Young Justice #5 Takes The Fight To Lord Dark Opal

by Tony Thornley

After four issues of Young Justice, a little bit of frustration was creeping in. The series was feeling a bit decompressed. However, Young Justice #5 doesn’t just break that feeling- it shatters it into a million little pieces with heat vision.

Cover by Patrick Gleason & Alex Sinclair

Brian Michael Bendis, John Timms, Kris Anka, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Gabe Eltaeb, and Wes Abbott brings the newly reunited team face to face with their enemy- Lord Dark Opal.

Thanks to Superboy and Impulse, Young Justice are reunited and broken out of prison. Now the group race to put a stop to Lord Opal’s plans, but he might put an end to their revolution before it begins. Meanwhile, we get a flashback to Tim Drake’s time with Stephanie Brown since we last saw them…

I absolutely love this issue. It’s pure high octane adventure, and it calls back to the feel of Bendis’s Spider-Man work without imitating it. It’s fun, it advances the plot in a big way, and it’s a thrilling adventure story that ends on a huge cliffhanger. The Robin and Spoiler flashback plays to Bendis’s other strengths, establishing in a limited space how authentic Tim and Steph’s feelings are, giving them both solid motivations, and setting up both character drama and superhero plots to come.

I’m always a little disappointed to see a guest art team, but Timms steps in on the main story, shattering my disappointment and fills the story full of fantastic energy. The pages always feel like they’re in motion, and he gives each character a great distinct personality. His Bart Allen is probably the best part of his work on the issue, which I loved seeing. Eltaeb shifts the color palette from Alex Sinclair’s work in the series, using brighter colors that establish the shift in tone just as well as Bendis’s script or Timms’ linework.

Anka’s work on the side story is stellar. His pages are almost entirely between two characters sitting in a parking lot, but he keeps them engaging, interesting and best of all relatable. It’s a great DC debut for the artist. And I would be remiss to ignore Shaner’s contribution, which is only two pages (plus one panel on a previous page), but it’s two absolutely stunning pages capturing the entire history of Young Justice in one stunning spread.

This continues to be the best series DC has launched so far in 2019 I can’t wait to see how this story ends, and how it continues after.

Young Justice #5 is available now from DC Comics.

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