Last week saw the release of the new Young Justice – Volume Four: Invasion trade paperback collection, courtesy of DC Comics and DC Entertainment, to comic book stores and hobby shops everywhere. Now the collection is set to hit regular retail and book chain outlets starting tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17th, 2013. In this latest collection, the Team adds to its ranks in an effort to battle the impending invasion by The Collector of Worlds. Young Justice – Volume Four: Invasion collects the final six issues of the acclaimed tie-in comic series, issues #20 – 25, written by Greg Weisman with art provided by Jones. Jones took a few minutes to talk to The World’s Finest about this new collection and how Young Justice has managed to keep its fanbase strong.
WF: Young Justice – Volume Four: Invasion collects the final story arc for the Young Justice comic series. Care to tell us some of your favorite moments from the issues included in this trade – in terms of story and perhaps of your own work?
Christopher Jones: I’d really enjoyed all the stories we’d done in the Young Justice comic up to this point, but with the “Invasion” storyline it really felt like we’d ramped up to something bigger and more pivotal. I’d been the one to suggest Superboy meeting Clark Kent and having that give Superman a chance to get to know his clone/sibling without the pressure of Superboy’s expectations of him, so those sequences were fun to do. I really enjoyed getting to show Blue Beetle’s introduction to the team, and the beginnings of Miss Martian’s relationship with La’gann. I also had a great time with the Nightwing sequences that bookended this storyline (Dick Grayson you dawg!). And of course I was always excited by any opportunity to do new character designs and this storyline introduced several characters into the Young Justice universe who hadn’t already been designed for the show – most notably Kylstar, Deadshot and the Collector of Worlds (our version of Brainiac)!
WF: Young Justice tied very closely to the animated source material. What type of pros (and maybe cons?) came from having this comic so tightly affiliated with the cartoon?
CJ: I didn’t really see any downside, as I was such an admirer of the cartoon both in it’s conceptualization of the characters and their visual design. Phil Bourassa and his team did gorgeous designs that were a really comfortable fit for my own drawing style. And thanks to co-producer Greg Weisman writing the comic, not only the the storylines of the comic and the show tightly interwoven, but I always had easy access to all the visual reference I needed.
The only negative that came from the comic being based on the show was that because it was based on an animation property, DC Comics insisted that it be labeled as a kids book, which meant that it was segregated from the “mainstream” DC superhero titles in the solicitations and by most retailers, so I don’t think it ever got the amount of promotion and exposure it deserved.
WF: The Young Justice comic series definitely went out with a bang, thanks to this story. What would you have liked to have explored in future arcs if the comic continued?
CJ: We never got to do the Marvel Family storyline that Greg was planning, which would have told Captain Marvel’s origin and would have introduced Mary Marvel and Freddie Freeman as a version of Captain Marvel, Jr. It would have been fun to explore more of the 5-year gap, but at some point you have to stop obsessing over those gaps and turn your eyes to the future. The thing I’d have most liked to do was use the comic to tell the stories that went untold when Cartoon Network declined to greenlight a third season of episodes. That could still be done, and I’d love to see Young Justice return with “Season Three” stories as one of DC’s digital tier titles.
WF: You’re very active in the Young Justice fan community – interacting with fans, doing sketches, and so forth. What do you find to attractive and welcoming about the fan community? Why do you think it continues to be so strong?
CJ: Why would I not want to be involved with the amazing fan base Young Justice has out there? When I was drawing The Batman Strikes! there was nothing like the response I saw online to Young Justice. I don’t know how much of that is the difference in the fan base versus how much more developed social media is now, but Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter makes it so much easier for fans to share their passion for the show and it’s characters. I’ve had a great time interacting with Young Justice fans, and expect I’ll continue to do so online and at conventions for a long time to come!
WF: If fans want to see more of Young Justice, be it as digital comics and so forth, what would you encourage them to do?
CJ: I wish I had more faith in petitions and letter-writing campaigns, but the reality is that the powers-that-be are well aware that Young Justice has fans and don’t need to be convinced of that. What they need to be convinced of is that there is more money to be made by producing more of Young Justice in some form. That’s just the reality of the business. So the best way to lobby for more Young Justice is with your spending dollar.
Both seasons of Young Justice are available on DVD.
All 26 issues of the Young Justice companion comic have now been collected in four volumes.
The Young Justice: Legacy video game is available through several channels, and there is a Young Justice soundtrack CD.
Now, does this mean that you need to sell your possessions and go to loan sharks to raise money to buy Young Justice stuff? No. But you could do what I’m doing this year and giving Young Justice for Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Flying Spaghetti Monster Day) this year. It’s a double-win: You generate sales for the Young Justice property and grow the fandom!
Please support your local retailers. If they don’t have your Young Justice item in stock, ask if they can order it for you. If all else fails, you can always get the products from online retailers such as Amazon.com.
And writing to Cartoon Network or DC Comics to tell them you’d like to see more of Young Justice certainly can’t hurt, it just doesn’t carry as much weight as do Young Justicesales. And remember, when writing either company stay polite and positive! Focus on what you’d like to see them do, as attacking them for decisions you didn’t like just turns them off and doesn’t support your cause!
WF: To shift gears for a moment, can you give us a rundown on your upcoming projects? Let us know!
CJ: I just did a 2-part story for Batman ’66 featuring False Face. I’m a huge fan of the Adam West Batman series so that was a ton of fun! The digital version of those stories is already out, and the print version will be coming out in January. And now I’m hard at work on another mini-series that hasn’t been announced yet. It’s a science fiction property and hopefully would hold some appeal for fans of my Young Justice work, and I’ll have plenty more to say about it once I can talk about it publicly, so watch my social media for announcements!
WF:Last question – can you tell us why fans should rush out and pick up Young Justice – Volume Four: Invasion?
CJ: It was a great last hurrah for the comic book series, and great sales would be the best possible argument to convince DC Comics to produce more!
Check out the Christopher Jones Comic Art and Illustration Blog for more from Jones. Links to an assortment of his social media sites can also be found at his blog.
Young Justice – Volume Four: Invasion, currently available at hobby and comic book stores nationwide, will hit book store chains and larger retail outlets starting tomorrow, December 17th, 2013. Cover price for the comic book collection is $12.99US. Check out the The World’s Finest Young Justice subsite for more details and content from the acclaimed animated series.
Stay tuned for further updates and coverage here soon at The World’s Finest.
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