The GeeksverseYoung Justice Comics Retrospective

Young Justice Comics Retrospective
Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by

I have yet to watch the cartoon that this comic supports, but the character of Artemis seemed interesting, so I picked up Young Justice #7-10 to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that several issues are penned by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles). Below I will discuss several issues of the comic, including the introduction of Artemis, but I wanted to point out that I have yet to watch the TV show. I am judging the comics on their own merit.

Young Justice is an American animated television series created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti for Cartoon Network, not as an adaptation of Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck’s Young Justice comic series, but rather an adaptation of the entire DC Universe with a focus on young superheroes. The series follows the lives of teenaged heroes and sidekicks who are members of a fictional covert operation team called Young Justice, essentially a young counterpart to the celebrity-level famous adult team, the Justice League. This is a variation on Teen Titans with a modified line up and modified story line.

Although, I know very little about that. Admittedly, I see Young Justice as a young team book with a nice cartoony visual style that is part of the DC Kids lineup. The DC Kids line up is fairly sparse compared to the regular line. Young Justice joins Batman: Brave and Bold, Tiny Titans, Ben 10, and a few other titles. Most of the DC Kids line is connected to ongoing cartoon series.

The Young Justice comic-book will be part of a sampler that DC will be putting out for the 2010 Free Comic Book Day.

Young Justice appeared once again in 2011 at local comic shops. The cover looked familiar to the astute FCBD shoppers. Compare them closely and it becomes readily apparent that the teens bursting onto the scene is reminiscent of so many other busting out covers…particularly the 2010 FCBD cover.

Young Justice #0 was written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps, with art by Mike Norton based on the upcoming hit animated show from Warner Bros. debuting on Cartoon Network! Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Aqualad star in this explosive issue kickstarting an all-new ongoing series! They’re four young superheroes learning how to be a team…and maybe doing a bit of growing up along the way – but only just a little bit! Animation writers Greg Wiesman (The Batman, Gargoyles) and Kevin Hopps (Spectacular Spider-Man, Smurfs) join fan-favorite artist Mike Norton (BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM) for this exciting new, all-ages title! 32 pg, FC Cover price $2.99.

Art Baltazar penned the first six issues of the series before Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps took over as regular writers with the 7th issue. Christopher Jones took over the art with Mike Norton working on covers.

The first five issues focused on team building. The first “mission” didn’t occur until the fifth issue despite the adventures and bonding that had already occurred.

Issue #7 focuses on Artemis.

Written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps Art and cover by Christopher Jones When night descends on Gotham City, Artemis takes to the streets. Prowling the rooftops and the alleyways for the first time, this teen archer has a choice to make: Will she fight on the side of the angels or follow a darker path? 32 pg, FC, Cover price $2.99.

Artemis is introduced over 2 issues. Issue #7 is focused on the melodramatic monologue of Artemis. She is a teen waiting for something to happen. Her mother arrives from prison, by bus, in a wheel chair, and finds a less than warm reception at home. The father and mother seem to both be criminals, and that the mother took a fall for the family. Artemis in her bedroom only occupies on of the two twin beds leaving a mystery as to where the missing sister is. Is the other daughter dead? arrested? run-away? The lack of specifics about the family can be frustrating but leaves room for anything to happen in the future.

The art is fun. Issue #7 has nice montages of action. The frustrated daughter of criminals takes to the streets to fight crime as her way of rebelling. Trained to be a criminal, Artemis uses her powers for good. On patrol Artemis finds a larger battle than she expects at the end of the issue.

Young Justice #8

Written by GREG WEISMAN and KEVIN HOPPS Art by CHRISTOPHER JONES and DAN DAVIS Cover by CHRISTOPHER JONES Can someone with Artemis’ pedigree really be a hero? A close encounter when the team takes action against the deadly android Amazo may give her the chance to prove herself – if she can survive the onslaught of Professor Ivo’s malevolent MONQIs! Cover price $2.99.

Issue #8 opens with the renewal that Artemis is attracted to the muscular youth in a tight black t-shirt.

Issue #8 has plenty of Artemis fighting robotic monkeys, or MonQIs. Professor Ivo is a person that Artemis knows is bad because of her father, but she does not know who he is. It is interesting that the official blurb (above) mentions Amazo, Professor Ivo, and MONQIs, since Artemis does not know who they are the audience is never fully introduced either. The point of view is squarely from Artemis’s monologue and she does not have names that she does not know. She is still a street level hero sneaking out of her Gotham bedroom, until she is recruited for Young Justice.

Artemis willingly joins the team of “teens like her.” However, she is unwilling to reveal her parents, so she strikes a deal to lie to her new team mates. Again, this is a neat story element that should have ramifications later. It also provides Green Arrow fodder for a joke about secret identities and blond archers. Artemis is being presented as a niece of the emerald archer despite her true origins. That is fairly complicated for a “kids” comic but it works. This book is trying to be a kid friendly all-ages book, and the Artemis back story is a nice balancing point.

Young Justice #9

Written by Greg Weismann and Kevin Hopps Art by Christopher Jones and Dan Davis Cover by CHRISTOPHER JONES The team is taking Espionage 101 from Captain Atom. Their class project is to solve a cold case that involves a forty-year-old murder mystery, a military conspiracy and a half-decent chance that none of them will come out alive. On sale OCTOBER 19, 2011, 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E Cover price $2.99.

The team, and the new team mate Artemis, assembles to help with a cold case. The young crew is brought into a historic mystery which is a nice way to bring the new modern group into a historical setting. Under the shiny cover is a mystery issue being solved by the budding young detectives.

Issue #10

Captain Atom’s cold-case assignment is definitely heating up: The true killer has resurfaced to target anyone who might expose the truth about the murder of General Lemar back in 1968 – and that includes each and every member of the Team! Cover price $2.99.

Action fighting and fun.

The art for the comic has a cartoony edge that works. Much like Howard’s cartoony work on Astounding Wolfman, this is a title where the cartoony look does not intrude. Since this product is tied to the cartoon it seems fitting. The action is neat without needing gore which must be a challenge for the artists involved. It seems it would be easier for Christopher Jones just slash and bleed a few characters to make things easier, but instead relies on placement and paneling to heighten the action.

Artemis, who is thus far my favorite character, has more development in the cartoon, according to the online buzz. While the show has mixed reviews and the toys suck, the comic stands on a decent start. I’ll check out the cartoon to be sure, which has a DVD offering out now, but thus far the comic seems to be a fun all-ages read.

Issue #11 & 12 turns its attention to Robin and a return to Gotham City for a face off with Clayface. It is worth checking out. The next issues would be a good jumping in point.

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