Jinny Hex has a problem: She’s in Metropolis, hoping to find Superman in a quest to solve the mystery of What’s In Her Truck. Problem is, she’s just been pulled over, and an over-anxious police officer is rightfully concerned about Jinny’s guns. To make matters worse, the Twelve Kingdoms of Gemworld chose that moment to attack the earth. They want Superman, too, but they’ll have to settle for the hastily assembled Young Justice team!
Young Justice is the first installment of the Wonder Comics imprint that DC has spear-headed, all under the careful watch of super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis (Every Comic Ever Written). Wonder Comics is meant for a younger audience, with upcoming titles including Teen Lantern, Wonder Twins, and the relaunch of ’80s fave Dial H for Hero. With that ambitious of a project, DC needs a big, flashy launch. Does Young Justice deliver?
First off, Bendis’ dialogue is fun. He writes the kids well, especially Impulse. It feels like Bendis mainlined an entire bag of Skittles before settling in on Bart’s dialogue, which really helps bring him off of the page. Jinny Hex is overflowing with gee-wiz small-town kid in the big city earnestness, and Teen Lantern has a fun introduction. The citizens of Metropolis have a lot of “been there, done that” attitude about yet another invasion. There are a few areas, especially with the Gemworld invaders, that it’s really hard to follow what’s going on between the words and the action.
The art from Patrick Gleason (Superman, Action Comics) moves the story along at a brisk pace, and it’s wonderful to see an illustrator draw kids like kids; too many times in comics kids (especially girls) are drawn as tiny adults, and that’s definitely not the case here. Jinny, Tim, and Cassie are clearly teenagers, and Bart is definitely much younger. Alejandro Sanchez’ colors are big, punchy, and bright, and complement the art wonderfully.
If the intent behind Wonder Comics is to get teens interested in comics, Young Justice does the job amiably, especially for late grade-schoolers and middle school aged kids. It’s a lot of fun, and while issue #1 does hit a couple of rough patches, we’re looking forward to seeing what Young Justice has in store!
Summary: Written by: Brian Michael Bendis; Pencils and Inks: Patrick Gleason; Colors: Alejandro Sanchez; Cover: Jamal Campbell, Patrick Gleason, Alejandro Sanchez; Associate Editor: Jessica Chen; Editors: Mike Cotton, Andy Khouri; Publisher: DC; Pages: 38; Release Date: January 9, 2019; Price: $4.99