Justice League: World Without Grown-Ups
Todd Dezago, writer,
Humberto Ramos & Mike McKone, artists
(DC Comics, 1998)

To launch the youth-oriented series Young Justice, DC Comics wanted a splashy stand-alone to introduce the new team of Robin, Superboy and Impulse. But how do you provide a major threat for the team to handle without attracting the attention of DC's heavy-hitters in the Justice League? Simple, you remove all of the adults from the planet.

That's the setup for World Without Grown-Ups, a Justice League tale that pushes the Justice League into the background. Matt Stuart is a normal kid who resents his globetrotting archeologist father for seldom coming home. To atone for his frequent absences, Matt's dad does something stupid -- he gives his son a rare artifact, a "toy" from long lost Atlantis, which turns out to contain an all-powerful genie of sorts. Matt, still bearing a grudge, wishes all adults off-planet.

So while the JLA scrambles to figure out where they are and where all the children went, the world's young heroes do their bit to contain the unrestrained behavior of a world full of kids. Robin, Superboy and Impulse team up to get to the root of the problem, which of course we all know they do.

Todd Dezago's story is no classic to crow about, but it serves its intended purpose. The super-strong, the super-fast and the exceptionally clever all find their niche in the team, working together with comic energy and wit to solve the caper. Huberto Ramos brings the kid planet to life, while Mike McKone handles the adult world, combining to give each a different feel. In the end, it's a satisfying package sure to appeal to fans of the three youthful heroes.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 23 November 2002