Ah, young love! It happens to us all – for some of us, many, many moons ago now – and this time up, it’s Zan and Jayna who are struck by Cupid’s arrows and go on their first dates in this month’s ever-bright and breezy Wonder Twins #4 from Mark Russell, Stephen Byrne.
While Jayna hooks up with local high school stud, Red, who turns out to be a fledgling member of the League of Annoyance, Zan accidentally asks out girl-on-the-rebound, Debbie Schwartz, with both dates going down as well as you’d expect from this sit-com flavoured series. What I wasn’t expecting was Zan’s display of optimistic logic that makes the best of a date others would consider a disaster. It’s a smart logic I think we could all embrace should we ever find ourselves in ta similar situation. It certainly makes sense to me. Who knew that Russell was such a relationship expert? Remind me to make an appointment.
Of course, like the previous episodes in this smart, sarcastic, silly series, Wonder Twins #4 gives us a done-in-one story, but with call backs to previous issues as we gatecrash as League of Doom’s mixer where Jayna discovers her date is a would-be super villain and an all round obnoxious, toxic, human being surrounded by some familiar faces from previous issues. Why she doesn’t just turn around and dump him there and then is beyond me. She’s far more polite than I would be.
The fun, as always, is in the reading of this issue and the extra little kooky details Russell throw into his scripts. Worryingly, Superman seems to have the same sad taste in music that the Hall of Justice’s own supercomputer has previously shown – predilections for soft jazz (I imagine Batman is more a doom metal fan myself) – and the League are able to take a rare night off while the Legion of Doom party. Or rather, they don’t. It’s like all those awkward office parties you’ve ever endured, but with super villains. This latter event humorously shows us a side of Lex’s Legion we don’t get to see in Justice League, and it’s one that I can’t get enough of. It certainly burst the balloon of pomposity that many superhero narrative have to be built on. A ground-level, daft drama focused on DC’s more colourful and camp creations. And, as even, Stephen Russell’s wide-eyed, innocent animation-like art and colours fit the bill perfectly.
Sadly, this is only a 6 issue series (was it always thus, or did I miss that memo?) and I fear that the causal reader may not grab and pick up this book because of The Wonder Twins’ own patchy publishing history. They’ve never really been the kind of characters you could take seriously, so why not embrace this? And Russell and Byrne have done exactly this. There aren’t too many comic books that are as smart, or as silly as this funny book and it’s been a refreshing addition to the fledgling Wonder Comic line, offering up something for both younger and old readers alike. Meanwhile testing the boundaries of the comic book buying readership’s tastes. One part YA another part MAD Magazine, there’s still time to jump on board if you want to join in the fun.
Wonder Twins #4 is out now from DC Comics.