Sunday, July 24, 2016

Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #8

Crisis in Blue Valley

Writer Geoff Johns
Lee Moder – Pencils
Dan Davis – Inks
Tom McCraw – Colors
Heroic Age – Separations
Bill Oakley – Letters
Mike Carlin Editor
Courtney Whitmore created by Geoff Johns & Lee Moder

The Star-Spangled Kid and S.T.R.I.P.E. soar to new heights on this month's cover by Lee Moder, Dan Davis, and Richard and Tanya Horie! Well, as far as Moder's art go, this cover isn't too bad. But I'd hardly call it soaring to new heights. It's a pretty nice image, although it doesn't have anything to do with the story inside.

Impulse only makes a very quick cameo in this issue, so I'll go really quick. During Courtney's very ordinary day at school, she has a bit of a rough time at gym. The teacher is a pretty big jerk, and the kid playing goalie is kind of full of himself, so Courtney covertly uses her power belt to blast the soccer ball past the kid and get the teacher to lay off her. Later, Courtney's friend Mary says she shouldn't use her belt for stuff like this, but Courtney brushes her off, saying she'll bet her $20 that Impulse is the track star at his school. While Courtney's reasoning is understandable, we all know she is completely wrong. Despite his impulsive nature, Bart actually is disciplined enough to not use his super speed in school sports.

While Courtney is being a typical selfish teenage girl, her step-father Pat Dugan is attacked by an old enemy named Nebula Man. When Nebula Man tracks onto Courtney's power belt and takes off after her, Pat panics and calls in every single hero he knows. And I mean every single hero.

But here's the joke: Courtney had already defeated Nebula Man by the time the JSA, JLA, Titans, Young Justice, Metal Men and the Marvel family arrive. Superman is understandably a bit annoyed by this, but the new Flash (Walter West) calms him down. He tells Courtney she's doing a good job protecting Wally's hometown, and all the heroes take off. Oddly, Courtney and Pat didn't say a word to Young Justice, despite having a pretty wild adventure with them not too long ago.

So there you have it. Not too bad of an issue — mostly built around one big joke. Sadly, Moder's art did not do justice to this massive gathering of heroes. However, I am glad that Arrowette was not included, which follows continuity. But I'm not exactly sure why Max Mercury was there, too. I guess he just saw Impulse taking off and decided to come help out. After all, Pat was telling everyone this was a Crisis-level threat, along the lines of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour.

Actually, I'd have to say my favorite part of this issue was Courtney casually mentioning Impulse on the school bus. I always love seeing kids in the DC Universe have everyday conversations about other heroes. So anyway, we actually do have one letter to the editor worth mentioning.

Jeff Coburn asks if Wally West will pay a visit to Blue Valley sometime, but sadly Mike McAvennie doesn't say anything about that in his answer. Jeff also says he's looking forward to the Young Justice appearance. So I guess we're a bit too early for any discussion on Young Justice, but at least we saw someone was excited about it. Now let's check out the new ads:

Even super heroes get hungry. Batman Beyond toys at Burger King.

Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. The Bodyguard. Starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. For people who see sound effects.

Asteroids rocks! Asteroids Hyper 64 for Nintendo 64.

Polaris SnoCross. Ride the best! For Game Boy Color.

Next time, we'll return to an exciting, intense situation in The Flash #158.

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