Writer: Mark Russell / Artist: Stephen Byrne / DC Comics
Ladies and gentlemen, Wonder Comics is here and looking to impress! After a hot start with the POC centered Naomi and fan favorite Young Justice, the next addition to Brian Michael Bendis’ imprint is the Wonder Twins, and let me tell you how unexpectedly awesome this first issue is! Writer Mark Russell is really in tune with these characters as he uses comedy and relatable scenarios to keep you invested all throughout the issue. I was relieved to see the art was well done and colors supremely on point.
The twins’, Zan and Jayna, backstory comes in the form of a class project on Heritage Day. Even though the Wonder Twins were my favorite members of Super Friends, I don’t remember getting a detailed explanation of life before they came to Earth. I was also a child, so maybe I missed it, but I was very happy to see Mark Russell give readers a peek into their lives before being jettisoned to our planet.
One of my favorite aspects of this issue was the real-world nature of Zan’s first days in their new school. Usually overconfident, Zan has a master plan to become a popular student, but to our amusement, it all goes horribly wrong. Exxorians have a particular lust filled impulse, when the circumstances are just right, and it just so happens that a particular inter-dimensional villain provides the perfect circumstances for Zan to encounter the most embarrassing moment of his young Earth life. Superman sums it up perfectly when he says, “High school is a buffet line for humiliation, everyone gets a plate.”
Superman serves as the twins’ mentor and adopted guardian. He shows them around the Hall of Justice and appoints them interns. The conversations he has with the Trinity are a great reflection of each of their personalities. Russell really captures the essence of Batman and all of his reactions or responses are knee slappingly hilarious.
If I had to critique some things about this 1st issue, I’d say that there are some joke attempts that fall a bit flat, but overall the comedy is a welcome wrinkle in this book. On the Byrne side, I was really hoping for a more detailed portrayal of our Hall of Justice heroes, but they come off looking a tad rudimentary. Loved the fact that I pretty much got a Justice League Academy issue in this Wonder Twins book, but I expect a little more when drawing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. This was a fun first issue that set the stage for Zan and Jayna’s new life of heroics. I genuinely hope the entire comic run remains as humorous as this initial one.
8 Underwhelmed Wonder Women out of 10