Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #20

Young Justice #7 !
$2.99, color, 32 pgs.
Writers: Kevin Hopps, Greg Weisman
Artists: Christopher Jones, Dan Davis

I'm a huge fan of "kid friendly" comics.  I love seeing them prominently displayed in a comic shop.  I have especially enjoyed many of DC's offerings, such as Tiny Titans, Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  I think many stores would benefit from having a specific section/rack/shelf devoted to all-ages comics.  Parents who bring their children to a comic shop for the first time are often overwhelmed by the quantity of material available.  They would benefit from having a store employee point the way to a section where they can pick titles that they feel comfortable about their children reading.  During the 2010 Free Comic Book Day event, we were joined by several parents (as well as their children) that had never seen a comic shop before.  Unfortunately, as is often the case with this annual event, most of those parents never went back. 

I've read several articles and online comments over the years stating there are kids that have never seen an actual comic book, but I was always a little skeptical.  However, after a couple years of listening to my own child's observations about his classmates, I've come to realize it's totally true.  Many kids in the elementary school age range have no idea what a comic book is, let alone have ever seen one.  I'm hoping to work with my son's school in the Spring for some kind of promotion related to Free Comic Book Day, but haven't thought out the details just yet.

As a comic reviewer, I try to review all-ages comics as often as possible, especially the ones that are a great fit for kids and older readers.  DC's Young Justice is a fun companion book to the hit TV series, and I recently did a quick review of one of the issues.

Cartoon Network’s newest DC series focuses on Artemis in this issue.  It’s one of the benefits of a comic adaptation of an animated show:  Readers get to see a character’s background in more detail than what can be shown in the limited time available during a typical episode.   
The first half of the story explores Artemis’ family life, as her mother returns home from prison.  The other half shows her embracing her new superhero status.  She successfully foils a liquor store robbery, just before her first encounter with the newly formed Young Justice team.  While she does well dealing with armed robberies and jewelry heists, Artemis quickly realizes she's in over her head when she runs into her first super-villain.

Like many of DC’s all-ages books, it’s a little light on dialogue and a very quick read.  However, it’s still a fun series, with vibrant art and lots of action.  While the “New 52” titles are getting all the attention, it’s also important to remember that DC is still publishing good comics for younger readers.  I was disappointed to hear that a couple of these series have recently been cancelled, but at the same time I'm hopeful that the upcoming titles Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Superman Family Adventures will be fun replacements. 

DC Nation's 2012 FCBD offering will include a preview of Art Baltazar's "Superman Family Adventures."