Impulse #45 (February, 1999)
“The Christmas Impulse!”
Writer – William Messner-Loebs
Penciller – Craig Rousseau
Inker – Barb Kaalberg
Letterer – Janice Chiang
Colorist – Tom McCraw
Separations – Jamison
Assistant Editor – L.A. Williams
Editor – Paul Kupperberg
Cover Price: $2.25
Day 6 – Twelve Days of Christmas on Infinite Earths – Impulse – Let’s Go!
We open up with Max Mercury killing time while he heals up after having been shot on Halloween. The monotony is cripplingly boring. Luckily, after a while he is visited by… Impulse with boobs? What? Oh, it’s actually Impulse’s mother, Meloni… from the future! She really does just look like a female Bart, though.
The pair chat a bit in Interlac until the notice that a crime is currently taking place at the bank… the, get this, Green Cigarette and his gang are currently robbing the joint. Max is worried that Bart will get wind of this and head over straight away.
… and he does! However, before he do a whole lot, his speed powers trigger an earthquake, which causes the bank to start coming apart. At this point, civilians and villains alike look out for each other’s best interests and safety… it’s as though they’d been affected by the Christmas Impulse! Why, the baddies even decide to reform… and the bank manager refuses to press charges! Whaaaa?
Once that’s all set, Bart returns home… and reunites with his mother. We learn that Meloni is planning on staying at Max’s (daughter’s) pad for the next three weeks… which doesn’t really make anyone all that happy. There’s a bit of a to-do, which ends with Bart running off…
… to the Janitor’s closet at school. Hmm, okay. Anyhoo, the Guidance Counselor pops his head in and Bart sorta-kinda lets it slip that he might just be Impulse… and his uncle Max Crandall is actually Max Mercury. Ya’d figure this would be a no brainer… I mean, look at Bart and Impulse’s ridiculous hair for starters… and there really aren’t all that many older fellas around named Max, right?
Luckily, this Guidance Counselor, Jasper Pierson doesn’t have the brains God gave a peanut… as he calls Max to tell him that Bart “seems to believe” he’s Impulse… hmm…
Max and the family all head up to the school for a role-playing session with the helpful Pierson. He wants them to all facilitate Bart’s delusions of heroics… and talk to him as though he really was Impulse. Not really sure what good this might do the boy… even in theory… but, okey dokey… it’ll move the story forward… in theory.
The main thing that comes out of this is that Bart is blaming himself for Max getting shot over Halloween. Max gives him the skinny on what actually went down that night. He did (literally) catch a bullet that was fired… but did not account for the possibility that their might be a second bullet in the muzzle. That’s the bullet that shot him. It’s not Bart’s fault at all. What’s really crazy here is that Pierson is still clueless… even after Meloni goes off in Interlac… yeesh.
Before the Bart family can get all group-huggy, the Green Cigarette enters. He wishes to hand over all of the profits he’d made from his life of crime over the past thirty-years… and so, hands over a check for $50. Ya see, he never said he was all that great at being a criminal! Nyuk.
The issue ends with Bart and Max walking home. Along the way, Max gives Bart a hug… when asked if it was due to a Christmas Impulse, Max grumbles. The End.
Often while I read (or reread) the issues I’m going to be discussing here, I get all excited about what I’m going to talk about. I make little notes, and bullet point some of the things I want to make sure to include… sadly, this issue did not inspire me to do so.
This is in the fallout of Max Mercury being shot… we took a look at that issue back in October for our #boohauntedblog Halloween special… and that issue was… maybe a little less “ehhh” than this one… but still pretty blah.
Really, not a whole lot goes down here… Impulse’s mother shows up… looking like Impulse-with-boobs. The Green Cigarette sees the error of his ways and decides to reform… and we get some weird role-play with the school guidance counselor… none of which, to me, was all that entertaining. The art, is an acquired taste… and usually I’m down with Rousseau’s work on this title… but here, it’s really not all that great. The faces look especially off, leaving the characters with almost ape-like visages. Really quite unpleasant to look at.
Overall… if you’re looking for a good Christmas story… look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a good Impulse story… look elsewhere. I’d say this one is for completionists (of Christmas or Impulse comics) only. Not worth tracking down.