Young Heroes Unplugged
Credits: Dan Raspler (writer), Dev Madan (penciler), Keith Champagne (inker), Bill Oakley (letterer), Scott Baumann (colorist)
There’s even less action this issue, as we get a “change of pace” story that focuses on the cast’s secret identities.
Hard Drive (Jeremy Horton) works on Wall Street, where he shockingly uses his powers to make obscene amounts of money. He also has a tendency to spy on his teammates in their civilian lives.
Monstergirl (Rita Lopez) lives with her overbearing parents and younger siblings. She’s being pushed into a relationship with a childhood friend, Scotty, and doesn’t realize her parents are keeping a secret from her.
Bonfire (Annie Fletcher) can’t interest Meta, the only reputable superhero magazine around, in her story on Golden Age heroes T.N.T. and Dan the Dyna-Mite. Her roommate suggests she do a story on a new team, like the Young Heroes.
Thunderhead (Scott Tucker) is still working as a bouncer. He discusses an obsessive ex-girlfriend named Shellie with Off-Ramp over drinks.
Off-Ramp (George Sloan) gets a break-up letter from a woman named Karen, hangs out with Thunderhead, and teleports to a house in Italy. He holds a baby and has an un-translated conversation in Italian with a man in the shadows.
Junior (Benjamin Newton) helps Thunderhead rob a pack of chips out of a vending machine. Later, he plays chess with a friend (guess how), and admits to his crush on Zip-Kid.
Zip-Kid (Stacy Taglia) has dinner with her much older Italian stereotype boyfriend. He wants her to stay away from this Junior kid.
Frostbite (still just Frostbite) gets a ride to remote Canada from Off-Ramp. He plans on spending his time off running with the animals, and we later learn that he somehow uses his powers to keep the natives warm during snowstorms.
This is a good example of a “downtime” issue that does more than pad out a conversation scene or two. We actually learn something about each character, and some of the vignettes leave us with promising mysteries. Why would someone as wicked as Monstergirl still live like a teenager? Why does her persona seem to change so much lately? What is Off-Ramp doing in Italy? And what’s with the baby?