Review: WONDER TWINS #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed By: Ari Bard
Zan and Jayna have their first dates on Earth, so what could go wrong? Get ready for red flags, awkward moments, and lots of garlic as Zan and Jayna find out what dating at 17 means on Earth. The story of young love, and how not to find it, begins!
Mark Russell, Stephen Byrne, and Dave Sharpe are continuing to hit home run after home run with Wonder Twins #4. Russell is incredibly well verse in bringing the insightful commentary out of characters who are seemingly very silly. Few people considered the Flintstones, Snagglepuss, or the Wonder Twins seriously until Russell got his hands on them, and each one has been a hit. A lot of that success has to do with the idea of low stakes. The characters in many of Russell’s books seldom feature scenarios with the world on the line. Byrne’s art doubles down on this because his cartoonish style often lowers the stakes even further. By adding positivity and a breath of fresh air to the issue, There aren’t always lives in danger which puts the need to save the day on the back-burner and puts the focus on the characters’ unique perspectives. Russell brings important storied from the mundane and Wonder Twins #4 is a prime example of that.
Zan and Jayna may be twins, but they are incredibly different individuals, which allows the team to tell parallel yet incredibly different stories. Jayna is very academically intelligent, but doesn’t always have practical common sense. It takes a unique set of gifts to build a solar powered flashlight in high school yet not see the impracticality of such a device. Throughout the issue small elements and quirks are able hit home with a profound impact. The irony that Polly getting cat-called by rude men interrupt her thoughts about how to save men from testicular cancer should not be lost on anyone. The team makes sure ever part of every panel is relevant to the story, whether it be offhanded remarks or small posters on the wall.
Jayna’s date starts bad and gets even worse in ways that are all too common in today’s climate. First, the guy is a low level super villain named Red Flag. It’s a little on the nose, but he sure lives up to his name. Jayna has the chance to walk away at every turn, but bless her heart she sticks it out. Between berating the servers at the restaurant, talking down to Jayna the whole night, only mentioning his ex-girlfriends, and just sort of being creepy, Red Flag quickly turned into a terrible first date we all can relate to. Every has had a dating horror story at some time in their lives, and this creative team is quick to remind you that you’re not alone. It isn’t you, and there are just some creeps out there that you have the right to get away from. There is no need to tolerate rude people.
Zan, on the other hand, has an incredibly different experience and learns a very different lesson. His date quickly runs into her ex-boyfriend who she soon finds more interesting than Zan. While many would find that incredibly rude, Zan continues to enjoy the movie and have a great time. Even when they get back together, Zan doesn’t seem too upset. Only later is it revealed that Zan wasn’t just an ignorant third wheel. He knew what was going on and didn’t care because no matter what happened, Zan would still have a good time and he made a new friend. It’s a great lesson that we all could learn.
No negatives here! Russell, Byrne, and Sharpe all do a great job making sure the messages of the book come across loud and clear.
Wonder Twins #4 provides insightful commentary on dating that, unfortunately, can apply to all ages.