Young Justice #9 Brings Justice To Earth-3

by Tony Thornley

One of the best parts of the DC Comics’ multiverse is Earth-3, the home of evil twins to the Justice League. Any visit to Earth-3 is bound to be at least fun, and Young Justice #9 leans into that, while adding an emotional twist…

Brian Michael Bendis, John Timms, Andre Lima Arujo, Gabe Eltaeb, and Wes Abbott bring justice to Earth-3 and reveal the origin of one member of the team.

While Robin, Impulse and Teen Lantern battle the Young Syndicate, we learn more about Teen Lantern and where she gained her powers. A young scavenger in Bolivia, Keli was doing her best to survive. She’s given the chance when a device that can hack the Green Lanterns’ Central Power Battery falls in her lap. Meanwhile back on Earth-3, Tim and Bart get handed a way home…

The vast majority of the issue is focused on Keli’s origin, and at this point in his career Bendis excels at origin stories that are interesting and avoid cliche. This story is no exception, grounding Keli in an impossible situation and handing her a fantastical out. She’s a fascinating new character, and by finally pulling back the curtain, he sets up a universe of story potential for the series.

Arujo draws the flashback scenes, and they’re lush and vibrant thanks to both his line work and Eltaeb’s color art. The landscape is vast and desolate, creating a grand sense of scale before it zooms in on Keli. Arujo’s depiction of her is done perfectly, capturing her youth. One of my pet peeves in comics is when a penciller draws children as small adults, when their bodies, faces, and even how they move are completely different, but Arujo is able to make her feel like a real child.

Timms’ pages are few, but he continues to show off his action chops. The aerial dogfight between Teen Lantern and Hack is fast paced, with a mixture of flying action, and energy constructs. However he also pulls the POV in tight on Keli as she starts to put pieces together about her abilities.

This issue might be the best of the series so far, with superior character work and a great sense of superhero adventure.

Young Justice #9 is available now from DC Comics.

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