Thursday, March 30, 2017

Impulse #70

Impulse, The Movie

Todd Dezago • Writer
Carlo Barberi • Penciller
Juan Vlasco • Inker
Janice Chiang • Letterer
Tom McCraw • Colorist
Jamison • Separations
Joey Cavalieri • Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo!

This issue's cover is deftly rendered by Ethan Van Sciver and Wayne Faucher! This is a fun homage to The Flash #123 by Carmine Infantino, the first story that brought the Jay Garrick Flash and the Barry Allen Flash together. But here, we have the Bart Allen Impulse and the Mike Ringer "Impulse" rushing to save Carol Bucklen. Don't worry, though, they're just making a movie, so she's not really in any danger. Or is she? Anyway, this is a really fun cover that harkens back to Flash history. And I'm glad to get as much Ethan Van Sciver on this book as possible, but I still hold to my belief that the cover artist should be the inside artist. It's Carlo Barberi's book now, and the readers should see that.

Our story begins with Bart walking down the street with Carol, who has apparently been having a hard time since being dumped by Jeff Weber. Bart's glad that Carol has finally come out of her room since the breakup, but as Carol describes the feeling of having her heart broken by Jeff, Bart suddenly becomes very angry. He suggests Carol completely forget about Jeff since he's a jerk and she's better off without him. Carol starts to agree, but suddenly Jeff himself shows up, saying he's out on a run to train for soccer season. Bart snidely says, "You call that running?" Jeff asks for a private conversation with Carol, and she instantly goes against Bart's advice. Bart steps aside, believing that Carol is now going to get back at Jeff, break his heart, beat him up, and he and Carol will laugh about dumping Jeff in the garbage. But Bart doesn't realize that the exact opposite is happening.

Carol gives Bart a big shock by announcing she's going out with Jeff for pizza later. Bart begins running around her almost at super speed, listing all the reasons why she shouldn't get back with Jeff. But Carol says that Jeff admitted he made a mistake, and she thinks it'll work out this time. She manages to calm Bart down and they meet up with Preston, Wade, Mike, Rolly and Ayanna. Preston announces that they're entering the Alabama Amateur Filmmakers' competition and they want everyone involved. And what better subject for their film than their very own hero, Impulse. For a second, Bart thinks Preston's going to ask him to play Impulse, but they've already decided on Mike, dressing him up in the homemade costume we saw on the cover.

Suffering his second major shock in the past five minutes, Bart tries to stammer out a protest, ultimately complaining about Mike's oversized red boots. Preston says that everybody knows Impulse has big feet and Wade speculates those big feet are the source of Impulse's speed. Bart starts to say that Impulse doesn't have big feet, but then he and Carol look down at his shoes, and Bart has to reluctantly agree with his friends. Mike laments that he's not as buff as the real Impulse, Rolly says his hair should be red, Wade says he needs a deeper voice, and Ayanna adds that Impulse has an English accent. All of these critiques completely baffle Bart and Carol.

Preston starts divvying up assignments. He put the story together with Wade, who wrote the script. Preston will also serve as cameraman, while Rolly takes care of sound and editing. And Bart will play the movie's villain, Dr. Bad. Bart starts to protest this as well, but Carol gets him to be nice with a quick elbow to his ribs. So they start to get ready for their opening scene — Impulse getting his super powers from aliens. Once again, Bart has a hard time with his friends completely messing up everything Impulse, but Carol advises him to keep quiet to protect his secret identity.

We then cut to the home of Bart, Helen and Max, who has just returned from patrol. He playfully gives Helen a hard time for spending so much time with her new boyfriend, Matt Ringer, and he asks where Bart is. Helen tells him about the movie, which worries Max. Helen says that Carol is with Bart and she asks what trouble he could get into. Both Max and Helen laugh a little at this, but soon stop, realizing that with Bart, one can never be too careful.

Our filmmakers next head to the Manchester Train Station, where they'll ultimately show Carol being tied to the tracks like on the cover. But first, they want to shoot Mike running next to a stopped train, which they then plan to edit so it'll look like he's outracing a speeding train. However, they have to get the shot quick, since the train is ready to take off at any minute. So Mike starts running, but he trips and falls on the tracks just as the train starts picking up steam. Bart quickly saves Mike, moving too fast for anyone to see, and Carol points out it's a good thing Bart agreed to come along, while everybody else asks Mike how he did that. (Also of note in this scene, it looks like Barberi drew himself as one of the spectators at the station.)

Back at Helen's house, she and Matt are preparing for a picnic. Matt pets Dox, commenting that his son, Mike, is always talking about Bart's dog. Matt would like to buy a dog for him, but he's worried Mike would just accuse him of trying to buy his love. Carol advises Matt to be patient, saying Mike will see through is anger in time. The couple then heads out the door, neither of them realizing that Dox has slipped out the back.

Shortly, the filmmakers have headed to an intersection, where Mike is set to run against some cars and trucks stopped at a red light. While shooting this, Bart vents to Carol about how this movie is using aliens and stupid villains to make Impulse look like a complete idiot. Carol manages to keep a straight face, but is otherwise unable to respond to Bart's complaint.

They then head into an old warehouse to film the big showdown between Impulse and Dr. Bad. Bart puts on his costume — a large purple coat and sunglasses — and poses with Carol tied to a chair. Everybody else is at the top of a catwalk near an open window to film Mike come running in from across the street, while Bart and Carol hold very still. Bart still has a bad attitude about the whole thing, but he is complying.

Preston calls action, but as Mike starts to run, he sees Dox starting to cross the street behind him, stepping out right in front of a truck. Mike tries to get the dog to stop, but it keeps happily trotting toward him. While everybody's worried about Dox, the rickety old catwalk begins to collapse. Bart realizes he has to choose between saving his dog and saving his friends. Naturally, Bart chooses his friends. He throws on his Impulse outfit and catches Ayanna, Wade, Rolly and Preston, dumping them on a pile of dirt outside the window so they all think they just fell there naturally. But while he was doing this, the truck driver saw Dox, honked his horn and slammed on his breaks. Bart hears Mike call out Dox's name, and the world's fastest teen fears he was too late to save his dog.

Bart returns to Carol, puts his civilian clothes back on, and together they join with the others to see what happened to Dox. Turns out, Mike ran in front of the truck and scooped up the dog to safety. Mike returns Dox to Bart, who rejoices as his dog repeatedly licks his face. Everybody is amazed at Mike's heroism, and he explains that it must have been his costume, which inspired him to do what Impulse would have done. Bart is surprised to hear this, and Carol pulls him aside to say, "And you couldn't understand why they wanted to make a movie about you ... ? Du-uh ... could it possibly be because you're their hero ... ?"

After spending the last two issues on a somewhat dissatisfying adventure in space, it was refreshing to get back to the basics — Bart hanging out with his friends in Manchester — and just in time for the new artist. These low-key, slice-of-life stories are the backbone of Impulse, and Dezago does such a great job with the supporting characters. And I really like the pace of Bart's developing romantic feelings. It's slow, clumsy, awkward, confusing, and perfectly natural and realistic. The idea for an Impulse movie is a fun one, and I loved Bart's reactions to his friends' ignorance. I only wish we could have seen Bart actually act as "Dr. Bad" for a bit.

Carlo Barberi put up a pretty strong debut issue. His style isn't as refined as Ethan Van Sciver's, but it is very reminiscent of both Humberto Ramos and Craig Rousseau. It's fitting that the fourth (and final) artist on Impulse would perfectly capture the look and feel established by the previous artists, but still have enough of his own style to distinguish himself. I do think he draws hands and fingers a little too chunky, and sometimes his mouths look a bit weird when they're yelling, but these are minor nitpicks. Barberi nails the essentials. Bart still looks like an awkward teenager with big feet, big hair and a very expressive face.

Impulsive Reactions begins with Sarah Finnegan, of Washington, D.C., praising the finale of Mercury Falling. She admits that she missed the clues of Inertia posing as Impulse, and she enjoyed the theme of Bart's love for Max. Sarah also interpreted Inertia's running off as a "suicidal plunge," but Joey Cavalieri advises to not count out Inertia so fast, hinting that Dezago may bring back a changed and chastened Inertia.

Paul Tapner, of Poole, England, initially thought Impulse #64 was just a completely irrelevant diversion. But after reading Impulse #65, he realized how everything fits together. Paul ends his letter by praising that issue's cliffhanger ending and great art.

LilChica prematurely cheered the breaking up of the Carol-Jeff relationship. She says she's not quite ready for Bart and Carol to get together, but she did like how Bart was there to comfort his friend.

Max Mercury II points to Carol saying Bart's cuter than Inertia and hopes this starts opening the door of a Bart-Carol relationship. Max also enjoyed the scene of Zatanna switching all the heroes' costumes, and he says he also was hoping that swap would exchange powers, as well.

TheReturnofJustinCredible simply says, "Jesse Quick as Plastic Man. Yummy."

TheRay says he hasn't read Impulse in a year or two, but he picked up Impulse #67 just because it had the JLA and JSA on the cover. His favorite part was Bart introducing Wonder Woman as his cousin. Now he's going back and picking up all the issues he missed.

Da Caped Crusader also liked Jesse as Plastic Man, but insists Wonder Woman as Aquaman was better. He also enjoys how the letter column is now including comments from the DC website.

DataLore was just happy to see Zatanna again. Now let's take a look at the new ads. But first, I'll say that once again Bart and all his friends were exclusively wearing Nautica clothing in this issue. For what it's worth, Barberi did seem to make this a bit more subtle than Van Sciver did a few issues ago.

Grab it and go ... anywhere. Go-Gurt portable yogurt.

Meet hockey's way cool chimp! MVP: Most Valuable Primate on Videocassette and DVD.

Everything he knows is wrong! Superman: Return to Krypton.

Cartoon Cartoons comic books.

A subscription ad showing the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory and Scooby-Doo. But it also lists Impulse as an option, offering 12 issues for $19.95. The cover price for Impulse in 2001 was $2.50.

Welcome to the resurrection. Green Arrow.

A ballot for the 8th Annual Wizard Fan Awards. None of the listed options have any ties to Impulse, except for former Impulse letterer Chris Eliopoulos, who was nominated for his work on Savage Dragon.

See anyone you know? Disney's House of Mouse. This cartoon had the fun concept of bringing together every Disney character from Snow White to Hercules into a night club owned by Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking as the animation and voice acting couldn't do justice to many of these guest characters.

Next time, Impulse and the team finally come back to Earth in Young Justice #30.

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