Young Justice #20 review

It’s their final issue so what better time for the teenage superheroes of the Young Justice league to choose a new headquarters?

Make that ‘an old headquarters’.

It’s the Secret Sanctuary of the original Justice League of America; also, the HQ of Young Justice a multiversal reboot or two ago (as well as the Doom Patrol, Justice Foundation and probably the Zoo Crew).

But while no team is currently occupying the fantastic premises, there is a familiar figure on site.

Red Tornado!

So why is he attacking the team he once watched over as the JLA’s official Young Justice liaison/babysitter? To be honest, the reason is – as we say in the UK – pants. And the fact that not one of the many YJ members suggests they just stop for a sec, as he asks, and try for a conversation is pretty poor on their part.

But, any fight scene that reminds comicdom just his powerful Reddy is, is OK by me. I know people take the Mickey out of the awesome android…

…but imagine the controlled power of a tornado in close quarters. Ally that to a computer brain programmed for super-speed tactics and Reddy is quite the threat.

Writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker begin the book with one member in a particular pickle, and we catch up to that situation after the bulk of the book, the windy war. And then the story, ‘Final Justice’, ends, with the promise of more adventures.

Young Justice #20 is bittersweet, a hugely enjoyable comic book that happens to be the last issue. But, the young league stands – once they pick themselves up after the run-in with Reddy – and friendships have been forged which can be followed up on in any number of DC comics. So I’m not too sad. I’m still grinning at the gags given our young cast by those wags Walker and Bendis. I especially like acknowledgments of the cracked continuities of our heroes.

I’m also smiling at the visuals supplied by artist Scott Godlewski and colourist Gabe Eltaeb. Godlewski’s storytelling is straightforward without coming within a million miles of dull – the ‘camera angles’ are varied, characters bust out of panel borders, the action is fast and furious… it really is time Godlewski was put on a Superman or Justice League book. And if he can bring the always inventive Eltaeb with him, so much the better – this is one vibrant book. There’s personality-filled lettering, too, courtesy of Wes Abbott.

The cover is by series regular John Timms, and it’s another vivacious effort, coloured by Eltaeb. Editing is by Brittany Holzherr and Bixie Mathieu – let’s hope they have another equally good book prepped to take this one’s place on the DC schedule.

I’d love this series to have gone on for longer – heck, we never did catch up with Empress and Secret (L’il Lobo I can live without) – but we’ve had almost two years of non-stop joy from Bendis’s Wonder Comics imprint. I’ll take that. Thanks guys.

6 thoughts on “Young Justice #20 review

  1. This was by far the best issue of the series, though sadly (IMO) that isn’t saying much. Great to see more of a spotlight on Teen Lantern. Great to see Reddy back. This is the first issue of the series that neither the writing nor the art suffered. Wish we had gotten more issues like this.

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    1. I’ve occasionally thought ‘get on with it’ when all the messed-up continuities and character showcases made it seem we’d never get to a big story with a big challenge. And we never did! Still, I’ve had a good time.

      Talking of the art, though, whatever happens to Patrick Gleason? He seemed so excited about this series, but quickly vanished.

      Thank so much for the comments.

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  2. Gleason moved to an exclusive deal with Marvel – sort of. I don’t know what he’s done for most of the past year. As far as I can tell, he drew occasional covers. As of last month, he’s drawing Amazing Spider-Man. (Well, some of it – it’s currently coming out four times a month, and he’s been drawing one.) I’ve wondered if he was dealing with a personal matter all of this time.

    So we still don’t know anything about the stolen GL tech. Oh well. Maybe someday.

    When did Amethyst rejoin the team? Suddenly, she’s just here again. The final issue of her solo mini-series was delayed a few times, from 10/20 to 11/24 to 12/1, so perhaps there was supposed to be a scene in her finale where she rejoins Young Justice.

    I gather Young Justice used to have Secret Team Meetings. Were these as much fun as the Tiny Titans meetings in their treehouse?

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  3. They were! Fewer pizzas, though.

    Of course, that’s where Gleason went! I am such a dope. I remember laughing at how they were calling him a ‘young stallion’ or something. It’s a shame, I love Patrick at DC.

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    1. I just read something in the back of a Marvel this week. So weird. It shows 8 artists, including Gleason, calling them the 2020 Class of Marvel’s Stormbreakers – they describe this as the next generation of elite artists from their Marvel’s Young Guns program, “spotlighting and elevating up and coming artists to showcase their abilities, artwork and prominence.” I like your idea of Young Stallions – I guess you’ve conflated stallions with cowboys and their “guns”!

      But Gleason?! He’s hardly a “young gun.” Comicbookroundup has reviews for his work on 175 issues across 18 series. That’s like 15 years of interior artwork.

      Maybe he’s been doing a lot of covers for Marvel, as the site only lists the interior artists. His only credited work at the roundup is 3 issues in Oct and Nov 2019, and then 3 issues in Oct and Nov 2020, all of it for Amazing Spider-Man.

      Ok, maybe they are “spotlighting” him and this is the only way they have to do it. Or, maybe it’s just that he’s fairly new to Marvel.

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      1. ‘Stormbreakers’. That was it. Ludicrous. They should indeed be promoting Gleason, bragging that they have him, but not by pretending he’s some young talent they’ve discovered. If memory serves, they promoted Humberto Ramos the same way, about 15 years since he started on Impulse. Weird!

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