Sunday, January 11, 2015

Superboy and the Ravers #7

Road Trip: First Stop — Speed Kills

Kesel & Mattsson: Writers
Pelletier: Pencils
Davis: Inker
Kalisz: Colorist
Cunningham & Eliopoulos: Letterers
Duffy & Pittarese: Edits
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

I really enjoy this cover with its bright, happy yellow background, and Impulse naturally upstaging Superboy. The big guy behind Impulse is a size-shifting alien named Kaliber, who is obsessed with Earth superheroes. And it's Kaliber who really gets this story started.

Kaliber has always wanted to visit Metropolis to see Superman, and just his luck, one the Ravers, Half-Life, has just acquired a large, flying motorcycle called the meta-cycle. So that can only mean one thing for this band of goofy, party-loving heroes: road trip!

The Ravers start from Southern California, and soon pass Santa Marta, which has recently become the new home of the Flash for whatever reason. Kaliber sees a big sign advertising a Flash Festival, and he begs to go to it, saying Flash is his sixth favorite hero. So the Ravers decide to check it out, and they soon see Flash on stage juggling 5,000 rubber balls that are being tossed to him by Impulse. But the performance is quickly interrupted by Flash receiving a Justice League summons.

So Flash takes off, leaving poor Impulse to try to wrangle up the 5,000 balls. However, the crowd does cheer to see Impulse on the stage. Superboy sees him struggling, and decides to help out, using his tactile telekinesis to pick up all the balls at once. Superboy notes that he's never been properly introduced to Impulse, although they have seen each other during Zero Hour and Final Night.

Kaliber has never heard of Impulse, so Superboy describes him as the '90s Kid Flash. Impulse angrily calls Superboy Superman Jr., which makes him so mad he drops all the rubber balls. They're then interrupted by the Flash Festival's master of ceremonies, who asks the two teenaged heroes to fill in for the now absent Flash. And what better way to entertain the crowd then by having a race!

Impulse and Superboy zoom off, and Impulse quickly shows he has the upper hand by running backward and teasing his competition. The Ravers follow the race in the meta-cycle, and it isn't too long before Superboy taps out and jumps on the bike. The meta-cycle does a better job of keeping up with Impulse, but he soon kicks it into high gear and leaves that, too, in the dust. Sparx, the electricity-based hero, turns into pure energy to give Impulse his greatest challenge of the day, but the race is suddenly cut short.

Impulse stops running when he reaches the forest of the former Coast City, which Impulse last visited for Hal Jordan's funeral in Green Lantern #81. But the somber place has even more meaning for Superboy, who was on hand when the evil Cyborg Superman destroyed the city and killed its 7 million inhabitants. Suddenly, Superboy doesn't feel like partying anymore, and Impulse understands and runs home.

So that was a surprisingly downbeat ending to an otherwise fun and whimsical comic book. Superboy and Impulse are a perfect, natural pair that fans have been clamoring for. I can't wait for these two to have a proper adventure together, but for now, let the record show that Impulse kicked Superboy's butt in their first race. I recently acquired a trade paperback collecting all the major Flash vs. Superman races, and early on, DC intentionally ended the races with a tie or ambiguous ending. Luckily, by 1997, DC decided to discontinue that type of thinking — at least for the teenaged superheroes. Because, seriously, Impulse is and should be a heck of a lot faster than Superboy.

I also really enjoyed the art in this issue. I love Paul Pelletier's style, and he draws an excellent Impulse. Unfortunately, colorist John Kalisz doesn't know the color scheme for Impulse's uniform, making the straps on his gloves and boots yellow instead of red.

None of the letters to the editor mention Impulse, so let's head straight to the ads.

It's the 80th century. Do you know who your Titans are? Titans: Scissors, Paper, Stone. By Adam Warren and Tom Simmons. This mvanga-esque style possible could have been a precursor to the Teen Titans animated series and subsequent Teen Titans Go! spinoff.

Our skating wasn't going so well. Then the Cap'n showed up with his awesome Peanut Butter Crunch and got us rolling!

Get your hands on ... Impulse. Every month from DC Comics. This ad uses the cover for Impulse #23, which shows a mysterious hand grabbing Impulse by the ear. I'll cover that issue next.

First Batman. Then Superman. Now the entire DC Universe! Adventures in the DC Universe. Written by Steve Vance. Illustrated by John Delaney and Ron Boyd.

The Power of Shazam! Family Reunion. By Ordway, Krause, and Manley.

Buy four Superman titles and get one free! Subscribe to 12 issues of each of these Superman comics for $60.00 and receive Superman: The Man of Tomorrow absolutely free!

Truth and justice — the animated way! Superman Adventures. Written by Scott McCloud. Pencilled by Rick Burchett. Inked by Terry Austin.

Ultimate evil. Absolute good. Will one world be big enough for both? Jack Kirby's Fourth World. Written and illustrated by John Byrne.

They're coming your way! JLA. Morrison, Porter, Dell.

Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel.

Next time, we'll find out about that hand grabbing Impulse's ear in Impulse #23.

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