I want to start this review off by letting you guys know that there will be spoilers!! You have been warned so from here on out I will not be held responsible for your feelings
We are 12 issues into Brian Michael Bendis’ Young Justice run and what have we seen happen so far……. The core heroes, Red Robin, Wonder Girl and Impulse met up coincidently with some new heroes, Teen Lantern and Jinny Hex. They somehow get sent into Gemworld where they meet up with long lost Superboy, Conner Kent and Gem World Princess, Amethyst and they spend the next 5 issues in a crash course into the character’s past. Excited yet… yea me neither. From there they spend their tumbling through the Multiverse meeting Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew and from there meeting what seems like the Kingdom Come Universe’s Superman, Alan Scott Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. After a fun little back and forth our young heroes again get transported to another universe, this time its the Evil Crime Syndicate’s earth. Our heroes join the resistance, lead by Stephanie Brown, tp help them overthrow the evil duo of Luthor-El and Amazon Thunder, sprinkled in this story are the origins of Jinny Hex and Teen Lantern; oh and finally they make their way to their original earth. Ten issues into the story and we’re literally back where we started and honestly with no real direction as to where this story is going. The characters haven’t really grown or developed these issues appear to be a fun adventure and some fan service and easter eggs thrown in.
I’m going to talk about Young Justice #11 and #12 together since they blend into each other. Now that our heroes have made it back to Earth-1, it seems like the perfect time for them to start bonding, evolving and fleshing out their characters but instead, Bendis feels the need to throw yet another new character into the mix…enter Naomi. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. Naomi is awesome and I feel that she would fit perfectly onto this team except for the fact that we still don’t know much about Teen Lantern or Jinny Hex. Bendis literally drops Young Justice into the middle of Star Labs work site where the shady Doctor Glory is trying to “help” Naomi with her new powers but wait it gets weirder. From here we are reminded that Conner has issues with Doctor Glory as her early experiments are what landed him in Gem World many years ago. Instead of waiting for his team to go with him. Conner foolishly goes back alone and is tricked by Doctor Glory back into the Multiverse! Superboy winds up on Skartaris with Warlord and punches a dinosaur. Admittedly that’s really cool but that may have been something to explore in the last 10 issues of multiverse jumping not once they’ve finally made it back home.
Young Justice can’t go to the Justice League for help because they are off-world dealing with a huge threat so instead, we get a team-up between Young Justice and The Wonder Twins. Jan and Jayna are the interns at the Hall of Justice and with the JL on a mission they are Young Justice’s only hope of finding Superboy. They commandeer the invisible jet and make their way to Oregon to the site of Superboy’s disappearance, they find a portal but it’s not Superboy that’s coming through instead, it’s Miguel and Summer the two teens in charge of protecting the H Dial. We have a crossover folks and our heroes will be taking on Star Labs!! You guys excited yet? Me neither. This is so frustrating because I love the characters and I want to know more about what the formation of this super team means. I feel like there is a story in here buried deep beneath the repetitive dialogue and scenes. Bendis is an incredibly gifted writer, he’s written some of my favorite characters, unfortunately, this isn’t his best work.
Let’s get on to what I did like. I love the idea of integrating Gemworld into the DC Universe and the seven crises they mentioned. I would love to go back and explore what those crises are and how they affected Gemworld. I want to see more of Jinny Hex, Naomi and Teen Lantern. Let’s explore team dynamics. How are they an asset and what do they contribute to the team. Let’s get these kids a headquarters and see how as teens, they deal with everyday teen problems. The artwork in all the multiverse hopping issues were spectacular. I really enjoyed seeing Captain Carrot and him referencing Multiversity. I wish Kingdom Come would’ve lasted another issue or two. Maybe tie in a lesson these kids need to learn so they don’t make the same mistakes. There are definitely a lot of fun spots in this series, I just want Bendis to settle on a path and start exploring it. This series has a lot of potential and with Bendis’s past work on young heroes he can definitely course correct and bring out the Gem we are all waiting for.