Friday, September 23, 2011

Young Justice #5 - Aug. 2011

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"What's The Story?" by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Christopher Jones.

It's Young Justice Friday!

by Shrine Correspondent Andy Luckett

Hello again everyone! This issue of Young Justice (entitled "What's the Story?" written by Art Baltazar and Franco, with art by Christopher Jones, taking over for Mike Norton) slows down the action to focus on team bonding, as our young crusaders take a camping trip.

As Kid Flash is sitting around the team's Happy Harbor headquarters one night, bored out of his mind, he spies Miss Martian heading for the kitchen. Being the outgoing guy he is, KF chats her up, hoping to talk her into a one-on-one date. Soon, he suggests sitting outside and looking at the stars, to which Miss Martian responds positively. As expected, Wally (aka Kid Flash) speeds into action, gathering up supplies for the two of them. As he returns, he sees that the group has grown, and that the outing has now become a camping trip in the woods:
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Once in the woods, the group settles into familiar roles: Superboy sits outside the circle, Robin and KF trade verbal barbs, Aqualad sits proudly and quietly, and Miss Martian sits back from the fire, as being a Martian burdens her with a weakness to open flame. The conversation soon drifts to each member's pasts, starting with Aqualad in a beautifully-rendered sequence:
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After Aqualad tells his tale of helping Aquaman and Garth defeat Ocean Master, Wally jumps in with his story of lab accidents and three generations of speedsters. After this, Miss Martian wants to know Robin's story, but is told that he is forbidden by Batman to reveal his identity.
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Since that's a no-go, MM asks Superboy about his thought life; i.e. what he focuses on now that he is out of the Cadmus tube. Superboy shocks the group as he says:
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...to be continued!


I enjoyed this issue's relaxed change of pace. Many times it seems that superhero comics are consumed by forward motion, action, and the next big threat, but many times some of my favorite issues of a series are those where the characters are allowed to breathe and reflect on themselves and others.

In this case, I especially enjoyed that we get to see more of Aqualad's backstory, which I believe was only partially mentioned on the "Downtime" episode of the show. Christopher Jones' art style is not too different from Mike Norton before him, but he does a great job depicting the underwater environment full of coral and fish species. As a side note, I appreciate the slight costume revision that Ocean Master has undergone. It looks like a good template for a live-action adaptation and something that would look decent on a live actor. As a further side note, the Brave and the Bold Ocean Master costume, made up of ocean creatures, is awesome but probably would not work in live action, although it rocks in animation. Anyway, this flashback gives Aqualad a nice heroic centerpiece in this issue.

And of course, the cliffhanger statement of Superboy's at the end does what a good cliffhanger should, and makes me look forward to next issue. Why does he want to destroy Superman; I thought he idolized the Man of Steel. We shall find out next time, so until then, all the best!

1 comment:

Caffeinated Joe said...

So, the history of the DCU in this comic is way different, I take it? Here, it appears that he is the FIRST Aqualad, yes? Looks fun, though, and I totally agree with you that not all comics need to be battle-of-the-week stuff.