Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Unlimited Access #3

The Greatest Heroes of all Time!

Karl Kesel – Writer
Pat Olliffe – Pencils
Al Williamson – Inks
Greg Wright – Colors
Jim Novak – Letters
Tom Brevoort – Editor
Mike Carlin – Consulting Editor
Bob Harras – Chief
Mark Gruenwald – Guiding Spirit

In the background of the cover, in gold for some reason, is the main character of this Marvel/DC crossover — Axel Asher, aka Access. He has recently been chosen as the custodian of the Marvel and DC universes, tasked with making sure they don't bleed into each other. But Access is new with his powers, and basically messed up. So not only do we have DC heroes and villains showing up in the Marvel universe, but we also have a bit of time travel going on here, as well. The cover gives us the original Avengers fighting the original Justice League. So that's not Wally West battling Giant Man, but Bart's grandpa, Barry Allen.

The cover itself is a fold-out cover, containing a brief synopsis of what's already happened in this series and who all the main characters are. I kind of like this idea, as it gives new readers a chance to catch up without wasting any space on the inside pages. And if you don't need to be caught up, you can easily keep the cover folded and ignore it.

Our story continues the fight from the cover — apparently all the heroes have been brainwashed by one of Darkseid's minions. Access is desperate to stop the fighting since Darkseid has teamed up with Magneto. So Access summons the present-day Superman to save the day. Superman uses his new electrical powers to shock the Avengers and JLA out of their brainwashed state. Soon, the two teams of heroes are united in battling Darkseid's forces of parademons.

Unfortunately, all the heroes are distracted and don't realize that Access has been captured by Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. So Access summons all the teenaged heroes he can think of — Wonder Girl, Captain Marvel Jr., Robin, Superboy, and, of course, Impulse. Wonder Girl is thrilled to be sharing an adventure with these other heroes, and Superboy feels like he took a wrong turn in Albuquerque. But Robin notices that Access is in trouble, so he gets the group of teen on track. Impulse quickly saves Access, and easily dodges Quicksilver when he tries to retaliate.

Robin quickly takes down Toad, while Superboy and Wonder Girl battle the Scarlet Witch. Captain Marvel Jr. is attacked by Juggernaut, and Superboy stops Sabertooth from sneaking up on Wonder Girl. Robin moves on to the Blob, but finds him a lot tougher than Toad. And Impulse just kind of stood around during all this. Suddenly, the original X-Men show up, and Darkseid and Magneto decide to withdraw their forces via boom tube.

Superboy, bemoaning his torn jacket, says they need to go after the villains, but Professor Xavier telepathically warns all the heroes to stay put until he figures out what's going on. Wonder Girl notes how similar the X-Men are to the Doom Patrol, but she can't figure out why she's never heard of them before. So Access finally explains everything to them.

Magneto and Darkseid then broadcast a message around the world, claiming domination for mutants and Apokolips. Robin wants to go find Superman and the JLA, but Cyclops insists on waiting for Professor X's orders. The two suddenly get into a fight for no reason, and Angel intervenes, but only makes things worse. Access tries to stop Robin and Angel from fighting, and he touches both of them at the same time. But that somehow fused Robin and Angel together into one new hero.

Well, that was fun. Impulse only had one small moment, but it was a good one. Some people like to debate whether Quicksilver is faster than the Flash, but at the end of the day, it's no contest. Impulse can run laps around Quicksilver, which is very fun to see. It's also interesting to see the group of heroes Impulse arrived with. There was a group of Teen Titans in early 1998, but they weren't terribly popular. This group — of Impulse, Superboy, Robin, Wonder Girl and Captain Marvel Jr. — were a lot more popular and prominent, although they didn't have their own team — yet. Before too long, all these heroes, minus Captain Marvel Jr., will form the wonderful team of Young Justice.

The story itself is rather average, especially on the insistence of making all the heroes fight each other. At least with the adult heroes, they used the brainwashing excuse. But why did Robin feel the need to start tossing around Cyclops? Whatever. There aren't any letters or editor's notes, so let's head straight to the ads.

The galaxy is far, far away. The fighting is up close and personal. Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi for PlayStation.

Survival of the fittest. Beast Wars Transformers for PlayStation.

You've heard about an ice cream headache. Wait 'til you fell the throb of a nun-chuk headache. Last Bronx for Sega Saturn.

Look inside specially marked boxes of Farley's fruit snacks for your Marvel Super Hero Pop-Up game piece. Grand Prize: A trip to Universal Studios, CA.

Say hello to life in the fast lane. Sonic R for Sega Saturn is a full-on pedal-to-the-metal hi-speed dash through five 3D courses, each rendered in full 360 degree panoramas.

Marvel subscription ad with a special deal for the Heroes Return titles.

UCI offering free signed comics for Christmas.

Your worst nightmare is about to come true ... again ... and again ... and again ... Introducing Choose Your Own Nightmare, the interactive Multipath Movies where you control your fate.

Buy it now on videocassette! Men in Black. Starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Yes, I did own this wonderful movie on videocassette. I thought Tommy Lee Jones was a much more natural fit as an alien-hunting secret agent than he was as Two-Face.

Next time, we'll return to the DC Universe with the special Impulse & The Atom Double-Shot #1.

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