Monday, April 27, 2015

Adventures in the DC Universe #13


Sometime in New York City

Club ADCU presents:
Steve Vance – Vocals
John Delaney – Lead Guitar
Ron Boyd – Rhythm Guitar
Gene D'Angelo – Lighting Technician
Tim Harkins – Sound Mixer
Frank Berrios – Doorman
KC Carlson – Bouncer

Sound check!! This month's cover features Impulse, the Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow by the artists formerly known as John Delaney and Ron Boyd! This is a pretty fun cover, which shows us that although Impulse can play multiple instruments simultaneously, he really doesn't have that great of a singing voice. And while Impulse does have a fun adventure with Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow only appears in a backup story without Impulse.

Our story begins with Bart, Preston and Carol walking home from school. Preston is oddly reading the newspaper, but it contains an exciting story about a local band, the Impulsives, opening for the hit band, Sediment, in New York that very night. The band used to be called The Pulse, but decided to rename themselves in honor of Manchester's superhero. Preston wishes he didn't have to do homework and could go to New York, something he's sure Impulse would be able to do.

Bart sadly trudges home, feeling trapped by Max. But as he starts his homework, Max says he and Helen are going out to dinner and a movie and shouldn't be back till 11:30. Ask Max leaves, he warns Bart not to use super speed on his homework so the sparks from his pencil won't burn the house the down. Bart promises to be good, secretly thinking of Max as a sucker. As soon as Max is gone, Impulse makes his way toward New York City.


Impulse heads straight to the Impulsives' backstage room, and is warmly welcomed by the band. He thinks it's cool they use his name, but can't help but notice they seem a bit bummed out right before their big break. The band tells Impulse they've received an anonymous tip their manager, Theo, is involved with the mob and is stealing from them. They were hoping to use the concert to sign with a major label, but now they're worried their manager will cheat them on the contracts. But they have hired a private detective who'll meet them after the show.

Impulse says he'd like to help, but he can't stick around for too long. Just then, another band manager named Richard shows up. He says he's dropped all his clients so he can focus exclusively on the Impulsives once they fire Theo. Richard is also very excited at the potential synergy they could get with the real Impulse. He says they could start advertising Primo shoes, but Impulse says he doesn't wear that brand and doesn't want to give kids the impression they can be as fast as him if they buy the right shoes. Luckily, Impulse is able to duck out of the conversation once the concert starts.

The Impulsives put on a great show, and Impulse happily rocked out and crowd-surfed the night away. But after the show, the band comes out to see Theo has been shot and rushed out in an ambulance. The Impulsive then meet with their private detective, John Jones. After hearing the story from the band, Jones pulls Impulse aside and reveals himself to be Martian Manhunter. Impulse is very excited to work with him, but Martian Manhunter is focused on the task at hand.

After briefly recounting Impulse's history for those who don't know it, Martian Manhunter also deduces that Impulse's presence here on a school night without Max Mercury nearby, means that Bart is in New York without Max's permission or knowledge. Bart admits J'onn is right, and agrees to follow his instructions exactly so he won't call Max on him. So the two heroes team up to solve the case before Max gets home in 44 minutes.

They then learn that Theo is alive and beginning to wake up. As the band travels to the hospital, Bart and J'onn rush ahead, believing Theo's assailants will want to finish the job when they learn he survived the attack. J'onn heads to Theo's room, telling Impulse to watch over the band. Impulse doesn't like being bossed around, but he agrees.

Bart impatiently waits for the band, which is followed close behind by Richard, eagerly looking for a way to help out. But Richard's presence is an unwanted one, and he's soon removed by the police. Impulse surreptitiously frisks Richard at super speed and finds he doesn't have a gun. So even though J'onn told Bart to keep an eye on the band, he decides to follow Richard while the band goes in to visit Theo.

Turns out Bart's hunch was right, as Richard is fired on by mobsters in the hospital parking lot. Impulse catches all the bullets, and "Theo" gets up from his hospital bed and turns into Martian Manhunter. He helps Impulse stop the mobsters, then explains everything to everyone. Apparently Theo was never the mob's target. Richard, who had lost all his clients was desperate for money, got involved with the mob and tried to become the Impulsives' new manager by framing Theo.

Theo new someone was setting him up, so he hired John Jones to investigate. Martian Manhunter then went to the concert disguised as Theo to gather evidence, but was shot by the mob who believed Richard was already the band's manager. Martian Manhunter then quickly convinced the police and doctors to help carry on the ruse until the gunmen were found. The real Theo then arrives and is happily reunited with the Impulsives and talk of a contract with a major label.

Impulse quickly says his goodbyes and abruptly runs home, plopping promptly in his chair at 11:28 p.m. But then he realizes that he ran right past Max and Helen in the living room. Max then explains that the movie was terrible, so they left after 20 minutes. He tells Bart to get to work on his vocabulary homework, beginning with the word "grounded."

The backup story features Green Arrow, but no Impulse, so we'll skip it. Overall, I enjoyed this story. The art wasn't too bad, and it's always great to team up Impulse with a new, super-serious hero. Steve Vance had a good grasp on Impulse's personality, as well as his relationship with his friends and family. And while the goofiness of the story was spot on, the detective elements really fell flat. Once Martian Manhunter explains everything at the end, his role in the whole thing becomes quite questionable. Why did he need to disguise himself as Theo to look for evidence? And when he was shot, why didn't he just let the bullet pass through him, turn into his martian form, and catch the bad guys? Perhaps he intentionally drug things out to teach Bart a lesson.

None of the letters to the editor mention Impulse, but a lot of them do express excitement in an upcoming Flash story for the series. So let's take a look at the new ads this month.

Laugh your butt off! Disney's Hercules now on video! I was a little sad this movie didn't follow the original myth of Hercules closer, but it did have great music and the voice of Danny DeVito, who played the Penguin in Batman Returns a few years earlier.

Toon up your drawings! 10 free cartoon kits in marked boxes of Post cereal. I had a few of these in 1998. They were tracing pads with various body parts and facial expressions of Warner Brothers' top cartoon characters.

My hot shot had gone cold. Then the Cap'n and some crunchberries gave me a hand!! Apparently Cap'n Crunch's expert basketball advice is to pretend the hoop is your mouth and the ball is a crunchberry.

A 14-carrot movie! The Bugs Bunny Road runner Movie. This was a direct-to-video feature of classic Warner Bros. cartoons interspersed with scenes of Bugs relaxing at his mansion and reliving those moments. But the new footage painfully stood out from the cartoons with its different animation style and voice actors.

Enter the Get Tooned Cartoon Network Sweepstakes for a chance to star in your very own cartoon! There sure were a lot of contests in late '90s, especially in the books with a younger audience.

Next time, we'll take a look at a book not intended for a younger audience — Lobo #50.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! Your blog is amazing!!! This is SOOO awesome! I've recently begun collecting all of the appearances of Bart Allen in classic DC comics, and it's great to have this blog as a reference point! Thanks for reviewing these comics, and I look forward to seeing more posts!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad you found it!

      Delete
  2. Do you have a chronological list that you're working off of? I would love to see it, if you feel comfortable sharing, or are you just working off of memory? Thanks for your time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mostly use ComicBookDB.com:

      http://comicbookdb.com/character_chron.php?ID=54

      But I also use DC.wikia to fill in the gaps and find alternate versions of Bart.

      Delete
  3. Wow! Awesome! Thank you so much! :)

    ReplyDelete