Writer: Mark Russell / Artist: Stephen Byrne / DC Comics
The first Wonder Twins arc has come to a close and Mark Russell has left an indelible mark on me and hopefully every reader who’s been keeping up with the impressive writing that has accompanied the revival of my favorite superhero siblings. Stephen Byrne is no slouch and has drawn some excellent panels to help breathe life into this story that’s buzzing with social commentary and shape shifting excitement. Issue #6 shows us the results of The Scrambler’s grand mind swapping plan, but more importantly, leaves one of our main character’s in the most perplexing position they’ve ever been in, and leaves room for a brand-new DC villain to come to life.
Russell has done a marvelous job of slowly showing us how a young genius can go from promising scholar to scorned and justified punisher. He has shown how a small-time criminal could team up with the right one and become an existential threat to all life on the planet. The Scrambler wound up at the home of Jayna’s best friend Polly Math, and every moment leading up to that knock on her door proved to be the catalyst for her ultimate decision. It’s a gut-wrenching series of events that forces you to consider, “Would I turn heel to get retribution,” and Russell does everything in his power to make it a tangible predicament for anyone with a woke bone in their body.
While I’ve been a bit critical of Byrne’s portrayal of some classic heroes (like the big blue Boy Scout), something dawned on me this issue. Homie is extremely on point and a maven with the artistry when it comes to more detailed, up close images and characters. The long-distance shots fall a little flat for me, but the artwork and attributes that he is able to produce with large scale scenes and heroes are so aesthetically pleasing and well-done. Russell and Byrne have brought back the Wonder Twins and provided the ring slinging tag-team with a fitting ending to a wild and wacky story that parallels so many unfortunate aspects of today’s society. And while this comic is definitely a vehicle used to tear apart so many ineffective policies and institutions the U.S. has in place, the jokes and comedic shots fired are never forgotten, and I truly appreciate that. The Wonder Twin powers will be activating again in September, let’s hope they can keep this same energy.
9 Anti-Slavery Task Forces out of 10
Reading Wonder Twins? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.