Young Justice #1  to Young Justice #55 
Robin… Superboy… Impulse… They are the junior partners, the proteges, the heroes-in-training – in some ways ready to work without the safety net provided by their mentors in the Justice League, and far from prepared in others. Together, they formed Young Justice: a group of young sidekicks determined to make a mark on their own. Later joined by Secret, Wonder Girl, Arrowette and others, they developed into a fun-loving fighting team that earned the respect of their mentors.
Young Justice began with a “Girlfrenzy” special in 1998. in Girlfrenzy: Young Justice: The Secret #1, the teens interceded on behalf of a D.E.O. “cleaner” team transporting a gaseous entity/girl known as Secret (who would later become a member).
The next unofficial team-up of Young Justice occurred in a two-issue prestige format mini-series called JLA: World Without Grown-Ups #1-2 written by Todd Dezago with art by Mike McKone and Humberto Ramos. When the heroes of the Justice League vanish from the face of the Earth – along with everyone else over the age of seventeen – these three young heroes suddenly find themselves the lone chaperones for a world without grownups. Together, Robin, Impulse and Superboy rise to the challenge and save the world.
In Young Justice #1, Robin, Impulse and Superboy officially became a team and accidentally assumed the name “Young Justice.” The first few issues established the tone of the series: high adventure with a comedic edge. After all, their first adversary was a buxom villainess known as Mighty Endowd. And the young heroes found their exploits being observed by a pair of mismatched federal agents Fite and Madd.
Soon after, some girl-power was added when Wonder Girl, Arrowette and Secret joined the team in Young Justice #4. As the series progressed, it balanced drama with comedy. In the memorable Young Justice #15, Arrowette almost executes two men who murdered her school counselor. If not for Superboy’s arrival, she probably would have succeeded. Shaken from these events, Arrowette retired from adventuring but remained an important character in the book. On the heels of this weighty storyline, the team would soon meet a team of bitter, elderly former-heroes known as Old Justice. And the arrival of the incorrigible L’il Lobo was just around the corner.
Another story spun out of the media attention from Arrowette’s potentially lethal actions: “Sins of Youth.” The event included two “Sins of Youth” book ends, a “Secret Files” special, eight “Sins of Youth” team-up specials and a very special issue of “Superboy.” The concept in question was the result of the secretive organization the Agenda getting Klarion the Witch Boy involved. Klarion turns the DC Universe’s adult heroes into teens and their teen heroes into adults.
After “Sins of Youth”, L’il Lobo ended up joining Young Justice as Slobo. And the team also met the mysterious adventurer known as Empress. Initially suspecting Empress was Arrowette, Young Justice later learned it was Anita Fite – daughter of federal agent Donald Fite – behind the mask. Empress joined the team as well, despite her father’s initial misgivings. In addition to these new faces, Snapper Carr became the team’s advisor in Young Justice #38-39 and Young Justice #41 welcomed The Ray as a new member
Once an insecure tomboy, Wonder Girl was starting to become a more self-assured young woman. In addition to a more attractive costume designed by Todd Nauck, Wonder Girl was elected team leader in Young Justice #46, even beating out Robin for the position.
The series took a darker turn when Anita Fite’s father was slain by her grandfather, Agua Sin Gaaz, leader of the criminal nation of Zandia in the “Fighting MAAD” storyline in Young Justice #47-50. Gaaz was also responsible for the death of Empress’ mother years ago. Empress swore revenge on Gaaz, as Young Justice gathered a cadre of young heroes to descend on Zandia. The assault led Empress to Gaaz, but before she could enact her revenge, Arrowette’s mother killed Gaaz to prevent Empress from becoming a murderer. Gaaz’s experiments in genetics left Empress with infant duplicates of her mother and father. Anita is now faced with the bizarre task of raising her own parents!
For the last story of the series, Darkseid took advantage of Greta’s vulnerable state and turned Secret to the dark side in Young Justice #52-55. Robin eventually reminded Secret of her humanity and she broke free of Darkseid’s control. Darkseid punished Secret with the worst thing he could imagine: restoring her humanity so she was forced to live the life of a normal girl. Ironically, this was actually Greta’s fondest wish. The series closed and Wonder Girl and Superboy were even able to steal a kiss during that last adventure.
Young Justice next appeared in Graduation Day #1-3, where the tragic deaths of Troia and Omen result in the dissolution of both Young Justice and the Titans. Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl and Impulse later form an all-new Teen Titans team with Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy in Teen Titans (third series) #1 in 2003.
The entire Young Justice series was written by Peter David with art by Todd Nauck. The series, while mostly light and humorous, did touch upon some weightier subject matter at times – such as Arrowette’s resigning from superheroics and Secret’s tragic past.
Young Justice #1-55
Girlfrenzy: Young Justice: The Secret #1
JLA: World Without Grown-Ups #1-2
Young Justice Secret Files #1
Young Justice: Our Worlds At War #1
Young Justice in No Man’s Land #1
Young Justice 80 Page Giant #1
Spyboy/Young Justice #1-3
Specials & Mini-Series:
Young Justice: Sins of Youth #1-2
Young Justice: Sins of Youth Secret Files
Sins Of Youth: JLA, Jr. #1
Sins Of Youth: Aquaboy/Lagoon Man #1
Sins Of Youth: Batboy & Robin #1
Sins Of Youth: Kid Flash/Impulse #1
Sins Of Youth: Starwoman & the JSA (Junior Society Of America) #1
Sins Of Youth: Superman, Jr./Superboy, Sr. #1
Sins Of Youth: Wonder Girls #1
Sins Of Youth: The Secret/Deadboy #1
Supergirl #36-37: “Hell’s Angels” Crossover
Superboy #74: “Sins of Youth” Crossover
Impulse #85, Robin #101, Superboy #99: “World Without Young Justice” Crossover
Secret Origins 80 page Giant #1 (featuring Young Justice)
Graduation Day #1-3
Key Issues and Storylines:
Young Justice: The Secret #1: First Young Justice team-up of Impulse, Robin & Superboy. First appearance of Secret.
Young Justice #1-2: Young Justice officially forms with Robin, Superboy and Impulse.
Young Justice #4: Secret, Wonder Girl and Arrowette join the team.
Young Justice #7: The mentors and parents meet with Red Tornado for a parent-teacher discussion.
Young Justice #15-16: When Arrowette’s school counselor is murdered, she seeks vengeance. Arrowette resigns from crimefighting.
Young Justice #19: The mysterious Empress meets the team.
Young Justice #20–21: Batgirl, Beast Boy, Flamebird, and Lagoon Boy form and all-new Young Justice. L’il Lobo arrives on Earth.
Young Justice #30: It’s Secret vs. Spoiler over the affections of Robin.
Young Justice #31: Origin of Empress revealed.
Young Justice #38-39: Snapper Carr is invited by Red Tornado to serve as advisor to Young Justice.
Young Justice #41: The Ray joins Young Justice.
Young Justice #42: Origin of Secret.
Young Justice #46: Wonder Girl is elected leader of the team.
Young Justice #47-51: Young Justice and a cadre of young heroes assault Zandia when Empress’ father is killed.
Young Justice #53-55: Secret is corrupted by Darkseid and turns against the team. As punishment for failing, Darkseid turns her human.
Graduation Day #1-3: The tragic deaths of Troia and Omen result in the dissolution of both Young Justice and the Titans.
Notable Creative Runs:
Peter David, Writer: Young Justice #1-55
Todd Nauck, Artist: Young Justice #1-55
Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since.