Monday, March 14, 2016

Superboy #65

Hyper-Tension! Epilogue: Out of Hyper-Time!

Too much happens this issue to waste time here! Suffice it to say you hold another Kesel-Grummett-Davis-Setzer-Comicrafct-Berrios-McAvennie production in your palms! (With prodigious praise to the power of Jack Kirby!) Now hurry up and turn the page!

As the excited credit box says, a lot happens in this issue. But not a whole lot happens with Impulse, the focus of this blog, so we can afford to take a little bit of time to analyze things. Our cover boldly proclaims that the greatest gallery of guest stars in the galaxy have gathered to audition to be the new Superboy. And isn't it fitting that Impulse is front and center? The two are both very powerful impulsive teenagers who basically were raised in laboratories away from society. Continuing clockwise from Impulse, we have the Metal Men, the Creeper, Inferno, Steel, Green Lantern, Odd Man, Robin, and a rather obscured Damage.

This story is the epilogue of a sprawling five-part adventure Superboy had with the Challengers of the Unknown. Apparently he was gone for so long that the folks at Cadmus started to get a bit antsy and began looking around for a new field agent to replace Superboy. Unfortunately, one of the Cadmus scientists went behind everybody's back and spread the word on the Internet, so Cadmus ended up with a lot more applicants than they bargained for.

Damage is quite eager to work at Cadmus, but he has a hard time convincing them he has his exploding powers under control. Sadly, he doesn't talk to Impulse or Green Lantern, even though they all used to be teammates. In fact, I think most people just prefer to ignore that ill-fated version of the New Titans. Anyway, most of Young Justice is there (minus Secret for some reason), but none of them are interested in working at Cadmus — they only want to find out what happened to Superboy.

As the various applicants try to convince Cadmus to hire them, there's a running gag that nobody knows this girl called Flamebird. Impulse asks Robin who she is, and he says she's kind of a superhero groupie who used to bother Nightwing. The most surprising candidate is the reformed Flash Rogue, Heat Wave. But he quickly proves his worth by discovering that Hawk and Dove are actually the villains Punch and Jewelee in disguise.

There's a brief chase scene with Punch and Jewelee taking Cadmus scientist Serling Roquette hostage. But Superboy arrives in the nick of time to save the day. But before Serling can thank the Kid, Impulse scoops him up and rushes him over to all his friends. All the candidates start to leave when they see Superboy is back safe and sound, but Cadmus decides to still name a backup for Superboy in case he has another prolonged leave of absence. And that backup is Heat Wave, but primarily so the corrupt director can use the ex-con as a scape goat if needed. The cameo-heavy issue then closes with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman arriving to debrief Superboy on his long adventure.

This was actually a pretty fun issue, even though Young Justice really didn't do anything. There were a lot of fun cameos, and the artwork made them all look pretty good. And the story provided an organic way for the characters to introduce themselves and showcase their powers. My only complaint isn't really in this issue, but the Young Justice series. If Superboy really was missing for so long, and all his friends were worried about him, then why didn't he miss any time in the pages of Young Justice?

Next time, former Impulse editor Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt will return to write an Impulse-centric issue of Legends of the DC Universe.

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