REVIEW: Young Justice #11-16

Young Justice #11-16 and it’s just one more bulk Young Justice review to catch us up, I promise! There are some Superboy spoilers ahead so if you haven’t read YJ #1-10, go ahead and do that before you read further. Or, y’know, don’t. Your choice.

So, from here on out, it FINALLY feels like Young Justice is back together! Through the previous ten issues, it’s been about assembling the team and getting back to something resembling a status quo. Now, we’re almost there! These events pick up immediately after Action Comics #1015-#1016 (which takes place directly after Naomi Season 1), so be sure to check those out too, because they tie in! 

Young Justice is back from their Multiversal travels and stumble into Naomi, who after meeting Superman and Batman is trying to sort out her powers with STAR Labs. However, as we’ve learned from previous issues of Young Justice (and Bendis’ Superman series for that matter), STAR Labs isn’t the upstanding institution it used to be. Something Superboy knows all too well, as we’ve found out in previous issues STAR Labs was the reason Superboy disappeared pre-flashpoint!

Superboy races off to confront Dr. Glory alone and finds himself sent to another place yet again. Dr. Glory is the lead villain at STAR. I hesitate to say “another Earth,” because as we should all know from DC Comics lore, the realm known as SKARTARIS actually exists inside the core of Earth proper! 

That’s right, Superboy goes off on an adventure with Warlord, just like Superman in the recent Trinity series. But for me, that wasn’t the highlight of these issues. The highlight for me was the return of a classic Young Justice character who hasn’t been seen in costume since the original YJ series, Arrowette! In the original series, Arrowette was one of the more fleshed out characters in the original series, bringing several major plot points to the team through her character. It is so good to see her back in her stealth/dark costume no less!

But the new team members don’t stop there, Bendis brings in EVERY main character from his Wonder Comics imprint to be a part of everything, as well as Spoiler, Aqualad and Sidewayz. I don’t know if I like the team staying that big just yet, but it was cool to see everyone meet and come together to fight STAR Labs and save Superboy.

It’s here that Bendis starts really diving into the continuity issues which is greatly received, explaining why all the team members don’t remember their time together in the original series. We also get to see a sweet flashback panel of the entire original team, including characters that haven’t yet seen a comic page since the original series cancellation. To me this was a beautiful homage to what once was.

Issue #16, dives into Bart Allen specifically and how he made the transition directly from pre-flashpoint to post-flashpoint without being affected or changed. The last time we saw Bart pre-flashpoint, he was in his own mini-series as Kid Flash. Where in this, he makes the transition as Impulse. Maybe they’ll explain it later? We can only hope so!

There’s a point in Young Justice #11-16 where Superboy comes full circle in his maturity growth process and closes a thread that’s been dangling for a while now. He started as a care-free Peter Pan type who didn’t think things through, he then evolved into a brooding moody teen, and has now emerged as a well balanced grown up individual. He attributes this to his friends in Young Justice, but it was a great moment that could slip by you if you aren’t familiar with these character’s histories.

John Timms continues to slay as the main artist for Young Justice #11-16. Michael Avon Oeming steps in as a guest artist for the Warlord sections, using a more cartoony almost Mignola-ish style. And Mike Grell, the original writer/artist of Warlord saunters in to do some new sweeping Warlord flashback pages which are very cool!

As for the covers, Issue 11 has a great cover by Timms depicting the team, now including Naomi in a Star Wars poster style “Mountain of People,” with Wondergirl and Naomi in action poses. This cover is very cool. I myself picked up the variant by Nick Bradshaw and Alex Sinclair, which features the team in various poses with Naomi front and center. I really love this cover, it really benefits from Sinclair’s incredibly vibrant colours which really make the cover pop.

The main cover for issue #12 is once again by interior artist John Timms and features a cool shot in the middle of pitched battle, which perfectly showcases Amethyst. I really like it, there is action with every glance you take and the more you look at it, the more detail you notice. I LOVE the variant cover by Bradshaw and Sinclair, picturing the team fallen onto of each other in an embarrassing heap. Personally I think it’s totally frame-worthy.

Issue #13 features another cover by John Timms and I have to say this one’s a treat for Warlord fans. It perfectly depicts a Superboy/Warlord hybrid emerging from the shadows in Skartaris. Mike Grell (again, the original Warlord Artist) provides us with a spectacular variant cover which depicts Warlord as well as the entire main YJ roster in his classic style! This is glorious and I love the concept of it all.

Issue 14’s cover by John Timms had me at hello. Arrowette and Spoiler front and centre. And oh yeah, those other guys. Bonus points because they brought back the original Young Justice logo to use on the cover’s teaser text! As for the variant cover, a very very very very cool cover by David Lafuente. His art style reminds me of Ed McGuiness’ early Superman days, which is NOT a bad thing at all. It feels mixed with a isometric/orthographic view video game, but that’s a really cool effect. He depicts the team running/flying together in profile and I love it.

John Timms’ cover for Issue #15 is all about The Boy of Steel, looking and posing much like he did in his early appearances. It’s a nice callback featuring some really great art and detail. I particularly love the pop-art themed background, it really allows Conner to take centre stage. And for the variant cover we have a movie poster worthy cover with Teen Lantern as the focus. This cover is by Ben Caldwell and I really dig his style.

The cover for issue #16’s is once again by John Timms is something I would have given my left arm to see during the DC dark years (2011-2016). It’s a crazy kaleidoscope of Bart Allen, promising answers of his mysterious return! It is simply gorgeous, I adore the colours, the detail, well to be honest everything about it! The variant is another fun stylized cover by David Lafuente, showing the team hanging out eating Pizza. I really love these slice of life covers, it really adds to the characters’ personality.

Like I’ve said before, Young Justice #11-16 have been a joy to read. This week we sadly got the news that the series had been cancelled and will end on Issue #20 which is a huge shame. We can however enjoy what we have left to review!

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