Wonder Twins #9 – Mark Russell, Writer; Stephen Byrne, Artist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Mark Russell’s teen-eye-view take on the superheroes of the DCU continues to be a fascinating change of pace from the rest of the line, and Wonder Twins #9 gets into some darker territory as we finally find out what brought Zan and Jayna to Earth. The Wonder Twins have a new roommate in the form of Polly Math, whose supervillain attack on the school was derailed when Jayna offered to help her save her father.
Despite this, Polly still doesn’t trust the twins and blames them for her initial arrest – not exactly understandable, given that she was going to help the Scrambler pull off a plot that would have killed millions, but hey. Before these issues can really be worked out, the twins are pulled into a mission to help the League rescue some refugees from a foreign country. The nation’s leader wants to arrest or kill the refugees, and the League helps lift them to safety in a strong action segment. Timely, sure, but this segment also leads to the issue’s big reveal.
We knew that Zan and Jayna were sent here by their parents, but we’ve never known the why until now. Wonder Twins #9 reveals that a few generations before their birth, their planet was caught in a xenophobic frenzy that led to thousands of the planet’s citizens being sent to the Phantom Zone. The twist being that Zan and Jayna’s long-missing grandfather wasn’t a victim – he was the perpetrator.
Making this a story about redeeming one’s family name through hard work is a great idea, and one you rarely see in superhero comics. The rest of the comic’s ongoing plots, including the Scrambler attempting to pull off his plan from behind bars and a new development involving a secret AI left behind by Philo Math, aren’t quite as strong but serve to drive the plot forward. Mark Russell’s always excelled at fusing the absurd with the human, and this title is a great example of how he can take just about any concept and twist it into something relevant to the world outside our door.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.