Review: DARK CRISIS: YOUNG JUSTICE #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
writer: Meghan Fitzmartin
Artist: Laura Braga
Colors: Luis Guerrero
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1: Crises have always had devastating impacts on the generation of heroes that make up Young Justice, and Dark Crisis will hit them even harder. Tim Drake, Impulse, and Superboy go missing during the Justice League’s funeral. The only person concerned enough to find them? Cassie Sandsmark, a.k.a Wonder Girl. But…the three boys of Young Justice aren’t on this Earth anymore…they’re on the world of their dreams, one they may never want to leave!
From the hints we’ve seen in Dark Crisis and its preceding titles, it appears that the Justice League isn’t truly dead, but stuck in false wish-fulfillment realities. We’ve seen that Barry Allen is also trapped in such a reality, and the solicitations for the Worlds Without A Justice League specials seem to imply that the other Leaguers are as well.
Well, with the events depicted in Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1, it seems that the League aren’t the only ones. The three founding members of Young Justice: Robin, Superboy, and Impulse are also abducted to such a world. One which seems to return them to some point during the original Peter David run of Young Justice.
However, it does seem to be a somewhat altered version of that time. Young Justice encountered the villain of this issue, Mighty Endowed, for the first and only time in Young Justice #1. However, the Young Justice seems to be a more established team here than in that first issue. Also, the Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl did not appear during that encounter, but rather a few issues later. Her appearance here is in a costume she didn’t wear until much later in the title. So, clearly, this is not just a simple jump back in time as Impulse and Robin hypothesize.
However, I suspect that this is the point. It’s not the actual past they have lived through, but an idealized version of that past. It’s meant to ensnare them with the nostalgia it evokes for that era, which this story does a masterful job of evoking. While I would love to see Peter David return to DC to write more Young Justice, this issue is of a similar caliber. Meghan Fitzmartin has really nailed the feeling of that era.
The issue starts in the aftermath of the memorial service for the fallen members of the Justice League. The members of the original Young Justice lineup of the aforementioned heroes plus the former Arrowette find themselves reunited. There’s a feeling that they have drifted too far apart since their team was last together. Also, most of the team are mourning the loss of their mentors.
So, it’s interesting to see that the false reality has returned mentor figures to their lives. Not the ones they just lost: Bruce, Clark, and Barry, but Alfred, Dubbilex, and Max Mercury. While they’re all reliving Young Justice’s heyday, Cassie has to deal with their sudden disappearance. With the world’s heroes dealing with the events of Dark Crisis, she has trouble finding anyone with the time or desire to help her search for them.
Laura Braga has done a tremendous job with the artwork on Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1. I especially love how she gets every detail of the costumes just right in both the present era and the idealized past era. Some of the costume differences she depicts are quite subtle but completely accurate. It’s not just the main characters that she gives this detailed care to. We see Wally West in both his current Flash costume and his Mark Waid-era costume, and both are accurate down to the slightest detail.
One thing that confused me a bit is that they refer to the events of the Bendis Young Justice series as if they happened quite a while ago. That title was relatively recent, so in comics time, it should have only been a few months ago. I guess it’s possible that more time has passed than it would otherwise seem.
Also, Cassie’s initial anger and hostility at her teammates seems a bit more intense than I think it should be, but it does serve the purpose of making her feel guilty about feeling that way when they suddenly disappear. Perhaps Cassie has some deeper issues that will be explored as the series continues. So far, something seems a bit off about her emotional state.
Young Justice holds a special place in my heart, as my first comic review was for Young Justice #1 for my University’s newspaper. Peter David and Todd Nauck’s series was one of my all-time favorite comics and both Meghan Firzmartin and Laura Braga have done a masterful job of evoking my nostalgia for it. DC should consider tapping them for a Young Justice ongoing series after this Dark Crisis tie-in reaches its conclusion.