If there’s any writer tailor-made to tackle Grant Morrison’s Super Young Team, it’s Joe Casey. The combination of superheroics, commercialism, coolness, and youth is a mixture of various ideas and themes Casey has been working on for years. When announced, it seemed like a match made in heaven, and Casey does not disappoint.
While the Super Young Team was an integral part of “Final Crisis,” acting as stand-ins for the Forever People and assisting Mister Miracle in spreading the cure for Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation, they now find themselves back at square one, trying to prove to the world that they’ve got what it takes to be Japan’s premier superteam. That is, if they can actually get off their brand new satellite headquarters and do anything other than party.
The group finds itself at odds with its own image. Before “Final Crisis,” they were content to spend every night at a club, getting drunk, looking cool, and acting like actually fighting crime was beneath them. Now that they’ve gotten a taste of what fighting true evil is like, they want to get out there and be the new Japanese super-team, picking up where Big Science Action left off. The problem is that their new investors want them to do nothing but act cool, spread the brand, and look to the West. “That’s American down there, baby... they need new heroes, too,” their publicist tells them as Most Excellent Superbat mocks him on Twitter.
Peppered throughout the issue, Casey had Most Excellent Superbat narrate through Twitter posts, a means to ground the character in the contemporary world, and to allow him to also voice more random thoughts that don’t necessarily tie in directly to the plot. It’s a style reminiscent of the infoscrolls Casey used in “The Intimates,” and transfers to this book quite well.
The manner in which Casey tells this story, readers will be itching for Super Young Team to actually do something just as much as the heroes do. The constant string of go-nowhere scenes, of characters talking about how they want to do more, it all works to build a bond between the heroes and readers, a unified front against the endless tedium of a party on a satellite headquarters. The only problem is that none of the Super Young Team really stand out aside from Most Excellent Superbat. Where Grant Morrison infused each with their own unique voice and personality, Casey isn’t able to get much of that across. For an issue where the characters don’t do much except talk, we don’t learn a lot.
ChrisCross infuses these characters with a youthful look in their faces and body language, often showing them dwarfed by the expansive surroundings of their new HQ, like he does on the second page. He manages to walk the fine line between depicting nothing really happening and not allowing the book to be visually boring. Not only that, but his panels of Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash dancing are fantastic and capture the speedster on the dance floor well.
“Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance” looks like it could be the best of the bunch with Casey and ChrisCross at the helm, building on what Grant Morrison set up. They even work in a funny Aquaman being useless joke that sheds some light on the team dynamics. A funny, engaging read -— it’s only one issue in and I want an ongoing series already.