Thursday, January 5, 2017

Young Justice #26

From Myrg with Love

Peter David Dat Writer Bum
Todd Nauck Dat Pencil-Pushin' Bum
Lary Stucker Inkin' Bum
Ken Lopez Whattaya-Call 'im, Letterin' Bum
Jason Wright Colorin' Bum
Maureen McTigue Associate Pain
Eddie Berganza Major Pain in da Bum

Our cover by Nauck and Stucker takes us on a wild, scenic flying-car chase through an amusement park on planet Myrg. In the main car, Robin takes out the driver, while Wonder Girl battle the corrupt leader of Myrg. To the right, Impulse drives and Superboy fights off the troopers. To the left, Doiby Dickles is in the driver's seat, with Secret using her smoke to protect him from incoming laser blasts. I love the action, the humor from the absurdity of the situation, and the beautiful coloring. I do have to note, however, that both Empress and Lobo are missing.

Our story begins with Cissie King-Jones returning to her all-girls boarding school after winning the gold medal in archery at the Olympics. Cissie suddenly finds herself the center of attention, surrounded by a large crowd chanting "USA! USA!" and "Cissie rocks!" The principal, Ms. Foster, angrily investigates the commotion and demands that Cissie explain what's going on. Cissie stammers out an apology, but the principal reveals she was just joking, and gleefully leads the students in another cheer of "Cissie rocks!" The principal then leads Cissie to her office, where the Red Tornado is waiting for them.

But while Cissie is at school, the rest of our heroes are ditching (or perhaps their classes start later in the year). Deep in outer space, near the planet Myrg, Impulse's spaceship has been targeted by what appears to be a space taxi cab. But this cab is hostile, and begins firing lasers at the Young Justice crew. Impulse presses a bunch of buttons real quick until he figures out how to disable the auto-pilot, which enables Doiby to evade the laser blasts. Wonder Girl asks if he can handle this, but he says it's nothing compared to Times Square at rush hour.

Superboy is worried that Doiby won't be able to dodge these blasts forever, and he urges Robin to launch the Super-Cycle so they can go out and help. But Robin is unable to get the vehicle to respond, confirming his earlier reports of it acting strangely. Lobo gets tired of everybody standing around, so he blasts off on his flying motorcycle (and he probably would have blasted right through the hull of the ship had Empress not opened the bay door at the last second. The Top Teen quickly tears apart the cab with a hook and chain, resulting in an explosion that knocks our ship to the point that Doiby can't tell who's upside down and who's right-side up. Impulse says, "Actually, except relative to a planetary body, there's no real 'up' or 'down' in space."

If that sounded like an unusually intellectual thing for Impulse to say, then it's probably because he's really Inertia in disguise (Nauck made sure to keep Impulse's ring off his finger this issue). Impulse notices that the cab was piloted by robots, or they could have just blown up George Lucas' house. Lobo returns to the ship, celebrating his victory, but Robin yells at him for killing the people on the cab. Lobo argues that when battling an invading army, you need to take the off the kid gloves. Robin insists that their team is not about killing people, but Secret intervenes and tells Robin that no one died on that vessel. This surprises both Robin and Lobo, and Secret darkly explains that if someone had died, she would have known it. This worries Superboy and Empress, but Lobo begins to like her.

Impulse then relays a message from Doiby: "Youse guys bedder strap yerselfs in, 'cause dey's a meteor ring we's gotta maneuver tr'oo, and it ain't gonna be pretty!" Robin tells Impulse he doesn't have to use Doiby's accent, but Impulse hasn't realized that he's now talking like Doiby. Everybody straps in, except for Superboy, who is so happy to have his powers back that he's decided to hover in place while the ship shakes around him. But his plan is flawed, and the Kid is flung around the ship like a pinball, much to the delight of Lobo. Secret finally catches Superboy, and he's surprised that she's able to make just parts of herself solid (even though I'm pretty sure that he should already know this).

Finally, Doiby gets the ship through the meteor ring and down to the planet Myrg. Empress is shocked that it looks just like old New York City, but Doiby just shrugs this off. Impulse is the first to notice the arrival of the Myrg police department, and upon seeing the ship piloted by their planet's most wanted criminal, the cops escort them to City Hall. Lobo prepares to fight the police, but Robin tells him not to. Lobo then turns on Robin in a rage, and Superboy starts to come to Robin's aide, but the Boy Wonder channels his mentor, Batman, and stands his ground. Lobo is surprised and confused by this display of courage, so he pulls off his attack, but points out that he could break Robin in half. Robin agrees, but calmly explains that he's not the enemy, and neither are the cops outside. The real enemy, Robin says, are the alien leaders who have conquered Myrg, and if Lobo jumps out and starts fighting right away, then they'll lose the element of surprise. Robin calls Lobo one of the strongest cards in his deck, and playing that card too soon is just plain dumb.

Lobo is impressed by this, but he has to make sure that Robin acknowledges him as the strongest card in his deck, not just one of his strongest cards. Robin sighs and grants Lobo this meaningless title, but both Superboy and Wonder Girl take offense to this. Robin walks away from them in frustration, and Doiby tries to cheer him up by saying that the Starwoman didn't have it any easier when she visited Myrg with the Junior Society of America. Impulse then points out the City Hall, but he's still talking like Doiby, and Robin shouts at him to stop it.

We then cut back to the principal's office, where Red Tornado is making a big show of meeting Cissie for the first time. Cissie picks up on this hint, but she stammers and talks too much, saying that she's only heard of Red Tornado but has never met him, and that clearly people don't have to have met people to have heard of them. Keep things light, the Ms. Foster says she's heard of the pope, although she's never met him. Cissie instantly says he's really nice, but then hurries to say that she's heard that he's nice.

Red Tornado suggests they get to the point of their meeting, so they all sit down and Ms. Foster begins digging through the files on her desk, looking for the one on Red Tornado's adoptive daughter. Cissie starts to say "Traya," but she catches herself and instead says, "Try ... this file here." Ms. Foster opens it up and explains to Cissie that Traya is having trouble at her public school because she's too intelligent for their curriculum. The Elias School was on the short list of academies suited to meet Traya's needs, but academics are only part of the equation. Traya is going to be much younger than the rest of the girls at Elias School, and this is where Cissie comes in to play. Cissie doesn't get it at first, saying she's nowhere smart enough to be a tutor. Red Tornado then steps in to explain. He says that he and his wife enjoyed watching Cissie at the Olympics on TV, and they were impressed with her perseverance in the face of adversity. Red says that when Traya comes to the Elias School, the biggest thing she's going to need is a friend. So he was hoping that Cissie would be Traya's roommate, take her under her wing and essentially be Traya's big sister.

Back on Myrg, we take a peek inside the Royal Palace, where "Hiz Royalness," Prince Marieb, is struggling to contact his home planet of Gren. (His office is decorated with photos of him with Elvis, Spock and other aliens.) Princess Ramia suddenly bursts through the door, demanding that Marieb let Doiby and his companions go. Marieb says that Doiby got off easy last time, but Ramia reminds him that he tried to execute Doiby last time. Marieb angrily says that this time, Doiby will not escape.

Doiby and Young Justice are led into the Royal Palace in front of a large crowd calling for their heads. Robin once again reminds the team that they'll need more than force of arms to get out of this situation, and Lobo assures everyone that he's all they need. Lobo shouts at the crowd to shut up, which they do, and then Prince Marieb greets our heroes with Herman the Executioner. Robin begins a stalling tactic by asking questions about Marieb's authority. Doiby explains that Marieb is the youngest of a large family of royalty on Gren, and he has the least authority of all his brothers. Doiby says that Gren only invaded Myrg so they could find a place to put Marieb out of the way. Marieb angrily contests this, shouting that he's the most important person on this planet.

Having established this fact, Robin enacts his plan, first by having Impulse tie up Marieb and whisk him up to the top of the palace. Impulse holds the prince over the edge of the building, and Robin advises the police against trying to save their ruler. He explains that Impulse and Marieb will be halfway across the city before the cops even get into the air. And if the police try to do anything to Doiby or Young Justice, then Impulse will make sure that Prince Marieb is never seen again.

The negations are interrupted by the arrival of a large, menacing spaceship. Marieb begins to freak out when he sees this ship, and he begs Impulse to hide him from it. Impulse asks if he'll put Doiby back in charge of Myrg and leave the planet, and Marieb instantly agrees. Impulse rejoins his teammates on the ground to report on their success and ask Robin how he got that giant ship to show up and spook the prince. But Robin had nothing to do with the ship. Suddenly, the people on the ship — very large, robotic creatures — comes down and announce themselves as the Slag, Masters of the Game. Gren was not able to withstand the Slag in the Game, so it and all its former conquests are now under Slag control. Superboy asks what this "Game" is, and he's answered with a baseball and a bat. Wonder Girl throws her hands up in the air and says, "That's it. I'm joining the Titans."

Young Justice in space is pretty fun. Of course, the planet Myrg is essentially New York in the '30s, so it doesn't feel too "alien," but I think that helped keep this issue from being too wacky. We had just the right amount of wackiness. The heart of this story was Robin rising to and meeting new challenges as the leader of the team, and showing how it's possible to overthrow a government through nonviolent means. Lobo is a really great addition to the team, providing a necessary level of conflict, while doing so in a fun way. And as for Impulse, this issue also supports my theory that Inertia took Impulse's place after Australia. There's no ring on his finger, he appears a little too smart once or twice here, and it seemed a little more like Inertia than Impulse when he was holding the prince off the edge of the building. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter and it's perfectly acceptable to read this Impulse as the real Bart Allen. I just like connecting all my comic book stories.

Our letters to the editor begin with Jim Bryan asking for a return of the Point Men, either fighting with or against Young Justice. He also loved the anthology format of Young Justice #22, especially the Impulse and Secret story.

Russ Anderson, of Baltimore, also says the Impulse story was his favorite, with Secret being pulled along trustingly as Impulse does his "well-intentioned-but-woefully-misplaced concern shtick." Russ also was a fan of all the glimpses of other origins, especially the 'Mazing Man helmet. He felt the Red Tornado story was too schmaltzy, though, and the Wonder Girl story was bland. He did like the Robin story, but ends his letter by asking for no more fill-in issues.

Vinny Necco liked the whole issue, but was sad that Arrowette and Empress weren't in it. Vinny enjoyed the Red Tornado story, the Wonder Girl story and the Robin story, although he did resent how Robin didn't defend the team or Impulse in front of Nightwing. Vinny also really enjoyed the interactions between Impulse, Secret and Superboy, but he did spot a continuity error in another comic. Apparently an issue of Superman: The Man of Steel had Superboy saying he got his force belt from Impulse, with an editor's note sending readers to Young Justice #22. And this, of course, is completely incorrect.

There aren't any new ads, so I'll see you next time, when we finally wrap up Mercury Falling in Impulse #67.

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