Monday, April 13, 2015

Impulse & The Atom Double-Shot #1


Roll Back

Dan Jurgens Under the Influence
Pop Mahn Arrested for Possession
Dexter Vines Will Never Work Again
Clem Robins Hospitalized
Jason Wright Institutionalized
Dana Kurtin and Eddie Berganza Should Have Killed the Story When They Had the Chance

This issue's tiny homage to Gil Kane & Murphy Anderson's Showcase #34 cover is by Pop Mhan with colors by Snake Bite and seps by Michelle Asp. It is nice to have covers pay homage to historical covers like this every once in a while — although I'm not too keen on the execution here. Mhan's style just seems a bit sloppy to me. Also, I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't point out that absolutely nothing like this happens in this issue.

As I said earlier, the new batch of Teen Titans comics struggled mightily after Marv Wolfman left The New Titans. The replacement group featured a bunch of unknown or lesser known characters, led by the Atom, who was conveniently turned into a teenager during Zero Hour. In an attempt to drum up some interest for this series, DC launched a group of these Double-Shot issues, which matched up a Teen Titan with a more popular character. I find it interesting that in 1997 Impulse still wasn't a part of a superhero team, but was considered popular enough to give other books a boost.

Our story begins at Vanishing Point, a place unaffected by the normal parameters of space and time. Also a place we really haven't seen since Zero Hour. We close in on prominent time-traveler Waverider, who is stuck babysitting toddler versions of Impulse and Atom.


Liri Lee, Waverider's girlfriend and fellow time-researcher, walks in on this scene and chastises Waverider for bringing children to Vanishing Point. As Impulse shows off his speed and Atom demonstrates his size-changing abilities, Waverider explains they're not really children, and he hasn't rolled their ages back because they were infused with latent chronal energy before he even got to them. The energetic kids keep playing games — Bart wants to play Khund warriors, but Ray suggests cowboys and Indians — while Waverider and Liri Lee begin to examine the past to figure out what happened to the two heroes. To keep the toddlers out of their hair, Waverider turns one of the monitors on to some dinosaurs.

Apparently Ray Palmer had recently lost one of his teammates on a mission and attempted to use a time pool to go back to save him. But as Waverider zeroes in on the incident, little Impulse becomes bored with the dinosaurs and begins pushing every button he sees.

Waverider then sees that on the same day Ray activated his time pool, Bart Allen was on a field trip to Ivy University, chaperoned by his "uncle" Max Crandall. Bart grew quite bored of the tour and complained about not having edu-phones to teach him while he slept. As Max warned him not to talk about the future, a large explosion went off in one of the buildings. So Bart turned into Impulse and zipped over there to find the Atom having trouble with his time pool. The two heroes were then turned into toddlers, at which point Waverider arrived to try to undo the damage.

Waverider notes that Impulse is from the future and has been there recently, kind of messing up his chronal energy. And the Atom's were messed up by Extant during Zero Hour. As he discusses the situation with Liri, Impulse and Atom go riding by on a velociraptor. Liri quickly sends the dinosaurs back to their proper time before Bart can pull out even bigger ones. She disables the control to pull things out of the time stream, and turns the monitor to a Khund warrior battle from 2906.

Waverider then figures out that he's responsible for Atom and Impulse turning into toddlers. He sensed the disturbance caused by Atom's time pool, and by investigating, he made the problem worse. But as soon as he figures this out, he notices Atom and Impulse have accidentally transported themselves onto a Khund war ship.

However, the alien conquerors were no match for the energetic, super-powered toddlers. (Two of the Khunds were named K'Waid and K'Eringo in honor of Impulse's creators, Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo.) Waverider and Liri Lee pull the toddlers back by promising them ice cream, and bring them to just milliseconds before the time pool went haywire. Waverider is able to fuse the toddlers back into their teenaged bodies, and Liri recruits Max Mercury to help them out since he's also a time traveler.

Waverider unfreezes time, and Max suddenly finds himself in uniform and in front of the time pool. Before anyone can do anything, a bolt of energy shoots out from the pool and passes through Max, Impulse and the Atom. Suddenly, everything is back to normal. Bart wonder whether it was a dream, holographic illusions created by aliens, or a byproduct of the burritos he had for lunch. Ray, however, is furious to see his time pool failed, and he kicks over his computer table. Max, however, is able to cheer him up by pointing out that even more of his friends would have died without him.

As the heroes walk away, Ray wonders why he has a sudden craving for ice cream, while Bart finds himself wanting to play Khund warriors. Waverider and Liri Lee watch from a distance, happy that they were able to nullify Max's chronal energy so it would strike the others and negate the effects of the errant time pool.

We're then treated to this fun note: "The editors of this magazine apologize to any and all readers who like their comic deadly serious, filled with angst, tragedy and overwrought emotions. Not."

So this was a rather silly, yet entertaining adventure. It was fun to see Impulse more or less at his appropriate age of about 3 years old. He's not too different from his teenaged version, just a bit more hyper, I guess. Sadly, the art was a big let down for me. A lot of the people looked downright creepy, and there wasn't much of a difference between the toddlers and the teens, which is kind of essential for a story like this.

There aren't any letters to the editor, although there is a surprisingly lengthy explanation by Liri Lee, telling us more about Waverider and what exactly just happened in this issue. Now on to the new ads:

Mass Destruction. Don't just sit there ... shoot! For PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Windows 95.

Metallica. Reload. Thirteen new songs.

The fate of Cybercity rests in his hands ... and yours. Introducing Cyberswine, the interactive Multipath Movie where you control the action.

Hey, Mom, can I keep him? And we see a fat kid holding Cal Ripken Jr. on his shoulders. MLB Players Choice products are as hot as all your favorite players.

Reinforcements have arrived. Command & Conquer: Red Alert for the PlayStation game console.

Gap Pro Fleece hooded sweatshirt $48.

Next time, we'll visit the Atom again in Teen Titans #17.

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