I do love a good multiversal romp. It seems Brian Bendis does too, because that’s what we get in the latest Young Justice.
Tossed into the inter dimensional ether by uppity Gemworld aristos, Robin, Wonder Girl, Teen Lantern, Superboy, Impulse, Jinny Hex and Amethyst flit from Earth to Earth, hoping each time that their next leap will be the leap home.
So they go from Earth 42…
To Earth C (also known as Earth 26)…
… and Earth 22 (aka Earth 96).
That’s quite the ride. And it’s only the start, with the cliffhanger promising the next Earth won’t be one to which the ever-enthusiastic Impulse wants to emigrate. As for the issue at hand, while the chubby chibi Little League are cute, they don’t excite me as much as do the Zoo Crew – they’ve made a few cameos over the past few years, but I’d really love to see them in their own story again, even if just for one issue (creators Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! could do a lot in one issue). What a shame we didn’t see a race between Bart and super-turtle Fastback. I don’t recall the Multiverse Mallet previously, but with Pig Iron around, it really is a case of ‘he who smelt it, dealt it’.
The first page set on the Kingdom Come world has me scratching my head – anyone understand the random kids’ dialogue?
Once the senior Justice League and Justice Society show up, things get really intense, and super fun.
Dr Fate tries to send the members of Young Justice home, but it seems his spelling is a lot better than his maths.
Bendis does a terrific job of showing the reactions of the kids to their rollercoaster ride of realities, from the aforementioned overexcited Bart Allen to Jinny and Teen Lantern’s hysteria. Particularly interesting is Conner’s refusal to engage with Captain Carrot and co, given he spent several issues of his Nineties book traversing Hypertime. (And will he recall that he met another female descendant of Jonah Hex, a supermodel gunslinger possessed by the Old West bounty hunter, in his Hawaii days?)
And I love Tim Drake’s method of working out what Earth they’re on.
As an Old Fart Fanboy, this issue is a joy, having fun with the Multiverse as we get closer to learning the secrets of Young Justice – why the original team members forgot one another. Was it Dr Manhattan’s multiversal meddling – see Doomsday Clock – or someone else?
The big surprise is Dr Fate – who knew he graduated from Vaudeville?
The art is a treat. John Timms draws most of the book, especially shining on the Kingdom Come pages, such as the Dr Fate one above, with its panel-to-panel progression from hope to horror, and I adore the infinite earths background. He gives us echoes of Kingdom Come artist Alex Ross but doesn’t go so ultra-realistic that Alan Scott and friends jar when set beside Bart and team. Also lending their talent are Teen Titans Go! art director Dan Hipp, on the Little League pages, and David Lafuente on the Zoo Crew vignette. Hipp colours his pages but the rest of the issue is handled by the ever-excellent Gabe Eltaeb, while letterer Wes Abbott does his typically fine job on every page. The only blip comes in this panel…
Purple? Presumably it was meant to tone with Pig Iron. Well, that’s my comic reading experience ruined!
Kidding. Obviously. Please tell me it’s obvious…
Another standout page is the recap, fashioned by Timm, Eltaeb and Abbott in storybook style – the did something similar last time and I love it – I’ve never been a fan of superhero prose (>ahem< Fury of Firestorm Annual #2) but I’d happily read a whole issue that looked like this.
But my favourite sequence in the whole issue?
Now that’s the super-spirit.
Timms and Eltaeb’s cover is also seriously attractive – I hope this team sticks around.
So, which Earth would you like to see Young Justice visit?