Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Impulse #26


Mark Waid Story
Sal Buscema Breakdowns
Wayne Faucher Inks
Chris Eliopoulos Letterer
Tom McCraw Colorist
Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt Assistant Editor
And Paul Kupperberg Editor ...
... welcome new penciller Craig Rousseau!
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

And now we begin the Craig Rousseau run. Here's the first Impulse cover not drawn by Humberto Ramos, and I have to say it's not a bad first effort by Rousseau. Of course, it does help that Wayne Faucher stuck around. But basically, this cover is the same image we ended issue #25 with. Impulse's souvenirs from the 30th century are new, and if you look close, you can see a "Sold" sign in the front yard. Another fun easter egg is the Kupps Moving Company box — a nod to Paul Kupperberg.

Our story begins with a quick recap of everything so far, showing Impulse train by dodging falling anvils and being graded by Max Mercury — Speed: B+, Maneuvering: B-, Danger Avoidance: F. We also see a quick glimpse of Impulse in the future with his mom, and being forced to travel back in time again. We then pick up with the scene of Impulse entering his deserted home, and a stray copy of the Manchester Gazette proclaims "Faucher Indicted!" and "Waid's On a Roll!" Seems like Manchester's most notorious politicians are at it again. Anyway, Bart's initial panic quickly turns to the mischievous joy all teenagers feel when they realize they have the house to themselves.

But Bart's joy is short-lived once he realizes the TV and all his video games are gone. So he goes over to Preston's house — uninvited. But Preston is so happy to see his friend again, he convinces his dad to let Bart stay for dinner. Preston's dad does what any responsible adult would do, and calls Bart's uncle Max to make sure it's all right. But Bart decides he doesn't want anyone to know Max is missing, so he flicks a game disc at the phone card at super speed, cutting the line before the call can go through. Disaster averted, Bart and Preston sit down to play a fighting game that involves Superman and Batman.

Poor Bart then must have spent the night in his empty house alone, because the next thing we see is him showing up at school wearing the same clothes. Naturally, the whole school is overjoyed to see the most popular boy return, although Bart isn't sure what to do with Carol, who told him she knows his secret identity before he left. But Bart has a more immediate problem to deal with. Assistant Principal Randall Sheridan tells Bart that Max had signed Bart out of Manchester Junior High, meaning he should be enrolled in a different school. Bart tells Mr. Sheridan that Max can explain everything, so Mr. Sheridan says he'll stop by Bart's house after school (instead of just calling Max for some reason). Realizing he's put his foot in his mouth, Bart tells Preston there's going to be fireworks at his place. Other kids hear this and assume Bart's speaking literally and that Bart's hosting a welcome back party. Word quickly spreads and Bart's panic only grows.

So Bart throws on his Impulse suit and heads to the Flash's new home of Santa Marta, California. Bart quickly finds Wally battling some random thugs, and he asks him if he's seen Max. Wally is surprised that Bart's back from the 30th century and worried that he'll have to watch over the youth full time now with Max gone. Bart doesn't like this idea, either, so he lies and says he's still with Max and he only wanted to ask Wally to make sure he didn't come back to an alternate past where kangaroos ruled the government and such. Wally assures him everything's the same, then gets back to work while the increasingly panicky Impulse takes off.

As guests begin to arrive at Bart's house for the nonexistent party, Impulse pays a visit to Jesse Chambers, aka Jesse Quick. Jesse is busy working as CEO of her late father's company, QuickStart, and is also still working on her master's degree. So she is understandably unwilling to help Bart go look for Max, especially when Bart admits there's no reason to assume Max is in danger.

So Bart runs away from Jesse's lecture and heads home, only to find the place full of partying teenagers. Carol tries to approach Impulse, but he's too horrified to talk to her. Instead, he decides to pay a visit to his new friend, Robin. Impulse tells the Boy Wonder the whole story, but Robin insists he's too busy on a case. So Bart runs back home and finds Carol has broken down in tears. She apologizes to Bart, and he apologizes to her for not telling her he was Impulse. The two emotional teens talk over each other for a while before they both realize they're not mad at each other.

One small problem solved, Bart's bigger problem continues to grow as he spots Randall Sheridan walking down the street and a moving truck fast approaching. Finally realizing that Max has sold the house and a new family is moving in, Bart quickly changes the street signs to send the poor family in the wrong direction. Carol, meanwhile, tries to stop the party, but nobody will listen to her. Luckily, or unluckily, she spots Max approaching the house.

Having taken care of the moving truck, Bart then tries to send Mr. Sheridan away by claiming Max has malaria. Of course, the more suspicious Bart acts, the more Mr. Sheridan becomes convinced that something is wrong and he needs to call child welfare. Despite all of Bart's protests, Mr. Sheridan opens the door to find Max Crandall reading a book in chair while Carol watches TV. Bart is shocked to see no sign of a party, while Max calmly tells Mr. Sheridan that Bart unfortunately wasn't meant to be with his mother, and he'll visit the school tomorrow to re-enroll Bart.

Once Mr. Sheridan leaves, Max lets all the partiers out of the closet and sends them home. Bart demands an explanation, saying he looked for Max all over the world. Turns out, Max was just across the street the whole time. After Bart left with his mom, Helen invited Max to live with her so they could establish a solid relationship as father and daughter. So Max sold the house and moved all his furniture into Helen's garage, which he was able to quickly pull out when Carol told him what was happening.

So now Bart's going to move from 321 Maple to 323 Maple with Max and Helen. And Carol, now a trusted friend in both sides of Bart's life, tells him that everything turned out OK, and everyone ended up where they're supposed to be. We then see that poor family trying to move into number 321, still hopelessly lost and confused.

And thus begins a new chapter for Impulse. We've mostly returned to the status quo, but now Bart's family has expanded, which is a good thing. Having a larger support group will help keep things more interesting and add depth to the series. And new penciller Craig Rousseau proves he was the right choice to follow Humberto Ramos. His lightness and goofiness is a perfect match for the book, and his work is noticeably improved over his previous fill-in issues — largely thanks to Sal Buscema's breakdowns. Just about everything here is new, except for the writer, Mark Waid. However, he will soon be leaving, as I suspect he mainly only stayed around for a couple of issues to help smooth out the transition to Rousseau.

Rob Haney, of Machesney Park, Ill., expresses a lot of love for Impulse #23 and all its creators. He also says he doesn't think the book will be the same if Mark Waid leaves.

Stacey Hogan writes a very long letter (which apparently had to be cut down), in which she thoroughly breaks down everything that happened in issue #23, introduces a fun theory in which Bart never left the virtual reality program he was raised in (though Stacey admits that sounds more like a Marvel story), asks whether Bart's mom has super speed and gives a lengthy (yet logical) explanation for why Bart's hair is so big.

We only had one page for letters in this issue, and Stacey's letter took up two-thirds of that page. We also only have two new ads this time:

Free in Post Pebbles! Dinosaur fossil kits!

Polo Sport. Ralph Lauren.

Next time, join us for malls, teenage curfews and monster truck madness in Impulse #27!

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