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‘Young Justice #1’ (review)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis 
Illustrated by Patrick Gleason 
Published by DC Comics


“Who am I talking to exactly?”
“Can you guys hear me?”

Yes, we can Bart. Yes, we can.

Hey, hey – the kids are back. Bigger than life, and ready to save the day.

Haven’t you heard?

There’s a secret in the DCU. It’s dangerous. And it’s big. As big as it gets. Written on a cosmic map of time and space. A history of seven crises. With earth, and earth’s superheroes, at the very center of it all.

But this Schroedinger’s cat has been getting out of the bag lately. The walls are breaking down. And not everyone’s very happy about it.

We’re going to need our best and our brightest. All our favorite heroes at their best.

Enter Wonder Comics, DC’s newest imprint, with an answer to that call. And a return of one of the fan fave super-teams of all time – the late, the great, the ever-lamented, Young Justice.

Like they never left at all.

Leading the revival of this much-anticipated project is Brian Bendis, who takes on his first team book in the DC Universe with Young Justice #1 this week. I wasn’t sure just what we’d get from him with a title specifically being targeted at a younger audience market, but I’m happy to say that once again the man does not disappoint.

Just look at that cover.

There’s Impulse! Newly returned to us, straight out of the Speed Force, in the pages of The Flash.

And Superboy and Robin! Tim Drake, back in the red and gold, seemingly with his memory of Connor Kent fully restored since all of his brushes with Mr. Oz. There’s his old friend right there too, and back in his union suit, himself.

After all you can’t have a Young Justice without Connor Kent.

And there’s Cassie Sandsmark! Looking very retro, I must say. Much more like her original incarnation, and much less like the reckless delinquent-criminal type she was painted to be since the New 52. I mean heck, Whatever Happened to Wonder Girl, anyway?

But who’s the cowgirl with the future tech? And the little Green Lantern girl? No telling, not here, but that tech sure doesn’t look like it’s utilizing an authorized Green Lantern ring. Now how cool would that be?

But wait, hold on, is that other girl, the one with the purple sword… Amethyst? Amethyst of Gemworld? Because if that’s what you were thinking my friend, just like I was thinking, then you would be very right. That is Amethyst – looking rather gloriously Xena-fied to boot.

In fact, Gemworld features prominently straight out of the gates of our story arc, and if you’ve ever wondered just where the heck Gemworld has been after all this time, well it turns out the courts of Gemworld very much share in your concern…

It’s a crazy, wild ride of a kick-off, exactly as it should be, and it’s nice to see Bendis has the instincts on this one to understand that. Moreover, it appears he’s seasoned enough as a storyteller to carry it off without missing a beat.

With Patrick Gleason and Alejandro Sanchez on artistic duties we get the visual storytelling to match, in all its kinetic glory. Really, when you’ve got an artist like Gleason with the vision to show us Robin sticking a pole launch from the tip top of a fire hydrant, you just know we’re in good hands.

But it truly is Bendis’ approach that makes this book worth your attention. Taking his cue perhaps from the scale of his undertaking, or the audacity of what is needed to pull it off, or from all the zany meta-consciousness that many of this era’s newest and hottest comics projects benefit from, he’s takes on scripting duties with a light, almost irreverent touch, that throws aside any pretention that a comic book needs to operate by anything other than comic book laws.

How else to explain the wholly unlikely coming together of our super-powered brigade, old friends and brand new allies alike, at just the right time, all in exactly the right place, to take on a threat – in Superman’s home town, no less – just when Big Blue conveniently isn’t anywhere around to put it down.

I guess when you’re genuine, bonafide superheroes, like this crew, that’s just another day in Metropolis.

I mean maybe Bart knows, sort of, maybe, if you can ever pin him down – he came along pretty much out of nowhere, and doesn’t seem at all surprised. And he certainly is chatty. But let’s let Bart be Bart – I’m sure Mr. Bendis has all the explanations we need waiting for us in the issues ahead. That’s how these things work.

In the meantime, who cares? We’re back in action baby.

Young Justice Forever.

Everything old is new again.

And it looks like it’s gonna be a blast.

Next Issue: Toto, we ain’t in Kansas anymore..



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