Monday, February 20, 2017

Impulse #69

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

This issue's cover was again the product of the steady hand of Ethan Van Sciver and the ink-stained fingers of Wayne Faucher. This is the conclusion of the Circle of Fire Epilogue, and, like last issue, it features Impulse with a guest star, Green Lantern this time, and half of a power battery. I guess you could place this next to Impulse #68 to see the full power battery, but it doesn't really form a cohesive, single image. One thing I like about this cover is how Impulse is mimicking Green Lantern's pose, showing off his sparkling costume ring instead of a power ring.

Our story picks right up where last issue left off, with Green Lantern and Adam Strange arriving on the planet Rann moments after Impulse inadvertently released the giant monster, Amphibitus. It isn't too hard for the heroes to follow the monster's trail of destruction. Green Lantern tries to trap it with his power ring, but Adam Strange warns him that Amphibitus grows stronger when power is exerted against it, which is why he had to place the creature in an artificial hibernation the last time he fought it. Impulse suddenly arrives on the scene, wrapping Amphibitus in special dampening bonds developed by Adam's scientist father-in-law, Sardath.

Everybody meets up in Sardath's lab, realizing that those bonds won't last forever. Adam's wife, Alanna, fills him in on what happened, and, to her credit, she takes the time to point out that everything Impulse did came from the best of intentions and he's been doing everything he can since then to fix the disaster. Kyle and Adam, however, need some convincing, so Bart profusely apologizes, saying he's trying really hard to focus and be a better hero. As he explains his side of the story, an alarm goes off, and poor Bart instinctively feels he's going to be blamed for that, as well.

Sardath explains that the alarm came from the Ranagarian nuclear reactor. Apparently, when Bart diverted the lava to the sea, it not only freed the Amphibitus, but also evaporated all the necessary water to keep the power plant cool. Now, without that water, it faces an imminent nuclear meltdown. (You can't blame Impulse for this one — this is just poor city planning! How has this place not already been destroyed three times over?) Anyway, Adam Strange quickly puts together a plan. Sardath will recreate his serum to place Amphibitus back into artificial hibernation, while Green Lantern figures out how to cool down the power plant and Adam keeps the monster distracted once it breaks free of its dampening bands. Impulse asks what he can do, so Adam sends him with Kyle.

Kyle isn't too thrilled about having to take Bart around with him, so he places the teen in a big green bubble to keep him out of trouble. Bart begs and begs to be released, finally collapsing in a heap of sadness, saying that Green Lantern doesn't know what it's like to be constantly trying to live up to everyone's expectations all the time. Kyle realizes he does know exactly how this feels, and his feelings soften toward Bart. Meanwhile, Amphibitus breaks free, and Adam Strange has to scramble to protect his family from the beast's rampage. Adam attempts to slow down the monster by placing a grav-box on its back to increase its gravity. Unfortunately, Adam has to sacrifice this plan to save a bystander.

We cut back to Kyle and Bart, who have arrived at the now dried-up sea bed that is full of stranded and suffocating aquatic creatures. As soon as Green Lantern releases Impulse from the bubble, the speedster begins rescuing the sea creatures, carrying them off to the ocean one at a time. Kyle says this is a waste of time, but Bart insists he has to save them all. He tells Kyle to go off on his own and find some water that nothing's living in and he vows to stay behind, save the fish and stay out of trouble. Bart's words actually give Kyle an idea, and he takes off for the polar ice cap.

Adam Strange continues to fight valiantly in his efforts to distract Amphibitus, but unfortunately the sirens at the nuclear reactor have attracted the beast. Green Lantern returns with a gigantic piece of ice in tow. Impulse, having finished saving all the marine life, gets back to the battle field just in time, rescuing Adam Strange from a fatal blow from Amphibitus. As Bart and Adam watch the progress of Kyle, his ice and Amphibitus all heading toward the power plant, Bart comments that it's too bad G.L. couldn't just drop the glacier on the monster. They then both realize that there's no reason Green Lantern shouldn't do just that, so Adam Strange flies up to Kyle to deliver the message, while Impulse pulls all the soldiers out of the way.

As instructed, Green Lantern drops the ice on Amphibitus, knocking it out, then picks up the pieces of ice to place in the nuclear reactor and cool it down. Amphibitus is quick to recover, but not quicker than Impulse, who retrieves the serum from Sardath and puts the monster to sleep. Four helicopters fly Amphibitus out to the ocean, and Adam Strange finally has a good word to say about Impulse. He praises the teen for not giving up and always trying to do the right thing, which is what makes him a hero. Everybody gathers together to celebrate their victory, but the Zeta-Beam suddenly returns, sending Adam, Kyle and Bart back to Earth. Just before he's teleported away, Bart manages to apologize one last time to the people of Rann.

This was an ... OK issue. Impulse proved himself to a couple of more heroes who were quick to judge him. And the poor kid shouldered more than his fair share of blame for a set of circumstances that probably would have happened even if he wasn't there. I mean, who's to say that those lava pigs wouldn't have caused that volcano to erupt without Impulse's involvement? Anyway, I still don't see why Impulse had to be the setting for Green Lantern to make up with Adam Strange and the people of Rann. Shouldn't the Circle of Fire epilogue have taken place in Green Lantern's own title?  I'm also a bit down on this issue because of Eric Battle's messy, unappealing art. I'm just tired of it. And I'm equally tired of having Impulse out in space. Between his own title and Young Justice, I'm really craving some back-to-basics, down-to-Earth adventures.

Impulsive Reactions begins with Joey Cavalieri reporting on his recent trip to the Small Press Expo convention, but he really didn't have anything interesting to say about it.

Michael Bregman said the conclusion to Mercury Falling in Impulse #66 was exciting, unpredictable and moving. He loved the action, suspense, mystery and, most of all, the emotion. Michael liked how the storyline fleshed out Thad, showing he's not your typical villain. He was really moved when Inertia realized no one ever loved him, and he hopes we see him again, as there's so much more to explore with this character. Michael also suggests collecting Mercury Falling as a trade paperback, along with issues #52 and #53 to help set up Inertia. Cavalieri says he'll talk with Dale Crain, the guy in charge of this sort of thing. Eventually, Mercury Falling was collected as a trade, but as I said before, I wasn't too happy with how DC handled it.

Andy Barclay is happy that Max is back to his old self, but he's left wondering what happened to Inertia and why Wally didn't answer Morlo's call to help. Andy praised Todd Dezago for his great work and says he's sad to see Ethan Van Sciver leave. Cavalieri says he won't say anything about Inertia to avoid spoiling a potential return. He also announces Van Sciver's new project with Geoff Johns, a Prestige book called The Flash: Iron Heights.

Starmansgal's favorite part was when Impulse asked Inertia if anyone has loved him, and Inertia can only say, "No ..." She also thanks the creative team for a fantastic issue.

Rex_Tick_Tock_Tyler asks for an Impulse/Hourman crossover.

Jaikbluze also supports an Hourman crossover, noting speedsters' time-travel abilities. It's kind of sad to see readers suggest good ideas and have the editor admit these are good ideas, but realize that these ideas never came to fruition. Now for the new ads:

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Next time, we'll have a New Titans reunion in The Titans #25.

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