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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Impulse Key Comic Issues Part 1

Fulfilling another request, we are going to explore the character of Bart Allen. Although the title is Impulse Key Comic Issues, we'll be looking at the other mantles that Bart has taken.

Yep, that means Kid Flash and the Flash as well, so not just an Impulse key comics list. Of course, we also and mostly be seeing the 1st appearances of the majority of his relatives that came after Bart's 1st appearance.

Alright, here's the 1st part to this Impulse key comics series, and it won't be a very long one. Not super short either.

1st cameo of Bart Allen

After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally West became the Flash and was given his own series as the titular speedster back in '87. This series would develop and debut some new characters into the Flash family as well and even expand on Barry Allen's mythos even though dead in that continuity.

In this issue, Bart Allen is shown in only three panels, all in silhouette or shadow and unnamed. In other words, he isn't really shown or made known. Even Iris Allen isn't seen nor identified.

So as we'll learn later on, Bart is the grandson of Barry Allen and son of Dawn Allen, one of the Tornado Twins. He is from the future of 2995 A.D., in which the Dominators have taken over control of Earth.

Bart Allen was created by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo, and he already has made a live-action debut in  the TV series Smallville played by Kyle Gallner. Since the Dominators already debuted on the current Invasion story that crossed over with all of CW's DC shows currently airing, I would love to see this character pop up on a season of The Flash sometime since I am a big fan of the show.

Flash #91 volume 2 was released April 12th and has the cover date of June, 1994.

1st full appearance of Impulse
Origin Impulse

This issue is the 1st full appearance of Bart Allen. We finally see him and we finally learn exactly who he is.

We also learn that the lady who brings him back to the past is Iris Allen, and she needs Wally's help as her grandson needs some saving. Inheriting the Speed Force from his grandfather, Bart was unable to control the Speed Force which accelerated his aging.

He is apparently only 2 years old in a 12-year-old body as explained in the pages below.

Crazy stuff. That snippet also retells a bit about Iris Allen and how Bart was born so far into the future.

So Wally goes searching for Bart in the present day, and the two do meet for the first time in this issue. This happens at the end of the story, so the drama continues in the next issue.

Okay, here's the part about variants or different covers and blah, blah blah. So we do know that newsstands and direct market were still going on around this time. By 1994, I'm sure that Marvel and DC were pretty on par when it came to distributing most of their comics to the direct market or comic retailers.

So, according to Mile High Comics assessment of Marvel's newsstand distribution around 1994 would be between 15% or 10%, probably leaning more to 10%. DC's distribution should be somewhere around the same.

Newsstand editions of this comic hardly make it market. I'm pretty sure that super high grade copies are pretty scarce.

Although CGC is beginning to note some newsstand editions for other comics and issues, I am not sure whether they've caught onto this one yet. In terms of the previous label, I'm not even sure if they distinguished direct or newsstand, nor do they distinguish between the third variant or edition that came out as well.

This third cover variant has the DC Universe logo in the UPC box. Do not mistake this for a direct market edition.

Word is that these DC Universe logo variants were sold through multi-packs in outlets like Costco, Target, Walmart, and maybe even some bookstores. Speculation has it these DC logo variants are supposedly harder to find in higher grades.

I have no idea about that, so I can't really comment. In looking at the CGC labels for most in the market currently, these are not distinguished from the others whatsoever.

Although I did not mention it for Flash #91, that issue most likely has the three editions or variants as well. Actually, I wouldn't doubt if most of the keys in this list have the three versions.

I will not be giving examples of all them. The ones I did include in this listing for issue #92 should be good enough to spot them for any other issues.

As always, you can click on the images to enlarge them. The newsstand edition has a UPC but no "Direct Market" wording in it. They just have the bar code.

Flash #92 of the 2nd series has the cover date of  July, 1994 but hit comic shops around May 17th.

2nd full appearance of Impulse

Bart Allen is never referred to as Impulse nor does he give himself the name. He is referred to as impulsive but does not don the name until a later issue. 

After the two initially meet for the first time, this encounter would lead to a very minor scuffle. 

A chase ensues after Flash strikes him, and apparently the faster that Bart moves, the faster the kid also ages. However, in the end, Wally explains how he got the Speed Force to stabilize within Bart.

Kinda contradicted the dramatic statement about the faster he ages the faster he moves, but whatever. I just work here, and this is comic books after all. So Bart is fine but just a hyper-active lad.

Shipped to comic shops around June 14th, the cover date of August, 1994 marks the cover of Flash #93 volume 2.

1st Flash & Impulse team up
3rd appearance of Impulse

The Flash and Impulse do take on KOBRA in this issue, and it's their first team up of sorts. Impulse goes a long unwanted and Wally West as the Flash has no choice but to watch out for Impulse.

Flash does refer to Bart Allen as Impulse in this issue, and it might be the 1st time another comic character refers to the lad as such.

So other than that, this is the 3rd appearance of Impulse disregarding whenever the Zero Hour Sampler came out or exactly how much he shows up in that free giveaway in actual sequential art story-telling. This is the 1st Flash & Impulse team up regardless.

Once again, there are the DC Universe logo variants as opposed to the direct market and newsstand editions. Further again, these are not direct market editions nor newsstand editions.

The image to the left is an example of the newsstand edition for this issue. The logo variant just has that DC Universe logo in the UPC box and not hard to distinguish at all.

Direct market has "Direct Market" noted in the UPC box. September, 1994 marks the cover to Flash #94, and it was on sale around July 12th.

4th full appearance of Impulse

Zero Hour was a soft reboot in DC's continuity at the time, and I'm still even confused about what it did or didn't do. Apparently by the end of the series, some alternate timelines disappeared as well as some characters.

One of them is actually Impulse, who is seen being erased in issue #1. The issues counted down backwards so #4 started it all and #3 was the 2nd issue to this limited series.

However, before Bart Allen from the 30th Century disappears from the supposed timeline in issue #1, he first names himself Impulse in this issue. Actually, he tells Superman to first call him "Kid Flash" and then Impulse? Here you read this blunder for yourself.

Scene from Zero Hour Crisis In Time #3

Just to show you what happened in issue #1 and Bart Allen disappearing here's the panels that explain it in Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #1. He is again called "Impulse", and has a cameo in issue #1 of the Zero Hour comic series.

Scene from Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #1

So I guess this version or alternate version of Impulse is erased from continuity but he does appear in Flash #95. In that issue and in the rebooted continuity, he again names himself Impulse.

In all honesty, I have idea how much or little that soft reboot affected the character of Bart Allen. He just seems to chug right a long in Flash #95 without a hitch.

Alright, when it comes to the Zero Hour UPC box, it is different for the multi-pack version and isn't about the DC Universe logo in the ole UPC box since even the regular cover to this issue has the DC Universe logo in the upper right hand cover. Inside the UPC box for this issue, the symbol displayed to the left there is inside at the lower left-hand corner of the comic.

I think all the Zero Hour issues have the difference between the regular direct market edition and those that came in the multi-packs and were sold at Costco, Walmart, or Target, etc. 

There are newsstands which once again has the bar code but no direct market notation in the UPC box. Could not find an example image of those, but I'm sure they're out there.

There's also the Score Board limited edition signed by Dan Jurgens and limited to only 1,000 copies out there as well. The Score Board limited editions does come with a C.O.A. and is basically the regular edition cover that's signed.

Just lettin' you guys 'n gals know in case you're into all this variant cover, edition, jargon.

Cover date is September, 1994 and all the Zero Hour limited comic series issues were supposedly on sale in comics shops around July 18th or 19th in the year.

Impulse joins team

Early in the character's development, Impulse would join the the New Titans and remain a pretty well-known character of the team. Sure, he would join Young Justice as well and be quite known as a member of that team, but the New Titans or Teen Titans is the first super-hero team the character joined in comic land.

Not much else to say about that. Impulse would primarily shift back and forth from this title and the volume 2 Flash comic series before co-forming the Young Justice team. Well, this issue may be the character's 5th full appearance in an actual story as well.  Guess that's worth mentioning even if I did not note it.

I think he shows up on the cover of Flash #0, but is not in the story. That issue basically retells the origin of Wally West after the events of Zero Hour. I believe since continuity was rebooted, every major title came out with a #0 to establish the changed origins for many DC characters.

So there it is, and there are newsstand editions for this comic without the Direct Market notation in the UPC box. The cover image for this comic over at mycomicshop is a newsstand edition but it is a stock image. Pretty much means they use it to represent the comic but does not guarantee you'll get that newsstand edition.

Not sure about the multi-pack. Mike's Amazing Comics has the on sale date of this issue at August 23rd and October, 1994 is the cover date for The New Titans #0.

1st cameo appearance of XS

I've mentioned this comic before, and it has the first appearance of Jenni Ognats. She is the cousin of Bart Allen and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Jenny is the daughter of Dawn Allen, Barry Allen's daughter, and Jeven Ognats. She was created by Tom McCraw and Jeff Moy, and is a character definitely connected and within the Legion of Super-Heroes mythos.

Like her cousin, XS is a speedster and connected to the Speed Force. She only appears in a one cameo panel in this issue.

Jenni shows up more fully in her very next appearance in Legion of Super-Heroes #62 of the 1989 series and reveals her super-hero identity in that issue as well. I will not have a separate listing for that issue, but will display the cover of it for reference in case any fans of  are interested. So the image to the left is not a variant of Legionnaires #0.

She would meet her cousin for the 1st published time without any reboots or retcons in Impulse issue #9. We'll get to that later in Part 2. 

Alright, so here's Jenni Ognats first introduction in that single panel near the end of this story:

There are obviously newsstand editions since I see stock images out there on the net. Legionnaires #0 has the cover date of October, 1994 and was released August 30th.

2nd Flash & Impulse team up
Names himself Impulse again

As stated in the listing above, Bart gives himself the name of Impulse in the Zero Hour limited series, but that version apparently disappears from continuity. Even though, this version of Bart is still from the 30th Century, he doesn't disappear but is still somehow alive.

No expert and have no inkling of even finding out what the hell happened there. Perhaps some one who knows can fill me in.

One of the reasons why I don't follow DC Comics. I understand Crisis on Infinite Earths, but all the reboots that come after that just gets stale and confusing.

So, before Flash and Impulse have their 2nd team up and rematch against KOBRA, they have a discussion about what to call Bart Allen. Bart jokes about calling him "Kid Flash" and then christens himself Impulse again.

The panels and pages above are from Flash #95. Not sure why the whole name thing in this issue happens after Teen Titans #0.

So 2nd Flash & Impulse team-up and, Flash #95 from the 2nd series has the cover date of November, 1994 and hit comic shops by September 13th.

Adventure Comics #373 is the first appearance of Bart Allen's father Don Allen, and he debuted as part of the Tornado Twins. A long with his sister Dawn Allen, the pair were members of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th Century.

The twins first started out as descendants of Barry Allen and Iris West, but later and during Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was written that Barry and Iris traveled to the 30th Century and conceived Don and Dawn Allen before Barry was killed. This made Bart Barry Allen's grandson from the future.

Once again, I'm not sure what the hell happened with Bart during Zero Hour or what version of him was erased or changed. We will be getting into more 1st appearances of Bart's twisted family, and other important key issues pertaining to Bart Allen as Impulse, Kid Flash, and even the Flash in Part 2 of this Impulse key comics series.

See ya soon for the next episode!

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