Saturday, January 10, 2015

Impulse #22


Ruben Diaz Words
Craig Rousseau Pencils
Wayne Faucher Inks
Tom McCraw Colors
Chris Eliopoulos Letters
Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt Assistant Editor
Paul Kupperberg Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

Now we come to another fill-in issue with guest writers and artists. But Ruben Diaz is a welcome sight in the credits, as he was an editor on The Flash and Impulse — and who better than an editor to make sure the continuity and characterizations are accurate? And although this was technically the first issue of Impulse drawn by Craig Rousseau, it was the second released. Luckily, we are still treated to a fun cover by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher. Apparently, Impulse and Jesse Quick are fighting over a phone booth, and poor Bart is caught with his pants down. But I do like his Flash boxers, though.

Our story begins with Bart regaling his friend, Preston, in his latest arcade exploits. But as amazing as Bart's moves were, he actually lost the match to Roland, who took advantage of some secret moves in the game. Preston offers to take Bart back to the arcade for another round of Virtual Monsters, but Bart's out of quarters, so he heads home, wishing the game would come out for home systems. But when Bart gets home, he overhears Max having a rather intense conversation discussing blackmail, theft and the threat of murder.

Bart tries to play it off cool, but he becomes even more worried when he takes a peek at Max's email, which contains even more incriminating evidence. The next morning, over breakfast, Max tells Bart he's headed out for the day with a lot of long, boring errands like visiting the ornithological society and waiting in line at the DMV. Bart tries to get Max to stay, but he tells Bart he's hired him a babysitter. Bart hopes it'll be Helen Claiborne (whom we haven't seen since Max told her he's her father), but instead, it's Jesse Chambers, aka Jesse Quick (whom Bart hasn't seen since the funeral of her father, Johnny Quick).

Max gives Bart strict instructions to stay home and do his homework, but once he's gone, Bart starts trying to find excuses to leave the house. He suggests they go out for ice cream or he could show Jesse the cliff he drove off way back in Impulse #5. But Jesse threatens Bart to behave or she'll paint his face with makeup and call over all his friends to see. Finally Bart tells her truth, going into as much detail as he can about Max's blackmail situation. Bart's worried that Max is being forced to steal something or else he'll die. Jesse is initially skeptical, but Bart's able to convince her, by reminding Jesse of Max's very long and mysterious past.

So Impulse and Jesse Quick begin tracking Max, following his trail all the way to Central Park in New York City. The two speedsters soon spot Max talking to a sleazy-looking thug on a bench. Jesse remarks how chummy the two seem to be, but Bart insists he's never seen Max interact with someone like that. Before Bart and Jesse can get in close enough to hear the conversation, Max and his associate get up to leave. Bart notices that the biker thug disappeared quite suddenly, but Jesse keeps him focused on Max, who runs all the way to Las Vegas.

Impulse and Jesse follow Max sneaking around a casino, purposefully keeping out of sight of the surveillance cameras. But once again, Max takes off before Bart and Jesse can figure out what he's doing. They then follow him to a restaurant in Texas, where Max is meeting a shady-looking cowboy.  Bart gets the brilliant idea to eavesdrop on this conversation by posing as waiters. Luckily, the restaurant was expecting a couple of new workers that day, and the manager immediately puts them to work — Jesse as a waitress and Bart as a busboy (which initially confuses Bart, as there are no buses to be seen in the restaurant).

Bart disguises himself with a funky hairdo, a fake mustache and a "Jorge" name tag, and begins to clean the table next to Max and the cowboy. The cowboy seems rather upset with Max, saying that his men went to Max's house to keep an eye on Bart, but they've reported that the house is empty. Max assures the cowboy that his nephew is still home, and he offers to use the restaurant's pay phone to check on Bart. Just then, the cowboy orders some water from "Jorge," who tries to pretend that he doesn't speak English. Max finds the busboy to be very familiar, and asks him if his last name is Simpson.

Bart finishes pouring the water, and hastily grabs Jesse, telling her they need to be home before Max calls. They run and run, and just manage to get back to Manchester while the phone is still ringing. Jesse advises Bart to switch out of his Impulse uniform since the place is being monitored. He does so, and answers the phone just in time. Max notes that Bart sounds out of breath, and Bart explains that he and Jesse were holding their breath for fun. Max then warns Bart to stay out of the living room, but an unaware Jesse begins heading that way.

Fearing for her life, Bart tackles Jesse in the darkened hallway. The lights then turn on and all of Bart's friends and family shout surprise! It's Bart's birthday, and Grandma Iris arranged the whole thing. Jesse explains that it was Max's idea to use reverse psychology to get Bart out of the house. Bart initially feels like a donkey's rear end, but he cheers up when he sees the cake and presents, including one from Ruben, Craig, Wayne, Tom, Chris, Jason and Paul. As Bart blows out the single candle on his cake, he asks how often Bart-days happen.

Max arrives to hand-deliver the best present of all, a beta test version of Virtual Masters from Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, who were able to pull some strings at Lightspeed Entertainment. The cowboy/thug reveals himself to be Wally West, and Bart sits down to play his new game with Wally, Preston, Roland, Carol, Jay Garrick, Linda Park, and a few other friends I couldn't recognize.

This was another fun, light-hearted issue. Ruben Diaz has a great handle on the character, and it's always fun to see Jesse Quick again. Craig Rousseau's art was understandably rough, yet charming all the same. Interestingly enough, the final page of this issue still includes a big tease to Legionnaires' crossover, which was pushed ahead of this issue — probably to match it up with Legion of Super-Heroes #88. I agree with that switch, but I find it odd that DC didn't change that big teaser in this issue. Anyway, I was very happy to see Iris and Wally show up again in this series, and I am intrigued by this birthday party. Were they celebrating Bart's third birthday, or his 15th? Apparently they couldn't decide, either, since they only put one candle on his cake.

Tony Seybert, of Los Angeles, praised Impulse #19 for being such a stellar issue despite having the simple premise of Max trying to get Bart to go to sleep.

Jeff Alan Polier, of Portland, Ore., asks why Bart doesn't use his super speed to find a cure for cancer or something useful. Editor Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt explains that Bart doesn't think the same way normal people do, imagining everything as pictograms instead of words.

Amy Koyama, of Los Angeles, asks for some extreme plots for Bart, more XS and more Robin.

Steve Chung, of San Bruno, Calif., enjoyed how issue #19 showed how awful insomnia can be for speedsters. He also expresses admiration for Mark Waid's Kingdom Come.

Kevin Dragone, of Phoenixville, Penn., asks is Flash is faster than Impulse and requests more XS and a team up with Green Lantern. Jason explains that Flash is the fastest speedster right now, and he incorrectly says that Impulse hasn't met Green Lantern yet, forgetting that the two of them used to be teammates on the New Titans.

Rob Haney, of Roscoe, Ill., requests a Trickster on-going series, a White Lightning one-shot or miniseries, more Impulse-Flash crossovers and for the current team of Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher to stay on board.

There aren't any new ads this time, so I'll see you next time with Impulse's first major encounter with Superboy in Superboy and the Ravers #7.

No comments:

Post a Comment