[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason & John Timms
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez & Alex Sinclair
Letters: Wes Abbott
How will our heroes escape being held prisoner by Lord Opal of Gemworld? Perhaps it’s time for Bart and Connor to come to the rescue! Meanwhile, its time to find out more about Princess Amethyst and her role in Gemworld. She isn’t exactly treated as royalty like you’d expect.
Young Justice is an expansive narrative of adventure, youth, and magical kingdoms that never ceases to excite! As Bendis returns with another large creative team of Patrick Gleason, John Timms, Alejandro Sanchez, Alex Sinclair, and Wes Abbott, this first arc of Young Justice continues to be a character, art, and world building showcase that will grow to reach every corner of the DC Universe.
The story begins with high spirits despite our young heroes being in a bit of a bind. This is clearly a series fueled by optimism and running on all cylinders. The reader is confronted with two conflicting tones, the dark and grim setting of Castle Opal casting a dark shadow over the lighthearted and nonchalant dialogue to reveal the shining light of hope that this young team can represent for the DC Universe. The series has not really had a regular letterer, but that hasn’t stopped each one from making an impact. This issue is extremely dense, but Abbott is able to seamlessly integrate the word balloons into the story through careful placement.
Most of the team is trapped within Castle Opal, which gives the reader a great opportunity to learn about Gemworld. Despite being the primary location of the last four issues, Gemworld is going to be fairly obscure for the average DC reader. We’re taken back to a council meeting filled with political intrigue and dubious leaders who may not be serving their people’s best interests. It appears to be Amethyst and Turquoise are set against Ruby and Opal with the other kingdoms reluctant to get involved. Amethyst has to stand up and make her force heard for just to raise attention to the issue of a possible genocide, and even then many of the kingdoms just sit there complacently. It’s exactly the political commentary that needs to be made and its down so in an intelligent way for a young team book like this.
Young Justice #4 is finally when the whole team comes together, complete with a group hug and all. Amethyst’s backstory is revealed and we are slowly getting a good look at how each member can contribute to this team without having to compromise who they are. It’s a wild ride that exudes energy in each and every page. Bendis, Gleason, Timms, Sanchez, Sinclair, and Abbott only ask that you embark on the ride with them.
The flashback that occurred after the team was saved by Connor and Bart seemed a bit out of place. The inclusion of two separate flashbacks for the same character made the narrative a bit choppy, and the ending was a bit hard to follow. Some slight reshuffling might have done the story a lot of good.
Young Justice #4 continues to be an energetic breath of fresh air to the DC universe that brings together some of our favorite young heroes, old and new in an epic, magical adventure.