Young Justice #6
Writer: Brian Micheal Bendis
Artist: John Timms
Young Justice #6 concludes the first arc of the new relaunch. Our heroes are together again for the first time, and it feels sweet. Like most Bendis books, this issue lives and breathes due to its dialogue, character-work, and art. Admittedly though, I feel the book will be much better off when this Gemworld story is over.
The main draw of this book is, obviously, the reuniting of the old Young Justice team. It’s the scenes with those characters that make it work, and this issue has a lot of that going for it. Previous issues often had the team split and divided the focus. This one puts the team together and keeps them there. The banter between them is on point, snapping between heartwarming and comedic on a dime. Bendis strikes the balance well and retains the heart of the characters. However, his original characters are still lacking a bit. They get plenty more screen time this go around, but they’re still very much underdeveloped. I don’t hate the idea of them at all, but they need more time and effort put into them.
I don’t envy John Timms as the new regular artist, as following up Patrick Gleason would be a challenge for anyone. Luckily, he doesn’t commit the cardinal sin of attempting to ape Gleason’s style. Instead, he’s distinctly doing John Timms while keeping the energetic vibe from before alive.
While almost every character is consistent in their appearance, Bart occasionally stands out as inconsistent. One page, in particular, has him as the tallest one of the bunch, despite the rest of the issue portraying him as very short. After looking at the page for a while, it does just seem to be a shift in perspective, but it’s not overly clear at first. Overall though, Timms does a very good job on pencils. There’s an action sequence involving Connor taking action against a large foe that’s just gorgeous to look at. Timms’ action is where he shines, so hopefully we get to see more of that in upcoming issues.
As good as the character-work and art are, this Gemworld story isn’t really working for me. Any time the characters begin to discuss the magic of Gemworld or its politics, it loses me. It’s just not what we’re here for, and it serves only to distract from the reason we’re all reading in the first place. Specifically, the villain, Opal, come across as bland and forgettable. While he was mentioned multiple times leading up to his appearance, I genuinely couldn’t remember if he had appeared before or not. Once he showed up in this one, it didn’t jog my memory. He made zero impact. He’s truly just something for the team to punch. Nothing more, nothing less.
Young Justice #6 excels in its portrayal of its large cast of beloved characters. Bendis and Timms make a great team and are only held back by a lackluster Gemworld plot. Even still, it’s salvaged by a touching Superboy story, effective art, and a compelling group dynamic.
Young Justice #6 excels in its portrayal of its large cast of beloved characters. Bendis and Timms make a great team, and are only held back by a lackluster Gemworld plot. Even still, it’s salvaged by a touching Superboy story, effective art, and a compelling group dynamic.