Wow. So I remember liking young justice a long time ago, but it had literally been over a decade since I had read one of the books, and it’s super obvious it’s written for 13 year olds. And I’m dubious about how good that even is. It’s pretty obvious I liked the idea of Young Justice more than the book itself, which wasn’t uncommon for a younger me. The book, written by Peter David, attempts to be hip, cool, and self-aware. It fails at all of them. It’s a grown man writing children and it’s bad. It’s not even funny in the ‘I know this sounds bad but I hate teenagers so this is intentionally bad’ sort of way. It’s just not good.
But poor dialogue in a super hero book is forgivable. Most super hero books have poor dialogue. We haven’t cracked the code on that just yet. But the story is just. Like. It’s almost boring at this point to talk about misogyny in super hero comics, but here we are. The book is just fucking gross. So the first ‘villain’ we meet is an archaeologist who finds an ancient scooter that gives her giant boobs. And the rest of that first issue is just talking about her boobs. And she goes on some screed against men in a way to let you know that this book absolutely hates women. It’s the conflating of anatomy with sexuality and punishing the assumed sexuality from anatomy. The jokes don’t hold up at all either. The harem we get to near the end of the book is, again, not funny. The goggling at women by our heroes is predictable and boring.
And all of this is before we introduce a single girl to the team. It’s just boys. They know it and to address this they end one issue by saying the next issue is the one with girls in. And how does it start? Violence against this girl. Oh sure, they don’t mean anything by it. The tone goes from bad jokes to serious cape comics in a hurry, and it’s poorly done. Wonder girl is in love with Superboy, and that seems to be her only motivation here. There’s a crappy love triangle. The first brown kids we meet are in an experimental facility and they don’t get to leave or be part of any cool team. The villain is brown and his father kills him by shooting him and we get to see that in all it’s graphic glory. Like, there really isn’t much redeemable about this book. I forgot about the catfight between Arrowette and Wonder Girl’s mothers.
The only think I like about Young Justice are the character designs, but those came in into existence outside of this title. Wonder Girl and Superboy have never had better getups. Arrowette is stupid and I can’t tell one bodysuit robin from the next. Really it’s just leather jackets, sick glasses, and bad haircuts that I have a soft spot for. This book will go.
Man, Beta Ray is great, but it’s all too serious here. There’s some nonsense as soon as he appears where he just takes everyone out. It’s neat, but then immediately Lady Sif, who’s not dead, starts complaining about Thor ignoring her? In the middle of an apocalypse? Like, this is something that is such a flaw of men writing these stories. It’s designed to make these women seem weak and stupid. It fits into the notion we have of nagging women being selfish. It is hard to imagine that in this perilous time Lady Sif would be concerned about Thor’s longing gaze more than about all of her dead comrades. She even tells the story of the end of the Valkyrie and has less emotion for that than for the idea of Thor ignoring her. It’s thoroughly trash writing and art in combination.
So Beta Ray Bill becomes King of Asgard. Because no one is left. And what? Like. Bill’s my horse and all, but there is nothing that makes sense about Thor abdicating to Bill right now. As soon as Thor leaves we get more stagnant shots of Thor meditating with some stars in the background and a lot of text blocks of bad faux poetry.
We’re saved from that mundanity by the atrociousness of the odinpower being made manifest as a boy ghost. It speaks in the same awful fake New King James speech that plagues all the gods. It cannot choose between “you” and “thou” or “thine.” It switches in and out at random. It’s obvious no research was done on the writers or editors part. They just do what they feel sounds other worldy enough. The bit where Thor pulls out both of his eyes is topped with a bit of ableism. As if being blind was the end of Thor’s life. And then everything odinpower says afterwards is garbage. It quite literally doesn’t make sense. It’ a lot of words around a bad concept. This whole conversation is supposedly leading somewhere, but only god knows where it could go. Can’t wait to be done with this.
The farther along in this book I get I am coming to realize that I don’t like the color choices here. I think it has to do with the depth of the backgrounds? Quite possibly it’s the shadings. There’s a scene where some elves are in the snow, and an evil ship comes out of the sky to attack them, and it all looks stolid in a way I’m not certain they were going for. I think there’s some glossy paper problems in this assessment, but the arts and colors are just off to me. Also, the statue with the chainmail open shoulder dress is hecka dumb.
Storywise, that Thor is carrying around this baby makes no sense. A warrior king in war has no time for this. I don’t understand the pacing either. It wants to kill all the characters, but doesn’t want to show them dying? Volstag’s wasting away needed to be shown, though? This walk through the woods where we get all these closeups and talk with this child a bunch of garbage. “A bee will always sting when it feels winter’s approach” is by far the dumbest phrase. That’s simply scientifically inaccurate and slanderous towards bees. It’s also trash logic when talking about people (or gods I guess). Yes, bad people are bad, but the idea that someone had no choice but to be bad is dangerous logic. It takes agency away from the evil that loki is doing. Also, these volstag close up shots are awful. This sort of travelogue of sadness that happens here is bad. I know what they’re going for, but it’s not actually good. I’m not spending any of my mental energy thinking of how to do it better, they got paid for this, they could’ve done it better.
Okay, so the book fake kills lady sif twice, actually kills valkrye. Honestly, issue three is a trainwreck and a travesty. You know how awful it is that the cliffhanger appearance of my favorite thor character could not even redeem this book.
The dialogue is laughably bad. When Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America arrive back at Odin’s palace they find a bunch of dead bodies. They’re all pretty grody, but one is wearing a pink dress and I think has a baby beside it, and this let’s us no the people who did the killing are indeed bad. If the last issue felt too super hero-y this one definitely does. Apparently none of the gods of Asgard could stand against Loki and his three henchmen, but Iron Man and Captain America are putting up a strong fight. It’s fine, but it just makes every bit of Asgard seem wasted and useless. Like, how were Fenris, Ulik, and some Giant bound before?
There’s two and a half pages here of just action. And man, do I wish I haven’t been spoiled since I last read this book by much better comic action sequences. It’s very clean, but not very easy to follow from a storytelling perspective. Too many glowing explosions. There’s just a bunch of art that doesn’t make sense here. The scene where, I assume, the trio tries to break the giant’s hammer is just. . .I don’t know.
And the ending of this chapter is bad bad bad. Apparently there are some Asgardians yet, but . . ..they were just camping out singing. Having a funeral? For just one person. Not for the countless dead, but just one dude. He makes them the saddest. And the dialogue here. Man. The bad ye olde speech is terrible enough, but the attempt at emotion over death, the attempt at a fiery speech here on the face of the apocalypse. It all falls terribly flat and there’s no clue as to what is coming next from a narrative standpoint.
There’s a bunch of books here. If I had to guess it’s about 80 or so comics. Starting tomorrow. Every day I’m going to be reading something from this shelf. I don’t think there’s a really good order to go in. I’ll mix it up a bit between the American stuff and the manga or what have you. Some of these I’ll be able to knock out in a single day, but most of these books are going to take a little more time. As stated before, the entire point of this is just an excuse to finally read (or re read) all these books on my shelf and decide if I need them at all or not. I have about four months before I move and all these books cannot come with me.
I’m not doing a resolution regarding reading this year. Not hot takes on resolutions, I just don’t personally tend to follow through with year long life changes started on a whim. But what I would like to do is make some minor changes on a smaller scale. So my first goal for now is to actually read (or reread) everything on my bookshelf. I especially want to read my comics. There are books on the shelf I haven’t read in ten to fifteen years. I’m sure my opinions would be entirely different now both positive and negative. I’m definitely leaving the place I’ve lived for the past eight or so years in the next year, so I’m going to have to get rid of a lot of items. It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over the better part of a decade. And since I both don’t want to hire a moving company and don’t want to throw my back out moving this stuff has to go.
So I’m just going to go left to right over all of my bookshelves and start clearing up space. This should be fun.