Young Justice has had an action-packed, character driven opening arc, and the finale did not fail to deliver. Many of these characters have been gone for years, and a few of them didn’t even exist until a few months ago, but writer Brian Michael Bendis has done an excellent job making their reunion and union feel meaningful. This continues into the last issue of the arc, where Bart is finally, after many attempts, allowed to joyously shout that “Young Justice is back!” The true triumph of this issue isn’t just that Young Justice is back, though. It’s that the reader feels just as elated as Impulse is when he says it.
The issue itself opens immediately after the events of the previous issue, with the first proper introduction of the entire team, including towards each other. Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex properly introduce themselves to the rest of the team, as does Amethyst, and Conner is able to have his proper reunion with the characters he’s been friends with for decades. And finally, after a good wait, Conner finally explains where his wife and child came from. Bendis’s characterization for all of these characters is incredibly strong and distinct, each one acting in a way that makes them memorable and likable. The team as a whole has a strong rapport, and each character bounces off of the others very well.
The plot of the issue wraps up the arc very well, but its true strength is how much future content it sets up. The cliffhanger that the issue ends on is the most evident one, launching the team into the multiverse with no foreseeable way out. In addition, Bendis has very clearly set up future stories with both Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex. Teen Lantern mentions that the Guardians of the Universe haven’t realized that she’s hacked into a power battery, which is just rife with future story potential. In addition, there is a whole treasure trove of legendary artifacts in the trunk of Jinny Hex’s car, each one with the potential to carry its own story. While the focus of this issue is wrapping up the first arc of the book, Bendis is very clearly using it to seed stories for the run far into the future, all of which look incredibly interesting.
John Timms has taken over for Patrick Gleason on art duties full time, and while he isn’t as iconic in style as Gleason, Timms is doing an excellent job following him up. Gleason’s character designs are all delightful and eye-catching, and Timms does a great job depicting the characters with these designs. His eye for body language and expressiveness for each character works wonders, with plenty of silent panels carried entirely by the expressions of the characters. The composition of action scenes is also excellent, with each fight being very easy to follow, especially when they occur in the background of panels. Timms never forgets to depict how each character gets to their position in each panel of an action scene, and it never feels jarring. Eltaeb’s colors complement Timms’ art well, and Wes Abbott’s letters really do a great job adding emotion to the dialogue.
As a whole, this issue is a delightful conclusion to an incredibly unexpected adventure. The team truly feels like a team, and has a very clear reason to stick together after their opening adventure. Bendis, Timms, Eltaeb, and Abbott are all clicking in place, and the future of Young Justice looks incredibly bright — although, maybe not for the team just yet.
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