Monday, November 9, 2020

Review: Young Justice #20

Young Justice #20 came out this last week, the last issue of this title which I am very sad to see end,  I have enjoyed almost every book under the Wonder Comic imprint but this book, to me, had the most promise.  There were old school characters - Superboy, Robin, Wonder Girl, Spoiler,  and Impulse. There was a reimagined Amethyst and Wonder Twins. And there were new characters - Teen Lantern, Jinny Hex, and Naomi. They each had unique personalities. There were mysteries and back stories. And most importantly there was chemistry. This book crackled.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis brought a lot of fun and snark and witty repartee to the proceedings all while dancing around the main mystery ... how did the main characters exist when the countless recent reboots seemed to erase them. I loved every issue of this series even when I wished the underlying plot would move along quicker.

And now, before we even get to answer to the mystery, the book is ending. DC is purging and cancelling in rapid fire. We have another '2 months off' event after Dark Metal finally rusts and crumbles away. And who knows what the future holds? 

In the end, like many books, I have to just be thankful I got what I got and return to it when I can.

The art in this issue is by Scotty Godlewski and his style (like cover artist John Timms) is perfect for the book. I love his take on these characters.

On to this series' finale, chock full of goodness.

The issue is a sort of spotlight on Teen Lantern, much like we have had issues devoted to the other characters. We start out with Lantern fighting someone off when the alien tech she has goes on the fritz.

I love the rip in the mask, showing the eye, a very Spidey look.

And I love this recap of her origin where she says no one got a weapon from a dying alien and became a hero, knowing full well that is Hal's origin. Hilarious.

Before we see who she is fighting, we dial back the clock 30 minutes. The original YJ show the newbies their old/new headquarters, the classic JLA mountain headquarters in Happy Harbor RI. 

The newbies are tickled at the idea.

But it is Robin's voicing that back in the day it was theirs ... whatever day that was, that grabbed me.

When was there a YJ in Happy Harbor in the current DC continuity? Does it even matter?

And I have to say, I love seeing Tim Drake back in his Robin duds.

Inside the headquarters, the team comes across a deactivated Red Tornado. Now old timers like me remember Reddy being the mentor and teacher to the team. So this was a nice call back.

But it is the banter I love. Bendis has such a way with dialogue. 

So hearing them tease Teen Lantern for being a big Red Tornado fan is funny. And for a Philip K. Dick fan like me, a whole riff on 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' is worth the cover price.

Then Reddy activates and doesn't recognize the heroes and attacks to defend the base.

One by one the heroes go down.

Again, it is the moments within the scenes that elevate.

Like Naomi coming out with a cool battle line only to miss with her right cross. Yes, that would've been so cool if it landed.

Finally, ironically, it is Teen Lantern, the Red Tornado fan, who blasts him to bits.

It is the umpteenth time I have seen Reddy broken apart.

The attack alerts Jon Stewart who comes to investigate.

He tries to take her tech away but she refuses to give it up. 

It is almost sweet how she says that whatever the alien was saying to her in the indecipherable tongue, she interpreted it as a call to be a hero.

That's the way it was back in the day! Ray Palmer can shrink? He'll help humanity. Hal gets a ring? He'll help humanity.

So why not have someone called to do something noble in these cynical times.

She pleads with Jon. After all, hasn't he ever experienced something where he suddenly felt like he had a purpose?

The answer is that of course he has, when he got his ring.

You see it in his face that he recognizes that sentiment.

Nice expressive work throughout by Godlewski. 

And then all the other heroes basically tell Jon to take off. They won't let him take their friends Green Lantern tech. They stand up to him for her. 

We even get a nice team shot of the entire Young Justice.

There are so many of my favorites here! Why does this title need to end?

Teen Lantern feels that support. 

This is a team. This is family. They'll be there for each other. 

What is on the other side of the upcoming Future State crossover event. Will there be a reboot? Will this team still exist? Will we see them together? Is part of the new universe an explanation of all these remnant continuities suddenly co-existing? Will Wonder Comics still exist?

I guess the whole point of back issues is knowing I can revisit these books. But really what I want to read is what comes next! It is the stories I won't read that I'm missing.

Thanks to all involved. Let's hope we see this team again ... somewhere ...

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

Amen to that, Anj. Lovely review. This has been a lovely diversion these past two years and I hope it isn’t the last we seen of YJ.

As they’d say in the Seventies - Never... the end”.

kenkraly2004 said...

Tried to like the series but for me the original Young Justice comic I liked better. Bendis DC stuff has been hit and miss for me.

Steve said...

Did we ever find out why this book was cancelled?

William Ashley Vaughan said...

One thing I've liked about this book in the last four issues is the fact that Landry Walker of Supergirl: Adventures in the 8th Grade fame has been the co-writer. He has obviously taken a hand in the dialogue which has been more individualized lately. I wonder if Walker's presence is a sign that Bendis has future plans for Supergirl.

Martin Gray said...

Different fella, William, this is David F Walker, co-writer of Naomi. If you have Marvel Unlimited and want something festive next month, try his Power Man and Iron Fist Sweet Christmas special from 2017, it’s terrific.

Anonymous said...

Man I love this book so much. It was everything I was hoping Teen Titans would be from New 52 to Rebirth. I'm glad someone finally got it right. It's really sad to see this one ending, but maybe it'll be back. If not I guess we can just be happy it didnt stay around long enough for DC to ruin it.