Sunday, June 4, 2017

Impulse #76

Missing You

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

This is the first Impulse cover drawn by Carlo Barberi, inked by series stalwart Wayne Faucher. It is a pretty funny take on Dr. Morlo's examination of Bart — playing into an Operation game motif. I still think Barberi draws fingers too thick, but he did a great job with the faces and Bart's hair (the most important part). I do wonder why the text asks, "Where did Impulse get his new power?" We already know that. We saw last issue how he got blasted with the Hyper-Ray. I'm also not sure who colored this cover, but whoever did messed up Morlo's hair.

Our story begins with a despondent Bart hanging out on the (unusually large) top bunk area of his bed, sitting on a baseball-shaped beanbag, surrounded by his Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Game Boy, After-Life Avenger comics, a Pokéball, a couple of slices of leftover pizza, an abandoned Monopoly game, soda spilling out of a can, and tons of dirty clothes everywhere. Dox the dog is patiently trying to get Bart's attention, but he only has eyes for an unedited copy of Impulse: The Movie.

Apparently Bart's been watching this tape over and over again since Rolly dropped it off, especially a part where Bart had to reach around Carol while she was tied to a chair, and he got pretty close to her. Helen and Max are discussing Bart's depression, with Helen pointing out that Carol was not only Bart's best friend, but his confidante who knew all his secrets. Max says it's only natural for Bart to be depressed right now, and he suggests they be supportive of this and let him know it's OK to be sad and take time to sort out his feelings. Helen is impressed by Max's improving parenting skills, and he shares the credit with her.

We find out that the purple package Carol gave Bart included a golden heart necklace (which cracked in half on the journey home), a note to Carol's brother and a three-page letter to Bart that expressed her sadness of this situation and included instructions to take her diary from her room and leave the note for her brother. Bart has read the letter 14 times, but can't bring himself to read the diary yet.

Max calls Bart to come with him to Dr. Morlo's lab to check out his new powers. But Max chooses to take Bart the long way round, running through the American West, across the Pacific Ocean, through Japan, past the Great Wall of China, then ultimately across the Atlantic Ocean, past the White House and finally back to Alabama. The run around the world gives the two a chance to talk, with Max telling Bart that he's sorry for him and he understands how Bart feels that life isn't fair right now. Max promises that his sadness won't last forever, but he has to make sure that sadness doesn't prevent him from doing what he wants to do. He tells Bart that he is a good person, and when he puts good out in the world, good always comes back to him. Bart talks about how odd it was to suddenly fall in love with a friend he's known for a long time, and how unfair it was to lose Carol right after that happened. Bart says, "I ... I just love her so much ..." Max says, "I know you do, Bart ..." Then he leads him into Morlo's lab.

We then cut to Norfolk, Nebraska, where we're reunited with an old villain — White Lightning. She's walking into the police station, and when an officer tries to stop her, she begins flattering him, talking very sweetly with lots of little hearts peppering her speech bubbles. This "sweet talk" puts the cop in an agreeable trance, and White Lightning is allowed to proceed. But she's suddenly stopped by another cop, who calls her "princess" and says he won't let her use her powers to free her mother from prison again. He says the only way she's getting out now is for someone to pay her bail. White Lightning storms off, telling her dad that she'll be back with the bail money.

We return to Morlo's lab, where the former mad scientist has apparently been working with Bart for more than an hour, but hasn't made much progress, especially with Bart constantly staring at Carol's broken heart necklace. Morlo does report to Max that the Hyper-Ray didn't seem to cause any genetic or cellular damage to Bart, but there does seem to be a sort of "ghost" tracing his molecular structure, which must be responsible for his "doppelgängers." The question everyone is wondering is how Bart "launches" the time-jumping duplicates. When Bart did this previously, he was worried about Max and Helen being killed. Morlo speculates that Bart's current depression is dampening this ability, and when it comes to emotion, Morlo admits he is ignorant.

Just when Morlo is ready to throw in the towel, a golden energy Impulse duplicate pops up right next to him, saying that he'll figure it out in three-and-a-half minutes, then promptly disappears. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Morlo still hasn't figured it out. Bart apologizes for letting him down, then suddenly he creates a duplicate. Morlo realizes Bart was feeling pressured to trigger his power, and that is the answer they were looking for. Morlo tells the duplicate to go back three-and-a-half minutes to tell him not to give up. Max then asks Bart if he thinks he can do it again, and when Bart tries, about a dozen versions of himself pop up. Morlo asks Bart if he can put them back, and when Bart tries, all the duplicates run back into the original body.

The experimentation is interrupted by the appearance of Morlo's grandson, Eddie "Evil Eye" Parker, who's asking his grandpa for some money to go to the fair. Max and Impulse quickly sneak away before Eddie sees them, but Bart left behind Carol's necklace. Morlo chews Eddie out for walking into his lab without knocking first, saying his experiments could be dangerous. Eddie seems to notice the stray necklace, but doesn't seem to notice Impulse coming back to retrieve it.

We then head to the Manchester County Fair, where Bart, Preston, Rolly and Mike are trying to take their minds of Carol having to go live with her "grandmother." Bart's still a bit depressed, but with the encouragement of his friends, and after a couple of rides, he begins to cheer up a little bit. Meanwhile, a large group of boys have gathered around a cotton candy truck, which is manned by White Lightning. She doesn't have any cotton candy for the boys, but she does have a little favor to ask of them.

Before too long, word gets out through the fair that White Lightning has robbed the ticket booth. Bart's friends all rush off to try to get a glimpse of the villain, but Bart takes off by himself to become Impulse. The teenage hero begins rushing through the crowds, looking for White Lightning. He thinks he finds her, but it turns out to be a boy wearing a large white wig with a matching blue jacket. Impulse then thinks he spots the real one again, but it turns out to be another decoy. This happens three more times before Bart realizes that the crowd is full of teenage boys dressed like White Lightning. Fearing he'll never find the real villain, Bart wishes he had some way to know her plan. Then he realizes his new power may come in handy here.

Bart creates an energy duplicate and tells him to go back in time 20 minutes. The duplicate takes off, saying, "Gotcha, boss!" but Bart doesn't like being called "boss." Twenty minutes ago, White Lightning is handing out the wigs and jackets, telling the hypnotized boys to wear the disguises around the fairgrounds while she escapes in the cotton candy truck. The duplicate returns to Bart with this information, and Impulse soon spots White Lightning's getaway truck.

White Lightning sees Impulse approaching in her rearview mirror, but before she can react, Impulse is sitting right next to her. She instantly begins begging him to let her get away just this one time, saying her mom's in jail and she needs this bail money to get her out. White Lightning elaborates, saying her mom is a good person, even though she doesn't always obey the law. But now her dad, who left the family when she was a kid, is a cop and determined to make their lives miserable. White Lightning begins crying, saying her mom is her only friend, and she asks Impulse if he's ever lost someone he'd do anything to get them back. Bart naturally thinks immediately of Carol.

Sympathy aside, though, Impulse tells White Lightning that she still can't break the law. He reminds her of the time she saved him from the flood in Manchester, and he repeats Max's words about how if you try to do good things, then good things will happen to you. White Lightning admits that nothing's been working for her lately, so she tries to make a deal. If she promises to change, will Impulse let her go this one time? Impulse considers this, then decides to agree, provided White Lightning return the money she just barely stole. White Lightning gives Impulse the money bag, wraps him up in a big hug, then tries to use her powers on him to give her some of the money. This almost works, but Impulse is able to shake off her hypnotism.

White Lightning laughs this off, saying she never was able to "put the whammy" on Impulse, and assures him she's very grateful for this second chance. Once she's out of sight, White Lightning laughs at what a moron Impulse is, and hopes to get away before he checks the bag. Her plan doesn't work, though, and Impulse quickly catches her and this time throws her in jail. Sitting behind bars, though, White Lightning actually does begin to consider turning over a new leaf.

This was a nice issue to show Bart dealing with his grief, further explore his new power and start to bring the series back to its roots. The return of White Lightning is a welcome one, since Impulse has so few recurring villains. And I'm also real happy to see Evil Eye back. His character was developing nicely until he basically disappeared during the Inertia storyline. Unfortunately, I'm not too happy with Bart's new power. It just too powerful. There doesn't seem to be a limit to how many scouts he can create, and he can send them back in time with incredible precision. And the use of his power against White Lightning was complete overkill. Are you telling me that Impulse wouldn't have naturally stumbled across her if he just kept running around for a few more seconds?

Impulsive Reactions begins with Joey Cavalieri saying he's currently picking an artistic team to fill in for Carlo Barberi and Juan Vlasco two months from now, and that he's working with Mark Waid on a project that's the "polar opposite of Impulse."

Charles R. Hall, of Jacksonville, Fla., asks for Impulse to meet Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel, battle one of the Flash's Rogues, such as Weather Wizard, Mirror Master or Captain Cold, and he requests a new set of DC Universe trading cards.

Andy Oliver, of Upminster, England, really enjoyed the cover of Impulse #72, saying the speech balloons reminded him of comics from the 1970s. He is happy with the development of Impulse's character, but he feels Lucius Keller is a fairly standard melodramatic revenge-seeker. Cavalieri promises that we'll find out that Keller is more than he appears in the coming months.

Terry Bogard, of Barcelona, Spain, directs his comments to Barberi, complimenting him on his work and inviting him to have a conversation with him in Spanish if he's uncomfortable talking in English.

Tobias Christopher said it was really sad to see the broken relationship of the adult Bart and Carol, and he speculates if Carol is the friend Bart was going to lose, according to The Life Story of the Flash.

Carlo Barberi responds on the message board with, "Gracias! Yes, I'm enjoying working on Impulse because I really love the character and it's real fun to draw!"

As we take a look at the new ads, I'll point out that once again Bart and all his friends were exclusively wearing Nautica clothing — even Evil Eye. (When will this agreement end?)

Cap'n Crunch's Oops! Smashed Berries.

Warning: Flavor may go to your head. Fruit Gushers.

Bionicle from Lego.

The Powerpuff Girls "Mojo Jojo's Rising" Read Along.

Earthworm Jim for Game Boy Advance.

Every body needs a hero. Osmosis Jones.

Razor: Freestyle Scooter for Game Boy Color and PlayStation.

Hey Kids! Comics! talks about a JLA/Avengers crossover and a list of DC creators visiting San Diego Comic Con, including Geoff Johns and Humberto Ramos.

The Jetsons meet the Flintstones: The Movie.

Toonami: Deep Space Bass soundtrack.

What do you think you're doing? Instead of watching Courage the Cowardly Dog, you're watching the same thing you did as a little kid? Scary.

What do you think you're doing? Instead of watching Dexter's Laboratory, you're watching the same thing you did as a little kid? That's stupid.

What do you think you're doing? Instead of watching Johnny Bravo, you're watching the same thing you did as a little kid? Not pretty. (Sensing a theme, yet?)

Gotta have my Game Boy Advance? Win one from Juicy Fruit.

Next time, we'll begin the All-Out War phase with JLA: Our Worlds at War #1.

No comments:

Post a Comment