Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 Review

 


Writer: Meghan Fitzmartin
Art team: Laura Braga, Luis Guerrero, and Pat Brosseau
Release Date: 6/21/22
Price: $3.99
Reviewed by: Jon Wayne

Full disclosure: Young Justice is my favorite team in all of comics. I grew up on Geoff Johns' Teen Titans run with that cast of characters, and apart from the awfulness of the Bendis era, I genuinely have a great time when all of these characters come together regardless of the context. While I’m sure to give Fitzmartin more leeway than most simply because this is my favorite team, I’ll do my best to be a comic reviewer first and a fan of this team second. Spoilers lay ahead!

Our story picks up at the funeral for the Justice League, and I do take issue with a few things right off the bat. This narration for Cassie is silly and also somewhat disrespectful in my opinion. She talks about being alone while being surrounded by hundreds of others feeling the exact same way - that’s the silly part - and then gives readers the most generic possible summaries of who Conner Kent, Tim Drake, and Bart Allen really are - that’s the disrespectful part. Fitzmartin simplifies each of them down to their most basic levels: “Conner wasn’t just cool, he was the symbol of cool,” “Tim is so good as Robin, he’ll never grow out of it,” “It’d be mean to call Bart a f*ckup, but let's be honest: Bart is a f*ckup.” This oversimplification of my favorite characters chagrined me off the bat.



Later in the same sequence, Cassie alludes to when Conner had died during Infinite Crisis and the aftermath when Tim and Cassie shared a kiss while grieving Conner’s death. Cassie speaks as if this is a big secret that’s been kept hidden between the three of them for years when in actuality the three of them hashed it out right after Conner came back to life in Final Crisis. That happened in a beautiful miniseries called The Boy of Steel, by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul. With the central placement of this plot point in this opening sequence, I’m now deeply worried that Fitzmartin is planning to retcon that iconic miniseries with whatever she’s got planned, and I’m highly suspicious of that.



Then we cut to everyone hating on everyone for a while. We see Cassie upset with Cissie King, formerly known as Arrowette, for not texting back, while Bart, Conner, and Tim compete over who can be the bigger asshole to their friends. Cassie even tells Cissie that she wishes half of her friends had stayed dead. What the actual f*ck? Even jokingly I struggle to see Cassie say anything like that. That’s some top-level character assassination work.

And then? The boys disappear. Without a trace. In front of a room with other heroes in it as well. Off into their own dreamlike states a la what the Justice League will be experiencing throughout Dark Crisis. Or are they? That is what I thought was coming, but I admit to being pleasantly surprised at the twist that it's time travel. Each wakes up as if they’re in the 90s again because it appears that events such as Death of Superman have recently taken place, but just as the team reunites and begins putting clues together, they get an alert to go off and save the day. It’s odd that they just jump away to answer the call given that whatever random mission in the past pales in comparison to getting back to reality… but I guess maybe that’s part of the mystery moving forward? There are no hints indicating that to me.



This mission again turns out to be some time-looping shenanigans throwing them into a past mission from the early days of Young Justice fighting against the Mighty Endowed. Meanwhile, Cassie is asking everyone for help in finding her friends, but everyone from Dick to Wally to Jon is clueless as well. We get some action sequences of the boys fighting Mighty Endowed, but apart from Cassie moping around all across town before deciding to save her friends herself, there’s not much else to this issue. Art was solid throughout but did not stand out enough to outweigh a lacking story here.
Bits and Pieces:

I came into this book really wanting to like it, and yet a few pages in, I was upset. These characters have all grown a fair amount since the 90s, but this book wants readers to think of them as they were back then. Fitzmartin also tries to do some kind of meta-commentary on how Young Justice is the generation of legacy heroes most often forgotten about, which is a notion I agree with, but she doesn’t deliver on it in any way whatsoever this issue. She’s got 5 more to make some sense out of the pieces she’s playing with, and I’ll keep an open mind whenever my favorite team is in play, but my optimism has been significantly tempered.

6/10

1 comment:

  1. "What the actual f*ck?" That was LITERALLY my reaction when I read this and on a comic website and almost everyone agreed with it. Honestly, to me it sounds pretty sociopathic. No sane person would react like that in that particular setting, Fitzmartin has some issues. You are more than generous with the rating, this was character assassination for Cassie and the whole issue makes fun of Conner, Bart, Tim, it makes Wally look like a douche and it makes all the heroes look like idiots. If I were someone at DC, I would kill this book right now, just say it was a one-shot, whatever, and be done with it. I get that you're a fan of YJ and while I also liked the show in its first two seasons and I like this iteration of the Titans because of Johns' run (probably my favorite after Wolfman's), if someone did something like this with my favorite team, I would be even more upset because it tarnished these characters. 2 for 2, Dark Crisis is a disappointment so far.

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