“Young Justice” #16 is the type of “all ages” comic book that I grew up reading. The story itself is a nice throwback to the Silver Age adventures of the Justice League of America, with the larger team divided into smaller groups to work towards a common goal.
Given their connections to the cartoon of the same name, Kevin Hopps and Greg Weisman deftly differentiate the sidekicks and their mentors quite nicely, and carry the differentiation further throughout this issue that features the trio of Artemis, Kid Flash and Robin each fighting alongside their mentor. Having Batman and Robin work side-by-side in near total silence is a great way to handle those characters, especially when juxtaposed with Green Arrow and Flash. Each of the characters has some nice moments, as they do on the show and fans of the Flash will be especially appreciative of his statement of relevance here.
Christopher Jones is a great choice to draw the comic book adventures of any animated property and it shines through in this issue. There are some spots that are a little rougher around the edges, but never does the story lose clarity or direction. He’s not quite on the level of a Ty Templeton or Mike Parobeck when it comes to delivering beautifully deceptively simple comic art, but he’s not too far off. My only criticism of his work here is that some of the animals in the Central City Zoo could have been drawn better, but each was still a discernible species. Jones’ artwork is nice and clean, a solid option for kids of all ages that just want to enjoy good-looking superheroes.
This adventure, unlike the stereotypical interpretation of an all ages read, ends on a cliffhanger, enticing fans to come back next month to see what goes down between the heroes, Jeffrey and Jason Burr and Kobra. Following that open-end structure, “Young Justice” #16 provides a pair of pages featuring character introductions for the “newer” members of the television show, which serves as a nice touch to further integrate readers with viewers.
I handed this off to the eleven-year-old, essentially putting this all ages read through beta-testing. She’s a voracious reader of comics, novels, magazines and newspapers. If it is anywhere near her, she’s reading it and processing. When I solicited her thoughts on this issue, she said, “I liked it for two reasons. One, they had three stories of the mentors and mentees and combined it in one comic and two, some of the mentees are near my age.” In the interest of transparency, yes, she has seen the show, but if given the chance between watching TV and reading a book, she’s the first in the family to start flipping pages instead of channels. This book is a winner in the Zawisza household and it is certain to please longtime DC readers looking for a fix of the summertime comic books they used to read decades (or at least a couple Crises) ago.