Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sins of Youth Part One: Young Justice (May 2000)

Young Justice were having a bad few weeks. Member Arrowette nearly executed the murderer of a young woman, then decided to abandon super-heroics entirely. The Secret, a ghostly pre-teen teammate, was captured by the All Purpose Espionage Squad. YJ’s rescue of her from A.P.E.S.’ secret base within Mount Rushmore inadvertently ended with George Washington’s face being blown off. A group of villainous young agents called the Point Men destroyed YJ’s own headquarters. Superboy was replaced by his genetic duplicate Match, who arranged for the media to catch most of the team’s troubles and smear their name in the public eye. Super-hero-turned-politician Neptune Perkins sought to legislate neophyte heroes out of existence. Finally, a group of former kid sidekicks from the 1940’s dubbed “Old Justice” attempted to force their far younger counterparts into early retirement. All of these events were masterminded by the Contessa, who was employing adults’ millenia old fear and distrust of their young as indirect harassment of the senior heroes who’d thwarted some of her previous schemes. The coup de gras came when Wonder Girl took back the media to announce a march on Washington. The JLA, JSA, Titans, Marvel Family, and various others appeared to show their support. However, Contessa had enlisted the sorcerous Klarion the Witchboy to cast a spell that turned America’s young heroes into adults, and their counterparts into adolescents. This then was the Sins of Youth crossover, initiated by Peter David, Todd Nauck and Larry Strucker.

It was J’Onn J’Onzz who finally confirmed which Superboy was the true Metropolis Kid, and it was he who summed up the entire event when confronted with his fellow de-aged heroes: “You all look ridiculous.” J’Onzz didn’t seem to actively participate in a brawl between his team and the Junior Society over some rocket fuel (don’t ask,) despite Hawkbaby’s verbal and physical aggression. “Ooh, look at me! I’m an alien and I’m so scared or fire!” Perhaps she was just finally expressing her sublimated rage from the beating the Manhunter threw her Bronze Age counterpart in the 70’s as she cast an “L” across her forehead and proclaimed J’Onn “Geek.”

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