Title: Young Justice.
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis.
Penciller(s): Patrick Gleason, John Timms, Emanuela Lupacchino, Kris Anka, Viktor Bogdanovic, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ray McCarthy & Jonathan Glapion.
Colourist(s): Alejandro Sanchez, Gabe Eltaeb, Alex Sinclair, Chris Sotomayor & Hi-Fi.
Letterer(s): Josh Reed, Wes Abbott & Carlos M. Mangual.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: October 1st 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
In hopes of extending its reach to a younger audience, DC Entertainment tasks the prolific writer Brian Michael Bendis into launching a brand-new pop-up imprint belonging to DC Comics, allowing him to curate a universe set in the main DC universe, to his taste. With his sight set on teen-oriented content that looks into a specific moment in the life of youngsters where they are in the middle of discovering who they want to be and what they’re willing to fight for, this imprint launched its flagship title Young Justice since January 2019 and adds three more ongoing series, for the time being, including Naomi, Dial H for Hero and Wonder Twins. This imprint thus seeks to both revive existing characters who are currently under-utilized while also introducing all-new content based on existing familiar identities.
What is Young Justice: Gemworld about? When Metropolis is invaded by strange beings from a nightmare dimension known as Gemworld, young heroes find themselves serendipitously united at the heart of the action as they fight off these ill-intentioned villains only to be hurled back into their realm and discover a new reality that might hold the answer to a medley of shocking alternate realities and timelines. As these heroes struggle with their own personal questions about their purpose and destiny in life, they also meet and greet each other, with as many old (Wonder Girl, Impulse, Red Robin and Superboy) and new faces (Amethyst, Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex) amongst them.
Looking to recreate the teen magic he has infused in his past creations with Marvel, notably Miles Morales (Spider-Man) and Riri Williams (Ironheart), Brian Michael Bendis accomplishes something quite special with this exciting new team-up. Although there are far too many heroes to introduce properly in this first volume, they still make a cohesive and entertaining squad with some heroes far more exciting than others, and some who still manage to remain intriguing in their mysterious and shy demeanour. Impulse, the Flash from the future, also particularly steals the show every time he gets the chance with his impulsive—pun very intended—personality and his inability to calm down and take things down a notch. However, some of the villains spawned from the newly-introduced Gemworld universe are a bit unusual and invite a bit of doubt as to their potential, especially the great evil known as Lord Opal.
Although the energy is really fantastic in this new series, especially with the consistent vivid artwork by Patrick Gleason and his colleagues, that allows this first volume to showcase all the colours in the world in a mesmerizing new universe based on gems, it’s the structure of the storytelling that retains this from being closer to perfection. In fact, Brian Michael Bendis utilizes a flashback narrative to tell this story, with each issue jumping back in time—and not even to a particular time period—in order to take a glimpse at some of the dilemmas that each of these young heroes face in their individual lives, from issues with rules and heritage to a desire to embrace a learning curve without any shortcuts and to forget the rules that restrain us to follow what the heart desires. While these sequences are fascinating, an illusion of story progression is conveyed and invites even more confusion as to where things are headed with all the back and forth.
Young Justice: Gemworld is a revitalizing and refreshing new chapter in the youthful and energetic teen squad as they face new forces from unknown dimensions.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
While it isn’t based on any particular comic book series, Young Justice: Outsiders is the third season of the fan-favourite animated series! Have you checked it out yet? A fourth season is already confirmed as well!