Badly Recapped: Wonder Twins #4

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MARK RUSSELL – writer

STEPHEN BYRNE – artist

DAVE SHARPE – letterer

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: The Wonder Twins go on dates, with varying degrees of success.

 

The fishes out of water tale of the Wonder Twins continues (with a disturbing lack of Zan taking any form of water) as the Twins almost accidentally set up dates with two strangers at a school science fair. We also get more Polly Math, whose project theorizes the internet is a living consciousness that hasn’t woken up yet. At this point I’m having a little trouble staying awake myself. I hope this Math subplot either dies or plays a large part in the story down the road.

 

And speaking of story, what is the story of this book? I’m fine with just zany hijinks involving Zan and Jayna, but I don’t know if Mark Russell is. Halfway through this comedic and satirical comic we get the backstory of Polly Math finding her mother murdered à la Barry Allen, all because of her father’s past dealings with Lex Luthor. It just feels out of place with the rest of the story and series as a whole.Ap2N.gif

 

Zan and Jayna’s dates are the highlights of the book. Jayna’s date ends up being villain-in-training, “Red Flag”, a total bro whom she finally ditches at the end by transforming into a cheetah and running away. I’d have rather seen her take the form of kangaroo (which she mentioned to Superman she was getting better at earlier) and knock his block off, but at least we got SOME transforming from her, unlike Zan.

 

Speaking of which, Zan’s date went kind of better, simply ending with the girl getting back together with her ex. In a sweet, bordering on saccharine moment, Zan explains that he’s happy to have made a friend because in all likelihood they would’ve broken up in a few weeks anyhow, because teenagers. Zan’s naiveté continues to charm; I wish Russell did more with Jayna’s shyness he established in the first issue though.

 

Overall this issue had its fun moments, its good Russell (satire), its bad Russell (preachiness), and ongoing terrific art from Stephen Byrne. I’m not sure about the underlying arc of the Math family, and I’d like a little more Wonder Twins powers activating. Hopefully both are resolved in the final two issues.

 

6.5/10

 

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Badly Recapped: The Green Lantern #7

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GRANT MORRISON – writer

LIAM SHARP – artist and colorist

TOM ORZECHOWSKI – letters

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: Hal Jordan and his ring’s AI battle, then join forces, with the wizard in the ring to save all three.

 

Full disclosure: I tried reading this book once and threw it down in disgust after two pages. I think I just wasn’t in the mood for a rhyming wizard, weird elf lady, and lyric prose. I let it sit a day, then went back to it, and you know what? It’s a great one-shot Green Lantern tale.

 

In the first part of the book we follow “witch-girl” Pengowirr. Odd name, right? Turns out it’s an anagram for “Power ring”. Oh Grant Morrison, you clever bastard. Anyway, Penny is traveling the wasteland of the interior of Hal’s ring, which is dying. She’s avoiding the minions of the wizard who was banished to the ring by the Guardians, Myrwhydden. Being a new-ish reader of GL, I didn’t recognize the name. I also didn’t like his rhyming shtick at first. That’s my man Etrigan’s gimmick buddy!

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Eventually Penny notices a stranger following her, and it’s none other than Hal Jordan- shrunken and stuck in his own ring. How embarrassing! After traveling with Penny awhile, dodging minions and whatnot, Hal begins to realize where he’s at, who he’s with, and that he’s running out of time before his ring’s energy is fully used up. He convinces Myrwydden to stop wasting the ring’s power with building a fantasy world and henchmen and to send out a last-ditch distress call.

 

Of course, a couple of Lanterns find the ring in time and get it back to OA, where Hal is extracted and gives the classic GL rhyme (a nice touch to counter the wizard’s rhyming) in time to save his ring and its “inhabitants”.

 

Say what you will about Morrison, but he really came up with a great story here. The fantastical prose wasn’t my favorite thing, but it fit the tale. Liam Sharp’s intricate art was on point as usual, but what really shined were the page layouts and muted coloring of the dying interior of the ring.

 

9/10

 

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