Wonder Twins #11 – Mark Russell, Writer; Stephen Byrne, Artist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Wonder Twins #11, the penultimate issue of Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne’s superhero satire pits the title characters against their deadliest enemy yet – Colonel 86, an outdated computer program created by Filo Math decades ago as his first AI.
Filo is out of the Phantom Zone, just in time to find his creation running wild. Still stuck in the 1980s, the AI is obsessed with setting things back as they should be – investing someone’s life savings in Blockbuster Video, deactivating an on-board computer on a plane because planes don’t need computers. Needless to say, this is a disaster, but the AI doesn’t care. Everything’s going to be back to the way it was when Colonel 86 was last active. Russell always has something to say about the state of the world, so it’s not a surprise he got around to toxic nostalgia eventually. It’s one of those issues that’s at the root of so many of today’s problems but is never quite at the fore.
While the Wonder Twins and the Math family scramble to rein in the AI, the Justice League tries to contain the chaos. This is complicated by 86’s fast-growing fanbase of angry guys who like his message and are willing to attack anyone threatening their retro revolution.
It’s all very on the nose, of course, similar to the Harley Quinn “Catgate” issue that led to our review coming under assault by the same trolls the issue depicted, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have something worth saying. The presence of a same-sex couple as one of the victims of 86’s rampage (sealed inside their own smart home as he tries to revert everything back to the 80s) is a nice touch that brings home the threat of uncontrolled nostalgia.
Byrne’s art manages to make the villain both a comic relief retro character and a genuine threat. The title characters actually have relatively little to do this issue with one to go, but the series as a whole has turned into an offbeat gem.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.