Title: Impulse
Issue: #16
Story: "Running from the Past"
Writer: Mark Waid
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Wane Faychner

My Comments
Waid is awesome. I've always been a fan of his work on the Flash and the JLA Year 1. But Impulse, just keeps you waiting for next issue. The pencils and ink of Ramos and Faychner are amazing. I've falling in love with the some of the early issue covers of Impulse. This was a great story, and really starts to bring a lot of threads together from the earlier stories.

4 outta 5 stars

Story Summary (Spoilers)

We pick up from the end events of Issue 15, and a quick recap of the events up to this point. Bart and Max moved to Manchester, Alabama, so Max could have a better place to teach Bart the arts of Super-Speed. Hoping Bart would meet some friends his own age, it seemed as if Max had found a friend of his own. Dr. Helen Claiborne found that she had an attraction to Max, but hey every advance was almost ignored by Max. No one knew why, until the events of issue 15. Bart and Max caught Helen's ex-husband in an abusive rampage, until Max and Bart intervened, with Max revealing that Helen is his daughter.

We pick up from the recap with Max, stuttering that he just wanted to make sure that she was ok, and from there, leaving Helen's house at Super-Speed, leaving Bart to answer a lot of questions. Helen trying to get a handle on the situation and Bart confused, gave Helen some answers that she may not have needed, including accidentally revealing his and Max's superhero identities.

At Super-speed, Max had time to think out his problems. Where shown a story from Max's past. We come to the year 1948. After saving the town on Manchester from the poison bombs of Dr. Morlo, Max Mercury collapsed and was found and brought to the home of Dr. David and Laura Claiborne. After 9 weeks of sleep, Max awoke, to meet his saviors, who in turned thanked him for saving there town. David was the only doctor in the town, and in some ways valued his job over his wife. Finding a companion in Max, they soon found each other discussing the stars, Max's adventures in the "Old West," his time jumps and lastly the romance between David and Laura. Max soon found that it was almost a marriage without love.

Returning to Helen's house, Bart and her have a conversation, about her past marriage, and why her ex-husband is abusive. Explaining that he's not part of a life that she is proud of, that she's stayed away, but the issue of why he physically hurts her, would be a conversation for another day.

Back to Max's story. We return to see Max and David having a conversation, of fishing, how to bait lures, his strained relationship with Laura, and his career. David explained that she knew the risks of marrying him. Later that night, as David was away on a house call, Laura found Max on top of the roof, looking at the stars. Realizing how lonely they were for each other, Laura and Max spent the night together, only to be discovered by David. Wanting to escape the hurt he'd caused, Max ran, and entered the Speed Force, only to be bounced to the present era. Now, in the present, Max was running again, to escape the hurt he'd caused. As he began to enter the time jump, Impulse managed to catch up to him, and stop Max. Telling Max of how bad he screwed up, and convinced himself that he had let there "secret." Impulse, decided he'd take responsibility for anything by messed up, only to have Max, want to talk to Helen.

Max explained to Helen about her experience with her mother, and wanting to find her, and finding out he had a daughter. Max also went on to tell her about relocating to Manchester with Bart, and that he wanted to be close enough to watch out over her. After Helen's words of Max not understanding her pain. As Max was leaving, Helen revealed to him, that he was, "her mother's smile." It seems that David, left Laura when Helen was a baby, and no matter how much Helen begged, Laura never dated again. But, some of those special times, when Helen and Laura would sit and look at the sky, Laura never revealed what it was, but Max was her smile. Were left this issue, as Bart, from the tree across the street, sits and watches, as Max and Helen stand together, and check out the stars.