Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review: Young Justice #15

With no Supergirl book being on the stands and Amethyst just a mini-series, I have been picking my brain over what book I should review on this site next.

Young Justice it is! It has a Superboy in it, keeping with the super-focus of this place. And it also has young, optimistic heroes in it, something I love. So here we are.

Young Justice #15 came out last week and continued a current theme I am seeing in DC books, the acknowledgment by characters that their reality has been disturbed, rebooted, and reimagined. This time, the focus is on Conner Kent, the new/old/new Superboy of the DCU and how he came back to reality.

Brian Michael Bendis already showed us the aftermath of this issue in Action Comics when Conner met the Kents. Now we get the lead into that encounter and the wrap up of his return to Earth here. While Conner is the focus of the bulk of this issue, Bendis and co-writer David Walker also makes this group of Young Heroes an official entity with a roster and everything. That made me happy.

The art is by John Timms and Scott Godlewski. Both shine. Timms style is a perfect fit for the book, just stylized enough to bring a sort of energy to the proceedings, as he did over on Harley Quinn.

And I have to love the 'sort of homage' to Superman #15, the first part of The Truth. After all, this book is about Superboy's truth.

On to the book.

Last issue, Superboy had been brought back from Skataris and was confronting S.T.A.R. Labs evil Dr. Glory.

It looks like he might lose his cool and do something violent to her he might regret when the rest of Young Justice step in and tell him to cool off. I think its cute that it's Cassie who has him in the headlock, holding him back.

That's a pretty big group, even larger than the original team we got in the first arc.

The question is are they allowed to do this, break into the secret  S.T.A.R. Labs base and grab Glory.

As everyone hugs Conner and says how happy they are that he is back, Glory tries to open a portal and slink off unnoticed.

One of the perks of having a super-speedster around is things happen fast. Impulse tackles her. But then Arrowette shoots her with a taser arrow on top of it.

I truly laughed when Arrowette says she let it fly before she knew Impulse had her, letting us know even she knows it looked gratuitously violent.

Any time a comic can make me laugh or smile, it is doing its job.

Glory might be captured but it doesn't explain what happened to Conner.

But then Bart is able to shed some light.

He didn't time travel. But he sort of Speed Force hopped looking at the universe around him.

Once more, Bendis uses words that comic readers understand but he has comic characters say them. Bart saw time shifts and reboots. The universe and its continuity have been rewritten. 'Normal people' won't notice but superheroes will.

And he did.

Amazing. Even the characters within DC are confused right now about DC continuity.

As for Conner, S.T.A.R. Labs sent him to Gemworld.

While he was there, the universe was rebooted. Bart uses the word Crisis, once more using comic reader jargon.

And with Conner not actually in the universe, it rebooted without him.

Nice simple splash page here of Conner in the void.

Bart and everyone of them have these vague notions of the prior universe, the prior Young Justice, the 'classic' Young Justice of the late 90s. (Hard to believe that book is over 20 years old now!)

Aqualad sums it up nicely. This is a lot.

So here is the deal. I like continuity. But I get you can't have teenagers have 20 years of continuity and still be teenagers. But characters grow. And the universe has been rebuilt several times since then. But I like continuity.


I am glad that we are seeing some of these classic renditions brought back.

The FBI arrive to cart off Dr. Glory. But they also wonder if the team is allowed to be there.

Thankfully, Zan pulls off a tremendous bluff, saying the team is a sanctioned offshoot of the JLA.

Sure sounds official. It is only after the FBI leaves that we learn he was bluffing! He fooled even me!

I wish I could share the whole page that these panels above are on because it encapsulates some of the joy of this book. These are young, eager heroes who enjoy each other's company.

Drake says they should become a legitimate team. Everyone wonders if the roster is too big. I mean look at that opening splash page. We are talking Legion size!

But it doesn't have to be OFFICIAL official. They don't need standing meetings. They just know they are there to help each other. Awww, and Steph and Tim are back together!!!

I love me some Steph Brown!

And with a promise that Zan will do what it takes to make them official, the members all take off.

Ahhh ... but a nice hook.

Superboy knows there is more to Bart's story. What is he hiding?

Great expressive work by Godlewski here as you feel Bart's 'caught with his hand in the cookie jar' guilt.

After all, didn't the universe also sort of forget about Bart too?

So overall, a nice wrap-up to this arc of the book. We have a team. I hope we have some core members. And now we have universal mysteries!

Overall grade: B+


Steve said...

Since Williamson's joyless writing doesn't appear to be getting around to the Impulse story he threatened us with, I'm guessing Bendis's plan is Bart did go in the Speed Force, learned this, couldn't get out due to Doctor Manhattan, was freed as he saw, and no one he loves knows who he is either...

Anonymous said...

I love this book.

This is the last issue for the foreseeable future that Timms will have a hand in. I see from the solicitations of #16-#18 that Scott Godlewski is taking over, and Michael Oeming is also slated to draw part of #18.

Timms's style is pretty unique and his are large shoes to fill. But I didn't think I'd be happy when Timms took the book over from Gleason, and that worked out fine. And I came to prefer Sami Basri's clean and beautifully expressive work on Harley Quinn. So - we'll see.

As for crises and reboots, this title started with an invasion from Gemworld because they had figured out that every time there was a Crisis here, their world was deeply affected too. They blamed it all on Superman (which would sort of tie in to Doomsday Clock).

Doesn't every universe in the multiverse reboot simultaneously? So Gemworld has been getting rebooted too. (At one time I think it was located at the center of the earth.) And therefore it seems to me this must be a rebooted Superboy. But that's not to say a particular rebooted Superboy can't remember this universe. Each universe reboots in its own way.

The brain freezes when thinking about it too hard. But I think Bendis's solution is a creative one, better than many he might have come up with, so I'm quite satisfied with it.