Young Justice #1 // Review
The iconic quartet of Robin, Impulse, Superboy, and Wonder Girl are reunited in Young Justice #1, alongside newcomers Teen Lantern, Jinny Hex, and Sword of Sorcery heroine, Amethyst of Gemworld. Therein, 90’s DC continuity is returned to canon, courtesy of writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Patrick Gleason, and colorist Alejandro Sanchez.
Marking the first release under DC’s new all-ages imprint, Wonder Comics, the issue opens with an attack on Metropolis from armies of Gemworld. They seek Superman after revealing that seven Crises that have affected Earth have also brought ills to their world. New-to-town Jinny Hex is the first protagonist the reader encounters, and is quickly joined by Tim Drake, who has returned to his original moniker, dropping the “Red” previously attached to Robin. Several other heroes appear to combat the Gemworld invaders, and events lead to the burgeoning team being transported to various parts of Gemworld by issue’s end.
The allure of Bendis’s writing is found in his subtlety. At face value, this inaugural issue presents a very straight-forward story; invaders from another realm attack a major city, and heroes gather to combat them. In many ways, it’s a lot like the plot to the first Avengers film. The interpersonal dialogue between the known characters, however, reveals much. Impulse, for example, who has previously only appeared in one panel post-Flashpoint, and has not gone under the guise of Impulse since 2003, is revealed to be friends with Robin, which is significant, as Robin’s recognition of Impulse symbolizes awareness of his history Pre-Flashpoint; something which was shown specifically to have not been the case when he last appeared during James Tynion IV’s legendary recent run on Detective Comics. Beyond these subtle connections, Bendis is able to create intrigue through the construction of minor mysteries throughout the issue, such as the details regarding Earth’s seven Crises, the history of Gemworld’s plight, and the origins of Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern.
Patrick Gleason’s animated, energetic illustrations are wonderfully engaging, with his varied choices in page layout and panel design being eclectically inspired. Alejandro Sanchez’s color work is electrifyingly prismatic, playing well in conjunction to Gleason’s heavy lines and emphasis on shadow work, resulting in a bold, dynamic finished product that accentuates action in creatively exciting ways.
A welcome return home for fans of the original team,Young Justice #1 provides much appreciated fan service to long-time readers, while revitalizing the franchise with new characters, mysteries, and a fun, vibrant energy. Young Justice #1 marks a phenomenal series start which will please fans both old and young.