Comic Book Review: Wonder Twins #1
I think right now it is safe to say that Wonder Comics is off to a great start for DC. It has been a long time coming where someone had to put on their big boy pants to figure out what can be done to get some of these younger hero books selling again. If DC wasn’t going to take the initiative, then I’m glad that it was someone like Bendis on top of the many talented creatives brought on board to steer these stories such as Wonder Twins. I mean, who ever thought that we would see these two again? Not me, because it has been years since this name ever popped up for me.
Off the bat, I do have to say that going for the Wonder Twins is also bold. When you think of heroes with powers that could be mocked, these two are unfortunately up there on that list. If someone jumped into a story like this, you would hope that they had the same drive to steer us away from what I will call the Aquaman syndrome. It is still any wonder that they finally found a way for us to respect the King of The Sea.
Surely enough there must be some readers out there who have never heard of the Wonder Twins as well. So for a first issue I’m glad that the proper amount of time was put into us getting to know alien heroes Zan and Jayna, where they came from, and what brings them to Earth of all places. It is a big thing trying to figure out how these two kids could be exiled from their home planet, but all good things do come in time. For now they knew that the priority was getting us to be able to invest in Zan and Jayna by the end of this first issue. What I enjoy about these two is the fact that it is just as Mark Russell explained about his approach to these characters. This is exactly the kind of book you would love if it was you in that awkward sixteen year-old phase. Honestly, I think their situation makes sense in a lot of different scenarios as well. Everyone needs to find their way at some point, everyone experiences personal humiliation at some point. To take things a step further there is also the exploration of what it feels like to be an outsider or have personal pitfalls to overcome. Those two are things that someone like myself could relate to very well. These are real obstacles which the twins represent very well.
What separates the Wonder Twins from other young hero stories is that there’s no true origin story to tell. Only following their life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School. This allows much more freedom to jump straight into a comfort in what these two are capable of. Everything after that is simply trying to figure out where they fit in. Pulling monitor duty at the Hall of Justice as interns was also a smart way of connecting them to a bigger picture. Not every young hero has that opportunity this early and I’m glad someone took advantage of what that could do for upstarts. Especially when you have real heroes right there to assist both directly and indirectly.
One thing that made Wonder Twins #1 an instant read was that the artwork would be handled by Stephen Byrne. For a style like his, I would also hope that they make sure this is an artist they plan to stick with for more than three issues or an arc. Byrne was perfect for the chance to draw one of these Wonder Comics books. The aim should always to go for a youthful energy to put into these stories and he nails it with smooth pencils, bold colors, bright colors, and plenty of depth given to his renderings of the many settings throughout this first issue. It really does help that Byrne is also an artist who is capable of doing it all himself. This allows a lot of freedom to assure that every flip of the page feels fluent. Aside from this, it should also be mentioned that the lettering from Dave Sharpe was standout for the numerous ways that characters in this issue were given a distinct voice. Whether it was through narration or dialogue, every opportunity was taken to shake things up with colors and objects which establish who is saying what and for what purpose.
Through the events of this first issue, Wonder Twins #1 has given us a brand new way to look at Zan and Jayna. They are more than their signature costumes, and much more than what is mocked about their powers. All of us should be able to look forward to what this new adventure has in store for these two twins who offer down to Earth experiences that you would be crazy to sleep on.