Thursday, July 20, 2017

Impulse #79

No Laughing Matter: A Max Mercury Adventure

Todd Dezago • Writer
Aluir Amancio • Guest Penciler
Walden Wong • Guest Inker
Janice Chiang • Letterer
Tom McCraw • Colorist
Digital Chameleon • Separations
Joey Cavalieri • Editor
Impulse created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo

This issue's cover is by Ed McGuinness and Jason Martin! And this is a good-looking cover. The villain is a gaseous entity, corrupted by Joker's gas, causing the giant, menacing grin. However, I do have two complaints. One, if you're going to get McGuinness to draw a cover, why not get Wieringo instead? His style is exactly the same, and he actually co-created the character. Two, Impulse is not involved in this fight. Bart never even puts on the costume in this issue. I get that every cover of Impulse should have Impulse on it, but still ... let's not completely misrepresent the story inside.

Our story begins at one of the famous prisons in the DC Universe, the Slab, where Joker gas has been pumped through the halls. All the insane, Jokerized inmates begin rioting, in the process breaking the airtight seal on one of the most secure cells. The gaseous being inside mingles with the Joker gas, realizes he is free, and begins laughing maniacally.

We then cut to Max Mercury, out on patrol at a frozen lake in Siberia. He rescues a drowning man and drops him off at a hospital, speaking fluent Russian to ensure the man will survive. Max then heads home, making sure to change into his civilian clothes before stepping inside because Helen's boyfriend, Matt Ringer, is visiting once again. Max assures Matt he's still on for their monster truck rally with the boys next weekend. Bart is in the backyard, playing with Preston and Dox, and Max is pleased to see how much happier Bart has become in the past week since giving up being Impulse.

Bart then walks with Preston back to his house, and Preston is carrying a box of musketeer costumes for some reason. Halloween is approaching, and Preston wonders what they're going to be this year, noting that they can't be the three musketeers again now that Carol's gone. Bart remembers how the three of them looked last year, spending extra time remembering Carol. Becoming lost in his memories, he barely pays attention to Preston suggesting they could go as the two musketeers if Bart's willing to put the old costume on again. When Bart hears the word costume, he thinks of his Impulse costume, and angrily tells Preston he's not going to put that costume on anymore.

Preston's shocked by Bart's outburst, and he tries to calm him down. Bart quickly apologizes, using the futuristic slang word "grife." Preston notes Bart's been using that word a lot lately and he wonders where it comes from. Bart immediately says that's how they talk in the future. He starts to tell Preston about how he and Carol went to the future, but stops himself, and says he and Carol saw a movie about the future. Preston grills Bart on which movie it was, so Bart calls it "Future Talk," saying it was boring because all they did was talk. Preston, however, is not convinced.

We return to Max Mercury, who has resumed his ritual of Speed Force meditation. But this time, instead of communing with the speedsters of the past, Max senses the release of one of his old foes, Ether. In an extended flashback scene, we learn that Ether was a lab assistant named Clarence Shearson, who was helping develop a radical method to cure cancer. The process proved too dangerous, but Clarence insisted on trying it on himself. The result gave him the ability to turn his body into a gas, but his breech in protocol got him fired from his job. In retaliation, Clarence became a villain named Ether, but he was a pretty pathetic villain. Throughout the years, Max battled Ether, always defeating him with ease. One time, Max even teamed up with Barry Allen to stop Ether, who gradually broke down physically and psychologically.

In the present, Max knew Ether would want revenge on his old research facility, and that's where he found him. The Jokerized cloud of gas is completely mad now, believing a random scientist is his old boss, who actually died a year and a half ago. Upon seeing Max, Ether tries to kill him by flooding into his body through Max's nose and mouth. But Max is able to hold his breath long enough until he finds an airtight room to expel Ether into. (During this process, Max vibrated through several walls — an ability he previously did not have. Did he gain this ability after his recent trip to the Speed Force?) Anyway, the day is saved and Max tries to tell himself that the Joker is more to blame than Ether in this case.

This issue was incredibly lame. Lackluster art combined with a lackluster story in a lackluster attempt to connect to a major crossover. I don't mind giving Max the focus, but it was done in such a boring, inconsequential manner. Who is Ether? As far as I could tell, he's an original villain created for this issue. The problem with that is when Ether becomes Jokerized, we can't tell if he's acting any differently. We have no prior experience to this character. Surely Todd Dezago could have brought back another villain we've seen previously in Impulse.

What I really would have loved to have seen is Inertia get a dose with the Joker gas here. Joey Cavalieri had been hinting that Inertia might come back and take a stab at being a hero. This would have been the issue to do it. Thad could have heard that Bart quit being Impulse and was having a hard time, and decided to try to patch things up with him. And then on his way to Manchester, he could have been exposed to the Joker gas, which would have given us a wild and silly Inertia, in direct contrast with the serious Inertia we know. That would have been an awesome issue!

Impulsive Reactions begins with Joey Cavalieri announcing he'll be attending Comic Con International: San Diego (that's what they called it back then) with Carlo Barberi and Juan Vlasco.

Kamandi 2 says he first started reading comics with Superboy #198, which featured the Legion of Super-Heroes. Fascinated with the idea of a whole "legion" of heroes, Kamandi began collecting everything DC, including Impulse.

Imp says his first comic was World Without Grown-Ups. From there, he began reading Young Justice, then finally started picking up Impulse with Impulse #54.

Disaster says he started with Impulse #3, having flipped through it in a comic shop and seeing it was different from everything else he'd read.

CoolGuy started with Impulse #1 after happening to see it in his shop, and he's been hooked on it since then.

ProfZoom also started with issue #1, having been excited to see a Flash spinoff.

DataLore has been enamored with Impulse since he first appeared in The Flash, calling him an updated Kid Flash and commentary on modern youth acting before they think.

Lethal says the Flash TV show brought him to the comic series, but he really didn't enjoy it until Mark Waid took over, making him a fan for life. He recognized Humberto Ramos' work from a couple of issues of Superboy, and was very excited for him to start the spinoff Impulse series. Lethal says issue #3 is still the best of the series.

Rick2Tails was also brought in by Ramos' art, but not until the series was in the 20s. But when he did start, he immediately had to get all the back issues.

Kyle says he started reading Impulse from the beginning. He has considered dropping the book several times due to questionable art, but now he's enjoying it a lot more. Kyle does admit, however, that he's still getting more laughs from Young Justice.

DeathScythe2680 says he was brought in by Ramos' art and stayed because the series always makes him laugh. Now for the new ads:

Nautica. (For the first time in a long time, Bart and Preston were not wearing Nautica clothes!)

Prancer Returns. A USA original movie. This two-page ad comes with a very annoying and thick activity book, connected from page 4 to page 20. I'd love to rip it out, but I don't know how to do that without destroying the whole comic book.

Need a lifeline? Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Kids Edition CD-ROM.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for PlayStation, PC CD-ROM, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.

Power Rangers Time Force for PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and PC CD-ROM.

Scan this barcode. Save the world. Scan Command.

Rumble Robots. Interactive fighting robots.

Now you can master the goofiest moves! Extremely Goofy Skateboarding.

The Powerpuff Girls soundtracks: The City of Soundsville and Heroes & Villains.

Cardcaptors. Songs from the hit TV series.

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase.

Got milk? with Ronald McDonald and two kids, labeled Small, Medium and Super Size.

Well, that's it for Impulse comics with a publication date in 2001. Next time, we'll look back on the year and hand out some awards before beginning the final year of Impulse, 2002.

No comments:

Post a Comment