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Tuppence Terror: <unnhh> Son, you do pack a wallop…
Superboy: Lady, I’m not your son.
Tuppence Terror: And I ain’t no lady.
Tuppence Terror: Big mistake pissant!
Kid Flash: That’s Kid Pissant to you, sister!
Previously in “Independence Day” and “Fireworks”: Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash has hoped that their induction into the Justice League would actually mean something, but it turned out to be more symbolic than real. They sought to prove themselves to the League so they infiltrated Cadmus Labs and liberated a teenage clone of Superman called Superboy. Their fight with Cadmus leveled the above ground facility and brought a response from the full Justice League. Batman told them that they were being stood down, but Aqualad and co stood up to him and for what they had achieved together.
Batman tells them “Give me three days” so that he can come up with a solution. That, however, that leaves the more pressing problem of what to do with the newly liberated Superboy. Superman has already left and seems to have a problem dealing with his clone’s existence. Kid Flash (Wally West) invites Superboy to stay with his parents in Central City (as he later tells Superboy Aqualad lives underwater and the Batcave is secret so Superboy didn’t really have much choice). Wally’s parents are supportive, but Superboy has problems adapting to civilian life. He has no name other than Superboy and prefers sleeping in Kid Flash’s closet as it replicates his Cadmus Pod (“except for the funny smells.”). Meanwhile, Aquaman tells Aqualad that he’s sees the wisdom in Aqualad’s argument, but Robin hasn’t seen Batman since Cadmus Labs as he’s been holed up in the Batcave working on the setup for their new team.
Mrs West finally gets Wally and Superboy loafing around the house and packs them off to the Mall. Batman sent then a credit so they can shop for some regular clothes for Superboy. At the Mall Wally is puzzled that Superboy bought “a whole rack of the exact same black t-shirt” (we’ll see later that its a rack of identical black shirts with Superman’s S-Logo on them). Their shopping spree is cut short when a pair of punk twins called Tuppence and Tommy Terror (alias the Terror Twins) try to smash-up Gemini Gems. Neither boys have costumes so they grab bandanas to protect their secret identities and dive straight in. Superboy saved a Mall Cop and the heroes briefly fight the Twins until their fight carries them all outside. Superman and the Flash then show up causing the Terror Twins to run for the hills. The Flash is annoyed that the boys couldn’t stay out of trouble, but he tells them that he’ll pick them up tomorrow to hear Batman’s decision.
The following day Aqualad, Superboy, Kid Flash, and Robin assemble at Mount Justice – the Justice League’s original headquarters – to hear Batman’s decision. They are to be a new covert unit that will investigate cases where the Justice League’s high-profile would be a hinderance. They will be reporting to Batman and trained by Black Canary, but Red Tornado who will serve as their day-to-day supervisor. Batman surprised them by telling them that they will be joined by a fifth team member.
The issue stops there. The story rejoins “Fireworks” for a brief scene as the Martian Manhunter introduces the boys to their fifth member, his niece Miss Martian. The following episode “Welcome To Happy Harbour” shows her trying to integrate with the four boys and how Superboy has started living at the cave full-time.
- This issue takes place between July 5th and July 8th and is set between scenes in “Fireworks”.
- Wally West’s parents know about his activities as Kid Flash.
- First appearances: the Earth-16 Alfred, Wayne Manor, Terror Twins, and Wally West’s parents.
There is something that marks this cartoon tie-in as different from earlier tie-ins (e.g. Justice League Unlimited). This series is actually set within the same Earth-16 continuity as the cartoon show. The tie-in is made explicit as this zeroth issue is written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps. Weisman is the producer of the Young Justice cartoon and he wrote the opening two-parter. Hopps wrote the third episode (“Welcome To Happy Harbour”) which picks up a lot of the character beats and themes from this issue. As Doug Zawisza @ CBR points out this is really a deleted scene from the second Young Justice episode as it takes place between the Cadmus Labs bust and the meeting at the Mount Justice cave.
I’ve often found these cartoon tie-ins to be excellent, but often pitched a few years younger in tone than the cartoon they spun out of. JLU for example had a dark undertone to many of its episodes, but the comic book was a lot lighter and as such didn’t feel as intense as the cartoon. This makes the explicit tie-in to Earth-16 this book’s hook for me and I would otherwise probably have (unwisely) ignored it. It will be interesting to see if or how the comic book will feed back into the cartoon. We’ve already had our first look at the Earth-16 Wayne Manor and Wally West’s parents ahead of their first animated appearance so it’s clear that the comic is not limiting itself to the palette of already introduced characters.
Reaction from reviewers who have children seems very positive. The aforementioned Mr Zawisza says
Hopps and Weisman do a fine job of presenting a story for devotees of the show, casual fans, comic fans who haven’t seen the show yet, or even younger readers who are just learning about the world of the Justice League through these gateway heroes.
while the GeekDad @ Wired.com says
My daughter really liked the idea of the sidekicks doing their own thing without the adults around to check up on them. Kids can easily relate with the theme of independence. The writing is geared towards an all-ages crowd but it is not dumbed down, something my daughter really appreciates.
Mike Norton’s art treads a fine line between Phil Bourassa’s Young Justice models and a looser style that – dare I say it – isn’t a thousand miles away from that of original Young Justice (vol. 1) artist Todd Nauck. I like this as Nauck’s irreverent style was a large part of the success of the original book and set the tone for the Teen Titans cartoon.
The subplot about Superman’s avoidance and Superboy’s need for validation is continued. If anything we see a bit more of Superboy’s character in this story than we do in “Welcome to Happy Harbour”. In Happy Harbour he was just a grumpy grouch, but he actually cracks a smile in this one. Seriously, Emo Superboy is going to get very old, very fast unless somebody knocks some sense into him.
|Reviews Portal||Comic Book Resources||Doug Zawisza||4.5/5|
|Community Reviews||Comics Vine User Reviews||Av. of 2 reviews||4/5|
|Community Reviews||iFanboy||156 Pulls||4/5|
|Character Site||Superman Homepage||Adam Dechanel||5 (story) & 4 (art)/5|
|Character Site||Captain's JLA Homepage||Jason Kirk||3/5|
This scene overlaps with the scene towards the end of “Fireworks” where Young Justice have pulled themselves out of Cadmus Labs and have been met by the Justice League.
I believed there is a colouring error – the foreground arm is shown in blue with a white wrist lightning bold, but there is no Justice League member with that costume. The placing of the characters in the scene makes sense if this is actually the Flash’s arm in which case it should be coloured red/yellow.
Page 6 – Toys in Kid Flash’s bedroom include a He-Man figure, a T-Rex, and a Batmite. Plus he is clearly shown with six comic book comic boxes so Wally is clearly a comic book geek. He has a Richard Dragon poster (a martial artist from the DC Universe).
Page 8 – I’ve only just realised, but the shape of the Batman emblem in this world is exactly the same as that used for the Chris Nolan films.
Page 9 – This is the first appearance of the Terror Twins, Tuppence and Tommy. I believe that these are new characters although their super strong, superfast abilities implies a back story that we aren’t privy to. Maybe they’ll pop-up again somewhere.
The nickname “Terror Twins” has been applied to several musical duos over the years because of their unhealthy dedication to the rock and roll lifestyle. The most obvious is to the drummer and bassist from Motel Crue Nikki Stix (a bloke) and Tommy Lee, likewise the leader-singer and guitarist from Aerosmith have been called the Toxic Twins.
A jewelry store called “Gemini Gems” wouldn’t last in Gotham City with five minutes before it was raided by Two Face.
Page 21 – We came in on a scene from Fireworks and we end with the very next scene in the same episode.