Writer: Mark Russell / Artist: Stephen Byrne / DC Comics
The name of this issue of Wonder Twins is ‘Little Boxes,’ and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into when I read the 2-word title. Writer Mark Russell pulls no punches as he absolutely eviscerates the prison industrial system from top to bottom. Jayna, with her inquisitive mind, sharp tongue and naturally skeptical nature drive the entire issue, and I was here for every second of it!
Beast Boy makes a nice cameo as the Wonder Twins’ issue #2 mentor, but like many guest features in today’s hip hop, we’re left wishing he went a little harder on the track. Luckily, there where some funny moments woven into the story like the exploration of Beast Boy’s current place of employment, the Legion of Doom’s “farm team,” and Zan and Jayna’s well done opposing reactions to Superman’s “Work hard and one day you’ll be where Beast Boy’ is” comment. Russell finds a nice balance of reality vs. relief in his writing.
On the flip side of this issue, we witness a prison escape of comical proportions. The Scrambler breaks out and winds up being the villain who provides a look into Lex Luthors’ G-League all-stars, and it’s astonishing how rinky-dink these characters appear. Russell creates the ashiest of crusty wannabes, and Stephen Byrne brings them to life wonderfully. Still, have my reservations about the way Superman is drawn, but luckily every other character is executed well.
In its 2nd issue, Wonder Twins appears to have the staying power with all of the humor riddled throughout its pages. While much if the humor relies in ridiculous antics and over the top characters, when you add in some really smart writing that calls out the prison industrial complex and straight up denounces our dependency on the millions of incarcerated, you have the makings of a sleeper on your hands.
Then, you pepper in the superhero’s role in sending these small-time villains to the conveyor belt without even thinking of another option and you’re officially making a splash and name for yourself in my book. Also, it looks like we’re getting blessed with the introduction of Gleek! Can’t wait to see how they handle him in today’s comic world.
8 Drunk Vampires out of 10
Reading Wonder Twins? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.