I first heard about JL8 a couple of months ago. I saw an adorable picture of kid Batman and kid Superman, mentally filed it, and said, “Yeah, I have to check that out later.” Yesterday, I finally had the chance to do just that. A few hours later, I’d read the entire year’s worth of Yale Stewart’s hilarious, sweet, and, at times, poignant webcomic.
Stewart gives us the Justice League main players – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Power Girl, and the new kid, Martian Manhunter – as 8 year-old schoolmates. There are crushes, birthday parties, playground bullies, and evil gym teachers. Keep an eye out for fantastic cameos from the DC Universe.
The comic is entertaining, and I can’t believe how well Yale Stewart captures the essence of the JL characters and translates them to childhood personalities. Bruce is a brooding 8 year-old; Clark is idealistic. Diana wants to be a warrior, not a fluffy princess. J’onn is a shy newcomer, anxious to learn the customs of his new friends. They’re adorable and the comic is compulsively readable.
Stewart has a JL8 site on Facebook in addition to his Tumblr site, both of which are updated as new comics go up weekly. The art and the writing quality is fantastic – it’s a free webcomic, but I’d absolutely pay to get something like this in print. I can’t wait until he comes to New York ComicCon this Fall, because I’m most likely handing my wallet directly over to him. He’s been on the con circuit this year and taking commissions in advance, so I’m hoping I can get a request or three in time for NYCC.
JL8 is an all-ages comic, so feel free to share with the kids in your life. I’ve got my 9 year-old saying, “Let’s boogie.” (Read the comic to figure out the reference!)