Wonder Twins #2 // Review
On the cover of Wonder Twins #2, a bewildered Beast Boy asks “What is going on in this book?” Like the best episodes of The Simpsons or Law and Order, every issue of a Mark Russell comic takes the reader on an unexpected journey, one that couldn’t possibly be gleaned from the title or the cover.
This issue sees Zan and Jayna exploring the ugly world of for-profit prisons, as a school field trip brings them to Lexicon, the (presumably) Luthor-owned private prison and call center where many of the Justice League’s lower-tier enemies wind up. The twins gain a mentor in the Titans’ Gar Logan, and they gain a new set of arch-enemies in the debut of the League of Annoyance, the Legion of Doom’s farm-team.
As always, writer Mark Russell is firing on all cylinders, throwing concept after satirical concept into the mix while still building on the framework he introduced in issue #1 (hysterically, Zan’s new catchphrase from the last issue, “Total Refreshment,” makes a return here, as does the Justice League’s incompetent supercomputer). In what might be Russell’s most tragic creation, this story introduces Count Drunkula (sorry, “Baron Nightblood”), an alcoholic vampire who just wants to focus on his sobriety.
Stephen Byrne’s art continues to shine here. Byrne’s facial expressions are positively Maguireian, and the slapstick action of this issue is legible and dynamic. This issue gives Byrne a chance to design a whole team of ridiculous supervillains, all of whom would look at home on the 1966 Batman TV show. Letterer Dave Sharpe is apparently having fun, as well. One stand-out sequence, lettering-wise, is Beast Boy’s commercial shoot.
Wonder Twins continues to be the ridiculous shining star of DC’s teen-oriented Wonder Comics line. This issue is a gem, and shouldn’t be missed. Plus, this issue featured a brief cameo of Gleek--hopefully, he’ll feature even more prominently next issue...