Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review: Young Justice #19

Sometimes life happens.

And so I am writing my review of Young Justice #19 nearly a week after it came out.

We know that Young Justice #20 is the last issue of the series and so this issue feels like writer Brian Michael Bendis shining the spotlight on Wonder Girl in an effort to tell her story while he has time. Certainly the plot that runs through this story is quick paced, almost rushed. This would have been a fine 3 issue mini-arc. 

And I think it is a shame because I feel like this was a nice appetizer to Cassie picking up the 'team leader' responsibilities. But with one issue left, I don't think we'll get to see much of it.

The art is by Scott Godlewski who has grown in my mind. This is a bombastic issue filled with double page spreads and splashes and insane action with a couple of more human interactions sprinkled in. His style brings a sort of freshness to the proceedings. These are young adults who look like young adults. And John Timms cover is a great shot of Wonder Girl.

On to the book.

We start with a recap splash page. 

The Young Justice group is still dealing with being back in the main DCU. Where were they? What were they doing? How do they reacclimate.

Wonder Girl was part of the Pantheon but has decided to stick around Earth and forge her own path.

Nice image here.

But returning to Earth isn't that easy for Cassie. She can't just pick up where she left off.

She doesn't have a job.

They might be young adults. But they are adults. If you don't show up to your job, you don't have a job.

I do like how this boss tells Cassie she was impressed with her. But maybe it is time to grow up.

Outside, Cassie runs into Zeus (clothed in a mortal form). 

The two bristle. 

I am pretty happy with how Cassie stands up to Zeus. She lets him know that she doesn't want to be part of his world. She doesn't understand him. She isn't like him.

Defying Zeus. Strong. But maybe foolish?

Sure enough, a huge monster, Briareus, breaks through the street.

Is this a test by Zeus? A sigh of his displeasure with Cassie?

Nice double page splash here.

It is interesting that when Cassie jumps into battle a Harpe Sword manifests in her hand. With such a weapon, she easily kills this thing.

So, if Zeus is unhappy, why give her the weapon she needs to vanquish this thing? Or is this a test within a test?

Nice action shot.

But it is all too convenient. Cassie knows she is being played.

I really like Cassie here. She is quite mature but not stiff. Teen Lantern and Naomi are young. Conner and Bart can be sophomoric. Tim is all business. Jinnie is brash. But Cassie is .... well ... human.

She talks to her friends about how she can't get behind Zeus. He wants to control her. And she wants to be herself.

Ahhh ... but one more wrinkle.

It wasn't Zeus who sent the Briareus. It was Poseidon who wanted to embarrass Zeus. 

And now he decides attacking Cassie outright makes sense.

But between the Young Justice troops and the Harpe Sword, Poseidon knows he is outclassed and quickly leaves.

Huh ... Cassie is pretty bad ass too. She stares down to senior members of the Pantheon in this issue.

Zeus returns, pleased with Cassie, and asks her to re-join.

But now the answer is much more definitive.

She has her own pantheon. She chooses another path.

I love this panel. That is t-shirt worthy.

And it is clear, symbolically from this panel, that Cassie is the leader here. She's in front.

This would have been a fine image to end the book on.

But it gets better. 

Zeus indeed leaves.

And we get these silent panels. Yes, she is crying. She has fought with her family and broken away from them. That is sad.

But she is also happy. She is free to do what she wants. There is a look of determination here ... and pride. She made a tough decision. But it is the right one.

Perfect ending.

I am sad to see this book end. I am sad that this story was done in one (I know ... I am never happy). But I am glad to see this growth in Cassie. This is a nice showcase story for her.

Overall grade: B+


Bostondreams said...

I really would love it if they would restore the relationship between Wonder Woman and the Wonder Girls a little more than they have. You have so many in the Bat Family; why can't we see more of the Wonder Family?

Martin Gray said...

I enjoyed this one, even though it’s part of the Young Justice problem - too much set-up and showcasing and explaining, and not enough stories of Young Justice as a team, showing why they deserve a place at the DC atop table.

I feel I’ve read this story at least a couple of times previously, in Wonder Woman and mini-series and showcases, but this is my favourite version. I really hope Cassie gets a new home when this book ends. I love Bendis’ version - she’s not Franklin Richards in a skirt, she’s not a sex kitten, she’s Wonder Girl!

Anonymous said...

For now, we have an Elseworld Cassie in the "DCeased: Hope at World's End" digital, and 5 years older in "DCeased: Dead Planet" where she goes by Wonder Woman.

Young Justice started with her and I thought Bendis was going to make her story a bigger part. Her "arc" such as it is does come to a positive conclusion with that final smile through tears - but will there be long-term ramifications for her? Maybe we'll find out some day.

If Jinny Hex can get a one-shot, and Amethyst got a mini-series, Wonder Girl can get a feature too. Cassie even had her own mini-series a number of years ago.

One more issue to go.


William Ashley Vaughan said...

Godlewski is a shining new talent. His storytelling is stunning. I would love to see him and Bendis do a Supergirl comic.