DC Comics (April, 1995; as posted to comiXology)
“The Single Synapse Theory”
WRITER: Mark Waid
PENCILER: Humberto Ramos
INKER: Wayne Faucher
COLORIST: Tom McCraw
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Alisande Morales
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ruben Diaz
EDITOR: Brian Augustyn
“IMPULSE” CREATORS: Mark Waid & Mike Wieringo
Out for a run, Impulse accidentally interrupts a missile test against a hovertank. At school, Bart’s misunderstanding gets him in trouble with the teacher (might be a “Bart” thing 🙂 ) while his new classmates do the usual fictional “new kid” shunning. When he gets home and while talking with Max, he learns that the hovertank is being designed by another company and goes back to the test area to find out why someone is trying to build a missile that can destroy it…and runs right into a trap.
What they got right: The forced biography thing gives the writer a chance to go over Bart’s history in the story in a way that isn’t just an exposition dump out of nowhere. I mean, it’s still exposition but the presentation makes it work. You do get a decent sense of who Bart Allen is and the first threat of his solo title. That presentation also works in how it shows Impulse accidentally messing up the test and waiting until the end of the issue to reveal that they’re targeting someone else’ project
What they got wrong: While not that far in to the “greetings, fellow kids” area, all the conversations in the hall sound funny. I had just left high school a few years before this comic came out and it still felt like an adult writing teen dialog. All the half-finished sentences are distracting, and the attempt to capture the sounds of a full hallway in school in comics form didn’t pan out the way he hoped, at least for me.
Recommendation: The only issue I have thanks to comiXology but it’s a good start to the series. It defines the hero, his situation, his lone ally, his personal issues between the time period and growing up in a VR machine (as well as stating why, which I hadn’t heard mentioned until now when someone discussed his history), and the threat he’ll be dealing with in the first story arc. This one is worth a look.