Wonder Twins #8 – Mark Russell, Writer; Mike Norton, Artist; Cris Peters, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Stephen Byrne’s distinctive art has been a major part of the Wonder Twins series since the start, but he takes a break as Mike Norton comes on in Wonder Twins #8 and does an excellent job as the pinch-hitter. Norton’s been drawing teen-themed books for well over a decade, including many by Sean McKeever, so he’s a natural hit.
This issue doesn’t take the same approach Dial H did to give its artist a break – rather than being a stand-alone issue, this one is as closely tied to the main series plot as any before it. As is usual for this title, it’s a strange mix of superhero action, teen drama and comedy, and existential dread about the state of the world. Jayna has been tasked with planning that year’s thirty-year high school reunion, which also happens to be the anniversary of the grumpy principal – who has been secretly in love with the school librarian for decades and never acted on it. Jayna becomes obsessed with this relationship and the reunion, which leads to some tension between her and Zan.
Meanwhile, we finally catch up with Polly Math, who is being held in a private juvenile prison run by LexCorp where she’s subjected to a constant flow of propaganda.
I’m not sure I like what Russell’s doing with frequently implying Scrambler had a point – his plan would have undeniably killed millions in the name of greater equality – but Polly’s always been the more sympathetic character there given what happened to her father.
Her escape from juvie and her attack on the school deliver some great scenes and action, but the real meat of the issue comes when Jayna is able to trap her former friend and make her an offer. Zan, meanwhile, is in a bizarre storyline about working as the reunion’s Casino pit boss – which is kind of perfect for him, given that he always seems to be stuck in a different, lighter comic than Jayna’s. This continues to be one of the oddest books in DC’s stable, but as it enters its second act it’s coming together into a very compelling and relevant story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.