Monday, February 6, 2017

Impulse #68

I Rann and I Rann and I Rann ...

Todd Dezago • Writer
Eric Battle • Penciller
Buzz • Inker
Janice Chiang • Letterer
Tom McCraw • Colorist
Jamison • Separators
Joey Cavalieri • Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

This issue's cover is by Ethan Van Sciver and Wayne Faucher. It is nice to still have Van Sciver provide some Impulse art, although I do think it's kind of misleading to have him continue to draw the covers when he's technically off the book. I'm torn. Anyway, this issue is a Green Lantern: Circle of Fire epilogue, which is why we have a giant Green Lantern power battery in the background. This issue's guest star is Adam Strange, who has never really had any interaction with Impulse before this. I welcome the opportunity for Impulse to meet more people throughout the DC Universe.

Our story begins with a high-speed police chase of a couple of rednecks in a rickety, old truck. Impulse runs up alongside the truck and very smoothly pulls the criminals out and places them in the back of a following police car.

Impulse then tries to stop the runaway truck with a small whirlwind, but the truck takes a bad bounce and careens toward a store full of people. So Impulse has to run to the front of the store and make an even bigger whirlwind to stop the truck and all the pieces falling off it. He's successful this time, and the police congratulates the young hero, although they do point out that Impulse was cutting it a little close there. Impulse sadly apologizes and immediately takes off.

Bart is mostly recovered from the events of Mercury Falling, but as we saw in Young Justice, he is determined to focus more than ever so he can prove to Max that he can be just as good an Impulse as Inertia was. So Bart goes on a patrol around the world and spots a man about to be struck by lightning in Rio de Janeiro. So Impulse shoves the man out of the way and is hit by the beam of light, that isn't lightning at all. It's actually a zeta beam that transports people to the planet Rann. And that man was actually Adam Strange, who was hoping to use that zeta beam to return to his wife and daughter.

Impulse, of course, learns all this the hard way. He's teleported to the alien planet, and just like Dorothy Gale, he astutely notes that he's not in Alabama anymore. He quickly spots a woman and a young girl zooming by in a flying car, being chased by enormous rhino/warthog-like creatures. So Impulse decides to step in and save the day by knocking the "space rhinos" back with a giant whirlwind. The creatures appear unfazed by this attack, but they do break off their pursuit of the woman and decide to burrow down into the ground.

Impulse then greets the woman he believes he's rescued by flashing the Vulcan sign to live long and prosper. However, the woman tells Impulse that he's doomed the entire city of Ranagar. She explains that she was leading the lava pigs away from the city so they wouldn't burrow nearby and flood the city with lava. Impulse meekly apologizes, and the woman realizes that he must have accidentally been struck by the zeta beam instead of her husband. Alanna explains that her father, Sardath, created the zeta beam to scan outer space, but the beam inadvertently transported Adam Strange to Rann, where he became a great hero, fell in love with Alanna, and together had a daughter, Aleea. But Adam is constantly torn between Earth and Rann, as the effects of the zeta beam aren't permanent, and he's often transported back to Earth against his will. So he makes it his life's mission to find the next zeta beam and return to his family.

Alanna sees that Impulse has super speed, so she tells him he can still help them. She takes him to Sardath to try to come up with a new plan to stop the lava pigs. Sardath calculates that they only have 17 minutes before the pigs' burrowing destroys the city, and the only thing he can think of is to create a giant trough to redirect the lava flow to the Zardonian Sea. Impulse hears this plan, and immediately heads out there with a shovel, not staying long enough to hear Sardath warn him of waking a large monster in the sea.

By the time Sardath and Alanna catch up to Bart, he's already finished digging the trough, and to his delight, it does successfully redirect the flow of lava away from Ranagar. But as the lava hits the water, Sardath delivers the bad news to Bart. He doesn't blame the boy for his ignorance, but explains that years ago, Adam Strange battled a giant monster and was only able to defeat it by placing it in artificial hibernation at the bottom of the sea. But now the lava has turned much of the water to steam, and right on cue, the enormous Amphibitus is awakened, as poor Impulse can only meekly say that he was trying to do the right thing.

Meanwhile, Adam Strange's desperation to get back to Rann has led him to Green Lantern, even though he's still mad at Kyle for attacking the planet during Circle of Fire. Adam tells Kyle they need to get back to Rann to save Impulse, but Green Lantern says they instead need to save Rann from Impulse. So they blast off into space, just manage to catch the last bit of the zeta beam up by Neptune, and are teleported to Rann.

I feel so bad for Bart in this issue. He's trying so hard, but nothing seems to turn out right. I hope he's able to catch a break next issue. All in all, I found this to be a rather rough issue to read. I've already made it known that I am not a fan of Eric Battle's art, and this issue did nothing to improve my opinion. This also didn't feel much like an issue of Impulse. This easily could have been a completely separate series that just happened to have Impulse as a guest star. If I didn't know better, I'd almost say Todd Dezago didn't write this story. Everything about this just felt off. Like I said before, I'm more than happy to have Impulse meet other heroes, but I just don't understand why the Impulse series devoted two of its issues to a Circle of Fire epilogue when Impulse had nothing to do with that story.

Impulsive Reactions begins with Joey Cavalieri urging readers to check out the new Superman and Batman: World's Funnest. He correctly states that most readers of Impulse would enjoy the humor of that special.

Tobias Christopher simply writes that he hates having to wait a whole month for the next issue of Impulse, but it is worth the wait.

Max Mercury II said he wasn't too sure where the story was going after Impulse #64. But when he read Impulse #65, he had to immediately pick it up and read it again just five minutes later. He loved how Inertia accepted Bart's friends, how Carol realized Inertia was impersonating Bart, and how Bart arrived at the end. Max also says he's excited for the new Impulse and Max Mercury toys from DC Direct. (I need to see if I can get my hands on those.)

The Obsolete Man was a bit disappointed with issue #64 mainly because the Previews magazine advertised the story as Bart's oldest friend making the ultimate sacrifice. Naturally, he was assuming this would be Max, but it turned out to be Dox. However, The Obsolete Man did love issue #65, especially the look on Inertia's face when Max called him Bart. He realized that this look meant Inertia would go through with his original plans to kill Max. The Obsolete Man says this is a testament to what Ethan Van Sciver can show in just a few panels.

Kid Bucket says that while he's sad to see Van Sciver go, he is very excited to have Carlo Barberi take over, having loved his previous work during Sins of Youth.

Magikthise points out that Inertia thought in actual words, not pictogram balloons like Bart. Cavalieri admits this was another clue Dezago put in for readers.

Nightwing says he's not familiar with Glory Shredder, but he did love how Inertia dropped his innocent Impulse act to dismantle the villain. He also liked seeing a flashback of the Reverse Flash and Barry Allen. Nightwing picked up on Carol being able to solve the mystery based on how she reacted to the fake Bart. He also suspects that Robin might have known that Inertia was posing as Impulse. But that's really a moot point since this storyline didn't play out in Young Justice (as much as I wanted it to). Now for the new ads:

Pac's back in 3D on your PC! Pac-Man Adventures in Time.

Catch 'em now! Pokémon the Movie 2000 on video!

$9.99. Got game? Take-Two games for PlayStation.

Take action! Action Man Raid on Island X PC CD-ROM game.

Celebrate the holidays with music from the Looney Tunes. Kwazy Christmas available on DC and cassette.

In space, no one can hear you scream for your mommy. Galaga Destination Earth on Game Boy Color and PlayStation.

Bash, trash, smash, crash your enemies. Break Out for PlayStation.

You can't keep a good frog down. Frogger 2 for PlayStation, PC CD-ROM and Dreamcast.

You stand on the steps of a whole new adventure. Pokémon Gold & Silver for Game Boy Color.

Next time, we'll take a quick peek at Superboy #83.

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