The boys (and girls) are back in town! And they just may have brought a long-lost hero back with them! Your Major Spoilers review of Young Justice #1 awaits!
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: DC Lettering
Editor: Mike Cotton & Andy Khouri
Publisher: DC/Wonder Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Previously in Young Justice: When the nightmare dimension known as Gemworld invades Metropolis, these teen heroes reunite to deal with the situation… but they’re shocked to discover the battle may be the key to the return of Conner Kent, a.k.a. Superboy!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN METROPOLIS
Far away, on a ruined Gemworld, an emissary comes to the throne room of the wicked Dark Opal with news: Somehow, the fates of their home have been inextricably tied with the fate of Earth. And every time Earth has a major Crisis, Gemworld suffers also, leading Opal to a terrible decision. At the same time, in Metropolis, a police officer finds a truck parked VERY illegally. When he checks in on the driver, he notices that she has firearms in the vehicle, but before things can get too tense, there’s a massive explosion. He is saved by the strange woman, who declares herself to be Jinny Hex, and starts shooting at the invaders who emerge from the portal (and who, frankly, speak far too conversationally, a common Bendis affliction.) In short order, we find that Tim “Robin” Drake, Cassie “Wonder Girl” Sandsmark and Impulse-who-is-probably-Bart-Allen are also in the city, and all of them take on the Gemworld invasion. Joined by the new Teen Lantern, a situation that Impulse declares to be fate and the foundation of a new Young Justice team. When Opal’s forces retreat, the YJ team follows him through the portal, only to end up on Gemworld in dire straits, where Impulse discovers a resurrected Superboy!
AT LEAST WONDER GIRL FINALLY HAS A DECENT COSTUME
Young Justice #1 doesn’t lack for excitement or explosions, but as a first chapter of an ongoing series, it’s a little more frenetic than I had hoped. Teen Lantern and Ginny arrive and immediately start fighting, and there’s little explanation of how Robin, Impulse and Wonder Girl got here from wherever they were previously. (If memory serves, it was “Excised from continuity”, “Never existed” and “Wearing a terrible shiny costume.”) That’s not necessarily a problem at this stage of the game, but the issue doesn’t really spend a lot of time on any given point, just racing from moment to moment like Impulse himself. I like the reveals on the last couple of pages (Robin ends up in the court of a very angry, very swordy Amethyst and the whole Superboy thing) enough to look past some of it, but I hope the entire series doesn’t take this ‘Damn The Torpedoes!’ approach. On the art side, Patrick Gleason really delivers, not only in the character designs and/or redesigns, but in the creativity of the layouts throughout the book. The reveal of Wonder Girl stands out, as does the lovely double-page spread wherein Bart exclaims “Young Justice is BACK!”
BOTTOM LINE: A LOT OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
On the one hand, I can’t say that this is an entirely satisfying full chapter of comics (especially at this price point), but it does several things well, gives Wonder Girl a much-needed new look and doesn’t skimp on the action, combat and clever banter. Young Justice #1 isn’t that game-changing crazy book that will reinvent the genre, but it is a solid, fast-paced adventures with strong art, a central mystery that I want to see out and only just a SMIDGE too much of Bendis trademark back-and-forth dialogue, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m willing to see this first arc out, though, given BMB’s tendency to write stories that read better when collected.
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Young Justice #1
It's fast-paced and well-drawn, if a little short of plot detail and explanation. I'm interested in seeing through this first arc, though, since Bendis tends to write for the trade.