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‘Young Justice #2’ (review)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by Patrick Gleason,
and Emanuela Lupacchino

Published by DC Comics

Deal with it Grandpa.”

Any good student of mythology will tell you that when a member of the Greek pantheon assumes corporeal form and descends from Olympus to the mortal realms of humankind, it generally means… trouble.

That’s especially true of the male gods.

Hermes, Apollo, Zeus… particularly Zeus.

That guy creates all kinds of havok, particularly if he wants something from you.

Particularly if you’re a young woman.

Mind you, Cassie Sandsmark’s not exactly known for high marks in school, and there’s not much indication that having a famous archaeologist for a mother – one who knows a little something about just what sort of trouble the Greek gods are known for getting up to – has done her much good in that department.

Well, aside from the obvious.

Still, it looks like maybe Cassie’s learned some life lessons of her own by this point in the game, and it’s a clever bit of plotting by Brian Bendis to have her test some of that newfound maturity against one of the most archetypal figures of bull-headed male domination you could think of: Almighty Zeus himself.

It’s a welcome scene just two issues in to this extra-new Young Justice series, and not just because it happens mid-air over the Jacksonville bridge just moments after Wonder Girl delivers a beat down on one of the Justice League’s strongest opponents. (With visuals courtesy of the fine storytelling chops of guest artist Emanuela Lupacchino, too!)

Because with all the revisionist DC history of the last decade, one that’s really put our young Ms. Sandsmark through the mill, it’s good to have some indication of just where Cassie stands with her lineage these days, and good also to see that the version of Wonder Girl we have with us now, is one who comes to us with, it seems, a fine bit of tempering. A bit more than steel in that mettle, if you will.

One that’s pretty darn fitting for the ‘Future of the pantheon of the gods’.

No pressure, girl.

Mind you, it may take some doing for Cassie (and us) to come back around to a full understanding of this part of her life. But it can wait. Cassie’s got enough to deal with, between landing in Gemworld with a bunch of strangers, the return of a certain Boy Wonder into her life, and the imminent reunion of a certain other someone, very soon, that is bound to make things… interesting.

I mean if she can hold her ground against Almighty Zeus, I have to say… I already feel a little badly for the boys. (Or, y’know, not.)

At any rate, a little backstory is good, even if it takes up half the book. We need more. And I’m happy to say it looks like we’re slated to get exactly that next issue…

In the meantime, things are shaping up on Gemworld, and Brian Bendis and Patrick Gleason waste no time getting our team into more of their own trouble.

I continue to believe this will be one of the better projects Mr. Michael Bendis has been involved in for a while. (Saying something, I know.) But the demands of a team book, and the awareness that he’s writing for kids (i.e. all of us), means that his penchant for dialogue should be nicely balanced against his equally capable penchant for giving us big colorful moments – whether that involves Bart running headlong into his old friend Conner Kent on a mysterious alien world, or Robin charging in to save the day on the back of a great armored Battle Unicorn Pegasus. As one does.

Wedged in the cracks, is just enough time to give the new members of our cast a chance to make their introductions. And speaking of girl-power, we’ve got more than a little of it queuing up for the ride. Good to see that, between them all, they’ve got no shortage of brass.

Though Teen Lantern, despite her evident chutzpah, does seem a bit curiously… shy.

And while that’s never been Amethyst’s style, it does appear she’s gone through the same sort of hard-edged changes that have transformed her home-world into a dark and ominous hell-hole. Thankfully, her instincts in battle appear to be just as good as her taste in new friends.

And Jinny. Well, it looks like Jinny may have just gone and gotten herself in way over her head. (Again, I’m guessing.) But that’s, for sure, nothing that she’ll ever let on to.

Good thing she’s still got her guns.

And her truck.

Next Issue: Queen of Amethyst… Knight of Diamond.



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