Wonder Twins #12 – Mark Russell, Writer; Stephen Byrne, Artist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The two most original of the Wonder Comics books are wrapping this month, and first up is Wonder Twins #12, closing the book on Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne’s superhero political satire. Taking on issues including prison reform, school funding, and class warfare with an absurdist touch, it’s been less a superhero story than a series of bizarre events bound together by Zan and Jayna’s crash course in Earth as Justice League interns.
It’s been a little less broad than Russell’s usual satire, and I think that’s why Wonder Twins #12 works so well. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do in only one issue, closing out the story of Polly and Filo Math along with the ongoing threat of the Legion of Annoyance. Zan and Jayna have rescued Filo from the Phantom Zone and set him and his daughter up in a safe house, but they’re still fugitives – and the Justice League knows about the twins’ extracurricular activities.
That leads Jayna to give the League a piece of her mind, accusing them of handling problems as they come up without actually tackling the root causes. That’s been a common accusation by critics of the superhero genre, and it’s interesting to see it worked in here. But this is ultimately a DC superhero comic, and as such it’s going to have a more optimistic take on the genre even amid Russell’s usual scorching satire.
The ending has a clever twist, adding a new division to the Justice League’s headquarters, but not before a confusing and bizarre final showdown with some of the villains that have plagued the twins through this series. Even for twelve issues instead of six, it does feel like Russell had to pack a lot into this final issue – maybe two much. And it’s hard to see how any of the clever twists in this story can be followed up on by a different writer – they’re so quintessentially Russell. But I’m just glad such an odd and enjoyable comic got greenlit in the first place. Let’s hope Dial H for Hero sticks the landing too.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.