Friday, September 25, 2015

Young Justice #6

This issue accidentally omitted the credits page, but it seems like it was made by the usual crew. This issue does, however, include this note at the end of the letters page: A posterlike cover of our team surrounded by the infallible JLA by Todd Nauck & Lary Stucker with the hues of Patrick Martin. And it is a pretty awesome posterlike cover. Everyone looks great, although a little more serious than they usually are. But a touch of seriousness is OK every now and then.

Our story begins at 10:02 p.m., with Robin, Superboy and Impulse at a carnival, battling Despero — a classic JLA villain, who is a large, purple alien with telepathic abilities. At 10:03, Robin gets Despero out of Superboy's head by dropping a smoke pellet to distract him. Superboy then hits the alien high, while Impulse hits him low, easily defeating the villain.

But at 10:04, our heroes see that Despero wasn't defeated at all, and now he's up and holding a small child as a hostage. Despero tells Superboy to send his teammates away because he's the only one he wants — Robin is merely a mortal, and Impulse's mind is too scattered for him to comprehend. And Impulse wonders what that's supposed to mean. Meanwhile, the JLA are watching the proceedings from the Young Justice cave, and Superman wonders whether they should be there helping them. But Wonder Woman reminds him they agreed to let the boys handle the situation for 22 minutes, and they need to trust them. Superman understands that, but he doesn't understand why the boys are battling ordinary citizens. Who they think is Despero is actually a middle-aged man named Roy.

The JLA are watching the action telepathically, courtesy of the Martian Manhunter. But Arrowette and Wonder Girl aren't included in this "feed," and at 10:05, they wonder why the Justice League is standing around looking thoughtful. Arrowette is bold enough to remind the League of the conversation they were supposed to be having, but Batman glares at her, and she quickly shuts up. Superman tells Red Tornado he's happy to see him up and about once again, and Flash says they weren't expecting to see him when they first arrived at the cave.

We then get a little flashback to 9:54 p.m., when the JLA first encountered Young Justice. Superman explains that they've been keeping tabs on the kids for a while now, and Superboy is angered to learn they were being spied on. Martian Manhunter says they were just protecting their interests, and Wonder Woman reminds them that many consider them a "Junior Justice League," plus, they're using the JLA's old headquarters. Aquaman points out that the teen heroes act more adult when they're apart, but when they get together, they become more "juvenile," as Batman puts it. Green Lantern disagrees with this, but Batman quickly silences him. The Super-Cycle then begins acting up, and Impulse races over to check it out ... accompanied by the Flash.

At 9:54 p.m., Impulse has a hard time getting the Super-Cycle to calm down, and Robin says they'd better ride it to where the trouble is, since the cycle is usually sensitive to trouble that concerns them. Red Tornado points out that this "flightiness" is exactly what the JLA is concerned about, but Superboy argues that this is a chance to show them how responsible they are — a point Green Lantern agrees with. So Impulse offers a challenge — much to Robin's chagrin — 30 minutes for the six members of Young Justice to take care of the problem. Flash says they should have it wrapped up in 15 minutes or they'll have a JLA chaperone on all their assignments. Impulse says they're not toddlers, and praises Red Tornado for giving them space. So Impulse counteroffers with 22 minutes for only three Young Justice members, which only makes Robin angrier. Batman asks Robin if he's not up to the challenge, so the Boy Wonder reluctantly agrees. Superman then discreetly asks Martian Manhunter to observe the boys as they take off in the Super-Cycle.

At 10 p.m., the boys arrive at the carnival, where they see Despero causing a ruckus and complaining about his present mortal frame. At 10:01 p.m., Robin notices that Despero's shadow doesn't match his body, and he contacts Oracle to see whether they're battling the ghost of Despero. Impulse actually listens to Robin this time, but Superboy doesn't, and charges off after the villain. But the Kid is promptly ensnared in the mental attack we saw at the beginning of the issue.

At 10:06 p.m., Wonder Woman takes the opportunity to talk to Wonder Girl and ask her why she's not wearing the costume Donna Troy gave her. Wonder Girl says she's afraid of ruining the suit, and says she'll keep it safe in her closet until she's ready for it. Wonder Woman tells Cassie that right now might not be the best time for her to be in a team like this. Since she's still learning how to be a hero, Wonder Woman worries that she might pick up some bad habits from the undisciplined boys.

At 10:07, Impulse rescues the small boy who was being held hostage, while an invisible Martian Manhunter watches on. But J'onn J'onzz can't see the mental projection of Despero that the boys can. He does, however, tell Superman that no lives are currently being threatened, and the JLA can remain at the cave for now. Red Tornado is angry when he realizes Martian Manhunter is spying on the boys, and he accuses Superman of not trusting them. But Superman says what they're doing is just like passengers of an airplane trusting a pilot, but also wearing seatbelts. Wonder Girl and Arrowette then realize that Secret is nowhere to be found.

At 10:08, Superboy and Impulse are perplexed when Robin begins communicating with Oracle, who cites a report from L-Ron about Despero. We last saw L-Ron controlling Despero in Justice League Task Force way back when. Apparently, Despero is now a free floating evil essence, able to possess people's bodies. Supergirl thought she had destroyed Despero's spirit, but obviously failed. Oracle's only suggestion to Robin is to not look Despero in the eyes.

At 10:09, Robin comes up with a plan to knock out the host body, then use a smoke pellet to blind Despero. Secret suddenly pops out of Robin's smoke pellet, and Impulse quickly fills her in, saying they're battling a space ghost and they're not supposed to look in his eyes, which should be easy, since he's "like, butt-ugly." But then Impulse spots a new problem: Despero opened some animal cages to distract the heroes, unleashing lions, tigers, and bears on them. (Secret gets to say, "Oh my.") Oh, and there are elephants, too, which nobody noticed until they trampled Superboy.

At 10:10, Superboy lifts the elephants above his head, Impulse starts racing around the bears, and Robin tries to fight off the tigers with a whip. Secret finds Despero hiding in the shadows. But to her surprise, Despero is absolutely frightened to see her and runs away, screaming that he won't be taken to the abyss. At 10:11, Martian Manhunter decides to intervene when he sees the carnival strong man being chased by an escaped tiger.

At 10:12, Martian Manhunter subdues the tiger, but it turns out Despero was inside the strong man all along. He catches J'onn off guard and takes control of his body. Impulse has successfully taken down the bears by making them dizzy, and he tells them they should "just grin and bear it." But then Impulse notices Despero has suddenly gained super strength and the ability to fly, and he suggests the team goes to DEFCON 2 on this one.

At 10:13, the JLA realizes they've lost contact with Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman suggests they head out, even though the boys technically have four minutes left. Arrowette is furious at this proposal, and chews out the JLA for looking for ways to criticize the boys. She says they're just acting like normal teens, and she accuses the heroes of not knowing what it's like to be a teenager and have friends. Green Lantern is amused by this, and Flash tries to defend himself, saying he was a Teen Titan and Arrowette is oversimplifying things. Arrowette storms away, telling him to call her when he stops overcomplicating.

At 10:14, Wonder Girl finds Arrowette hyperventilating into a brown paper bag. She admits that half an hour ago, she had to resist an urge to ask for their autographs, but now she's just yelled at the world's greatest heroes. Wonder Girl praises Arrowette for her bravery, and admits she's been jealous of her from the moment she saw her. Arrowette is shocked by this, saying she was always jealous of Wonder Girl's super powers. The girls smile at each other, then reveal their real names, Cassie and Cissie, which is practically the same.

At 10:15, Superman decides he needs to head out now, but Wonder Woman stops him again, urging him to give the boys the final two minutes they were promised. Meanwhile, Despero is thoroughly pleased to be in Martian Manhunter's body, telling Superboy he doesn't need him anymore. At 10:16, Robin recognizes Despero's shadow as Martian Manhunter's, and he tells this to Impulse. Bart realizes that even if he can't see it, Despero does have a cape, which he can use to grab hold of, drag around at super speed, and toss into the air. Superboy is up there waiting for Despero, and he smashes him down into the ground with a big punch.

At 10:17, Superboy and Impulse begin pummeling on Despero, repeatedly apologizing to J'onn all the while. Robin grabs a torch and shoots some flames at Despero, which triggers J'onn's primal fear of fire. This gives the Manhunter's psyche a chance to break through and expel Despero. Secret is there waiting for Despero's soul, which she envelopes and disappears with. Although she was initially confused by his "abyss" remark, she seems to have an innate understanding of what that really means.  Secret quickly returns, and when Robin asks where Despero went, she cryptically says he doesn't want to know.

At 10:21 p.m., everyone regroups at the cave. Robin admits it took them four minutes to get back, but he points out that they did defeat Despero in the allotted time. Superman is pleased with their work, saying they handled one of the JLA's greatest foes, prevented any major injuries or deaths, and stopped one of their own from wreaking havoc while being possessed. Martian Manhunter, still recovering, asks what happened with the "cloud being." Batman asks if this "cloud being" has anything to do with the DEO business they discussed a while back, and he says he would hate to think the boys deceived him back then. Robin says he'd hate to think that, too.

But Superman is willing to overlook all that. He calls the whole thing a wash, saying the teens are still young, and youth should be able to excuse a few things. He asks Arrowette if she agrees, and she blushes deeply, which confuses Impulse. So the JLA begins to head out, with Superman granting Young Justice conditional permission to keep using the Secret Sanctuary, and he asks Red Tornado to let them know how the parent/teacher conferences go. And all the kids are panicked by the idea of these conferences.

This was another fun issue of Young Justice. Not quite as intense as the end of last one, but I think that's a good thing. Here, we had the guest stars of the JLA, a classic JLA villain, and a brief glimpse of a new side of Secret. The action, humor and art were all on par, and I particularly enjoyed the setup of each page being one minute. This would have also been an excellent setup to a 22-minute animated episode, but the animated Young Justice series we did get was far more serious than this comic book series was. Well, let's see what the letter-writers had to say about Young Justice #2.

Chris Kiser, of Bridgewater, Va., initially thought putting together DC's great teen heroes — Robin, Superboy and Impulse — was a cool idea. But he was dismayed at how goofy and jokey the first two issues were, and actually hoped the series had an Elseworlds tag on it, refusing to believe that such a silly series would be in continuity.

Joel A. Marbella called issue #2 a little pointless, and hopes the series gets better. He also suggests they named the Super-Cycle the Wheels of Justice.

Graham Akins, of Durham, England, praises the book and its creative team, and gives a rather long list of requests, including for Mary Marvel to join the team, Wonder Girl to get a better costume, and for the Super-Cycle to be called White Lightning (forgetting that Impulse has a villain of the same name).

Jeffrey Coburn, of Orleans, Vt., suggests the Super-Cycle be called the Justice Rider, and asks for Captain Marvel Jr. and Spoiler to stop by.

James Bemboom also asks for Wonder Girl to get a better costume. Eddie Berganza defends her look, saying Cassie is the first bona fide nerd superhero.

Phil Erickson loves the humor of the title and the characters, and asks for the creative team to never leave. And Phil will pretty much get his wish. This creative team will remain remarkably consistent throughout the entire run of Young Justice. Alright, let's check out the new ads:

Finally, a hero we can all look down on! Fanboy.

Join the Man of Steel on his first exciting adventure ... You could buy a reprinting of Action Comics #1 through the U.S. Postal Service, along with a special stamp.

You want the Titans? You got The Titans. The ad has a bunch of names of heroes in the background for some reason, including Impulse's. But he's not shown on the new Titans team. The Flash and Jesse Quick are, though.

You drive a tank. You destroy major cities. You rescue beautiful women. Welcome to the world of BattleTank on Nintendo 64.

Caution: Beware of falling gods! Next.

Give a gift subscription and receive an erasable memo board absolutely free. A single issue of Young Justice cost $2.50, but you could get 12 issues for $23.95. The subscription ad also includes Robin as a selection, but not Impulse or Superboy for some reason.

Monsters! Menace! Mayhem! It's never just an ordinary day when you're Superman's pal. Legends of the DC Universe.

Got milk? with skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Next time, we'll return to Chain Lightning with Impulse #46.

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