Christopher Jones, the artist for the current ongoing Young Justice series published monthly by DC Comics, recently answered a few questions concerning a major change in the acclaimed companion comic series. The Young Justice comic series expands on the continuity of the acclaimed animated series, airing Saturdays on Cartoon Network, providing a more in-depth look at the world. Starting with its current second season, the Young Justice animated series shot five years into the future and added the subtitle Invasion to its title. And just like the latest episodes of the animated series, the Young Justice comic will be doing just the same beginning with issue #20, hitting shelves this week. Jones is no stranger to the DC Comics-inspired animated works, having provided artwork on such titles as Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and The Batman Strikes in the past. Enjoying his current gig on Young Justice, The World’s Finest passed along the following questions to Jones …
The World’s Finest: First up, how does the Young Justice comic deal with the time-jump? How early on were you aware that there’d be a substantial shift in the book’s narrative?
Christopher Jones: As of issue #20, the “present” for our book shifts to the December before the events of episode one of the second season of the TV show – so we’re about one month prior to those events. And then like the show, we are having flashbacks and other indications of things that have gone on in the five years since the timeframe of season one. As soon as I learned that season two of the TV show was jumping forward five years in the narrative, it was obvious that the comic would do the same, the question was when we would make the jump. Originally we’d planned on making that jump five or six issues later with a few more stories in the season one timeframe first, but DC wanted us to get to the season 2 stuff sooner.
WF: Do you have any thoughts on the new ‘Invasion’ crew? Any early favorites? Are there a couple characters you find particularly enjoyable to draw?
CJ:As much as I’m a big Ted Kord fan, the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle is a really fun character, so it’s great to have him in the group. I enjoy drawing Beast Boy, but most of the time it’s effectively drawing animals and putting that funny little collar on them. I’ve done that more than I’ve drawn him in his default “monkey boy” form so far. Lagoon Boy is fun to draw, although I haven’t had the occasion to draw him in his “puffed up” form yet. I’m having a good time with Wonder Girl and Batgirl. All the new team members are fun, but I’m probably taking the most satisfaction from drawing Dick Grayson as Nightwing. Given the specifics of the storyline we’re doing, we’ve had a ton of guest stars in the comic – Justice League members and villains – so
that’s had as much of an impact on who I’m drawing as the season two team lineup!
WF: What about the updated character designs? Superboy may basically look the same, but now we have an older Nightwing and a new Robin to deal with, plus a new look for Miss Martian. Are there challenges to drawing an aged character, even if it is a few years?
CJ: So far there’s been relatively little of drawing season one characters older except for Dick Grayson. As you mentioned, Superboy and Miss Martian essentially just have costume changes. Because of the flashbacks, those changes have actually been really handy to differentiate the different time periods.
WF: What do you think of the actual time-jump? Will you miss telling stories of the ‘original’ team, or revel in new story possibilities with the new team? Do you see it as kind of a reboot? Are there any stories of the ‘original’ team that we’ll be missing out on due to the emergence of the ‘invasion’ team?
CJ: Given that we’ve had so many flashbacks to the season one timeframe (or shortly afterward), I don’t feel like there’s anything to miss – it just feels like the scope has opened up. We’ve had the season one team, the season two team, the Justice League, and more bad guys than you can shake the Watchtower at. There were a couple of of storylines that we were cooking up that have been set aside because of the need to get to the season two stuff. I don’t want to go into too much detail because we might still be able to do them in some form, but one of them was a
Marvel Family story that I really was looking forward to drawing!
WF: Finally, what can we expect in this first issue with the ‘Invasion’ team? Is it a solid jumping-on point? Any teasers you can drop for readers? Why should we rush out and pick up Wednesday’s issue?
CJ: There’s a lot going on in Young Justice #20, but when isn’t there a lot going on in an issue of Young Justice? Greg does a great job as always of covering the exposition and major story points in the comic but in not exactly the same way as it had been done on the TV show, so that the comic doesn’t just duplicate the TV show experience.
So what’s not to be missed in Young Justice #20?
The introduction of the expanded team.
The many loves of Nightwing.
The recruiting of Blue Beetle.
Superboy tries to give flowers to M’Gann.
And the introduction of a major DC villain to Young Justice continuity!
Young Justice #20 goes on sale Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at all retail and digital comic outlets. Cover price is $2.99. Click here to view more artwork and content by Christopher Jones, including more Young Justice material and much more.
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