Review – Young Justice #9: Teen Lantern Begins

Comic Books DC This Week
Young Justice #9
Young Justice #9 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Young Justice #9 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Andre Lima Araujo, John Timms, Artists; Gabe Eltaeb, Colorist


Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Young Justice is consistently the most entertaining of Bendis’ ongoing DC titles, but it still has the most common weak spot of his writing – pacing, and that’s evident in Young Justice #9. Last issue saw the heroes of Young Justice stranded on a hostile alien world filled with evil doppelgangers, and introduced a duplicate of Tim’s girlfriend Stephanie – and a new and very odd choice for codename for him.

So naturally, for Young Justice #9,  only about six pages are dedicated to the battle for Earth-3, with the rest being a flashback segment to the origin of Teen Lantern. This preteen wielding a facsimile of the universe’s most powerful weapon has been a mystery since she first appeared in this title, so it’s good to finally have her origins revealed – and the choice of Portuguese artist Andre Lima Araujo to bring her crowded home of Bolivia to life is perfect. Araujo has only recently broken out into the mainstream, but his detailed work reminds me a lot of iconic comic book artists like the late Moebius.

Young Justice #9
Little girl lost. Via DC Comics.

Teen Lantern’s origin is a twist on the origin of Hal Jordan, which I thought worked well – she too gets her powers from a dying alien who passed them on – but with a distinct sideways turn that puts her in a lot more danger. The weapon she was gifted and hacked isn’t a true Green Lantern ring, but the dangerous fake that Hal Jordan used after he briefly went “rogue” a few years back during the Venditti run.

That makes it a lot more unpredictable but just as powerful – something that shouldn’t really be in the hands of a kid. Between the ruthless gangsters who killed the alien who brought it to Earth, and her friend whose interests may not be all that pure, there’s a lot going on with this character that I’m excited to see explored – but she wasn’t even the focus of the last issue’s cliffhanger, Jinny Hex was! It seems that character’s getting her moment in the sun next issue. I continue to thoroughly enjoy this series, but better pacing of the flashbacks and a bit more focus on the Core Four would take it from good to great.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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