Wonder Twin Powers… de-activate!
It’s the final issue of the wonderful series from Wonder Comics starring the Wonder Twins. Actually, it’s the second final issue, as the book was originally a six-part mini that was so well received, so soon, that it was quickly recommissioned for a second batch, with only a month or so between runs.
And if the cover is to be believed, it’s not the end. Zan and Jayna will be back – well, they’ve a whole new purpose as of the close of this issue and that bears exploring.
But first, how do you solve a problem like Filo and Polly Math?
Then there’s the school day to get through.
Negotiating the judgment of the Super Friends.
And surviving a vengeful supervillainess and her partners.
As for what the Wonder Twins’ new deal as they end their time as interns in the Hall of Justice is, hey, buy the book! I want DC to make money on this series to guarantee writer Mark Russell and artist Stephen Byrne do indeed get to create more Wonder Twins comics. A four-issue mini every year or so would do fine, just a chance to check in with Jayna and Zan and their family of friends and foes – Polly, Filo, Principle (I doubt that’s a misspelling) Turner, the Scrambler, Cell Phone Sylvia, Red Flag…heck, the entire League of Annoyance.
This issue sees ongoing subplots tied up in a nice bow, with the Wonder Twins always at the centre of things. I appreciate that while Zan and Jayna have distinct personalities – he laid back and flighty, she earnest and volatile – they’re nuanced, able to appreciate the other’s point of view. And they finally manage to make the Leaguers see things differently, too.
This series has had a fair few gags in it. Great ones, every issue. But the overwhelming emotion I associate with it is melancholy. Morris High is the saddest school in the world. Lexicon is prison as corporation and chillingly convincing. Zan’s pet alien monkey is such a mournful wee thing that at one point this time I was expecting a Gleek tragedy.
And yet there’s also a great big dollop of hope. The Wonder Twins, as outsiders, see the world differently, but don’t let earth’s problems and stupidities get them down – Zan is too cheerful, Jayna too stubborn. Russell and Byrne have fine-tuned a couple of characters who had all the personality of Saturday Morning sidekicks and given them a world that can survive not just the worst supervillains can throw at it, but two – count ‘em, two – sermons, one from a good guy, one from a bad.
As for those bad guys, they’re treated with rare humanity; sure, the likes of Cell Phone Sylvia threaten to murder our heroes, but the Wonder Twins are never cruel back – they can beat a baddie, then take them out for coffee; and not because they’re stupid, they genuinely want to understand what makes people tick.
This series has been very consistent, with slick, smart scripts and smooth, characterful artwork. There’s not been an issue that didn’t make me smile as it made me think, and I’m looking forward to rereading the whole. DC should collect the series and market the resulting book with their successful young reader line – I could see it helping form solid citizens. And isn’t that what the Super Friends would want?