In the penultimate issue of Young Justice Wonder Girl at last takes center stage. Last month she came to the team for help, this month we get to find out just what’s going on.
Out of the original Young Justice team Cassie is the character I know the least about. When I’d started reading this series I had been really hopeful to see and learn more about her and so far I’ve been pretty sad to see her pushed to the background. So when I saw this issue would be focused on her I was excited. While I think the story turned out okay, I’m a bit disappointed that we only got one issue focused on her.
The issue focuses in on the idea that Cassie is of two worlds: humanity and the Greek Pantheon. This duality is the main theme played with through the whole issue. We see it repeated fairly consistently in every scene that happens, first as Zeus shows up to talk to her about it, then as she fends off monsters, talks to her friends, and eventually once again must confront Zeus.
It’s not a bad theme, though there’s just not enough here to make it really land for me. The story does introduce the theme, show it, and eventually takes steps to resolve Cassie’s decision, but it feels hollow. In a book where we’d just been introduced to her this would have worked well because there would be issues to come that could expand on this narrative. However, we’re well into this series, and honestly Cassie has taken on a very background role through most of it. We haven’t seen her deal with being so ‘other’ or struggling to decide if she wants to be in the Pantheon or not, not since very early on in this series. To make matters worse, much of her conflict is told to us instead of shown. What is shown, like the aftermath of her first fight, is quickly overturned by the fact that she has a whole team of friends to turn to who are much like her even if they aren’t ‘demigods’. Altogether, this makes the story feel rushed and a little too transparent. I have no doubt of what Cassie will choose because the story has laid it out clearly, and I don’t care because I haven’t seen her struggle before this.
There are parts of the issue I did enjoy. Particularly when Cassie sits down with her team to explain what’s been going on. She describes her reasons for butting heads with Zeus, the battle she just fought, and expands on why she’s dead set against the Pantheon. Again, it feels a bit like telling, but I don’t mind it as much here since her friends don’t just sit and listen, but do push against her decision by asking why she thinks joining the Pantheon is a bad idea. Her reasons make sense, she’s lived her life on Earth and wants to make physical change there, instead of being stuck dealing with the squabbling of old gods who do not care about anything but themselves.
Beyond Cassandra’s internal dilemma, there’s not much else to this actual issue. It mostly consists of her meeting with Zeus, a battle, then meeting with Young Justice, another battle, and another meeting with Zeus. Through this there are five double page spreads featuring Cassie or the team fighting monsters. The art is gorgeous, but it feels like a waste of pages that could have been spent further expanding on the story. The whole of her conflict is introduced and wrapped up in just a few pages and it’s simply not enough. With I the series ending with the next issue, I feel like more time should have been spent focused on her story over showing epic fights.
A good deal of the exposition in this issue is told via scrolls. It’s obvious that the scroll design and the font were both chosen to give the story an air of mythology and make it feel like readers are stepping into an epic tale. The story even opens by declaring this as a story from the scrolls of the Pantheon, so it makes sense stylistically. Unfortunately, I found it to be distracting and a little difficult to read. The ancient feel the scroll choice is going for clashes with the very modern setting of the story, and the font feels almost like a stamp with too little ink on it. Font is a tricky thing, meaning someone else might end up loving it, I’m just not a fan of this one.
Aside from the scrolls, I loved the art. Scott Godlewski covers the whole book and does a really great job throughout. I mentioned that there’s quite a few gorgeous double page spreads, and one of my favorites comes early on when Cassie is fighting her first monster. Godlewski gives it a gaping mouth full of teeth and arms reaching up and out making it quite unsettling.
Godlewski also adds some great details in the backgrounds of scenes, like a Star Labs sign, and a bunch of gawking passers by who stop to stare and take photos of the whole Young Justice team seated around a table. The contrast of the very normal to the strangeness of a team of costumed teens works well within the theme of ‘otherness’ as it visually shows it better than any moment of “Cassie felt like she was of two worlds” could say.
Despite my disappointment in how rushed Cassie’s story feels, and my desire for expansion on it, things wrap up well. The events of the story work to cement what she’s been saying this whole time, and she’s clear about having chosen her own path. While I’m almost positive long time fans of her will read more into these moments than I did, I thought the ending was a nice way to finish off her story.
- You are a fan of Wonder Girl
- Monsters, myth, and mayhem are your jam
- Sometimes it’s nice to have a few single stories in a row
This issue of Young Justice focuses in on Wonder Girl. While the issue does a good job of presenting her character, motivations, and conflict then resolving them it also quite simply does not feel like enough happened. I’m torn, because I did enjoy the story, but I wanted more, and unfortunately with one issue to go I just won’t get that. Still, I am honestly happy to have finally seen Cassie get a chance to shine, and if you too have been waiting on that, this is a good issue to pick up.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.