At long last it’s time to figure out just what happened to Conner Kent and why everyone’s memories have been foggy! The whole Young Justice team (plus some) have come together to confront Dr. Glory and find out the truth, and yes this time we do actually get some answers!
As a quick catch up on the events of Young Justice, the team has been working hard to track down Dr. Glory and rescue Conner from another trip through the multiverse. The last issue wrapped up with Conner’s return and the promise of some answers to come. Now, with the whole team assembled we finally get those answers.
With this whole arc –and arguably the run so far– building up to Bendis explaining just what happened to Conner and why everyone forgot a lot of expectations have built up. The solicits alone have been promising this answer for quite some time, and I’m pretty sure many people had a good idea of what that truth was going to be going in. So is the payout worth the wait?
Essentially we learn that the ‘secret’ behind Conner and everyone’s lost memories is that the multiverse goes through reboots. Conner was forgotten specifically because he was in Gemworld for the last reboot. I could argue that might not have been on Earth, but he was still around and take issue with this part of the answer, but I’m not going to, it is an answer, which is what I wanted. The idea of all this being the fault of a reboot is pretty meta, though I feel like it at least works well with the big picture ideas the DCU is exploring right now. Which makes me wonder if some of the issues in this arc felt circular and repetitive simply because Bendis was trying to time this to come out in line with other titles talking about the same thing.
I want to say this is a big surprise. Admitting to a meta reason should be, but there’s something about the way it plays out that just doesn’t feel as epic as I wanted it to. Perhaps it’s because the answer felt so obvious, or because there was a lot of build up in this arc that created expectations above the answers. It also doesn’t help that we had a longer than normal break between issues. Overall, it just feels lackluster.
Thankfully, I feel like this story is less about that answer and more about what comes next, how the characters react, and what the team is going to do now. I think the issue is most successful at answering those questions. It sets up the characters in a way that has all of them know this truth, so that in the future they will be able to act on it if the need arises and frees the story up to also move into smaller adventures rather than trying to deal with big picture ideas.
Outside of the actual explanation, Conner is the main focus which makes sense since it was his ‘truth’ that was revealed, and he’s the one the team came to save. There’s some nice moments where he realizes that his friends all rallied to save him, and also some great scenes with him legitimately angry over everything. As Conner learns the truth, Timms does a great job of building tension and suspense with how he’s drawn. His body language is tense with righteous anger, and there’s a return of the red eye beam that spells his fury. Eltabe’s colors are equally good, dropping him into an angry shadow for much of the reveal and his confrontation with Dr. Glory. Conner’s reaction really does feel in line with who he is. He’s hot headed, but he’s also a good guy, and that all comes out in this book.
The way Timms handles the cast is done well this issue. They’re mostly around for support, but he balances them well enough that we have a nice feeling of victory in each of their scenes. They’ve already won, having battled their way inside previously, but it’s nice to see them really overpower Dr. Glory, who’s so far managed to slip past them time and again. And generally they don’t feel quite as crowded here as they did in previous issues. There’s less of them in each panel, and the focus spends more time on the characters core to the story, namely Bart, Conner, and Dr. Glory.
He also manages this well this time by breaking up the group into different panels, instead of attempting large group shots or trying to fit everyone into a single panel all the time. This is especially obvious towards the end when the team is cleaning up and getting ready to part ways again. Timms breaks things up into groups of characters chatting and working to clean up the chaos caused at the lab so that it feels like little scenes you might catch at the end of a movie or show. This also means that the group shots we do get have greater impact, reminding us of the scope of the team.
Speaking of the large cast, Bendis’ plan for them takes shape towards the end. I’m still upset that it feels like most of this arc was wasted on collecting everyone only for them to be token characters, but I like the idea proposed in this issue. Which is that all of these characters are a part of Young Justice, they don’t have to be active all the time, but when needed they can be called on. It feels a lot like the Justice League or even some World’s Finest issues I’ve read, where people can come and go and stories can become more like one-shots instead of whole arcs.
Things wrap up on a more serious note, and set up future conflicts like Conner meeting Superman and more about just how Bart came to have the knowledge he does. Between the team’s celebratory feeling, Conner is introspective in the last few pages, and we see that in a number of panels as he’s specifically drawn looking away or apart from the group. This sets up his request for a meeting with Superman, and his eventual questioning of Bart. It feels like now that the big question has been answered the story can turn to everything that spins out of that, and a return to focusing on the characters.
- The truth behind Conner’s disappearance and YJ forgetting about each other is revealed!
- You’re eager to see Dr. Glory get what’s coming to her
- You’ve wanted a more balanced feel to the large cast
The highlight of this issue was Conner, and his reaction to everything going on. His personality and relationships got a chance to shine in between everything else going on. While I’m not convinced that the truth behind everything was worth the build up, I do think this issue sets up the future of the title in some interesting ways. With the truth out at last, the book can move forward into other stories and explore both the core cast and the newly extended one in what will hopefully be a series of fun adventures.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.