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.
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.