Young Justice (Cartoon and Comic) Review

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The first thing you need to know about the Young Justice comic, is that it is meant to be read as a sort of tie-in expansion pack of the plot of the new Young Justice cartoon TV program, and should be read in concordance to watching the episodes. Not realizing this, I actually read the comic first. Feeling like I had missed the first chapter of the story, I sat down and hoped that by watching episodes one and two of the cartoon I’d get a better understanding of what I seemed to be missing. It was rather like being left out of an inside joke. Now I get it.

Episodes one and two of the cartoon series, titled Independence Day, chronicles the story of how Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash save the young clone of Superman from his captivity by Project Cadmus, where an army of mind controlling creatures were being assembled. As the young sidekicks fought their way out of Superboy’s prison, they began to bond as a team. Even the Justice League itself had to step back and recognize the quality of their work. But before they could make their decision as to whether or not they would let the young adults operate as a sub-branch of the Justice League, they needed time to think upon the prospect. They needed three days.

That is where the comic comes into play. Without ever explicitly saying it, the Young Justice comic is actually a peak into those three days via the life of Kid Flash and his new house guest, Superboy. The adventure that takes place in this comic isn’t world-rocking. The feel is light and fluffy as Kid Flash and Superboy stop some teen mall thieves who are a bit too powerful for their own good. This subplot is good for anyone who is so into the cartoon that they want to see all the “deleted scenes” as to not miss a beat. Though for the casual viewer, the book is certainly not necessary for enjoyment of the cartoon.

This series is quite reminiscent of the well-loved Teen Titans series that first aired back in 2003. Even the way the characters are animated is similar. Considering the current Young Justice concept seems to be an amalgamation of the previously titled (yet unrelated) Young Justice comic and the Teen Titans comics/tv series, this animation style, as well as the serious (but never too serious) feel makes sense. I was impressed by how well the writing and the visual depiction of the characters flowed from the animated series to the illustrated comic. Writers Kevin Hopps and Greg Weisman and illustrator Mike Norton did a spectacular job blending the two mediums.

Perhaps the premise of the cartoon and comic might be a little juvenile for the majority of our readers on Lytherus. I, personally, love a good cartoon series. I have high hopes that Young Justice will be just that. I highly recommend this series for anyone who has or knows a kid that they would like to introduce to comics. I suppose I am also recommending it for anyone like me, who never really grew up.

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