(w) Mark Russell (a) Stephen Byrne
With the idea of teen-focused comics in mind, Brian Michael Bendis helped curate a new imprint in Wonder Comics for DC. In this new line of comics we were treating to the highly anticipated return of Young Justice first, followed by new Bendis character Naomi, with Wonder Twins and Dial H For Hero releasing afterwards. Having limited knowledge of the Wonder Twins (mostly from the few pieces of media that happened to have them show up) I wouldn’t call myself a fan or much less “casual” consumer of Wonder Twins products. But with the release of the first issue of the new monthly series by writer Mark Russell and artist Stephen Byrne, I became a fan at wondrous speed.
If used effectively, the first page in a comic can showcase just what you should expect in the following pages. Wonder Twins does just that with one-of-many memorable quotes. “I have a rather sad announcement this morning. Toby, the science lab’s hamster, has passed away,” is what the reader and Morris High School students are treated to on the first page by new classmate and Wonder Twin, Jayna. Following a few panels of around the school and it’s activates we are then introduced to Jayna’s brother Zan who is called to the front of the class to read about his heritage. Starting off his story with the boring day to day life of his home planet Exxor, Zan proceeds to explain what happens during a thunderstorm on said planet to the response of surprised/disgusted classmates. After school we make our way to the Hall Of Justice with Superman discussing the Wonder Twins to an “underwhelmed” Wonder Woman, and a few-worded Batman. With the league out fighting a newly arrived villain, the Twins stay back for monitor duty.
At surface level the plot seems like a simple slice of life, teenage aliens come to earth, go to school, incorrectly learn earth lingo, and work a “boring” job. But Mark Russell’s writing makes it stand out above the rest with fast, catchy dialogue, fun filled moments, and some of the funniest character interactions seen in a DC comic in a long time. Each league member in this issue has their unique personality we all know and love, but are written in a relatable fashion that reminds us these heroes work with each other constantly, and are friends as well as teammates. Each page is filled with snappy lines that make the comic flow to the point you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished. The series seems to be going for a Saturday morning cartoon feeling and it does that in wonder-filled spades.
On the art side we are treated to Stephen Byrne, who also works wonders on this fantastic issue. Having never heard of Byrne before I didn’t know what to expect but with each page the art began to grow on me more and more. Byrne’s art has a Saturday morning cartoon vibe that blends well with the dialogue and what’s happening in each panel. The art and colors brings a warm fuzzy feeling to your heart making you feel like a kid again.
Memorable Quote: There are so many I can quote so let’s go with one from me, “If you aren’t reading it you should, buy one for you mom, dad, kids, uncle, aunts, grandparents, your valentines date, just go and buy it!” – A new fan of The Wonder Twins Jason.
Final Thoughts: Through and through this comic was perfect, with every aspect of it going above and beyond. This may be one of the best first issues of a comic I’ve ever read, I can only speak wonders about it, and I will spread the word of this magnificent comic to everyone I meet. It may be early in the year but as of now Wonder Twins is on the top of my list of 2019 comics, and I look forward to the next issues.
Side Note: If DC ever announced a new Justice League International I would highly, highly recommend they get Mark Russell to write it……. Please DC?
Final Final Thoughts: It’s hard to put my feelings into a small amount of words about how this comic made me feel, it is the most heartfelt happy issue I’ve read in awhile. It’ll make your heart melt. Reading it and re-reading it almost minutes after I put it down it reminded me why I love comics and the joy it can bring to your life. Wonder Twins #1 made me feel like a happy kid reading comics.