The team continues their escape from Gemworld and out of the clutches of Lord Opal. Time reflects on his last moments with Stephanie Brown, before all the trouble started.
Three artists on a fifth issue are never a better idea than one consistent artist. For all the groans about late books and pushed back releases, let’s be honest. We read these things either by trade, or arc or in our own time anyway. If we’re getting uneven art for the sake of getting the book out just wait, stop fiddling, or have the book a few issues ahead in the can before an arc shifts to a fill-in or a change in visual style.
This book suffers from not having Patrick Gleason continue his work after the first few issues. Does that mean the artists we get here are bad? No. They’re good.
It’s always good to get Doc Shaner’s art anywhere and his contribution to this book should have #ThrowbackThursday hidden somewhere in the image.
Kris Anka has an eye for capturing character moments and the bulk of this issue away from the action really showcases an artist who knows their angles and frames. It adds to the authenticity of what’s happening between Tim and Steph.
Action wise, John Timms’ art is more towards pin-ups and poses rather than a well-told story visually but considering the target audience for this book that isn’t inappropriate. In fact, it adds to the fun feel this book shoots for and marries up well with the script.
Having said that, the colorists always have the herculean task of saving things and keeping it all strung together and this is consistently a series where the color work takes full advantage of settings and costume designs. Gabe Altaeb’s work pops like it should on a book like this.
Writing-wise, again, it’s another story. Fans of Bendis get Bendis. Don’t look for the rich history of how Bart went from Impulse to Kid Flash and back or how Conner matured into Con-El. The beats of the characters are there without going too in depth. Bendis doesn’t write them like Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, etc, wrote them… Bendis writes them like Bendis. If you’re reading a Bendis book you should understand this going in and you’ll be fine with what he’s doing.
The only letdown is this SHOULD be the flagship book in the Wonder Comics line-up, but it feels like it’s just coasting on its cast already.
If the book focused on “teen superheroes dealing with their personal lives” and minimized the super-heroics right down, this book would really stand apart. It’s in these moments, as with the flashback to Tim and Steph, where Bendis does his best work.
That brings us back to the question of who it’s for. Is it OG YJ fans who are really getting a glimpse of THEIR Young Justice in fits and spurts? Is it the tween demographic who enjoy reading characters their age work out their relationships in relatable ways? Is it a younger demographic who just want costumes and punches by the panel?