Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Green Lantern 80-Page Giant #2

The Lantern's Apprentice

Mark Waid Story
Mike McKone Pencils
Andy Lanning Inks
Pat Prentice Letters
Matt Webb Colors
Harvey Richards Asst. Editor
Kevin Dooley Editor
Cover by George Freeman
Colors by Richard & Tanya Horie

This 80-Page Giant is split into seven separate stories, each with a different guest star. And as our cover shows, these team-ups go from Aquaman to Zatanna. Sadly, that middle spot went to Plastic Man instead of Impulse. (I guess it also could have gone to Big Barda, Deadman or Guy Gardner.) I think this is an alright cover, although I do wonder what happened to Kyle Rayner's nose.

Our story begins with Green Lantern frantically trying to save New Yorkers from jumping off buildings. The culprit is Hector Hammond, a paralyzed villain with an enormous head and telepathy and telekinesis. And Impulse is there, smashing open fire hydrants to catch civilians with the jet of water. Bart apparently muttered something about being in New York on a class trip, but I'd like to believe he just came here on his own. I mean, how many out-of-state trips does his junior high sponsor?

Anyway, Kyle continues rescuing people in odd, imaginative fashion, such as scooping them up with a shovel and placing them in a giant pail, and catching a couple of people with a large, chattering teeth toy. Don't ask me why. The chaos caused by the frenzied bystanders was merely a trap to lure a distracted Green Lantern close to Hammond so he could take control of the hero's brain. But before he can completely take control, Impulse pushes Green Lantern out of the way.

Enraged, Hammond begins blasting psychic beams at the heroes. Impulse tells Lantern to stop him, which he does with a stop sign and the words, "Your wish is my command." Bart thinks he's joking and says, "Yank my chain, why don'tcha?" Kyle creates a green chain around Bart's neck and literally yanks it, again saying, "Your wish is my command." Impulse gets him to let go, then realizes what has happened. Instead of being under Hector Hammond's control, Green Lantern is completely obedient to Impulse. Practically a personal genie for teen hero, which he thinks is pretty cool.

Hammond continues blasting away at Impulse, who tells him to knock it off so he can think. Hammond says thinking must hurt him, and Impulse, feeling that was a low blow, asks if he ever picks on Hammond. The villain replies in the affirmative, and throws a bus full of people at the heroes. Impulse has Green Lantern create a giant amusement park ride to catch the bus, then he changes Kyle's outfit to look more like a genie's, and gives himself a green turban.

Riding on the back of his "genie," Impulse has Lantern create an army of Megawar Thunderdroids to attack Hammond. But the villain is easily able to take control of the constructs and turn them on the civilians. Impulse frantically orders, "Squash 'em! No! The soldiers! Squoosh the soldiers!" Luckily, Kyle is able to take out the soldiers with a bunch of sledge hammers, and then places Hammond's head in a big green vise.

Hammond frees himself with a purple construct of his own — a large construction worker to undo the clamp. Impulse/Lantern counters with a giant green worker to battle Hammond's, and catches a couple more bystanders with a big pillow. Hammond mocks Impulse for having the powerful weapon in the universe at his command but not the slightest idea how to use it. So Impulse decides to go big. He has Green Lantern create an enormous cannon, hovering right above Hammond. The villain sees this cannon is probably big enough to destroy all New York, and he cries out in a panic, "You wouldn't dare!" Impulse boldly responds with, "You have a big head. You figure it out."

Luckily, this is the part where Green Lantern wakes up. He immediately grabs Impulse and demands to know what he's done. Bart can only get out, "Big head — bus — mental bolts — big head — !" Kyle releases his grip on Bart, but still holds on to him by strapping him in a chair. Gathering himself, he admits to Impulse he was on his way to a half-decent plan, which he completes by kicking Hammond into the cannon and then blasting him out of the city. Impulse wonders how far the villain will bounce, but Green Lantern prefers to not find out. He catches Hammond and places him in a cage surrounded by speakers blasting the Spice Girls to keep him from concentrating.

With the day saved, Impulse excitedly asks for a trampoline, a Game Boy and a cheeseburger, but Green Lantern tells him the game is over. Bart loudly brags how he was better with the ring than Green Lantern ever was, and how he nearly defeated the big head all by himself. So Kyle offers to let him play with the ring some more, by putting him in a prison outfit with a ball-and-chain and broom in hand to help clean up, which isn't what Bart had in mind.

This was such a fun story. It's always wonderful to have Mark Waid return to Impulse, even if it is a just a quick 10-page fling. The characterization was there, the dialogue spot-on and the humor plentiful. I only wish we had more pages to explore this goofy situation! Well, I also wish the art could have been a little better, but it got the job done.

That's all for Impulse in this issue, so we'll skip the six other stories. And there aren't any letters to the editor, so we'll head straight to the ads (and some of them are pretty good this time):

No music was harmed in the making of this product. Sony MiniDisc Walkman Personal Stereo.

Time Tremors: The Continuum Project. If you haven't started yet, you're already 80 million years behind. From Cherry Coke and MTV.

Power. It moves mountains. It stops evil. It gets you out of class. Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. All-new monthly action by Geoff Johns, Lee Moder and Dan Davis. Yes, we've already reached the Geoff Johns era of DC Comics. When Impulse was just getting started in the pages of The Flash, Johns was still a student at Michigan State University, getting his letter published in Speed Reading. And now here he is with his first comic book series.

The touching story of a boy and his right hand. Idle Hands. Starring Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson and Vivica A. Fox.

Batman told them not to go in. But did they listen? Young Justice in No Man's Land. By Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Andy Kuhn and Chris Ivy. Cover by Scott McDaniel and Danny Miki. Breaking curfew this May. So this is a pretty exciting one-shot coming up, tying into the big Batman event of the year. It makes sense to bring in Robin and his two best friends, Superboy and Impulse, although Lagoon Boy does seem like a random addition since we haven't seen him before. Otherwise, this is a pretty cool-looking ad, minus the goof on Impulse's mask.

Clone Superman, get Bizarro. Clone an ordinary schlub, get ... A. Bizarro.

Meet the Dark Knight's new partner. You can stop laughing now. Impulse. Introducing the new Impulse team: Todd Dezago, Ethan Van Sciver, and Prentis Rollins. Issue #50 hits stores in May. This is so exciting! Impulse and Batman vs. the Joker! And we get new creators we already know and trust. Dezago did a great job getting Young Justice off the ground, and Van Sciver proved himself a phenomenal fill-in artist. With all due respects to William Messner-Loebs and Craig Rousseau, the Impulse title really needed a jolt like this. Sales had been in a steady decline since Waid left, and I can think of no better way to boost things up than to bring in these creators with these guest stars for the landmark 50th issue.

Clark Kent left home to find himself. He never dreamed he'd end up a hero. Superman: The Odyssey.

Well, that wraps it up here. Next time, we'll return to Chain Lightning with The Flash #149.

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