I’m a major fan of the Hannah-Barbera Superfriends cartoon from the '70s, mostly due to Wonder Woman and her That Girl flip do and husky Amazon voice, invoking “Great Hera!” The Alex Toth design remains one of my favorite interpretations of her costume to date. And, let’s face it: Has the invisible jet ever looked better?!
The Wonder Twins are superpowered siblings from planet Exxor with matching purple costumes and a blue pet monkey named Gleek. When they touch hands and cry, “Wonder Twin Powers... activate!” they trigger their native-born shape shifting powers. Jayna has the ability to turn into animals, and Zan can turn into various forms of water. Not very impressive by today’s standards, but it sure blew my socks off back in the day.
Aside from the Superfriends cartoon, the appearance of the Wonder Twins in the DCU has been fairly scarce. They made various appearances here and there. In 1995, they were brought into the DCU via the latest comic event, Extreme Justice, where their appearance was definitely more evocative of the '90s pin-up style than the wholesome innocence of their Superfriends existence. Luckily, that version didn’t go anywhere. It’s a mystery to me why they have never had a bigger presence in the DCU. I’m not sure the legality of the characters rights or what Hanna-Barbera’s stake is. The Wonder Twins must have some sort of following, as nary a person from my generation is unfamiliar with the Wonder Twins' "Powers Activate”’ battle cry. I know my sister and I often use it in casual conversation.
Imagine my thrill and delight when it was announced that the Wonder Twins were returning! This time, as part of a new line of comics helmed by recent Marvel transplant and superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis. The line called “Wonder Comics” is geared toward a younger audience with the intention of bringing fun back to comics. The return of Young Justice is also a part of the Wonder Twin line. (We’re going to need more connections to WW if the line is going to be called Wonder Comics... just sayin’.) Written by Mark Russel and illustrated by Stephen Byrne, this is the comic book I’ve been needing. Apart from my love for the Wonder Twins, the first issue was just a solid, fun comic book that far exceeded my expectations. A fun story with a lot of humor. The appearance of the Justice League is awesome, especially Wonder Woman’s somewhat less-than-maternal reaction to the Twins. The Twins are under the watchful eye of Superman as a favor to their father. Superman gives them the task of monitoring the Hall of Justice. What could possibly go wrong?
Major props to artist Stephen Byrne. I remember seeing his fan art what seems like not too long ago on Instagram and knowing this guy was going places. His fresh, fun style is perfect for the tone of the book. His cartoonish style reminded me of the late, great Mike Wieringo in some panels. I hope he has a long run on the title.
All in all, a solid first issue. Great art, witty dialogue, and an intriguing concept. I can’t wait to see where this book goes. I’d highly recommend this, especially if you’re looking for something a little lighthearted and more of a fun read.
Now, once my Funko Pop! Wonder Twin 3 pack (Gleek included!) arrives from eBay, my life will be complete.
All right. That does it for the Wonder Twin takeover of Wonder Woman Wednesday. See you next time.
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