Wonder Twins #2 review

In the Lexicon Prison and Call Centre, the super-villain who calls himself The Scrambler is demonstrating just why that is to a guard who gets too close. The bad guy is soon back on the streets.

Later, members of the Morris High School Honours Club, including Justice League interns Zan and Jayna, are taken on a low-rent outing… to that same prison. As natives of the planet Exxor, where jails are unknown, it’s an eye-opener – and one of the Wonder Twins is appalled.

Elsewhere, The Scrambler – who despite his name, has a fried egg on his outfit – is trying to get back into big league villainy.

And at the Hall of Justice, the super siblings are meeting their new mentor, Beast Boy.

The second issue of this new Wonder Comics series is even better than the first. Zan and Jayna are delightful guides to the DC Universe, she the cool thinker, he the ditzy doer. While the debut issue didn’t have the satire Mark Russell’s comics are known for, ‘Little Boxes’ is full of great commentary on attitudes to justice and rehabilitation. Inmates acting as call centre workers? I’m pretty sure it’s happening now in a jail near you. The new villains introduced here – as well as the Scrambler, we have Aunt Phetamine, Praying Mantis and Baron Nightblood – are all promising, reminiscent of characters you’d find in such DC gems as Hero Hotline and Inferior Five (there is one other member of the League of Annoyance, but she’s not named). It’s ‘Drunkula’ who turns out to be the standout star of this issue, even if he does whine when he should be taking rather more responsibility for his actions.

This issue also sees the debut of Gleek in a way that will bring a smile to anyone raised on Silver Age comic book ads, and features a very nice action scene, as the twins show what they can do. I don’t know if Beast Boy will be a regular in this book – his home series, Titans, is just about to be cancelled, so he has the time – but his inclusion makes sense, and I like Russell’s nod to his long-ago past as an actor.

The full-colour cartooning, by Stephen Byrne, is once again stellar, with some truly lovely facial expressions, while his mundane approach to the minor villains complements Russell’s deadpan script. I don’t know if Byrne can keep this up monthly, but I do hope so. If not, we’ll, I’m sure the still-sketching Ramona Fradon, of Super Friends fame, would take DC’s calls!

Dave Sharpe letters, and his work is as good as ever – I’m very font of it.

Byrne’s cover is cute and clever, while the variant by Ramon Villalobos has a nice Frank Quitely/Chris Burnham vibe… mind, that’s one scary Gleek!

If you’ve not tried this book for financial reasons, just drop something you’re already buying – Wonder Twins is a treat worthy trying.

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