could kick anyone's butt in a race. But he displays some rare maturity by pulling himself out. Bart then complains to Max about how he wants Bart to fit in and act like a normal kid, but he can't do that by playing in any sports. Luckily Max gets an idea, and gives Bart a baseball helmet, which he thinks is for motorcross.

So Bart heads out to his first game, playing on the same team as Preston and Carol. The first time Bart steps up to bat, he quickly swings three times and strikes out before the first pitch is thrown. Carol tries to show Bart a few pointers, and the rest of the team makes fun of her for liking Bart.

Bart then heads out to right field, and accidentally uses his super speed to make a catch that he shouldn't have been able to make. Bart excitedly tells Max he's actually having fun, but Max sternly reminds him that using his powers isn't fair to the other players. Meanwhile, Preston begins probing Carol about her relationship with Bart, asking her if she's kissed him yet. But Carol steadfastly maintains that they are just good friends and nothing more.

Later in the game, Bart catches a grounder without using his powers, and is so happy, he begins to do a celebratory dance. Carol yells at him to throw the ball, so he panics and throws the ball so fast, it goes sailing out of the park. The only one who realized what happened was Max, and Carol chews Bart out for goofing around.

On Bart's second at-bat, he once again swings long before the pitch arrives. Max tells Bart to keep his eye on the ball, which Bart does ... watching the ball all the way until it hits him right in the eye. Carol helps the dizzy Bart up, and the two get a little closer than they perhaps intended, which only inspires more ridicule from their teammates and the attention of Max.

We finally come to the bottom of the ninth inning. Bart's team is down one, has two out and the bases loaded. And it's up to poor Bart to save the day. One of his teammates suggests he takes the pitch in the head again to tie the game, but Bart says no thanks. Max tells Bart once more to keep his eye on the ball, so this time, Bart uses his super speed to run alongside the ball, study it, grab a drink, take careful aim, and then finally hit a home run. Bart's so transfixed by this, he has to be told to take his eye off the ball and run.

When he finally rounds the bases, an excited Carol jumps into Bart's arms and kisses him! The seemingly romantic moment quickly dissolves as Carol and Bart burst out into laughter, leaving their teammates to conclude that the two weirdos deserve each other. Bart asks Carol what that was about, and she says she has no idea, only that everyone kept riding her, and she just kind of lost herself. Carol asks if they can still be friends, and Bart says he can't imagine why not.

Max then approaches Bart, saying, "I see you scored." But that comment went over Bart's head. Bart then tells Max he's done with baseball, feeling sports are a little too public for him and Max. So Max says he'll buy the new Garguax Invasion game for Bart so he can plop back on the couch where he belongs.

What a fun issue! We didn't see Impulse once, and it was great. And, most importantly, this featured Bart's first kiss! However, it really was more of a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing between good friends, but ... this just may be planting a few seeds for a Bart-Carol romance. We'll have to wait a few years for that to fully develop, though.

Travis Stoffs, of Gainesville, Fla., said Impulse #17 ties with Impulse #3 for the best Impulse story. Travis, however, does complain about Zatanna wearing fishnets, saying that's a Black Canary look. But Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt tells him that this is Zatanna's current look, and Black Canary no longer wears fishnets.

Augie de Blieck Jr., of North Haledon, N.J., not only wants Bart to go on a date, but thinks it would be great to have Bart book two dates on the same night, with one of them being with Carol, naturally.

Ynot Trebyes, of Los Angeles, said he's never enjoyed a Zatanna appearance as much as in issue #17. Tony also points out how the inter dimensional travel scenes were reminiscent of Steve Ditko's Dr. Strange.

Ed Homa Jr., of Bear, Del., loves the way Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher draw Zatanna and asks to see her again. He also wants Impulse to meet Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Green Lantern, Superman, Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Donna Troy, Atom, Elongated Man and Jesse Quick.

Stacey Hogan, of Middletown, N.J., enjoyed Impulse saying "To infinity ... and beyond!" She also jokes about Max's maid outfit at the end, saying he could probably pull it off if he shaved his legs.

Doud Ohmer, of Covington, Ky., thanks DC for bringing Zatanna out of comic book limbo, and asks to see much more of her in the future. Doud also thinks it would be a good idea for Impulse to have a major failure to get him to act more serious. Now for the few new ads:

Watch This Space breaks down all the guests at Superman's wedding. Surprisingly, there were very few comic book characters in the room, but mostly comic book creators. Appropriately, the presiding priest at the wedding was Jerry Siegel.

Batman Holo Series. All-hologram trading cards.

Well, that does it for the year 1996. Next time, I'll present my third Year in Review, presenting awards for each comic Impulse appeared in with a 1996 cover date.

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