Writer: Mark Russell / Artist: Stephen Byrne / DC Comics
Mark Russell is not afraid of a little social commentary. He’s dragged catcalling men and their toxic sidewalk harassment. He’s shined a spotlight on our nation’s need to consider hospitalizing criminals more than automatically jailing them, and eviscerated the prison industrial complex. In Wonder Twins #5 he turns his conscious crosshairs on the disgusting trend of black men being murdered and white killers getting off with a hint of public condemnation and a mere slap on the wrist. And he does a pretty good job of delivering.
Returning home with the first place trophy for the high school science fair, Polly finds her dad consorting with The Scrambler and is completely mortified. Not only did she just find out her dad is working with/for the League of Annoyance but he’s got villains kickin it on the couch? That doesn’t sit right with her and she rightfully bugs out and makes pops promise to be done with them, his Lexcorp contract and the whole “I owe Lex Luthor money” thing. Of course, this kind of a comic book promise never bodes well for anyone involved.
Meanwhile, Zan and Jayna are busy being inconvenienced by the League of Annoyance. This sets the stage for Stephen Byrne to put some artistic numbers on the board. The twins select an ideal location for their showdown and Byrne runs with the opportunity to turn Jayna into a really cool, battle ready creature and have some fun with those dynamics. Also, he finally drops Zan’s ridiculous “Total Refreshment!” punchline, which was pretty hysterical. Wild action sequences are cut with some absurd one liners, like a league villain shouting out “No! My emphysema!” before being pummeled. It’s this balance that makes Wonder Twins so much fun and engaging to read for people of all ages.
By the end of this issue, things have changed drastically. You’ll see another case of someone who deserved to be jailed, get off scot free. You’ll find out how far a promising character will go to get justice for their broken heart. You’ll remember that despite the heavy nature of the comic’s content, Mark Russell never forgets to inject good doses of humor into many panels. You’ll watch corporate America do what it does best and shake your head in disgust while it all goes down. Is it a perfect depiction of the injustices that happen across our nation? No, but it’s another excellent outing by Russell and Byrne and I hope they continue to push the envelope every issue of Wonder Twins.
9 Isolated Incidents out of 10
Reading Wonder Twins? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.