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Wonder Twins Vol. 1: Activate!

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As part of Brian Michael Bendis' new imprint for young heroes, Wonder Comics, fan favorite Mark Russell brings his unique brand of humor and satire to the Hall of Justice's two newest interns: Zan and Jayna--Wonder Twins! Exiled from their home planet, alien heroes Zan and Jayna must navigate life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School, where they're even bigger As part of Brian Michael Bendis' new imprint for young heroes, Wonder Comics, fan favorite Mark Russell brings his unique brand of humor and satire to the Hall of Justice's two newest interns: Zan and Jayna--Wonder Twins! Exiled from their home planet, alien heroes Zan and Jayna must navigate life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School, where they're even bigger outsiders than the normal awkward young adult. Under the watchful eye of Superman, the brother and sister pull monitor duty at the Hall of Justice as interns, while also trying to overcome the pitfalls of Zan's brash confidence and Jayna's shy but streetwise personality. If you think you know the Wonder Twins, think again--this book takes the form of the unexpected! Aimed at providing readers with honest and innovative reading experiences, Brian Michael Bendis' Wonder Comics is a celebration of the moments of in life when discoveries are made--when purpose and meaning are revealed and destinies are defined. Featuring the young heroes of the DC Universe as penned by all-star creative teams in exciting new adventures that will celebrate the wonders of life, love and comics. Collects Wonder Twins #1-6.


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As part of Brian Michael Bendis' new imprint for young heroes, Wonder Comics, fan favorite Mark Russell brings his unique brand of humor and satire to the Hall of Justice's two newest interns: Zan and Jayna--Wonder Twins! Exiled from their home planet, alien heroes Zan and Jayna must navigate life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School, where they're even bigger As part of Brian Michael Bendis' new imprint for young heroes, Wonder Comics, fan favorite Mark Russell brings his unique brand of humor and satire to the Hall of Justice's two newest interns: Zan and Jayna--Wonder Twins! Exiled from their home planet, alien heroes Zan and Jayna must navigate life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School, where they're even bigger outsiders than the normal awkward young adult. Under the watchful eye of Superman, the brother and sister pull monitor duty at the Hall of Justice as interns, while also trying to overcome the pitfalls of Zan's brash confidence and Jayna's shy but streetwise personality. If you think you know the Wonder Twins, think again--this book takes the form of the unexpected! Aimed at providing readers with honest and innovative reading experiences, Brian Michael Bendis' Wonder Comics is a celebration of the moments of in life when discoveries are made--when purpose and meaning are revealed and destinies are defined. Featuring the young heroes of the DC Universe as penned by all-star creative teams in exciting new adventures that will celebrate the wonders of life, love and comics. Collects Wonder Twins #1-6.

30 review for Wonder Twins Vol. 1: Activate!

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    If you watched that old Superfriends cartoon when you were a kid, you were bound to love the Wonder Twins & their monkey Gleek. If not, then you honestly don't know what you were missing out on, and I pity your sad little existence. Enter the Mark Russell reboot: Zan and Jayna are aliens who (for some as of yet unknown reason) have been dumped here on Earth to be mentored by Superman, and because of him have been taken on on as (very) junior members of the Justice League. There's the stuff with t If you watched that old Superfriends cartoon when you were a kid, you were bound to love the Wonder Twins & their monkey Gleek. If not, then you honestly don't know what you were missing out on, and I pity your sad little existence. Enter the Mark Russell reboot: Zan and Jayna are aliens who (for some as of yet unknown reason) have been dumped here on Earth to be mentored by Superman, and because of him have been taken on on as (very) junior members of the Justice League. There's the stuff with them trying to be superheroes, and then there's also the stuff with the two of them trying to fit in at their new high school. Which, you know, isn't anything new. But. Russell does an excellent job making it feel fresh anyway. Ok, if you don't already know, these guys are twins from the planet Exxor. They do a little fist bump while saying Wonder Twin Powers Activate! and then Janya can turn into an animal and Zan can take any form of...water. So, yeah. That's what they do. I loved The League of Annoyance. It sounded like they would just be a silly group of never-weres, but it turned out that Russell managed to wrap a pretty poignant story up in all that humor. All in all, I thought this was a fun revamp of some very underused characters. I'll definitely be following this title. Recommended

  2. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I grew up watching Superfriends and I did love the Wonder Twins. I’m not sure why, but I did. I love the fresh take on the twins in this volume. They are aliens who have found a home on Earth trying to make it through high school being super geeky and strange. They are in the Hall of Justice internship program and they take on the League of Annoyance. It turns out the scrambler is part of that team and he becomes the villain of the piece. His evil plan actually begins to bring about good changes I grew up watching Superfriends and I did love the Wonder Twins. I’m not sure why, but I did. I love the fresh take on the twins in this volume. They are aliens who have found a home on Earth trying to make it through high school being super geeky and strange. They are in the Hall of Justice internship program and they take on the League of Annoyance. It turns out the scrambler is part of that team and he becomes the villain of the piece. His evil plan actually begins to bring about good changes in the human race that could save us. Should the plan be stopped or should the human race benefit from this? It’s a great question. I won’t say anything about how the story answers this, but it’s an interesting interesting scenario. This was entertaining and a whole lot of fun to read. Needless to say, I plan on reading more of these. I love it. It’s a nice middle grade entry for DC. Marvel has a lot of stories like Ms. Marvel and such and I haven’t seen too many for DC, but now they have one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Mark Russell comes along and turns yet another old cartoon (See The Flintstones and Snagglepuss) into a great comic, entertaining you while also commenting on society. The Wonder Twins originated on the Super-Friends as basically Donnie and Marie Osmond with powers. Russell reinvents the twins as alien refugees, going to high school while interning with the Justice League. It's a fun, goofy book while taking looks at the American prison complex and racial inequality. The main villains are the Le Mark Russell comes along and turns yet another old cartoon (See The Flintstones and Snagglepuss) into a great comic, entertaining you while also commenting on society. The Wonder Twins originated on the Super-Friends as basically Donnie and Marie Osmond with powers. Russell reinvents the twins as alien refugees, going to high school while interning with the Justice League. It's a fun, goofy book while taking looks at the American prison complex and racial inequality. The main villains are the Legion of Annoyance, the junior league Legion of Doom. Stephen Byrne's art is gorgeous. I love his smooth, clean lines and eye-popping colors. This is basically everything Squirrel Girl should be, but is not. Fun and irreverent with gorgeous visuals.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    So I am reading the great and deeply philosophical classic The Brothers Karamazov and need on a regular basis to find, well, not relief, exactly, but maybe a laugh or two, as this horrific pandemic also continues. At first glance this comic seems just typical-comics silly, if you don’t know anything about these characters. Zan and Jayna, exiled from Exxor, come to Earth to fight crime as. . . The Wonder Twins! They go to high school and they connect with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! Yawn, So I am reading the great and deeply philosophical classic The Brothers Karamazov and need on a regular basis to find, well, not relief, exactly, but maybe a laugh or two, as this horrific pandemic also continues. At first glance this comic seems just typical-comics silly, if you don’t know anything about these characters. Zan and Jayna, exiled from Exxor, come to Earth to fight crime as. . . The Wonder Twins! They go to high school and they connect with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! Yawn, right? Silly, escapist stuff, right? So, I don’t even see at first that this comic is written by Mark Russell, who wrote the surprisingly terrific Flintstones satire. Now when I say terrific I don’t mean that it precisely captures the original cheesy goofy sixties vibe. Russell is good because he takes throwaway stuff like this and makes it do real world, satirical work, making fun of the original stories, satirizing how usually comics are escapist crap, satirizing the very uselessness of superheroes in dealing with the real needs of human beings. So The Wonder Twins is another Hanna Barbera send-up of a minor, easily dismissable and laughable set of characters that first appeared on an easily dismissable, laughable tv cartoon show, Superfriends. They do a little fist bump while saying Wonder Twin Powers Activate! and then Janya turns into an animal and Zan can take any form of. . . water. So this on the surface escapist teen high school stuff becomes the backdrop for a romp through the American landscape of mass incarceration, global inequality, and the reactionary nature of superhero comics. Zan and Jayna are in the Hall of Justice internship program and they take on the League of Annoyance. I loved The League of Annoyance. I really love this comic and how it is actually helping me see how it is calling attention to the need for comics. media, and literature to attend to political and philosophical issues in the real world. Uh, like The Brothers Karamazov? Back to reading! Thanks, Mark! Hope to see you again soon!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Zan and Jayna, exiled from Exxor, come to Earth to fight crime as... The Wonder Twins! Like a lot of people my age, I watched the Super Friends on Saturday mornings as a kid and the Wonder Twins were way better additions to the team than Marvin and Wendy. When I saw DC was finally launching a Wonder Twins series, I had to give it a read. It exceeded all expectations. In these six issues, the Wonder Twins struggle to fit in at high school and work as interns at the Hall of Justice, battling the Lea Zan and Jayna, exiled from Exxor, come to Earth to fight crime as... The Wonder Twins! Like a lot of people my age, I watched the Super Friends on Saturday mornings as a kid and the Wonder Twins were way better additions to the team than Marvin and Wendy. When I saw DC was finally launching a Wonder Twins series, I had to give it a read. It exceeded all expectations. In these six issues, the Wonder Twins struggle to fit in at high school and work as interns at the Hall of Justice, battling the League of Annoyance and fighting the hardest battle of all: understanding Earth. Stephen Byrne's art does a great job at evoking memories of the Wonder Twins on the Super Friends show while still seeming modern and fresh. The coloring is also very well done, not overdoing the computer effects and feeling cartoony without being overly garish. Mark Russell's writing is what sold the book for me, though. The irreverent, cynical tone made for some hilarious moments but also some powerful, almost sad ones. Russell satirizes today's media culture all too well. The Wonder Twins are greatly fleshed out in this volume, going from vaguely Asian aliens resembling Donnie and Marie Osmond to much deeper characters. I don't really know what else to say without giving away too much. Wonder Twins: Activate is a smart, fun, cynical, bleak, hilarious book. Five out of five space monkeys.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Artemy

    That Mark Russell guy, he really knows how to write them comics. I'm not familiar with any previous iterations of Wonder Twins, but it doesn't matter because this book is not really about them — it's all about deconstructing the superhero medium in a very subtle yet powerful way. This is the comic book story that for once genuinely made me side with the nominal villain, root for his plan and feel bummed when the goddamn superheroes inevitably save the day in the end. It's such a sharp, funny yet That Mark Russell guy, he really knows how to write them comics. I'm not familiar with any previous iterations of Wonder Twins, but it doesn't matter because this book is not really about them — it's all about deconstructing the superhero medium in a very subtle yet powerful way. This is the comic book story that for once genuinely made me side with the nominal villain, root for his plan and feel bummed when the goddamn superheroes inevitably save the day in the end. It's such a sharp, funny yet bitter story about real people and their struggles in a superhero-dominated world where superheroes don't really do anything meaningful to help them, and while it's not a novel idea in itself, Russell makes his point very effectively and convincingly. It's yet another triumph of an incredibly talented and criminally overlooked writer (although the whole Second Coming debacle may finally bring him a lot more well-deserved attention), and every comic book fan should pick it up.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diz

    This provides sharp social commentary in a way that isn't cynical or bitter. Through the Wonder Twins, Mark Russell is able to comment on a wide variety of social issues. Most importantly he breaks down the barrier between hero and villain by questioning whether heroes are really doing the right thing by propagating the current social system. This comic has a lot of heart and I hope that more people get a chance to read it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    It's funny how a comic about two joke characters can make you think about and feel things you'd never thought possible before, but here's Mark Russell doing just that with the Wonder Twins. Framed from Zan and Jayna's perspective, the Wonder Twins embark on a series of tales that put them into conflict with the League Of Annoyance, a Z-List Legion of Doom officiate that instead makes the characters navigate life, the universe, and everything in between on their journey to become better superheroe It's funny how a comic about two joke characters can make you think about and feel things you'd never thought possible before, but here's Mark Russell doing just that with the Wonder Twins. Framed from Zan and Jayna's perspective, the Wonder Twins embark on a series of tales that put them into conflict with the League Of Annoyance, a Z-List Legion of Doom officiate that instead makes the characters navigate life, the universe, and everything in between on their journey to become better superheroes, and better people besides. Throw in Stephen Byrne's beautful artwork (seriously, the things this guy does with colour are just next level), and Wonder Twins is a winner. The only thing I guess I wasn't a fan of is that it all seems to be gearing up for a big finish, but then kind of flatlines the ending because the series got extended; I feel like maybe if the book had been two six issue mini-series rather than one long twelve issue one, it might not have had the false finish. Still, hardly a problem, just an observation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Glen Farrelly

    I'm so old that I remember first encountering the Wonder Twins when they started way back when on the Saturday morning cartoon series Super Friends. (One of the few superheroes originating in tv). At the time I was really little so I found Zan and Jayna to be fun and I loved their space monkey, Gleek. All these years later, I have spent years knocking my wedding ring together with my wife and saying "wonder twin powers activate"! I even taught my wife that she pretty much had to be either an eag I'm so old that I remember first encountering the Wonder Twins when they started way back when on the Saturday morning cartoon series Super Friends. (One of the few superheroes originating in tv). At the time I was really little so I found Zan and Jayna to be fun and I loved their space monkey, Gleek. All these years later, I have spent years knocking my wedding ring together with my wife and saying "wonder twin powers activate"! I even taught my wife that she pretty much had to be either an eagle or elephant as that seemed all Jayna turned into (probably so the animation studio could save money). After the Super Friends, I had rarely seen the Wonder Twins over the years except some rare cameos (more like easter eggs) here and there, such as a recent Teen Titans Go episode. They pretty much survived only to mock how dorky they were in the first place (which I thought was unfair). So I was excited to see this collection and picked it up for nostalgia's sake. This was clearly aimed at teens and tweens rather than aging Gen Xers such as myself. Nonetheless, it was much better than I thought it would be. It's funny with some good adventure too. I would have liked it more if I was the target age, but they still throw some bones to the old dogs such as myself.

  10. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Mark Russell does it again, like the Flintstones, talking about social issues while making a extremely entertaining adventure. Who are the Wonder Twins? Well shit if I know. I think I've seen a old cartoon with them or heard them in passing when I was a kid. I dunno. It doesn't really matter. Basically they come to earth after being exiled from their own planet and have to get use to earth. This opens up issues about prison, politicians, dating, friendzone, and more. All while also being a fun l Mark Russell does it again, like the Flintstones, talking about social issues while making a extremely entertaining adventure. Who are the Wonder Twins? Well shit if I know. I think I've seen a old cartoon with them or heard them in passing when I was a kid. I dunno. It doesn't really matter. Basically they come to earth after being exiled from their own planet and have to get use to earth. This opens up issues about prison, politicians, dating, friendzone, and more. All while also being a fun little DC adventure about brother and sister taking down the Syndicate of Annoyance! (Real name). Overall, super entertaining. It doesn't talk down to you but with you on subjects you all heard of. I especially enjoyed the issue on Prison and of course the one on dating and how everyone takes it different ways. Those were easily the two best issues. The art is super fun and adds a lot of humor and even buckles down on the darker moments well. While some of the subject matter can be on the nose, most of it works. This is super entertaining and well worth the read! A 4 out of 5.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    There is no denying, to my knowledge anyway, that the old Super Friends cartoon show is the butt of a lot of jokes (many of the deserved). Its not like DC hasn't tried to use these characters before, but it never seemed to work. Then in walks Russell who did some excellent work on DC Hanna-Barbera Line before it was dropped. He comes to close to writing the leads as teens in high schools (had one, so I've glimmer into what that is like). But more importantly... He creates antagonists about who I a There is no denying, to my knowledge anyway, that the old Super Friends cartoon show is the butt of a lot of jokes (many of the deserved). Its not like DC hasn't tried to use these characters before, but it never seemed to work. Then in walks Russell who did some excellent work on DC Hanna-Barbera Line before it was dropped. He comes to close to writing the leads as teens in high schools (had one, so I've glimmer into what that is like). But more importantly... He creates antagonists about who I as a reader cared about. I mean what would the "heroes" do if the villain's plan was to actually make a better world? (read as digital floppies)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. With the launch of Young Justice, creator Brian Michael Bendis curated the sub-imprint of Wonder Comics which now includes Naomi, Dial H for Hero, Amethyst, and Wonder Twins. Targeting a younger audience by tackling themes of identity, purpose, and heroism, these series look to inspire younglings and illustrate their crisis during their very fragile adolescent period in life. Brought back from The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977-1978), writer M You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. With the launch of Young Justice, creator Brian Michael Bendis curated the sub-imprint of Wonder Comics which now includes Naomi, Dial H for Hero, Amethyst, and Wonder Twins. Targeting a younger audience by tackling themes of identity, purpose, and heroism, these series look to inspire younglings and illustrate their crisis during their very fragile adolescent period in life. Brought back from The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977-1978), writer Mark Russell attempts to give the dynamic twins the pizzazz they need to draw the attention of readers around the world. After all, there is no better way to look at teenage life on Earth but through the eyes of outsiders. What is Wonder Twins: Activate! about? The story follows alien twins Zan and Jayna in their time on Earth as students at South Metropolis High School and as interns at the Hall of Justice. Exiled from their home planet, they are left to understand the intricacies of relationships amongst earthlings while also deciphering the global, social and economic issues of modern society while remaining under the wings of Superman. With their unique powers (Zan can transform into water while Jayna can transform into any animal) unveiled only once they touch hands and shout “Wonder Twin powers, activate!”, these two youngsters look into doing their own share of justice as they search for their place on Earth. With the first volume collecting Wonder Twins issues #1-6 and a confirmed sequel volume entitled Wonder Twins: The Fall and Rise of the Wonder Twins collecting issues #7-12, this comic book series looks to do things differently by drawing upon humour and satire to depict the bizarre and laughable problems of humanity through a social commentary on various ideas such as prison overcrowding or even rehabilitation in the United States. Writer Mark Russell does an oddly good job in integrating such heavy concepts into such a playful and campy story arc but the execution often failed to incite any jovial emotions. In fact, the satire in which this story revels leaned towards irritation rather than admiration, especially with the lame villains, e.g. The Scrambler (and his ability to mind-switch) or even the League of Annoyance (a drop-out version of the League of Villains). This tone thus conquered over the narrative and made most of the story’s threats seem so irrelevant in the end. To capture the quirky nature of this comic book series while illustrating its much more thoughtful sequences with accuracy, writer Mark Russell is accompanied by penciler and colourist Stephen Byrne. While the result is consistent, flashy, and vibrant, there were several character designs that left a lot to be desired, including Superman’s odd shape. A lot of emotions are also evident through facial expressions but lack in subtlety as they sometimes come off as overtly obvious. Similar to other titles within the Wonder Comics imprint, Wonder Twins also makes use of creative panel structures to convey the story, breaking the barriers set by traditional panels. Wonder Twins: Activate! is a comical yet slightly bizarre tale of justice through the eyes of two twin aliens trying to do what’s right on Earth. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Another quality outing for one of my favourite writers, The Wonder Twins was also my first exposure to the impressive, iridescent artwork of Stephen Byrne. In fact, this may be the most colourful and hilarious Mark Russell book to date. So why only three stars? Unfortunately, I felt as though the big threat towards the end of the story needed more time to develop. The stakes for the final two issues were incredibly high, to such a degree that the serious, yet simultaneously silly tone was a detri Another quality outing for one of my favourite writers, The Wonder Twins was also my first exposure to the impressive, iridescent artwork of Stephen Byrne. In fact, this may be the most colourful and hilarious Mark Russell book to date. So why only three stars? Unfortunately, I felt as though the big threat towards the end of the story needed more time to develop. The stakes for the final two issues were incredibly high, to such a degree that the serious, yet simultaneously silly tone was a detriment to the narrative. Russell has balanced comedy and commentary more effectively before and I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed when I finished Activate! That said, the creative quality is there and i'll be reading the second volume.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trike

    This was silly but it made me laugh out loud a couple times, so props for that. I like how Russell lampshades all the goofiness of superhero comics by having alien twins Zan and Jayna comment on the peculiarities of business-as-usual by the Superfriends Justice League. He also manages to insert commentary on society in general and high school in particular, which is a bonus. The art perfectly matches the tone, too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jesús

    Mark Russell shows an incredible talent for bringing old animated characters to new life in comics and using them as figures for sharp social satire, first with The Flintstones and Snagglepuss, then The Lone Ranger, and now the Wonder Twins. Russell’s book begins with a familiar fish-out-of-water premise wherein the twins, Zan and Jayna, are exiled from their home planet and sent to high school on Earth where they also intern with the Justice League. But within a couple of issues, Russell’s satir Mark Russell shows an incredible talent for bringing old animated characters to new life in comics and using them as figures for sharp social satire, first with The Flintstones and Snagglepuss, then The Lone Ranger, and now the Wonder Twins. Russell’s book begins with a familiar fish-out-of-water premise wherein the twins, Zan and Jayna, are exiled from their home planet and sent to high school on Earth where they also intern with the Justice League. But within a couple of issues, Russell’s satire takes on long-standing assumptions of superhero comics and their surprising parallels to the US prison-industrial complex. While I shouldn’t have been surprised, since it is Mark Russell’s MO, I didn’t see that coming. This is now among my favorite ongoing books from Marvel and DC. (Read in single issues)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    By the guy who made The Flintstones one of the best books of the year. Are there any other cheesy and nostalgic cartoons we can get him to revive with humor and incisive social commentary? Please?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Butcher

    A good example of how interesting storytelling can be done in a comic as Russell and team turns a "lame" property into something interesting with tons of social commentary in a subversive way.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    The Wonder Twins are, of course, a classic, and Mark Russell has a great take on them. It's one-part high school drama, one-part silly superheroism, and one-part outright comedy. Oh, maybe it's a little too over the top at times, but it's also occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. And this Zan and Jayna are delightful characters that I hope to see more widely used in the DC Universe.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is the latest of Mark Russell's satirical comics starring Hanna Barbera characters. This one takes the first half a volume to find the right tone, but once it does, the writing is quietly spectacular. Russell skewers mass incarceration, global inequality, and the fundamentally reactionary nature of superhero comics without coming off as glib or overly-grim. I'm not crazy about the artwork, which seems more interested in replicating the feel of cheap Hanna Barbera cartoons than in advancing This is the latest of Mark Russell's satirical comics starring Hanna Barbera characters. This one takes the first half a volume to find the right tone, but once it does, the writing is quietly spectacular. Russell skewers mass incarceration, global inequality, and the fundamentally reactionary nature of superhero comics without coming off as glib or overly-grim. I'm not crazy about the artwork, which seems more interested in replicating the feel of cheap Hanna Barbera cartoons than in advancing the storytelling. Nevertheless, this series is definitely worth reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nico D.

    The Wonder Twins debuted in the old Superfriends cartoon as the audience insert, teenaged sidekicks (you might also remember Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog, who appeared in a different iteration of the series) to the established heroes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Aliens with pointed elven ears and a vaguely POC visual depiction (and what looks like obvious inspiration by Mr. Spock and the Vulcans from Star Trek), Zan and Jayna had a unique, symbiotic power where they could shapeshift if The Wonder Twins debuted in the old Superfriends cartoon as the audience insert, teenaged sidekicks (you might also remember Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog, who appeared in a different iteration of the series) to the established heroes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Aliens with pointed elven ears and a vaguely POC visual depiction (and what looks like obvious inspiration by Mr. Spock and the Vulcans from Star Trek), Zan and Jayna had a unique, symbiotic power where they could shapeshift if they put their fists together and recited the phrase “Wonder Twin powers, Activate!”. Zan could take the form of any sort of H20, from water to ice to steam, while Jayna could become any animal—terran or not. Accompanying them was their little blue monkey, Gleek, the mascot character who usually bumbled around and occasionally carried a bucket to transport the liquified Zan in. He also made noises like a VW Beetle with an engine that continuously turned over without actually starting. It was a whole thing. The characters were kitschy and kind of silly, befitting the show and era (remember, this was the time where Darkseid was a frequent villain of the week and most of his plots revolved around getting Wonder Woman to marry him) and this didn’t translate into the DC Comics of the eighties that put a focus on dark and gritty stories. There were a few minimal, half-assed attempts to bring a modernized Zan and Jayna to the actual comics, but it wasn’t until this book that the endeavor worked. No, not even worked. It excelled. It rocked. Beautifully drawn, the debut of the Wonder Twins into the greater DC Universe is a perfectly tongue-in-cheek adventure that is brimming with personality. Incredibly amusing, the snappily written dialogue is made all the more solid with the strong sense of identity for every character; from the twins themselves to the beleaguered ‘League of Annoyance’ who oppose them. Bigger named character feature frequently throughout, notably Superman and Lex Luthor, and they’re exaggerated to exactly the perfect amount. Batman’s occasional jokes hit hard, and it’s easy to imagine the beloved voice cast from the DCAU bringing these lines to life. The antagonists feel like they’d be right at home on The Tick, and it works really well in this book as Zan and Jayna’s campy pop culture relevance is oozing through every page. Despite that, both the twins are written with character foremost in mind. Both have strong identities that exceed one-off jokes. Special kudos goes to Zan’s incredible response to having a girl hook-up with her ex-boyfriend while he’s on a date with her at the movies and Jayna’s questioning of the nature of our planet and humanity’s refusal to do right by themselves. There’s a lot of heart and integrity behind each joke, and for how much the book is happy to drop anvils on the reader about morality, it does it with a cheeky bent—maybe even a somewhat cynical view—as it explores the divide between the rich and the poor, capitalism consumerism, gender and racial discrimination and heavily criticizes the U.S. prison system. Oh, then there’s Gleek! He’s adorably drawn, has a new—better—backstory that makes him instantly sympathetic, and he’s been made very lovable—a far cry from his sometimes Scrappy Doo-ish inclusion in the old show. There’s really nothing to find here that I didn’t like. The art was beautiful, the writing was funny but poignant, and our main antagonist (the Scrambler) is surprisingly sympathetic while looking funny but feeling terrifying. That’s a pretty great feat. I can’t wait to see Zan and Jayna get more spotlight, and I think—for the first time in forever—they’ve made the DC Universe better with their presence. There's no denying this is one of the greatest trades to come out of '19.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Mark Russell delivers another great book: packed to the brim with jokes; satirizing and addressing the problems of the modern world; betting on hope. It can have a bit too much pathos but it works well for a comic book about two nigh-useless superheroes based on a decades-old cartoon. It's a delight to read, especially if you look into the background gags and wordplay, a constant in Russell's work.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ramon

    Fun, genuinely funny, and then adds a dollop of darkness, too, in showing the origin of what could be a kick-ass villain. Russell's satire is sharp as ever, and Byrne's art is nice and lively. Also refreshing: that this wasn't one long padded arc, but a series of shorts with a running arc underneath. Nice.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Larakaa

    Didn’t expect this to be such a funny and poignant political comment. Such a great comic!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scratch

    I don't know how I feel about this graphic novel. I have never read anything with the Wonder Twins before. I'm aware that they're ridiculous characters originally introduced in Super Friends. I have read their Wikipedia page a few years ago. And I know that a couple of alien characters on the cartoon Justice League Unlimited were modeled after Zan and Jayna. Still, this volume left me a little cold. I get that in the DC universe there are already SO MANY superhumans and aliens running around, of I don't know how I feel about this graphic novel. I have never read anything with the Wonder Twins before. I'm aware that they're ridiculous characters originally introduced in Super Friends. I have read their Wikipedia page a few years ago. And I know that a couple of alien characters on the cartoon Justice League Unlimited were modeled after Zan and Jayna. Still, this volume left me a little cold. I get that in the DC universe there are already SO MANY superhumans and aliens running around, of course it is possible that these alien twins could just openly enroll in public school as themselves. Normally that would be ridiculous, but at this point, it is just barely believable in a universe that has its own Gorilla City. But the character development wasn't really there. Zan was kookier than his sister, acting like a cross between Sokka, from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Spock. Most of the time we were doing that thing where we laugh at the ridiculous male character while his sister was the sensible one. But, A) that wasn't always consistent, B) his sister had NO personality other than being more sensible than her brother, and C) there was at least one instance where Zan's kookier personality resulted in him displaying unusual wisdom and emotional maturity for a high schooler. I liked how with this "Wonder Comics" imprint geared toward younger readers the Justice League is only present on the periphery, and they are acting more like themselves than they ever did during New 52. (At least, I assume, since I skipped New 52 altogether.) But part of why they seem like themselves is because they barely have a presence in the story at all. They're too cameo to display unusual personalities. Disliked how Zan's power was supposedly useless, but in practice, he has control over his ability to turn into water. He is basically the same as Hydroman in Marvel comics. Whereas his sister can shapeshift into animals, and she was just... okay? She didn't seem to have any trouble controlling her powers, but she also didn't use them that much, and when she did it was brief and unremarkable. She interacted with Beast Boy in this volume, and for all that they have nearly identical powers, they didn't even really use them around each other. I found myself more underwhelmed by Jayna's powerset more than Zan's, because at least Zan was capable of surprising the reader by turning into conscious steam or ice. Probably my least favorite part of this story was the inclusion of the League of Annoyance. For all that these villains were clearly meant to be joke characters, now the DC universe is stuck with the existence of a vampire called "Drunkula." And the fact he was once pictured with a room full of dead bodies seems like an inappropriately serious moment that was not properly handled in an otherwise comedic comic.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Milky Mixer

    Hokey as they are, I have always loved the Wonder Twins. At last, they have a series of their own! And it's... just ok. The humor didn't really land for me - it's more cynical than silly, and some stuff like Gleek makes no sense at all. But the ending is deadly serious. I'll get volume 2 to see what happens. I was waiting for this book for awhile and looking forward to a joyous read about optimistic teen heroes. I felt like this could be better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vance

    such a delight, I'm laughing out loud at least once per issue

  27. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Williford (LivTheBookNerd)

    When I was younger and in elementary school, my twin sister and I would run about recess pretending that we were the wonder twins. Of course, at our youngest ages, we never really paid attention to their genders. It was only in our teens that we finally realized that one of the twins was male, but that didn't stop us from loving their weird powers. I don't think that we realized that twins could be different genders. We knew twins that were different genders, but I don't think I even realized th When I was younger and in elementary school, my twin sister and I would run about recess pretending that we were the wonder twins. Of course, at our youngest ages, we never really paid attention to their genders. It was only in our teens that we finally realized that one of the twins was male, but that didn't stop us from loving their weird powers. I don't think that we realized that twins could be different genders. We knew twins that were different genders, but I don't think I even realized the Wonder Twins' differences until I was older. Kid-brain is real. This was so fun. A little slow at times, but really fun. This graphic novel/comic poked fun at the quintessential superhero and the hero vs. villain dynamic. I really love the messages behind the various parts of the storyline. If I can get my hands on a copy of volume 2, I'll definitely continue. ~~~ This was really fun! •I really liked the messages of the story. •The art was gorgeous! •The super powers were so well laid out. •twinssss This wasn’t my favorite super hero story, but I do plan on reading the next volume.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robby

    Another great social satire from writer Mark Russell.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Cute and charming. Love it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christian Zamora-Dahmen

    Wow, I am so impressed! I need more stars for this book! Wonder Twins has suddenly become my favorite series this year. Behind its naive look, there are some important issues address like opportunities, addiction, jail, inequity, racism, and they do get to the point. And as if Mark Russell’s fun writing wasn’t enough, the art by Stephen Byrne is just flawless. I hope this series doesn’t get overlooked because it’s a jewel and it needs to be discovered. Its fun takes me back to the old Justice Leag Wow, I am so impressed! I need more stars for this book! Wonder Twins has suddenly become my favorite series this year. Behind its naive look, there are some important issues address like opportunities, addiction, jail, inequity, racism, and they do get to the point. And as if Mark Russell’s fun writing wasn’t enough, the art by Stephen Byrne is just flawless. I hope this series doesn’t get overlooked because it’s a jewel and it needs to be discovered. Its fun takes me back to the old Justice League, way back when Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatties used to write it, but trust me, it’s not just about empty jokes. On the plus side (as if the narrative wasn’t gorgeous already), Zan and Jayna are such an adorable pair. Young kids with their hearts just in the right place. Oh, and don’t get me started on the League of Annoyance... I feel loooooove! I couldn’t recommend it more. *Read in single issues.

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