Friday, September 30, 2016

Sins of Youth: Starwoman & The JSA Jr. #1

Stars and Tykes

Geoff Johns Word Boy
Drew Johnson Pencil Lad
Rich Faber & Rodney Ramos Inkin' Boys
Joe Rosas Color Kid
Albert T. de Guzman with Dave Lanphear Alphabet Kids
Maureen McTigue & Mike McAvennie The Wonder Twins
Special thanks and apologies to Big Peter Tomasi

Cover by Mike Wieringo & Terry Austin. Colors by Tanya & Richard Horie.

Now that we've had the Impulse/Kid Flash issue, we're not going to see Impulse in Sins of Youth again until the finale. But this issue does contain the original Flash, Jay Garrick, shown here holding onto Starwoman's cosmic staff, along with the rest of the Junior Society of America, or JSA Jr., or whatever it is they want to call themselves these days. I do like young Jay's design, with the loose tang top and shorts, while retaining his trademark hat. Aside from Jay, there really isn't anyone else here with a strong connection to the Flash family or Young Justice. We have crossed paths with Courtney Whitmore, the Star-Spangled Kid, a couple of times now, but nothing that's felt really major. That said, this issue is one of the more important issues in Sins of Youth.

Courtney, now Starwoman, has decided to help Doiby Dickles travel to the planet Myrg to find a replacement for his aging gun. Accompanying them is Merry the Gimmick Girl and the entire JSA, including her stepfather, Pat Dugan. Pat does explain that he needed to make the trip since he was the one who built their spaceship, the Steel Eagle, but that doesn't account for the rather unwise decision to bring the rest of the JSA, who are all very hyperactive, emotional children below the age of 10. Regardless of the logic behind this, it does make for some fun storytelling.

The story does explain that under normal circumstances, Doctor Fate and Hourman would be able to restore everyone to their normal ages. But this transformation robbed them of their powers, or at least take away their confidence in using their powers. (At this issue's climax, Jay encouraged Doctor Fate to try to use his powers, which he did, successfully saving the day.) This issue also gives us a brief history of Myrg, which Doiby and the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, encountered during their Silver Age adventures. Doiby was married to a princess, became king and transformed the planet into a replica of Bronx in the 1930s. But Myrg was later invaded by the planet Gren, Doiby was declared public enemy No.1 and exiled. Doiby hopes to one day be reunited with his princess, but for now has to settle on merely grabbing that ray gun and making a hasty retreat.

There's also a fun subplot between Courtney and Merry. Apparently Merry's brother, Sylvester Pemberton, was the original Star-Spangled Kid. And Merry has always resented Courtney for stealing Sylvester's equipment and tarnishing his legacy. Happily, though, Merry does gain some respect for Courtney by the end of this issue. All the kids in this issue are predictably cute, annoying and funny. Jay is probably the best-behaved kid of the bunch, always looking out for others and encouraging safety, but never resorting to becoming a tattle-tell. He does get a little excited and wants to "gogogogogogo!" but he does listen to the adults around him and shows some restraint.

Anyway, the ship full of 16 people (that's a lot to keep track of) arrives at Myrg easily enough. But as soon as they land, a bunch of kids run off to an amusement park, while the others are captured by the despotic authorities of Myrg. The kids who took off learn of this and come back to save everyone. There's a brief fight, then Doiby grabs the gun, and they all take off back home, with all the little kids falling asleep on the journey back to Earth. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Klarion ... bum, bum, BUM ... the Witch Boy, rescues Black Adam from the D.E.O., making sure to turn Black Adam, Agent Chase and Director Bones into kids.

CDTV News Top Story

This is Ace Atchison reporting for CDTV News, bringing you the latest on the current "Sins of Youth."

We caught up with another old guy, Dan the DyaMite, to get some info.

ACE: So tell me, Dan, you and Old Justice, by having the government trying to outlaw YJ, are really responsible for the whole mess, aren't you?

DAN: Watch how you speak to your elders, young man. Old Justice was just trying to watch out for the welfare of the next generation of superheroes. my team has been there, and it hasn't always turned out well. We're trying to make sure it goes better for these kids.

ACE: Don't you think instead of "deciding" what's best for the kids, you should have ASKED them?

DAN: Nonsense. We have the experience.

ACE: And that's the problem.

DAN: Don't know what you're getting at, son. Old Justice is making restitution. Doiby and Merry are off to get a device that will restore everything back to normal.

ACE: Where no one TALKS to each other. Great. We'll be back with more.

Even though we didn't have a very strong connection to many of these characters, this was still a very fun issue. And significant, too. Doiby's gun will be the key to saving the day at the end. And we will be making a return trip to Myrg in Young Justice. Geoff Johns did do a good job of playing into the legacy of these characters, especially the unexpected, yet realistic dynamic between Courtney and Merry. The art was a bit uneven, which is mostly the result of having two inkers and 16 different characters to focus on. But the art never became a hindrance to the story, nor did the couple of lettering mistakes I noticed. All in all, this was another fun installment in the Sins of Youth event. So far, I'd say the only real disappointment was the Batboy & Robin issue.

Up next is Part 9 of our series, Superman Jr. & Superboy Sr. #1.

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