Wonder Twins #7 – Mark Russell, Writer; Stephen Byrne, Artist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Mark Russell’s superhero satire, Wonder Twins, is back for a second round, and Wonder Twins #7, the first issue of this new arc is one of the best of the series thanks to the nuanced way it handles the uglier parts of being a superhero.
Zan and Jayna successfully defeated the Scrambler, but his tragic partner in crime, Polly Math, was arrested too and her father is still missing. While Zan revels in the applause that he gets as a new superhero, Jayne is more and more disturbed by the moral compromises she has to make to save the world. It doesn’t help that the Justice League’s been so good at their work that they have nothing to do, so they demote the twins to tour guides – a role Zan takes on with gusto, subjecting the tourists to gravity-based experiments and accidentally taking them into the control room as the Justice League discusses how to stop a world-threatening meteor. It’s a fun look into the chaos the League deals with every day.
But there’s some weightier themes going on in Wonder Twins #7 too. A new superhero named Repulso, whose power is a constant stench, is mostly played for laughs until you realize he’s kept in an isolated bunker until he’s needed for crowd disposal. A hockey riot that starts the issue turns into a much uglier riot when people think the world is going to end.
This series seems to have a rather cynical view of human nature, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the idea that the Justice League works hard to protect humanity not just from outside threats but from themselves has a powerful edge to it and there’s a scene with Superman and Jayna that is some of the best Superman dialogue I’ve seen in a while. Russell’s satire is always on a razor’s edge, but I think this issue hits the right notes. It could have been too cynical – but the last panel gave me a grin on my face that feels like it’ll last until the next issue comes out.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.