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Friday, July 29, 2011

Young Justice #1 - April 2011

"Haunted" by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Mike Norton.

It's Young Justice Friday!

by Shrine Correspondent Andy Luckett

Issue 1, "Haunted", is written by Art Baltazar and Franco, the same Eisner Award-winning team that handles the writing and art on the delightful Tiny Titans comics. The art for Young Justice, however, is handled by Mike Norton, who I was not familiar with before starting this series. While clearly not intended to be as light-hearted or humorous as Tiny Titans, the creative team sets out with this issue to capture the flavor of the show.

Our story begins from Superboy's perspective, as he and the rest of the team are introduced to Miss Martian in their new headquarters at Happy Harbor:
As you might imagine, this plays out much as the parallel scene on the show (although I can't be quite sure if the dialogue exactly matches the televised version). From here though, the story seeks to find a narrative that fills in the cracks of what took place next on the show. After the rest of the team leaves, Superboy and Miss Martian are left to explore the compound and, more importantly, claim their rooms:
Miss Martian can't decide, but Superboy finds a smaller space that feels more comfortable than the wider living spaces, a nice personality nod owing to the fact that he's spent most of his existence in a tube:
Miss Martian soon leaves in the company of her Uncle J'onn, causing Superboy to roam the lonely halls. After a brief chat with Red Tornado about the League's beginnings, Superboy lets both his feet and mind wander, until he begins to hear strange noises. Investigating, he finds a scruffy, clearly upset young man:
Frustratingly, the intruder (who calls himself Snapper Carr) shouts cryptic things and disappears. When he reappears, shouting many of the same lines, he and Superboy are shot by tranquilizer darts:
Snapper collapses, but of course Superboy doesn't succumb. However, a quick blow to the back of the head puts our Super-clone on his knees momentarily, where he looks up to see:
Aw, crap.

Not a lot happens in this issue, but it is a decent setup for an ongoing series, and it features an intriguing mystery at the end. Superboy, as written on the show and here, isn't the most interesting protagonist. He's almost a blank slate, and his sour disposition doesn't breed sympathy. However, in this case, where the reader doesn't understand what's happening with the appearance of Snapper Carr and the Joker, his confusion is relatable and appropriate. So with this story it works to a degree.

One interesting wrinkle is the design of the Joker, who comes off looking a little like a character from Reservoir Dogs if they shopped at Hot Topic and listened to My Chemical Romance. It's not bad, and I kinda like the idea, but it's certainly not iconic. It's definitely creepy though.

As far as the rest, it's laying the groundwork for what's to come. Little details like Superboy's desire for confined spaces are nice touches, and those little details are handled well both here and on the show. So overall, a decent start. Some necessary setup, but with a mystery that makes me want to read the next issue. We'll see where it goes from here!


David J. Cutler said...

Hmm... Snapper Carr was in the most recent episode of Young Justice, and this wasn't him. He was a high school teacher. Really pokes a few holes in the "between the scenes" approach this show has been taking. Still some nice stuff, though.

Wings1295 said...

Interesting. I might look into picking this up!