Saturday, November 5, 2016

Young Justice #22

" ... The Best Intentions"

Story Todd Dezago
Art Todd Nauck & Bud La Rosa
Letters Clem Robins

Todd Nauck and Kevin Conrad with the colors of WildStorm FX give us a peek at a day in the lives of our heroes for this issue's cover. Still feeling the Sins of Youth hangover, this issue is comprised of four separate stories by guest writers and guest artists — except for the Impulse story, which (lucky for us) was drawn by Nauck. This cover does a good job of giving us a sense of what each story is about, and, naturally, the most interesting one involves our lovable speedster. Impulse is presenting Superboy with a large collection of superhero artifacts, including Wonder Woman's lasso, a lightsaber (?!), Green Lantern's power battery, Aquaman's trident, Hawkman's wings, 'Mazing Man's helmet, the H-Dial, some boomerangs, and a bunch of other stuff I'm sure I'm missing. And how about Secret showing a rare playful side?

Our first story focuses on Red Tornado, who has apparently been flying around aimlessly since Sins of Youth, contemplating his role as a father to his adopted daughter, Traya. The android comes across a playground, where he sees children that remind him of Robin, Superboy, Impulse, Wonder Girl and Secret. The girl that's like Secret is off crying by herself, so Red Tornado decides to intervene. The girl says she was hit by the boy who's like Impulse, so Red brings the boy over and asks him to apologize. The boy says he was just trying to play tag with the girl. With the misunderstanding cleared up, the kids run off and have fun, leaving Red Tornado feeling a lot better about actually being a father.

Interlude One: Bart gets an idea!

At the temporary headquarters of Young Justice in the Pennsylvania Poconos (it's supposed to be the New York Catskills, but whatever), Impulse and Secret are very worried about Superboy not having any powers anymore. So Bart gathers up all his comic books to try to find an inspiration for how he and Secret can get Superboy some new powers.

Secret wants to help, but she's not entirely sold on Bart's plan. Superboy then offers the two some leftover sushi, but Bart is horrified by the idea of eating raw fish (and I'm not sure if Secret even needs to eat). So Superboy heads off to update some files (whatever that means), and he tells Bart to stay out of trouble. Once he leaves, both Bart and Suzie agree that Kon does look sad, and they begin plotting in earnest.

Our second story puts Robin with Nightwing on a stakeout in Bl├╝dhaven. This gives Robin some time to open up about his recent experience as an adult and the responsibility of being the leader of Young Justice. Robin still doesn't feel good about asking his friends to call him Alvin Draper instead of his real name, but Nightwing says it's probably a good idea to keep his secret identity away from Impulse, because if word got out that Tim Drake was Robin, then people could easily figure out Bruce Wayne was Batman. Nightwing admits that he even keeps his identity a secret from Jesse Quick on the Titans. They then take out the bad guy very quickly and easily, which helps Nightwing drive home his message that sometimes problems have a way of working themselves out.

Interlude Two: If you knew sushi ...

Bart begins his scheme by eliminating all the superhero origins that they can't replicate, such as being born on another planet, being bombarded by gamma rays or being a mutant. (Impulse notes that the mutants used to be pretty popular.) So Bart's first two attempts is to sneak some stuff into Superboy's food. Into Kon's drink, Bart slips some "super-soldier syrup," which he made from "just some .. stuff." And onto Kon's sushi roll, Bart places a spider.

However, Kon immediately spits out the soda when he drinks it and the spider when he bites into it. Secret, meanwhile, actually checks the issue of "Spider Fighter" and sees that not only is the spider supposed to bite the future hero instead of the other way around, but said spider is also supposed to be radioactive. Bart realizes she's right, and he wonders if that part's important.

Our third story features Cassie Sandsmark feeling the typical stress of a junior high student trying to be a superhero in her spare time. Not only are Cassie's grades slipping, but now she's been cast as the lead in the school play, and she doesn't know how she'll juggle all these demands on her time. Cassie's mom forbids her from meeting up with Impulse and Superboy that night, but she does allow her to train with Artemis (like we see on the cover). Like Robin and Nightwing, Cassie uses this opportunity to talk about her experience as an adult and try to figure out what she wants to do with her life. On her way home, Cassie comes across a car wreck with an infant trapped in the burning vehicle. She quickly changes to Wonder Girl, saves the day, and decides that's what she wants to do. The next day, she turns down the role in the play so she can spend more time as a superhero.

Interlude Three: Power playtime

Bart has now decided to replicate the accident that gave his grandpa Barry Allen super speed. He pours a bunch of chemicals into a bucket, connects a long string of jumper cables to a large generator, and tells Secret to hit the switch when he yells "Now!" Bart's thrilled that this plan will basically make two Impulses on the team, but Secret decides that's not a good thing. Bart, however, is completely oblivious to Secret's hesitancy, and he dumps all the chemicals on Superboy, wraps the jumper cables around him, and shouts "Now!" seven times.

Secret never turns on the generator, and Superboy eventually gets tired of Bart, so he trips him, grabs his hair and demands to know what's going on. Bart explains that they were just trying to get Superboy some new powers, and Kon tells him not to worry about it since Cadmus is already working on the problem. He asks Bart to stop trying, and Bart starts to agree, but then he wonders if he actually doused Superboy in the Plastic Man chemicals instead. So Bart jumps on Superboy's shoulders and starts pulling on his head, asking if he feels stretchy.

Now, even though Superboy doesn't have any powers anymore, he is still a lot bigger than Bart, so he easily flips the speedster off him and pins him to the ground. Kon threatens Bart with a piece of sushi, to which Bart screams, "No!! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! I hate it! I hate it! I don't want it! — I don't want any sushi!!" So Superboy lets Bart go, telling him once again to stop trying to get him new powers. Bart finally agrees for real, and once Kon's gone, Secret asks Bart what they do now. Bart says they first need to get rid of all the stuff he brought in for their backup plans, and we see a big stash of everything we saw on the cover plus more. One item of note is a Rocket Red armor suit that Jesse Quick was trapped in during Impulse #1,000,000.

This was a really nice issue. Not only were the Young Justice creators, Peter David and Todd Nauck, a bit burned out after Sins of Youth, but so were the actual characters of Young Justice. Robin and Wonder Girl understandably still have a lot to process after being turned into adults and back to teenagers again. And Impulse and Secret just desperately want things to return to normal, trying to help Superboy in their own innocent way. This was an issue of quiet reflection, spiced up by the beautifully hilarious interlude with Impulse. The heavy references to Marvel were great, as well as the large assortment of artifacts related to DC superheroes. But what most people remember this issue for is the incredible sushi scene. C'mon, Bart! Sushi's actually pretty good if you'd try it!

The letters to the editor begin with Miguel Maldonado, of Chicago, praising Young Justice #19. He's excited for Sins of Youth, and hopes to see Klarion more after the event. Miguel says he doesn't agree with Peter David's stance on gun control, but he supports David's right to express his views. He also encourages Young Justice to be more connected to other books in the DC Universe.

Peter Norbot, of Chicago, was also shocked to see Arrowette kissing Robin, feeling that Spoiler would be quite upset should she find out. Peter also points out the several references to Spider-Man in issue #16 and issue #18, and he even asks for a crossover with the web-head.

Jorge Ramos Dehais is still having a hard time accepting Arrowette's departure from the team, and he hopes she comes back some day. Now for the new ads:

Great as a floating drink holder. Rice Krispies Treats.

Megan's perfect world is about to pop! Stepsister from Planet Weird. A Disney Channel original movie.

The answers are out there. Wild Arms 2 for PlayStation.

Legend of the Dragoon for PlayStation.

Pasty complexion, funny accent, bad teeth. He'll feel right at home in London. MediEvil II for PlayStation.

Think twisted. Think fast. Micro Maniacs for PlayStation.

Hey, Kids! Comics! talks about Mark Waid's latest project, Silver Age #1 and the Silver Age 80-Page Giant as part of a larger event celebrating DC comics from the late '50s and '60s. The Flash is included in this, but not Impulse, obviously.

Blow your own bubble. Bubble Yum.

Rampage Through Time and Mortal Kombat Special Forces on PlayStation.

Collect Starting Lineup, and get with the pros.

Iron Soldier 3 fro PlayStation.

Up next is Mercury Falling Part Two in Impulse #63.

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