Monday, April 24, 2017

Young Justice #31


Peter David – Writer
Todd Nauck – Penciller
Lary Stucker – Inker
Ken Lopez – Letterer
Jason Wright – Colorist
Tom Palmer Jr. – Assistant Editor
Eddie Berganza – Editor

Sssh ... SB is watching TV on this cover by Nauck, Stucker and Ian Hannin. And while Superboy gorges himself on Torgo's Pizza, Puffloids chips and Soder cola, flanked by a Flash pillow and a magazine with Nauck and Stucker on it, poor Impulse is left alone to fight off the evil mimes! If it's any consolation to Impulse, there are only three mimes to battle inside this issue, but he still does have to do all the work in this story. And I'm OK with that!

In keeping with the mime theme, there are only two words of spoken dialogue in this issue (giving Ken Lopez the easiest job in the world). The first spoken word comes from Kon shouting, "Quiet!!!!!" at Bart. Unfortunately for Bart, Kon's breath smells like onions. Apparently it's just the two of them today at the Catskills resort, and Bart wants to have some fun. He offers several suggestions to his friend, talking in pictograms instead of words, starting with an offer to go swimming. Bart could try out an Ambush Bug water tube, and Kon could certainly meet a couple of girls. But Kon only responds by putting a finger to his lips in a shushing motion.

But this doesn't stop Bart. He immediately launches into Plan B — a trip to the carnival, where he and Kon could dazzle the workers with their skill at the shooting arcade and win all sorts of stuffed animals, including, but not limited to, Beeker from the Muppets, Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, Captain Carrot and figures from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Again, the shushing motion. So this time, Bart takes a drastic approach. He runs off, quickly returns as Impulse, and suggests he and Superboy battle Darkseid, Brainiac, Bizzaro, Chemo, Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Extant, Star Saphire, Starro, Solomon Grundy, Captain Cold, Sinestro, Amazo, Plasmas, Monsieur Mallah and the Brain.

Superboy buries his face in his hands, once again says, Shhhhh, then grabs Bart's head and turns it to the TV screen, showing him the Cheerleader Championship with Terri Jewel Jackson from "Wendy the Werewolf Slayer." Bart glares at Kon and his stupid choice in entertainment, then takes off. Kon breathes a sigh of relief and begins to enjoy a bowl of popcorn. Impulse returns with a party hat and noisemaker, and tries to sneak up on Kon. As he prepares to blow the noisemaker in Kon's ear, Superboy casually stops the noisemaker with his tactile telekinesis, causing Bart's cheeks to puff up and giving him a little bit of a coughing fit.

Impulse once again glares daggers at Superboy, then comes to the sad realization that he'll never be able to pull Kon away from the cheerleaders, so he heads out on his own. Consider Kon a Super Couch Potato, Impulse quickly finds an opportunity to be a hero. A villain with a black top hat, black cape and curly mustache has kidnapped a woman in a pink dress and tied her to the railroad tracks as a train quickly approaches. Impulse rushes in like a cavalryman on his trusty steed, and in no time at all, frees the woman and ties up the villain.

To Impulse's surprise, the woman punches him in the jaw and unties the villain. She answers Impulse's puzzled reaction by pointing to a film crew for Premium Silent Pictures: Classic Films in the Classic Style. The director is furious at Impulse for ruining his shot, and when Bart sees that the train is just a cardboard cutout being pushed by a bicycle, he realizes he was a screwball and quickly runs away.

As he runs, Bart's mind already begins exaggerating that encounter, picturing the actress smacking him in the head with a 2-by-4. He then comes across a book fair, complete with advertisements for MST3K, a woman reading "To Serve Man" and a man that looks exactly like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, reading "Space Trek 2020." Impulse throws himself in the middle of the fair and loudly announces his arrival, expecting to be showered with roses and begged for autographs. But everybody gives Impulse the same shushing treatment Superboy gave him. When Impulse tries to ask why, he's met with even louder shushing. He then takes a closer look at the sign, and realizes that he's at a Librarians Book Fair.

So Impulse continues his quest to find something to do. From a distance, he sees three figures that could be Superman, Batman and Catwoman. But when he gets closer, Bart sees they're just mimes, so he resumes his journey. Feeling pretty discouraged, Impulse plops down on the steps of a porch. A man sits down next to him, and, feeling grateful to have some company, Impulse immediately tells the man all about how he couldn't get Superboy off the couch, and the actress smacked him with a baseball bat, and all the librarians shushed him. In response, the man rips off a card from a book and hands it to Impulse. The card shows the sign language alphabet and says, "I am deaf and poor. Please help me by buying this card." Embarrassed, Impulse covers his face and sadly demonstrates that he has no money, or pockets for that matter. He hands the card back to the man, who stomps on Impulse's ankle and angrily storms off.

The frustrated Impulse keeps running, eventually coming across a trio of monks having a picnic with chicken, grapes, cheese, bread and wine. The monks invite Impulse to join them, and after checking to make sure they're addressing him, Impulse happily sits down with them, imagining himself living life as a monk. As he takes a bite of chicken, Impulse immediately begins telling the monks about how Superboy literally kicked him out the door. The monks all shush Impulse, and he realizes that if he became a monk, he'd have to take a vow of silence. So he immediately takes off, leaving his drumstick spinning in midair and the three monks rather confused.

Impulse is getting pretty angry now as he runs. Luckily, he comes across a familiar face — the Flash, whom he hasn't seen in quite a while (thanks a lot, Geoff Johns). Bart quickly tells Wally how Superboy threw him out the window, the librarians shoved the book "Silence of the Lambs" in his mouth, the deaf man severed his ankles with a chainsaw and the mime robbed him blind.

As Bart details how the monk cut off his hair to give him the classic monk look, a janitor picks up the Flash and walks away with him. Bart wonders why Flash is stiff as a board, then realizes he's at Madame Trudeau's Wax Museum. Bart slams his head against the wall five times, gets a big bump, then falls down.

We briefly cut back to Superboy to see that he is still watching the Cheerleader Championship and has created a nest of junk food around himself, similar to what we saw on the cover. Impulse is still angrily running around, now applying some ice to the bump on his forehead. He comes across the O'Brien Arena, which just happens to be hosting the Cheerleader Championship. But what makes Impulse stop is the sight of the three mimes he met earlier robbing the ticket booth at gunpoint. Impulse quickly checks for the silent film director, and when he realizes this isn't a movie, he happily prepares to do some actual hero work.

The mimes spot Impulse, and they act like there's a wall in front of them. Impulse charges forward, then bounces off an actual invisible wall. By the time he gathers himself, the mimes are already making their way down a hallway in the arena. Another mime trick creates a huge gust of wind that knocks Impulse off his feet once more.

The mimes make it to the main stage, but Impulse is right behind them. Settling on a ranged attack, Impulse grabs an armful of cheerleaders' pom-poms and hurls them at the two male mimes. This distracts them long enough to allow Impulse to properly tie them up. The female mime, however, quickly takes a hostage — host Terri Jewel Jackson. Keep in mind, all this is being broadcast on live television. Superboy jumps up from his junk food heap, but he's too far away to do anything.

Impulse has an intense stare down with the mime. After a moment, he takes one step forward. The mime immediately pulls the trigger three times, but nothing happens. Impulse lets the bullets fall from his hand, shocking the mime. Terri Jewel Jackson then slugs her would-be assassin, and all the cheerleaders swarm and kiss Impulse, their hero. Superboy watches all this unfold, and closes the story with the second word of spoken dialogue: "D'oh!"

I won't be so bold as to call this a perfect comic book. But it's as close as you could possibly get to perfection. Every gag was a delight. Every page, panel, expression and pictogram bubble was beautifully crafted with the comedic precision of David and Nauck. And only these two creators could have done this. Let's be honest, this is not a Young Justice story, it's an Impulse story. But I can't really see anyone on Impulse being able to pull this off. As such, I have to say that the best single issue of Impulse is actually an issue of Young Justice.

There might have been some Young Justice fans disappointed to take a break from the complete cast of characters and all their separate storylines. But I hope that this issue brought a smile to their face half as big as mine, and that they'd be willing to indulge this Impulse-centric tale. I also like to think that there might have been some strong Impulse fans like me, who really wanted Bart to have a bigger role in Young Justice. At the end of the day, I found something that I absolutely love and can over and over again, and I guess that's all that matters.

Our letters to the editor begin with Brian Bearese praising Young Justice #27 for not letting the story take a back seat to the humor. He enjoyed the return of Cissie, the addition of Empress and Lobo, although Brian feels Lobo should only hang around for a few issues. Brian also compliments the art, asking the creative team stays on board for a long time, and also requests a guest appearance from Spoiler.

Paul Watson, of Essex, England, admits he doesn't know anything about baseball, but still loved issue #27 all the same. He loved the interaction between Cissie and Traya, and was also a big fan of the team's baseball uniforms. Eddie Berganza says the baseball motif of the costumes was all Todd Nauck's idea.

Joe Torcivia, of Westbury, N.Y., called the story a combination of Space Jam with Friz Freleng's Baseball Bugs to produce the Strangest Sports Story this side of Julius Schwartz. Joe also comments on Lobo's unusually good behavior, expecting him to swap out the baseball for a frag grenade (which he literally did in the next issue).

James the Daaknite really appreciates how the same creative team has stuck together for 27 issues. He does, however, have a problem with Empress saying "mon," feeling that's a bit stereotypical. Berganza says they didn't mean to offend, but were just trying to use shorthand to show that she's not African American. Now for the new ads:

The future of collecting., featuring Paul Dini.

SimCoaster for PC CD-ROM.

We picked a code just for you. If you take this code and punch it in at it'll help you get cool stuff.

The kick of fruit juice in Starburst will get your brain asking "what if?"

Next time, we get the second part of the Return of Lucius Keller in Impulse #72.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Impulse #71

The Return of Lucius Keller Part 1

Todd Dezago Writer
Carlo Barberi Penciller
Juan Vlasco Inker
Janice Chiang Letterer
Tom McCraw Colorist
Digital Chameleon Separator
Joey Cavalieri Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid & Wieringo

This issue's cover delineates and delivers new meaning to the term "steampunk," as drawn by Ethan Van Sciver and Wayne Faucher! It is a fun cover with a pretty goofy pun on it. Granted, in this issue Impulse and Max aren't chased around by this particular steampunk machine, but you get the idea. In any case, it's always a nice change of pace to put the spotlight on one of Max's villains.

Our story begins in Northeastern New Mexico, at a secret lair that has been hidden underground since the late 1890s. There's a big flash of light, and the machine we saw on the cover materializes out of thin air. Turns out this is a time machine, transporting Lucius Keller, sworn enemy of Max Mercury, or, as he knew him in the 19th century, Blue Streak. Somehow, Keller figured out Max had traveled to the future, so he's followed him here to kill everyone Max holds dear.

We then head over to Manchester Junior High, where Preston and Rolly have been tasked with videotaping the boys' soccer practice. Jeff Weber considers these two to be nerds, so he purposefully runs into them, knocking down Rolly and camera on a tripod. When Preston tries to stand up to Jeff, he calls them girls and wusses before rejoining the team. Preston wonders what Carol sees in Jeff, and Rolly points out that Jeff only acts this way when Carol's not around.

Impulse, meanwhile, has just stopped a bank robbery in St. Louis. On his way back home, he drops off the guns he took with Officer Hannaburgh, in what appears to be a regular occurrence. Bart changes back into his school clothes and meets up with Preston and Rolly 12 seconds later. Preston and Rolly tell Bart all about Jeff, who is currently sitting in the stands, flirting with cheerleader Kristin Donovan — even though he's supposedly dating Carol. Rolly laments that they're unable to do anything about this, but Bart eyes Jeff's gym bag and gets an idea.

Bart pulls out an extra pair of Jeff's shorts and sneaks up underneath the bleachers to slide the shorts around Jeff's ankles. Jeff doesn't notice because he's too busy plotting a lame excuse to give to Carol so he can spend the night with Kristin instead. When the coach calls Jeff back to the field, he trips over the shorts, much to the amusement of his teammates. The coach yells at him for stupidly wearing two pairs of shorts, and when Jeff says the shorts aren't his, the coach points to Jeff's name on the waistband. Jeff wonders how his shorts got out of his bag, and when he turns to look at it, Bart, Roland and Preston are all innocently looking away and whistling.

Shortly, Bart walks away with his friends, who are still laughing at Jeff's humiliation. But Bart's still a bit mad, saying he hates the way Jeff lies and cheats on Carol. Preston realizes that Bart doesn't like because he actually has feelings for Carol. He says that everyone knows Carol's always had a crush on Bart and she was just waiting for him to wake up. Bart denies this, saying she's just his friend. But Roland agrees with Preston, suggesting that maybe Bart does have feeling for Carol but he doesn't know it yet. Bart thinks this is ridiculous, but Preston and Roland still stand by their theory.

The next day, Lucius Keller arrives at the northside of Manchester with a large robot he intends to distract Max Mercury as he attends to the more personal aspects of his scheme. Meanwhile, Bart is unable to focus on the teacher's lesson on blue-striped tree frogs because he's so perplexed by his relationship with Carol. He can't help staring at her, wondering what Bart plus Carol equals. Carol eventually notices Bart's staring, as does the teacher, who scolds him for not paying attention.

Later, Bart overhears Jeff telling Carol he can't meet her that night because his coach has called an extra practice. Carol suggests that she could go to the practice and do her homework on the sidelines while she waited for him. Jeff objects to this too strongly, and lamely says that Carol's presence would distract him. He then notices Bart and tells Carol that she can do her homework with Bart and then give the answers to him later tonight. Bart thinks of Jeff as a snake, but then he suddenly gets another idea.

Bart quickly takes off and reappears at super speed, and the only one who notices is Carol. As she walks home with Bart, she points out that Bart doesn't like Jeff. Bart says he thinks she should be with someone who treats her nicer, so Carol asks who he's talking about. Bart's thinking of himself, but he can't bring himself to say it. Suddenly, a blue-stripped tree frog pops out of Bart's shirt. Bart says he ran off to the Amazon get the frog to help Carol with her homework, and she comments on how fun it is to be with Bart. Jeff, meanwhile, is with Kristin Donovan once again, bragging about how all needs to do is splatter a little mud on his uniform to pull off his lie to Carol. He opens his gym bag to find it's stuffed with frogs, planted there by Bart — his true purpose for running to the Amazon.

Max is out on patrol when he spots the robot, which feels dreadfully familiar to him. Helen, meanwhile, has put on a fancy dress to go to the opera with Matt Ringer. She heads off, playfully interpreting Dox's barking as a mother telling her to have a good time and not stay out too late. Just outside, Bart spots the rising smoke coming from the robot's destruction, and he quickly takes off as Impulse.

Four seconds later, Impulse and Max Mercury are racing around the machine, trying to keep it at bay until Max decides the best strategy. He suggests attempting to shut it down from the inside. Before they get a chance to try this, the robot opens up machine gun fire on our heroes. Bart catches all the bullets (even though they're hot) and he asks Max what he should do with them. Max reminds Bart of what they were just talking about, so Bart vibrates into the robot and throws all the bullets into its gears. Bart's plan works perfectly, and the giant machine quickly falls down as an obsolete pile of metal. Max darkly says that his was too easy, since this machine reminds him of an old foe he had — a brilliant scientist who lost his family when one of his inventions exploded. Unable to face his guilt, this man turned it into a bitter hatred for Max. Bart asks if it's possible to have feelings sometimes and not even know it, and when Max says yes, Bart's thoughts again turn to Carol.

A little later, Bart takes Carol out for a walk and finally brings himself to tell Carol that Jeff's cheating on her. Carol is understandably hurt by this, and Bart kindly apologizes, explaining that he's only telling Carol this because he cares about her and doesn't want to see her get hurt. But in the midst of this emotional conversation, neither of them notice a shadowy figure spying on them from the bushes.

Meanwhile, Max returns home to find that Dox has somehow been shut in the kitchen pantry. He then notices a copy of The Topeka Tattler from 1893 left on the table. The headlines read: "Rocket Sled Tragedy. Inventor loses family in accident." This confirms Max's fear that Keller has returned, and he begins to fear for Helen's life.

Lucius Keller was originally introduced in Impulse #58, and I think it's pretty neat that Dezago went back to that side story and has expanded on it. Max has had a handful of villains — Savitar, Dr. Morlo, Glory Shredder — but most of them have already been defeated, so it's good to give him another one, especially when you consider Max's long-spanning career. But the return of Lucius Keller actually played secondary to the Bart-Carol-Jeff love triangle. I think this is still developing at an appropriate, adorable pace. Yes, Bart has kissed Carol once before, but that was more of a joke than anything. Now, finally, it seems like things will get serious between them.

Impulsive Reactions begins with Joey Cavalieri talking about getting caught in a wind storm that sent all his Flash manuscripts flying and he figured this must be what it feels like to live in Manchester and have Impulse randomly zoom by.

Chuck Brouillette, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., called Impulse #68 a treat. He enjoyed how Adam and Alanna Strange were handled, Impulse's Inertia-inspired focus, and Green Lantern's motivations. Chuck loves how Impulse manages to balance the silly with the serious, saying that balance makes the series read so real.

Daniel E. McMasters, of Sacramento, says he was fooled by the solicitation in Previews magazine that made it sound like Max Mercury was going to die. He was not only dreading the death, but the eventual return of Max, so Daniel was very happy to see Max survived Mercury Falling. He says Impulse #67 brought back some of the humor that had been missing during Mercury Falling. Daniel admits to considering dropping the series, but with Max still alive and Carlo Barberi coming aboard, he's staying on.

Robert Kowalski, of Detroit, says Adam Strange is his favorite hero, and he loved seeing him and Impulse thrown together into a Circle of Fire epilogue. Robert appreciated how issue #68 recapped Adam Strange's history, and he enjoyed everything from the lava pigs to Green Lantern's line about needing to save Rann from Impulse. Now for the ads (once again Bart and his friends were all dressed in Nautica clothing):

Thermonuclear cheesehead! Cheese Nips.

All-new action figures from DC Direct! Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter.

Winning $10,000 isn't half as cool as spending it. Get ready to go on a shopping spree. Because if you find a Golden Wrapper inside specially marked boxes of Pop-Tarts toaster pastries you could win $10,000 instantly.

The Silver Age Justice League of America villains PVC set.

A lot of magic. A little reminder from Kellogg's. Mini bean bag toys shaped like Disney characters inside cereal boxes.

Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Gotta have sweet?

Next time, we get a very special Impulse-centric story in Young Justice #31!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Young Justice #30

Round Robin

Peter David – Writer
Todd Nauck – Penciller
Lary Stucker – Inker
Jason Wright – Colorist
Ken Lopez – Letterer
Tom Palmer Jr. – Assistant Ed.
Eddie Berganza – Editor

Robin's in the middle of it in this issue's cover by Todd and Lary (still only one "r") and the colors of Ian Hannin. I don't care too much about Robin's girlfriend, Spoiler, nor am I particularly interested in any love triangle involving her. But I am really interested in this new, berserk side of Secret. Seeing her going after a fellow hero in such a savage manner is more than enough to make up for the lack of other Young Justice characters on this cover.

Our story begins with Traya, Cissie, her mom, and her new agent, Frank Balkin, having lunch at Guy Gardner's famous restaurant, Warriors. Cissie is overwhelmed by not only the prospect of having an agent, but also being surrounded by so much superhero memorabilia. And it really doesn't help that our party's waitress just so happens to be dressed as Arrowette. The restaurant is crowded, and with all the costumed waiters running around, there's soon a collision between two different Supergirls and a Power Girl. Frank tries to ease the tension by joking about the Elongated Man, Plastic Man and Stretch-O colliding and causing all the customers to rubberneck. The joke does not go over well.

So the agent tries to get down to business, telling Cissie that she is a champion of the people — people who now want to see her. Cissie says she's not interested in having her face on T-shirts or cereal boxes, but she's interrupted by a girl a little younger than her. The girl has bushy hair, braces, bad acne, and a T-shirt with Cissie's face on it. She calls Cissie her heroine, saying she used to be so miserable in school until she watched Cissie on TV. This inspired her to take up archery, which has helped her make new friends and gain confidence. The girl says Cissie saved her life, and she asks for an autograph. Soon, Cissie is surrounded by fans, including a couple of the waiters. Bonnie assumes Frank set this up, but the agent says this is purely spontaneous.

(Now let's take a look at all the "heroes" we saw at Warriors: Plastic Man, Atom, Flash, Superman, Guy Gardner as a Green Lantern, Mister Miracle, Blue Beetle, Metamorpho, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, Doctor Fate, Ambush Bug, Firestorm, Aquaman, Blue Devil, Zatanna, Captain Marvel and probably a few more I missed.)

We then cut to a lonely highway, where a cop has pulled a man over for speeding. But the man surprised the cop when his back was turned and pointed a gun at his head. The policeman begs for his life and tells the man that he won't get away with this. The gunman says he stole both the car and the gun, so nobody will be able to track him down. The only way the cop will get out of this alive, he says, is if some "supertype" shows up to save him at the last second.

Suddenly, a boom tube opens up right above the two men, and out of it pops Young Justice on the Super-Cycle and Lobo's Space Hog. Robin is shocked to see they've returned to Earth instead of Myrg. Wonder Girl is happy to be home, hoping they were only gone for one day. But Impulse is worried about his new spaceship. Empress says Doiby should be able to pilot it back, but Bart reminds her that Doiby is staying on Myrg.

The commotion distracts the gunman, giving the policeman an opportunity to disarm the man and handcuff him. He thanks Young Justice for their help, but none of them knew what was going on. As they fly away, Wonder Girl points out that it was very generous of the Forever People to let them keep the Super-Cycle, but Impulse says that just the thing anyone would say if they didn't have their own spaceship. Lobo has grown tired of Impulse's complaining, so he offers to fly back to Myrg himself and retrieve the ship. Bart is very happy with this offer, and Lobo says it'll give him a chance to open the spaceship up and make some modifications. As he takes off, Robin worries that the Top Teen will return to Earth with half a dozen angry races on his tail.

Frank and Bonnie drive Cissie and Traya back to their boarding school, and Cissie admits she's actually looking forward to working with an agent. As Traya points out, the money was a big factor in her decision, since she might now be making enough to put her through grad school. Plus, it'll put to rest Bonnie's dreams of launching an Arrowette action figure. When Cissie opens her door, she finds Cassie waiting for her. Reflexively, Cissie cowers into a ball and begs to not be teleported away or to have a mask put back on her face. But all Cassie wanted to do was give her a rare flower she found on New Genesis.

Robin returns to Gotham City and meets up with Spoiler. They have a slightly rough conversation about Robin's refusal to reveal his secret identity to Spoiler, but she goes home on good terms with him. However, Spoiler didn't realize she was being trailed by Secret, who feels like Spoiler is mistreating Robin, and she attacks Spoiler in a jealous rage. Robin must have suspected that Secret was trailing him because he calls Superboy to ask where Secret is. Superboy, who has somehow scored a full body massage with Empress at their Catskills resort, tells Robin he last saw Secret hovering behind him in mist form.

Robin remembers how Secret asked him out and was despondent when she learned he already had a girlfriend. Fearing for Spoiler's life, Robin decides to make a call to Red Tornado. And Spoiler's life really is in danger. While she does manage to get in one hit with a brief electric shock, Spoiler is no match for Secret, who is angrier than we've ever seen. At the end of the fight, Spoiler desperately points out that Robin will not be happy with Secret if she kills her. Secret darkly responds with, "Oh, I'm not going to kill you. Although you're going to wish I had!"

Red Tornado arrives not a moment too soon and neutralizes Secret with a whirlwind. He only releases her when Robin says she's had enough. Robin then has a talk with the two girls about respect, privacy and trust. He eventually gets them to agree to stop fighting, but they both had their fingers crossed behind their backs.

It's really good to get back home after spending so much time in outer space. And everyone (well, most everyone) got a chance to unwind. I kind of wish we got another panel or two of Impulse, but we'll get plenty of him next issue. What we did get, I really did like. Cissie's story is still really interesting and developing at a great pace. And while I still don't care for Spoiler or what this issue set up for Robin's ongoing series, I am fascinated by Secret. It can't be a coincidence that she had her biggest meltdown shortly after meeting with Darkseid.

Our letters to the editor begin with Brian Seidman, of New York, praising the art team for their work on Young Justice #26. He's also a big fan of Li'l Lobo's addition to the team, saying his dynamic with Robin reminds him of Batman and Guy Gardner back in the JLA. Brian also is eager to learn more about Secret.

Michael Bregman, of Gan-Yavne, Israel, recalls how Young Justice #1 gave him mixed feelings. He felt the series was too silly for his tastes, but he stuck it out and was pleased to see how it developed dramatic depth as it went on, while still being able to balance the incredible silliness. Michael isn't sure about the violent Lobo joining the team, but he does enjoy Cissie's subplot. He also asks for a Point Men miniseries. Now for the new ads.

Without the coupon it's called shoplifting. Snickers Cruncher. This coupon is unfortunately placed on the back of the cover, meaning every reader who wanted to enjoy a free candy bar had to cut a huge hole right in the middle of the cover.

A dark future ... an uncertain past ... no one left to trust. Oni for PlayStation 2.

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Hey, Kids! Comics talks about Kevin Smith's new Green Arrow series and an Elseworlds series called Superboy's Legion.

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Sim Coaster on PC CD-ROM.

Peanut Butter Advisory: Unexpected Content. Peanut Butter Twix.

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Champions come in all shapes and sizes. Mario Tennis.

Paper Mario with a "free demo" — a picture of Mario you could cut out.

Milk mustaches don't last long when you're a sponge. Which means I may have to drink another glass of yummy chocolate milk. Or two. Or three. Or four. Spongebob Squarepants.

Next time, we'll meet a foe from Max Mercury's past in Impulse #71.