Impulse #12

Impulse #12 cover


March 1996


“Sonic Youth”
(Cover Title: “Rock and Roll High School!”)


Impulse has grown to like having his cousin, XS, around: he plays video games with her, takes her to a rock and roll museum, and when Lonnie Beale, the lead singer of hit rock act Generation Why is kidnapped, the two rescue him and get him to the concert on time.  And when Beale gets knocked out by an adoring fan, Bart and Jenni step in, use their superspeed to learn to play the instruments, and put on a great concert.  In the aftermath, though, Jenni heads to Central City to return to the future, and a saddened Bart writes her a letter and embeds it in a wall to create a time capsule just for her.


Mark Waid (Writer) • Humberto Ramos (Penciller) • Wayne Faucher (Inker) • Chris Eliopolous (Letterer) • Tom McCraw (Colorist) • Ali Morales (Assistant Editor) • Brian Augustyn (Editor) • Humberto Ramos / Wayne Faucher (Cover)


Date of Change Content of Change
Format correction
Tracking updates from Impulse #21
Tracking updates from Impulse #51
Tracking updates from Impulse #62-63
Tracking update from Impulse #53
Added Appearance Counts and Notes items pertaining to them
Notes update to 17-18

Character and Object Tracking



Previous Appearance

Next Appearance


XS (Jenni Ognats) Appears between 11:2 and 113 of The Flash #112
Impulse (Bart Allen) Appears between 11:2 and 113 of The Flash #112
Flash III (Wally West) No appearance; mention only
John Fox No appearance; mention only
Max Mercury (Max Crandall) The Flash #112 Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #21


Savitar No appearance; mention only No appearance; mention only
One-shot or Untracked Villains:
     Helen Claiborne’s ex-husband
     Generation Why’s ex-promoter
     thugs (2)

Supporting Characters

Lonnie Beale None None to date
Principal Randy Sheridan Previous Legion appearance:
     Impulse #10 (dialogue only)
None in Legion books
Iris Allen No appearance; mention only
Dr. Helen Claiborne Previous Legion appearance:
     Impulse #9
Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #62
Carol Bucklen Previous Legion appearance:
     Impulse #9
Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #53
Preston (last name unknown) Previous Legion appearance:
     Impulse #9
Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #51
One-shot or Untracked Characters:
     unnamed Lonnie Beale groupies (2)
     Elvis Presley
     Cookie Monster
     numerous unnamed fans of Generation Why
     Principal Farquhar (from Homewood High)
     unnamed members of Generation Why (2)
     Tweety Bird


Manchester Junior High None in Legion books Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #51
Max Crandall’s home, Manchester The Flash #111 Next Legion appearance:
     Impulse #21
Rock and Roll Music Museum, Memphis None None to date
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
     principal’s officer, Manchester Junior High
     television room at Max Crandall’s house
     living room at Helen Claiborne’s house
     Bart’s bedroom at Max Crandall’s house
     Hotel Manchester
     gymnasium, Manchester Junior High


Jenni’s saxophone None Legionnaires #77
One-shot or Untracked Items:
     Buzz Bin (magazine)
     The Late Show with David Letterman
     video game system and assorted video games, including Chaotix and Mall Crawlers
     assorted musical instruments
     Durlan fleeglehorp (musical instrument)

Analysis Notes

Cover Rock ’n’ Roll High School is a 1979 movie largely focussing on The Ramones.  Given the characters’ ages, this should have been titled “Rock and Roll Junior High School!”
XS can be seen under Impulse’s leg, below the Pepsi can.
General The events of this issue take place after the funeral of Johnny Quick in The Flash #112, but prior to the scenes there where Jenni uses the Cosmic Treadmill, during the “day or two” that elapses between 11:2 and 11:3.
1:Credits Sonic Youth is a popular rock band.
This has to be the worst credits lettering ever.
2:1-2 This is Randy Sheridan, principal of Manchester Junior High.
3-4 Bart and Jenni are able to impart some of their superspeed to the video game system, allowing it to run at speeds completely beyond its design parameters (500 GHz, anyone?).  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a speed aura, so the cartridges melt down.
4:5 Jenni is Bart’s only real peer, being another timelost speedster.
5:1 “The King” is Elvis, who was something of a porker in his later years.
There is no listing for this museum on the Internet, so it was probably made up for this story.
5:3 With her speed, Jenni might be able to simulate three hands.
6:3 As will be revealed later, Helen is actually Max’s daughter, abandoned when his last time jump took him away.
7:1 Cookie Monster is the blue character on the poster.  Nothing else in the room is especially notable.
7:2 Max is making an “OK” sign, encouraging Jenni to play along.
7:3 The upper bunk’s bedsheets have the Star Wars logo on them.
8:1 “Generation Why” is a play on Generation X, and more specifically, on the age group about ten years younger, sometimes dubbed “Generation Y” (because “Y” comes after “X”).
8:2 Despite the similarity in looks, that is not Carol in the lower right corner; she is still outside.
9:1 The word “look” got dropped from Jenni’s word balloon.
The logo on the white sweatshirt is for the rock act Van Halen.
9:2 The girl and boy are Bart’s friends Carol and Preston.
9:3 Note that Jenni has her flight ring back.
10:5 This counts as a panel appearance for Impulse (but not for XS, since her colors are not represented in the blur).
12:2 Thought icons count as speaking for Impulse.
13:1-2 Jenni is using the flight ring here.
13:3 “Not so fast.”  Heh.
14:1-2 These count as appearances for both Impulse and XS, but not Lonnie Beale.
15:4 Blue Tweety Birds?  If DC wasn’t owned by the same people who own Tweety, you could make an argument for the color being to avoid trademark infringement, but that shouldn’t be an issue here.  (Especially after having Cookie Monster earlier in the issue.)
17-18 The note sequences on these pages presumably come from real songs.  (I’m not going to bother trying to identify them.)
Bart and Jenni are doing the same thing they did with the video games: learning by trial and error.  Don’t even try to figure out the physics of such, though: if the air molecules were sped up enough to carry the sound at a rate fast enough for the speedsters to hear and react to in order to enable the speed learning, it isn’t clear what (if anything) the audience might have heard.
19:3 Again, counts as an appearance for Impulse, but not XS because her colors are missing.
20:6 Jenni had probably already made arrangements with John Fox to use the Cosmic Treadmill, as seen in The Flash #112.
20:6, 21:1 These count as panel appearances for XS.
21:5-22 These captions and the letter count as dialogue for Impulse.
22 Wow.  Powerful page.
Jenni will recover this saxophone (and presumably the letter) in the 30th century.  She plays it at the end of Legionnaires #77.

Appearance Counts

Character Name


Panels / Speaking

XS (Jenni Ognats) X 52 / 28
Impulse (Bart Allen) X 67 / 35
Max Mercury (Max Crandall)   7 / 2
Supporting Characters
Lonnie Beale   17 / 7
Principal Randy Sheridan   13 / 11
Dr. Helen Claiborne   5 / 5
Carol Bucklen   6 / 2
Preston Lindsay
6 / 2