The GeeksverseYoung Justice #20-23

Young Justice #20-23
Published on Friday, September 28, 2012 by

Young Justice is one of the best gateway comics for new readers from DC Comics chiefly because it is tied to the DC Nation cartoons. Young Justice has great continuity for comic fans and non-comic fans. This is one of the titles I look forward to every month.

Continuity is king in these Young Justice comics. Each issue fits in between the cartoon episodes. Issue #20 brings the comic into line with the second season of the cartoon.

Young Justice #21


• Aliens have arrived on Earth-16!

• Superboy and four Justice Leaguers have been abducted!

• Metropolis is in danger!

• Enter: BRAINIAC!

In the first season of Young Justice the comic and the cartoon the youth had very little oversight from the Justice League. The League would show up occasionally, and they were constantly under the tutelage of a League assigned baby sitter but for the most part the team was on its own until they were assigned a mission. Young Justice was like the Marv Wolfman era Teen Titans in that respect. In order to let the side kicks leave behind the shadows that reared them they need time to be their own heroes.

Season 2 of the show quickly used the threat of invasion as a reason to remove the core adult counterparts leaving a smaller League keeping an eye on more proven older young heroes. The five year time jump set that up beautifully and kept several mysteries hanging over the season like the connection to Black Manta and the connection to the missing memories of the Justice League.

Young Justice #22


• The Invasion continues!

• Earth’s greatest heroes are kidnapped by Kylstar!

• Brainiac has Metropolis under glass and Lex Luthor’s secret weapon is on the loose!

Brianiac is a big threat to help the teens prove themselves. This is again a fresh set of faces against the new global threats. The second season of the show, and now the comic, allowed the core team to age as they could–Superboy can’t age–but it also brought in new younger characters.

Continuity is king. One of the new heroes to join Young Justice is Gar, Beast Boy, one of the younger acting members of the team. Gar is connected to an episode in season one and Miss Martian. In season 1 it was revealed that Miss Martian was hooked on a tv show which is where her annoying catch phrase.  When that reality came about it was in an episode where only Miss Martian could save a young life. The end result is another impulshish team member replacing Wally as the joke heavy wild card on the team.


Young Justice #23

• Batgirl takes on Match—alone!

• Alpha Squad infiltrates Brainiac’s ship as it hovers above Metropolis!

• Superboy and the Justice League battle their captor, Kylstar!

No one on the team feels as out of place as Super Boy a Cadmus clone rescued and recruited in the pilot episode. This season the audience discovered that Super Boy does not age. So he is stuck in time as the rest of the team moves on. To make matters worse he has not been fully accepted by the non-father man of steel that is his closest relative and obvious mentor.

Issue #20 showed a small connection between the two Kryptonians. It is about time for the man of steel to finally give the young man a chance.

Although the complexity of why Superman has not embraced the potentially corrupted duplicate is a nice complexity for the all ages show.

All ages is not a descriptor that helps comics fly off of the comic shop shelves. Given that a generation of adult readers was raised on gritty comics with high body counts and blood bathing the pages, it is not surprising that comics still have those traits. The descriptor “all ages” seems to mean “kids comics” to many non-buyers. Sure, that is sometimes the case like the Superman Family Adventures title, but it doesn’t have to be. All ages can mean ALL ages. Robert Kirkman’s Super Dino attempted to be an all ages book and works fairly well, but Young Justice has truly created a book for every generation.

Fight scenes may not drip with blood but they don’t settle problems with strange contests instead of fist-to-cuffs.

Both Young Justice and Green Lantern are great shows and comics for younger fans but they are also suitable for adult readers. Young Justice is taking on villains new and old. Green Lantern is exploring the comic world after the war of the rings.

Complex characterization is part of that successful all ages appeal. Super Boy and Superman’s relationship is as complex as it gets. How would you handle a clone that was created for unknown reasons? Could you trust him?

If that isn’t enough character complexity then Miss Martian’s seeming insanity should. She is very willing to do what she feels must be done including destroying a character’s mind. She is also hiding her own secrets and odd misconnections to her “uncle.”

Then there is the entire Speedy/Red Arrow story. Artemis’ back story connecting her to two different series villains. Aqualad/Black Mantis and on and on.This show is much more than a kids show and the comic follows suit despite the all ages appeal.

This is what comics should be doing routinely. Sadly, it is one of only a handful of examples that create gateways for new readers while appreciating and respecting long time fans of the universe.

December when issue #23 hits the shelves may finish the year for the comic, but hopefully we are a long way from the end of either of these stories. I’m hoping for a long run of show and comics to continue delivering good things after another.

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