About to embark on a quest to Skartaris to retrieve Superboy, Impulse rounds up a few more helping hands!
That's a good thing, because in Skartaris, Superboy isn't faring so well...
With Young Justice both old and new together at last, it's time for a daring rescue mission - AND a final reckoning with STAR Labs, who sent Superboy away in the first place!
After a bit of a middling prior issue in which very little ground was covered, Young Justice #14 hits the ground running (literally, since it’s Impulse we’re talking about!) and doesn’t let off the throttle ’til the very end – and even then, ends in a cliffhanger guaranteed to bring readers back for more next month.
Splitting the art duties again are regular series artist John Timms for the Earth-bound scenes and Brian Michael Bendis MVP Michael Avon Oeming for the Skartaris scenes. Both artists excel delightfully this issue, bringing raw power and energy to every crackling scene. There’s an abundance of double-splash pages this issue (another Bendis trademark), allowing each artist to give it their all, and then some. Timms is at one point given the arduous task of concocting a spiraling sequence of panels featuring Impulse zipping about, and despite the fact that it shouldn’t work, it does:
In another brilliant scene, the artists work together on the same page, in the same panels, to convey a video-call to Superboy from Earth:
That is artistic collaboration at its finest. Period.
The story involves Impulse gathering up Sideways (yay!), Spoiler, Aqualad, and Arrowette (absent from comics for far, far too long) to add to Young Justice’s strength before they charge STAR Labs to retrieve the missing Superboy. Sideways has an especially crucial role, as his powers will allow them to teleport into Skartaris. Sideways was a wonderful character from DC’s ill-fated New Age of Heroes initiative, a kid with way more power than he knew what to do with wrapped up in a Spider-Man-esque personality. It’s great to see that Bendis and co-writer David Walker haven’t forgotten him; his series may have gone the way of every other New Age of Heroes book (except, for some reason, Terrifics), but he’s a character worth keeping from collecting dust on the shelf.
From there, it’s time to team up and go to work. The double-splash featuring all these teen heroes lined up is pure fan service, but there’s something inherently awesome about seeing all these great characters in one place together. The conclusion from there comes swiftly (even with the interference of some interdimensional monsters), which is probably the only real knock this issue can have against it. Superboy’s adventure in Skartaris doesn’t really amount to much, and everything is brought to a conclusion at too much of a breakneck pace. To contradict my earlier praise of the art, in this instance all those double-splashes, gorgeous though they were, actively worked against the narrative’s best interests, as their decompressed nature resulted in a pretty threadbare plot. But all things being equal, Young Justice #14 still winds up being an amazingly fun read, even with that hitch.
Young Justice #14 hits a home run, bringing its narrative to a terrific conclusion even if it's a bit lightweight plot-wise. The artists in particular hit a home run, producing some prolific and gorgeously eye-popping work. If you love DC's teen heroes, this mega-reunion is a can't-miss!
Young Justice #14: The Gang’s All Here
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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