Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Impulse #37

Generations of Crime

William Messner-Loebs Writer
Craig Rousseau Penciller
Barbara Kaalberg Inker
Chris Eliopoulos Letterer
Tom McCraw Colorist
L.A. Williams Asst. Editor
Paul Kupperberg Editor
Impulse created by Waid & Wieringo

Our cover by Craig Rousseau and Wayne Faucher shows a rather humorous exchange between Impulse and this month's villain, Glory Shredder. We're seeing more speech bubbles on the cover lately, which I think is a pretty fun thing. And I'm always a fun of the occasional plain white background.

Our story begins with Evil Eye ditching school to serve as lookout while his dad robs a drug store called Pete's. Evil Eye knows there's the chance his dad could get caught again and locked up for 20 years, but as long as he's able to get him some Airflash sneakers, Evil Eye's OK with that risk.

Inside, Evil Eye's dad reveals himself to be the Transparent Weapon, with the ability to make himself invisible. He tries to hold up the store clerk, but he turns out to be a recent immigrant who is thrilled to be see someone with such extraordinary powers. The clerk mistakes the Transparent Weapon for a superhero, and excitedly talks about how he needs to join the Justice League and show off his abilities on Jay Leno, all while Evil Eye's dad is trying to threaten him with a taser. Suddenly, the big buff guy from the cover, the Glory Shredder, shows up and threatens the Transparent Weapon.

Meanwhile, Bart Allen is hanging out with Roland, who's reading the Manchester Courier. The front-page article is about Impulse's recent victory over the Song of Justice, and there are inside articles about the Millennium Giants, the earthquake in Gotham and the destruction of Fairfield. But Roland's most interested in a piece about Charles Runk, aka the Chunk. Like Roland, Chunk is a heavy-set black man, but he's also an ally of the Flash who's a living portal to other dimensions. Roland is inspired by how Chunk uses his powers to help people and make a decent living. But his chat with Bart is interrupted by the sound of gunshots nearby.

We then check in on Max Mercury, who has been talked into trying some yoga with his daughter, Helen Claiborne. Lucky for Max, he doesn't have to sit on his head for too long before the doorbell rings. But when he answers the door, Max becomes face-to-face with his arch-enemy, Dr. Morlo. Morlo casually explains that he escaped prison by hypnotizing the guards, silencing the alarms with time-worms and blowing the locks out with anti-matter. But Morlo says he needs Max's help. His son and grandson live in Manchester, and are both in terrible danger.

So Max invites Morlo inside. But he still doesn't quite trust him, so he warns Helen not to tell him her real name. So she introduces herself as Helitra Busk-Winthrax, aka Moon Girl, strange visitor from another galaxy. She explains that Max found her in a frozen asteroid and is training her to use her awesome moon powers, and now she's fallen in love with Max and hopes to raise a gaggle of little superheroes and heroines with him. At this, Max reluctantly introduces Helen as his idiot daughter, and Morlo says he figured as much.

Max asks Morlo how he found him, and Morlo says it wasn't too difficult. He reminds Max how he sent him mail before their last scuffle, and he's learned that Max is living with a woman who could be his daughter, and a boy who could be his grandson and just happens to be the same age as Impulse. In short, Morlo says he and Max each know each other, and he's only visiting him because the situation is vital. Morlo says he was attacked in his prison cell a week ago by a man called the Glory Shredder.

Back at Pete's, the Glory Shredder has destroyed half the store with "warning shots." The Transparent Weapon tries to turn invisible and sneak away, but he's not quite fast enough. The poor clerk, finally understanding the situation, tries to protect his store by pulling out his small handgun. Glory Shredder mistakes this to be a sign of an inside job, and he turns his massive guns on the clerk. Finally, Impulse arrives to catch all the bullets, which are quite hot.

Impulse then tells Glory Shredder to put the guns away, and he lectures him about not having a plan or thinking. But Glory Shredder says there's so much crime in Manchester because Impulse is a "little wet-eared turncoat" who's protecting the criminals. Impulse calls Glory Shredder immature for resulting to name-calling, and he points out how stupid it is to try to shoot an invisible target. On this, the Glory Shredder agrees, pulling out a handful of fragmentation grenades. Luckily, Impulse is able to take the grenades outside city limits to explode harmlessly.

Meanwhile, Max admits to Morlo that he does know who the Glory Shredder is. He was an old buddy of his during World War II, Sergeant Marvin Tole, who led a special commando unit behind the German lines. But Tole was nearly killed in combat — his body broken and mashed like a turnip. The Nazis found him and used the Ray of Conquest to heal him and supercharge his cells. They tried to give him political reeducation and named him Sergeant Blitzkrieg. But the mind-control didn't take, and Tole soon rejoined the Americans, fighting alongside Max as Sergeant Glory. But after the war, Tole had trouble toning down his violent tendencies, looking for any excuse to launch total war. He renamed himself Glory Shredder, finally pushing Max away with his antisocial behavior. Last Max heard of him, he was working as a mercenary in Bosnia.

Morlo says that Glory Shredder vowed to wipe out his family of criminals, and luckily the prison guards were able to scare him away before he killed Morlo. But Morlo knew it would only be a matter of time before Glory Shredder went after his son and grandson, so he engineered his escape and sought out Max's help. Helen suggests they call the police, but Max knows the Glory Shredder would slaughter the cops. So he presents a plan of patiently monitoring the media and looking for clues. But when he turns on the TV, he immediately finds a news report about Impulse's battle with Glory Shredder.

Meanwhile, Roland, also curious by the shooting at Pete's, has stumbled across Evil Eye, bound and gagged. Roland frees Evil Eye, who quickly tells him about Glory Shredder. But the crazed villain soon pounces on Evil Eye, hoping to lure out his dad by threatening him. Glory Shredder's plan works, as the Transparent Weapon hits him with his taser to protect his son. The taser doesn't do much damage, but Max Mercury soon arrives and begins fighting his old friend, giving the Transparent Weapon and the boys enough time to escape. Glory Shredder is able to get in a few good hits against Max, but Impulse finally returns and creates a vortex around Glory Shredder to take away his oxygen. However, Glory Shredder is able to use his contingency plan. He pulls off one of his fingers, and creates a big, bright explosion.

Impulse and Max wake up to find everybody gone, and Max says this was all his fault. He forgot that Glory Shredder had lost his finger in 1943 and had it replaced with a small plasma grenade. Bart chews him out for forgetting to mention that key detail, and says, "Why is it every time we meet an old friend of yours, we end up fighting for our lives?" Max sadly says the Glory Shredder isn't his friend anymore, but he is happy Morlo's family was able to get away without bloodshed. And Bart notices the snow is finally starting to melt, which has to be a good sign.

This was a pretty nice issue that gave us another fun character from Max's past. And it's nice to see Dr. Morlo start to move away from the role of super villain. William Messner-Loebs once again stepped away from his long-running toxic waste trial storyline, but he did spend quite a bit of time in this issue setting up next issue. However, I am a bit frustrated by his inconsistency with names. He never did give a name to the Transparent Weapon, which makes him tough to refer to. And at one point, he called Evil Eye "Danny," even though his real name is Wilfred and he goes by Eddie when he absolutely has to. Of course, a later issue will give him the middle name of Riodan, but I hardly can use that to excuse his dad calling him Danny.

Paul Kupperberg begins the letter column by saying that after two years, Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt has finally stopped answering the letters (a job he continued even after officially stepping down as assistant editor on the book). Paul says L.A. Williams will handle this duty next month, but for now, he'll handle it.

Joe Flores III says he's been collecting comics for 20 years, and has kind of enjoyed watching heroes' costumes change. But Max's hasn't changed in a long time, and Joe thinks it's time to give him a new look. He also asks for Impulse to meet Batman.

Ben, from Seattle, enjoys how Impulse is able to repeatedly blurt out his secret identity and still get away with it. He also asks why White Lightning's name changed to Moonshine, and Kupperberg promises that Messner-Loebs will address that in her next appearance.

Matt W somehow got three letters in, one each for issues #32, #33 and #34. Aside from the usual praise and asking for a letter column name, he was really sad to hear Hernandez-Rosenblatt is leaving. But Kupperberg announced that Hernandez-Rosenblatt had written a fill-in issue called the "Return of Arrowette," which they'll be running soon.

Joe Fonseca, of Kitchener, Ontario, says he almost dropped the title with Messner-Loebs took over, since he's dropped every other book he's written. But to Joe's pleasant surprise, Messner-Loebs seems ideally suited for the goofiness of Impulse. He also asks for Impulse to meet Solomon Grundy, Psycho Pirate, the Joker and the Riddler.

Gap Kids. Screen print T $12.50.

Freeze your butt off. Ice Blue color. The limited edition GameBoy Pocket. Get off your keister before this cool offer leaves you behind.

Nickelodeon's 1998 Kids' Choice Awards. Hosted by Rosie O'Donnell. Batman & Robin was nominated for Favorite Movie, Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) and Uma Thurman (Poison Ivy) were nominated for Favorite Movie Actress, and Jim Carrey (The Riddler in Batman Forever) was nominated for Favorite Movie Actor.

Feeling adventurous? Take advantage of this special trial subscription offer! You could get 12 issues of Impulse for $18, when they normally cost $1.95 each.

Watch This Space talks about new DC-themed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and mentions the death of Winslow Mortimer, a DC artist from 1945 to 1956.

Juicier levels, tastier moves, dripping with attitude, the new Yoshi, loose for the first time on Nintendo 64. Yoshi's Story.

Free comic book ... and $3.00 rebate offer by mail when you buy Act II microwave popcorn and the Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero video. I haven't seen that movie in a while, but I do remember being somewhat disappointed in it. It seemed like Bruce Timm and Paul Dini could never recapture the magic of their first Mr. Freeze episode, "Heart of Ice."

Next time, Impulse will finally return to The Flash in issue #138.

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