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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Impulse Key Comic Issues Part 2

While the character of Bart Allen first started off in the Flash comic series and rightly so, he soon guest appeared in quite a few comics. It wouldn't be long though until he guest starred in his own comic series that did pretty well.

His own titled comic series lasted for 92 issues including 2 annuals, not including four of five one-shots. During the time of his first headlining comic series, his mythos was expanded and even more relatives were concocted by comic creatives.

This expansion would tie the Allen family with their greatest rivals the Thawnes. A pretty twisted family tree would thus develop for the Flash universe. 

If you missed Part 1, click that link to go back. Alright, here's the next haul of Impulse or Bart Allen key issues.

1st Carol Bucklen & Preston Lindsay
1st issue to on-going self-titled series

Bart Allen as Impulse guest starred in various comics prior to this issue like Green Lantern and New Teen Titans just name a few. He would get his own headlining and on-going series starting with this issue.

This series would further expand on his own mythos as well as Barry Allen's as well. We'll get to some of that goodness as we progress in this Impulse key comics list.

So Bart Allen is basically a kid or early teenager. The fool by law has to go to school, right?

With that, he is going to meet friends and basically form a supporting cast for this comic series. Preston Lindsay was Bart Allen's best-friend for a long while.

When Wally West couldn't handle Bart any longer, he went to live with Max Mercury in Manchester, Alabama. Bart met Preston while attending Manchester Junior High School.

Carol Bucklen is another junior high classmate that Bart ends up befriending. At first, she did have problems with Bart, but she ended up being the speedster's first love interest. She would eventually figure out Bart's secret identity as Impulse.

The date of April, 1995 graces the cover of Impulse #1, and this is a must-have for any fan of the impulsive character.

1st appearance of Helen Claiborne
1st appearance of Roland

Roland, called "Lardo" by bullies, is another classmate of Bart Allen at Manchester Junior High. During Bart's early years, Roland would eventually become a close friend of his.

The child of an illicit affair, Helen Claiborne is the daughter of Laura Claiborne and Max Mercury. She was raised without her father, as ran way to join the Speed Force when his relationship with Laura was discovered by her husband David. Hey, even heroes aren't perfect.

When Max returns to Manchester with Bart as his ward, she would soon discover that Max is her father and reasonably holds a grudge against him. Things would simmer down until Max and Helen could have a relationship together.

Helen, Max and Bart would eventually move in, and she would help raise the young Bart until the lad went to live with Jay Garrick and his wife Joan. Impulse #3 has the cover date of June, 1995.

1st appearance of White Lightning

White Lightning debuted in the Impulse comic series, and while not any major villain outside of his first titled and on-going series, the villain did recur a bit. She is a child of a broken marriage that had contempt for authority and fathers.

Her method of villainy is quite strange as she would announce her arrival into a new town and then charm local teenage boys into joining her gang and committing various acts of theft. In this issue, she arrives in Manchester and Bart Allen infiltrates her crew.

This villain's power? A sort of telepathy that can charm men into doing her will. Was going to crack a joke about that but better not.

Cover date for Impulse #4 is July, 1995.

1st meeting of Impulse & XS

It would not be long for the cousins to finally meet for the 1st published time in a comic story. Despite any retcons that may have happened later, Bart Allen and Jenni Ognats or XS meet for the first time in a comic in this very issue.

While Jenni knows who Bart is and that he originally comes from the 30th Century, Bart has no idea who she is. The page below explains it all about their 1st meeting in comics.

Story is carried over into the next issue and the two would fight some Superspeed Ninjas. XS and Impulse would develop a close relationship throughout the years.

January, 1996 is the cover date for Impulse #9, but it was probably released in late 1995.

1st appearance of Meloni Thawne Allen

Meloni Thawne is the ancestor of Eobard Thawne, also known as Professor Zoom or Reverse Flash. Yes, Reverse Flash is the archenemy of Barry Allen as the Flash, and Meloni did end up marrying Barry's son Don Allen.

Meloni is also the mother of Bart Allen and Owen Mercer, so she is from the 30th Century as well. Meloni Thawne would be a supporting character for Bart Allen and the Legion of Super-Heroes mythos since she is the daughter of President Thawne.

Don't really have to say it , but he is a major baddie for the Legion of Super-Heroes. President Thawne would also be responsible for the creation of Bart's nemesis Inertia.

Bart's mother appears in five panels on two pages, the very last page is a full page where she reveals that she is Bart's mother. She is not named in this issue though.

With the cover date of March, 1997,  Impulse #23 is a pretty important key for the character of Bart Allen, and this comic has an estimated print run of 31,610.

1st full or 2nd Meloni Thawne Allen?
Extended Origin of Bart Allen

Meloni Thawne is definitely shown more fully in this issue. Still, not sure if it should be counted as a 1st full or just a 2nd appearance of Bart's mother.

Regardless, while Bart's origin was somewhat explained in Flash #92, his origin is extended in this issue and involves his mother's recounting of the events that led up to Bart traveling back into the past with Iris Allen.

Some of the origin story from Flash #92 is retold as well. Here's how it plays out and you can click the images to enlarge them to better read.


So another pretty important issue that explains who Bart's parents are and how his mother has been part of the fold. Wouldn't say this issue is a well-known or overly sought-out key issue for Bart Allen currently.

Meloni Thawne was created by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos, and Impulse #24 is cover-dated April, 1997 with an estimated print run of 30,933.

1st appearance of Cobalt Blue

Adding more to Bart's interesting yet ironic family, is his uncle Cobalt Blue or Malcom Thawne. Despite the last name, Malcom is actually Barry Allen's biological twin brother. 

Apparently, they were separated at birth and Malcom ended up with the Thawne's. Nora Allen and Charlene Thawne ended giving birth during the same night and both ended up at the office of Dr. Gilmore. 

Charlene's baby had been strangled by the umbilical chord and died. Fearful that he was too intoxicated to save the baby's life, the doctor gave one of Nora's babies to Charlene and told Nora that one of the twins had been born stillborn. 

Thus the reason why Malcom ended up being a super-villain and Barry a super-hero. When Malcom discovers the truth, his jealousy towards Barry Allen "stealing his life" consumes him.

After learning of the Thawne's mysterious blue flame powers he is taught by his adoptive grand-mother to master, Malcom sets out to wreck havoc on the various incarnations of the Flash.

So, an enemy of Impulse as well. With an estimate print run of around 40,095, Speed Force #1 has the cover date of November, 1997.

1st cameo of Black Flash

CGC notes this as the 1st appearance of Black Flash in cameo, but the villain really doesn't show up physically in the story. His appearance is more of a flash-forward or a foreboding premonition.

I don't even know how to describe it in my half-awake state, so I'll just show the panel his image appears.

I've mentioned this comic before when rumors were swirling around about the Black Flash possibly being the main villain of Flash season three. This, of course, came after the end of season two when the Time Wraiths took Hunter Zolomon or Zoom and he degenerating into a thing that looked like the comic character.

As mentioned prior in the 2016 review, Teddy Sears has gone on record to say that the Black Flash just may appear in a future Flash episode and that the main writer of the show is interested in that prospect. I really don't consider this a 1st full appearance of the villain, but Overstreet doesn't even recognize this issue or any 1st appearance issue for the Black Flash.

According to other examples which got the cameo notation for more panel appearances than this issue, I still think Flash #141 is the Black Flash's 1st full despite Overstreet or CGC not recognizing it.

Issue #140 does finally see the character of the Black Flash on the very last page of that issue, and it is a full page. He's also named, but does that count as a 1st full or minor appearance or cameo?

I guess we'll see. Flash #138 has the cover date of June, 1998 and the estimated print run of 42,683.

1st full Black Flash?
1st Black Flash cover
1st Black Flash & Flash battle

Once again, another question mark. Not sure what a one full page of a character constitutes in the whole "appearance" realm. So either a 1st full or a 2nd appearance of the Black Flash for this issue.

Other than that, this issue is still a key for other obvious reasons. It's the first time Black Flash is on a comic cover, and it's the first time Wally West battles Black Flash.

In the beginning the Black Flash attacks Wally when he is not in costume, and later at the end of the story, the two have a race when Wally is all suited up as the Flash. Just for reference, here's a few panels that depicts both moments.

And then later in the issue:

Bart Allen does not meet Black Flash in this issue, but the Speed Force's version of death would come for Bart shortly after he becomes the 4th Flash. We shall see that issue in part 3 of this series.

For now, Flash #141 volume 2 has the estimated print run of 39,395 and the cover date of September, 1998.

1st appearance of Young Justice
Impulse joins team 

Young Justice was a team that Impulse helped to form a long with Tim Drake as Robin and Kon-El (Conner Kent) as Superboy. The original line up was just the three, but members would added quite soon.

In issue #4, characters like Arrowette, Secret, and Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl would join the ranks of Young Justice. Impulse would be one of the main characters in this Young Justice comic series.

I believe the animated cartoon show of the same name is based off the volume 2 comic series since Kid Flash is Wally West.

Regardless, Bart Allen as Impulse is a founding member of this group in the actual comics, and with an estimated print run of around 60,671,Young Justice #1 has the cover date of September, 1998.

1st appearance of Inertia

What would the 30th Century be if there were wasn't the ability to clone, right? Not much of a science fiction tale, that's for sure. Believe it or not, cloning ain't the dreams of science fiction any longer.

Maybe still fiction, but science can actually clone molecules and cells of living things like plants and even mammals. Back in 1996, scientists did clone a sheep named Dolly, and before her death, this famous sheep had six offspring.

So Barry Allen had the Reverse Flash as a nemesis, and it would be no surprise that Bart would have his own reverse villain. Actually, Inertia is a clone of Bart and was created by none other than his grand pappy Theadeus Thawne or more commonly known as President Thawne of Earthgov.

Inertia has the mixed DNA of President Thawne and Bart Allen and named this clone after himself. In contrast to the speedsters using the Speed Force, Inertia actually does not go at super speed but rather manipulates time in slowing itself down relative to himself.

Basically, he is moving at normal speed while the world around him slows down. I believe the villainous character would begin using Velocity 9 (1st appearance of that drug supposedly in Flash #12 volume 2) to gain super speed later.

Grant Morrison, Ethan Van Sciver, Todd Dezago, and Mike Wieringo are credited with creating the character. Ethan Van Sciver has said in an interview that he doesn't really accept credit for the character of Inertia, only contributing the green and black colors to his costume and blonde hair.

Okay, so Inertia is revealed in this issue, but he did show up in a one panel cameo in the previous issue of #50. He is basically in a dark hooded robe and not identifiable whatsoever.

In this issue, he is shown fully on the last page as presented above and is shown in the very first full age and third page of a double page spread in that dark, hooded cloak as well. Below are the examples to this issue.

The villain would appear in this comic in the cloak other times throughout the book, but his full reveal and in costume is at the end as shown previously. Overstreet doesn't really recognize the character just yet, and I have no clue whether CGC does since they don't have any recorded data for this issue just yet.

Inertia has been a member of the Titans East and the Legion of Doom, and his first appearance in a possible cameo on the very last page of Impulse #51 has the cover date of August, 1999 and an estimated print run of around 18,218.

2nd appearance Inertia
1st Inertia cover

This is the 2nd appearance of Inertia, and there's some key issue goodness to this comic issue other than that. It is the first time Inertia graces the cover of a comic book issue, and the first time Inertia and Bart Allen meet.
Since they meet at the very end of the issue face to face, they do not have their first battle. We can assume their first battle is in the next issue.

Inertia definitely shows up a lot in this issue and in costume. He kidnaps Iris West Allen, and she seems to know who he is.

Alright, here's the two adversary's first meeting in comics.

So 2nd appearance of Inertia, 1st cover appearance, and 1st meeting with Bart Allen for the Reverse-Impulse. He doesn't refer to himself as that in this issue, but does so in the next. September, 1999 marks the cover for Impulse #52, and its estimated print run isn't all that high and around 18,813. 

1st Impulse & Inertia battle
3rd appearance of Inertia
Origin of Inertia
2nd Inertia cover

So more than meets the eye for this key issue right here. On the surface, it just looks like another 3rd appearance and 2nd cover appearance of Inertia, but it has a lot more going on for it than just that.

As noted above, this issue carries on their first meeting in the previous issue, but it does feature the first battle between Bart and his reverse self. When the chase begins, Inertia tells Bart his origin in true comic book fashion.

Seems like the young clone was brain washed by President Thawne into thinking that the Allens are evil oppressors of the Thawne line. Nonetheless, he aims to destroy them.

Well, we all are our own worst enemy, so Inertita tells Bart how he came to be and that they are clones during their fight that runs pretty long throughout the book. While Inertia isn't that recognized of a villain over-all, he is a worth while adversary for Bart Allen and this issue should be considered for any fan of the character.

I am not sure about variants concerning this issue or newsstand editions. I didn't see any examples online or anything.  

Impulse #53 has the cover date of October, 1999 with the estimated print run of around 18,393.

Just when I think this Impulse key comics series will be short, I keep finding things to add to it. So, there will be a Part 3 to this series, but I am pretty sure that will be the end of it. 

If we are going to get all technical about it, I suppose we should begin with the debut of the character that it all started with, and that's Barry Allen. As we all know, Barry Allen as the 2nd or Silver Age Flash debuted in the monumental, landmark issue of Showcase #4

The issue also debuted Iris West as well, and in Bart's world of comics, she is grandma. Anyway, Part 3 is coming soon, so stay tuned and see ya next time.

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