Credits: Dan Raspler (writer), Mike Manley (penciler), Keith Champagne & Ande Parks (inks), Bill Oakley & NJQ (letters), Scott Baumann (colorist)
The final member of the team, Zip-Kid, makes her debut, covering for Hard Drive as he runs away crying. She explains (i.e. lies) to Superman that Hard Drive has a tragic history with mummies, so he’s a little emotional. Superman feels a little better about the kid’s mental stability and flies off. Zip-Kid explains to the others that she saw their battle on television and just had to meet them. She’s invited to join the team, but she’s not sure how her boyfriend would feel. Later, after the team grows tired of Junior’s squeaky little voice, he’s forced to admit that his powers don’t allow him to grow or shrink. He’s stuck at four inches tall. Meanwhile…
Bonfire briefly resumes her flirtation with Frostbite, until Hard Drive’s mental commands send her back to Thunderhead.
Junior reveals that he was a normal-sized scientist until he fell into the “world’s largest ionic centrifuge.” He also expresses an interest in Zip-Kid, the only other four-inch girl he’s ever going to meet (barring another Marvel/DC crossover), and is devastated when he learns she has a boyfriend.
My first thought upon opening this issue: Mike Manley! Not only is Manley one of the finest “Adventures” style artists, but he’s also the man responsible for the “Babyman” rant, one of the funniest creator-versus-fan tirades I’ve ever read. With all due respect to Dev Madan, this is the strongest looking issue of the book so far. Manley just has a knack for giving weight to stripped down “animated” figures, and his use of shadows is impeccable. As for the story, I wish more time was devoted to Hard Drive’s bizarre meltdown in the previous issue’s cliffhanger, but the remaining character subplots are still intriguing. The little moments, such as Zip-Kid realizing that she just lied to Superman, and Junior’s revelation that he isn’t a size-changer at all, are great.