Best comics you’ve never heard of: Young Justice

Hopefully, as a fan you saw the (brilliant) cartoon series that aired last year with the same name. That title, however, started with a little series from the mid-90’s starring some heroes that were too young for the Teen Titans. The book beautifully showcased what it was like being not only a legacy character, but in some cases, a third generation legacy character. We got to watch these kids grow up on the pages. And we were the lucky ones for getting that opportunity.

It started with just three buddies; the third Robin, Tim Drake, Superboy and Impulse. They already hung out so it makes sense they started an impromptu team. The three of them make a fun little series with some good, enjoyable issues. When the series really kicks in could be titled “The One Where the Girls Show Up.” Wonder Girl and Arrowette join the fray as does a violent new villain Harm. Harm’s introduction really changes the direction of the book. He shows there is a very dark lining to the bright fun we’ve been seeing so far. Not everything is going to be jokes and smiles. While this team definitely bonds quickly there are going to be hardships that only they can get through together. Over the course of the series we get new characters, menaces and big storylines. The series ended when the team “graduated” to Teen Titans, leaving this wonderful series behind.

“Young Justice” is the brainchild of one of the most revered and prolific comic writers of all time, Peter David. He’s responsible for many series and is known for sticking with a book for a long time, giving him freedom to set up many long form storylines. Series like “the Incredible Hulk,” “X-Factor,” and “Supergirl” are just a few that he stayed with and crafted perfect super hero. With YJ he really seemed to have fun and wanted to share that with us. These characters and their youth are the big selling point of the book and it’s fantastic to watch them mature (or attempt to) over time. Launched with artist Todd Nauck he had a perfect cartoony look to fit with the tone. In this world of “dark everything” a book like this is rare to find. An in continuity book that literally all-ages can enjoy is like the unicorn among horses. Tough to spot but when you do you don’t want to let it go.

 

Jo