My kids – all three of them – love reading comics. Each has a favorite title they’re reading right now, and as I’m typing this I just realized: they’re all DC kids. My kids are DC readers. They know of and like the Marvel characters, they watch “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” with me, but they all gravitate towards the DC characters when given the choice. One choice they’ve made recently was tuning in to watch “Young Justice” on Cartoon Network. I had DVRed the pilot episode and watched it by myself one day, screening it before sharing it. The regular series just started, and the first two episodes were the two halves of that pilot I screened. So I let the Z-girls check it out. They loved it.
They also noticed a gap in the dates that were shown intermittently throughout the show. From the wrap-up at Cadmus to the meeting at the cave, there’s a gap. This issue covers that gap quite nicely, serving as a paper copy of “deleted scenes” from an unreleased DVD of the first month worth of episodes. This issue follows Kid Flash back home, as he brings Superboy with him. Kevin Hopps (Staff Writer of the cartoon) and Greg Weisman (Producer of the show) have a handle on these characters, and give them all character moments in this issue. The duo treats the characters in these pages as teens, but don’t hesitate to show the characters as more than teens. This issue focuses on two of the team primarily, choosing to relegate Aqualad and Robin each to just a page worth of appearances during the three-day span.
The Mike Norton moments in this issue are top notch. Norton has the ability to walk the tightrope between animated art and comic book art. The characters are highly stylized, matching their appearance on the show, but Norton doesn’t hold back from distinctly making these characters his own. Norton magnificently crafts a world around these characters, going so far as to clutter Kid Flash’s room with comic book boxes, action figures, and posters, including a few Easter eggs for keen-eyed readers along the way.
Sinclair is a strong choice to work with Norton’s art here, and the two synthesize nicely to boost the animated feel of this book. Sinclair has a knack for making the energy effects of the team — Kid Flash’s speed aura and Aqualad’s water manipulation — glow, bringing even more energy to Norton’s kinetic pages.
This book is set to parallel, not duplicate, the cartoon series, and so far it is doing a nice job. Hopps and Weisman do a fine job of presenting a story for devotees of the show, casual fans, comic fans who haven’t seen the show yet, or even younger readers who are just learning about the world of the Justice League through these gateway heroes. This is all ages fun at its very best, and I look forward to seeing scenes that don’t fill show gaps, but exist in space of their own.