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CSBG Archive

Meta-Messages – Peter David Commiserates With His Young Justice Characters

All October long I will be exploring the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator using the characters in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments! If you have a suggestion for a future meta-message, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

Today we look at a suggestion from my pal Michael. In Young Justice #49, Peter David commiserates with the recent cancellations of Superboy and Impulse’s ongoing series.

Toward the end of his ongoing series, Impulse left Young Justice due to events in his book. Well, soon afterward, his book was canceled and he was free to return to Young Justice. Soon before Impulse’s book was canceled, Superboy’s title was also canceled. Also, at this point, the Ray had recently joined up with Young Justice. He also, of course, had an ongoing title that was canceled. So this leads to the following exchange between teammates (art by Todd Nauck and Lary Stucker)…

Very clever stuff!


Man, Superboy’s teen beard looks ridiculous! Other than that, the art is really nice, who is it by?

Looks a bit like Humberto Ramos.

I think the art’s by Todd Nauck.

Think it’s Todd Nauck

Best entry yet, thanks Brian! I still miss the original Young Justice.

I loved this when I read it the first time. Isn’t the artist Todd Nauck?

One more I thought of. I can’t remember if this was PAD or FabNic but from the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular: http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff154/The_Question27/SpeedballGLI2.jpg

You could probably do a month of Peter David ones

Wow. I just sent you this suggestion last night! You work fast, man.

Of course, this was made all the more relevant when, six months later, Young Justice was itself cancelled to make way for the new Teen Titans book.

The art is by Todd Nauck, who drew the entire series (except for one issue, to give him a break after the “Sins of Youth” 5th week event). After YJ, he did a really cool series from Image called Wildguard. Check it out.

They shun Robin, not because he has a continuing on-going, but because he is the only one without finger-less gloves.

man i miss young justice. I kinda wish DC would bring back secret, empress, arrowette and even lil lobo, but i know if they did it would be horrible. the girls would be slutty and slobo would probably have an arm ripped off and then be beaten to death with it

Guys, you’ve all got it wrong. Todd Nauck drew this one.

I still think its pretty funny.
Peter David is awesome.

i still think young justice being canceled and turning into teen titans was kind of tragic since it wasnt needed. thery were doingg fine as young justice.

Why won’t anyone just tell me who drew this issue?!

After a fair bit of googling, I’m certain-ish that it’s a Todd Nauck issue

This was hilarious.

Pretty darn good! By the way, was the fact that The Ray was older than most YJers acknowledged in the book? Was he a sort of mentor?

love the look they give robin at the end after super boy kind of hints about the bat books seeming still being one comic that keeps going long after others cancled. mostly those three kind of not happy their books got canned robins still around.

That was like being hit round the head with an old saucepan. Painful.

Yeah, corny and painful in the classic Peter David style.

See, I usually like the meta things like this, but this one raises plenty of questions that take me out of things too much.

Would Impulse really have the patience to follow a monthly comic? It seems he would zip right to the writer or artist’s house and get on their cases to produce faster (hmm, maybe we need an Impulse…)

And really, what kind of comic books would people in the DCU read? We’ve seen that in the Marvel U, they read about the superheroes we do, with twists (like that wonderful Marvels Comics Daredevil issue by Isabella and… Eddy Newell, right?), but have we seen what they read in the DCU? Would they read superhero books? If the DCU comics are superhero ones, why would they interest superheroes that much (except maybe as “hey, that’s not how it happened” or “what kind of move is THAT?” commentary), since they live that life? If they aren’t superhero books, what do they read?

Too many questions for someone like me. It’s cute, but aggravating.

Travis, this was answered in the Bugs Bunny/Superman crossover: in the DCU they read comics about the Looney Toons (and vice versa, actually).

I read this bit to my wife, and she was laughing out loud. Good choice, Brian.

Is the new Young Justice Cartoon based on this comic? I quite like that show.

@Travis You’re overtaking this one, it’s just a ‘take it or leave it’ gag.

I didn’t remember that. In retrospect, I would’ve thought Impulse would be relieved, given how his *ahem* favorite book hadn’t been the same since the really good writer left years ago.

Brian . . . how about the first three pages of the season, where the boys have a sleepover at the old JLA HQ, and they all dream about going through shit Peter David did unto other heroes. I don’t remember what happened to Superboy (flaming wings like Supergirl??), but I do recall Impulse going through Hulk’s changes, and Robin getting a Batarang shoved in his stump after roaches chewed off his hand. Good times.

And really, what kind of comic books would people in the DCU read? We’ve seen that in the Marvel U, they read about the superheroes we do, with twists (like that wonderful Marvels Comics Daredevil issue by Isabella and… Eddy Newell, right?), but have we seen what they read in the DCU? Would they read superhero books?

Way back in the Silver Age, of course, the Earth-2 superheroes were shown to be comic book characters on Earth-1. In fact, that came up in the story that ushered in the Silver Age, where Barry Allen is reading an old Jay Garrick Flash comic before the accident that turned him into the Flash.

@Xander — oh, that’s cool. I’ve got to hunt that book down — wasn’t it by Mark Evanier and Joe Staton? 2 faves of mine, plus DC superheroes with the Looney Tunes? All sorts of awesome.

@Martin — you’re undoubtedly right, but it is 2 full pages of the story, so it’s a significant amount of the book. Also, I’m of the view that these sorts of gags should work with the internal logic of the story as well as making the meta comment. The meta comment is cute, but the internal logic of the story should make it more than just a meta comment. When you start thinking through the logic, you start asking the questions I did above. Without it “working” within the story, it’s just a barely veil comment sticking out like a sore thumb. If it’d been established prior that these guys read comics and have their favorites, it “works” better in my view.

There I go again, overthinking it…

@buttler — d’oh! Shoulda thought of that! Barry Allen, the original comic geek. Thinking through that one, at the time of that story, there “weren’t” any superheroes on Earth-1, so having superhero comics makes sense.

If you did live in a superhero world, would you read pirate comics? :)

Guys, you’ve all got it wrong. Todd Nauck drew this one.

No, it was Todd Nauck

“Without it “working” within the story, it’s just a barely veil comment sticking out like a sore thumb.”

I’m actually okay with that.

Sometimes I just toss in stuff for my own amusement and hope that it will likewise entertain the readers. Which, more often than not, it does. Usually these are character bits. Hell, some years ago I did an entire issue of X-Factor, #87 of the original run, which was nothing BUT character bits; it had no plot at all. People still cite that as one of their favorites.

Sometimes I’ll just stop the story altogether to do a character bit. In this instance, Impulse had returned after making a big deal about leaving the team. So I decided to focus on it in what I hoped would be an amusing manner and hoped readers would get a kick out of it. Considering they’re still talking about it a decade later: mission accomplished.


You know what this says to me?

Where the heck are the YJ trade paperbacks, DC?

bah to TPBs. Where’s a hardcover covering the first 12-15 issues?

Mychael Darklighter

July 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm

not being printed anymore.
that, and never been printed, depending on where in the run.

Hilarious i love it !

Humor is always subjective. It’s either love it or hate it.

For me, though: love it.

Loved this scene, thanks.

The art is ridiculous, the characters all look like they’re ten years old. And people are praising it? SERIOUSLY?

Raymond, it’s an incredibly fun series, and unlike so many others (especially of its time) the cartoonish art enhances it rather than detracts from it.
That’s why I praise it.

If you don’t like it, though, that’s your taste, and that’s fine. I’m normally not a fan of cartoony art either.

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