Overview: While Amethyst reminisces about the political situation in her world, Bart and Conner come to the rescue of the (not yet a) team.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): The issue opens showing where exactly it is the Young Justice is trapped – somewhere inside the fortress of Lord Opal, inside the mouth of a huge head sculpted in stone, inside which the manholes where they are locked are built. At this point, all of the team is starting to feel the effects of the Opal Gem Spell, which is leaving them in a very depressive mood indeed.
Amethyst, who is explaining their predicament to the other Young Justicers, finally reveals herself to be a princess of Gemworld. Someone realizes that, right now, she might be considered a political prisoner. She doubts she’ll be missed in a good way though, due to earlier events that happened to her in the court of the royal families.
Reminiscing about her past days, Amethyst remembers her impromptu interruption of the royal kidnapping of Turquoise. Earlier before that, during a council meeting of the royal houses, she had stood up against the lethargic way the houses were dealing with Lord Opal. She goes as far as suggesting taking care of matters permanently. Both she and her suggestion are quickly dismissed and she storms out of the room, taking a moment to eavesdrop on the aftermath before walking away.
Meanwhile, in the present, Bart is being himself and bugging the mind out of the Lord Opal’s guards who came after him. In doing this, he buys time for Conner’s wife and kid to hide. The guards continue being the bullies they’re supposed to be so Conner makes an example out of one of them so that all of them can just run and never tell. Bart then reveals to Conner that he’s probably accompanied by the rest of Young Justice in Gemworld.
Back in their cozy manhole prison, Jinny Hex is busying her mind with worries of what might happen with a trunk she inherited from her great-great-grandfather, Jonah Hex. Answering her question, the background of the page shows a bunch of gemworlders being exploded by whatever it is that the trunk kept at bay. Just then, Conner and Bart come to the rescue and release everyone. And, finally, Young Justice is indeed reunited.
Analysis: This issue follows the same structure as the previous two have followed. An opening scene in Gemworld, a flashback intermission, then back to Gemworld. Except, for once, this issue works like a charm. It might be due to the fact that this time Amethyst was the one having the flashback, her memories tying directly to the main storyline. It might be because the plot seems to have moved a bit in the present time. It might also be that Bendis is picking up steam with the title. Either way, the plot finally feels like it is moving forward somehow.
John Timms was the one sharing art duties with Patrick Gleason for this issue and their work fits together nicely. Much like Emanuela Lupacchino was a great fit back in issue #2, Timm’s and Gleason’s styles transition into one another smoothly but markedly. They’re both share a similar style of storytelling while having styles that could be said to be around the same area in the comic book world.
On Gleason’s end, he’s been shining particularly on two ends, one being the design of the Gemworlders. Each character is unique and absolutely otherworldly and absurd, and I can’t shake the feeling that the rich world-building has been much more due to his art than the plot itself. On the other end is one Bartholomew Allen.
The little anxiety driven speedster seems to find a way to pop up in almost every single panel in any given scene he’s part of. It is annoying, endearing, dizzying and so purely Bart. It is also incredibly purely Bart that he’s the one to finally get the four original Young Justicers back together again in one group hug that will likely bring a huge grin to the faces of old fans.
Final Thoughts: After a couple of issues that felt a lot like stalling, Young Justice seems to be steering back to track.