The series debuted on January 19, 2011 with issue #0, less than one week after the airing of the second episode of season one. It was written by the show's producer Greg Weisman and staff writer Kevin Hopps. For the following six issues, Weisman delegated the writing to Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, so that Weisman and Hopps could focus on the scripting, pre-production and post-production of the animated series. However, Brandon Vietti, Weisman and Hopps supervised the writing of the comics to make sure everything was kept in continuity. Mike Norton provided the cover art for these six issues, as well as the interior art for the first four.
Starting with issue #5, Christopher Jones took over as the full-time illustrator for the series. He provided interior art and cover for all of the following issues, except for issues #5, #6 and #21, for which he only did the interior art, and issues #12 and #19, for which he only did the covers.
It usually took between four and six months between one issue being plotted and getting published (for instance, issues #13, #14 and #15 were plotted by October 4, 2011 and they were released in February, March and April of the following year, respectively).
By June 13, 2012 and starting with issue #20, the comic was rebranded Young Justice: Invasion to match the title of the shows second season. The series was cancelled in November 2012, as issue #25 was touted to be the "final issue".
The stories are mostly set during the events of season one, with the exception of issues #20-25, which precede the events of season two. However, they don't fit exclusively between the episodes of the show. While some issues do take place between the events of the episodes, others are set during an elapsed period of time within an episode. For instance, issue #0 takes place before, during and after the three days gap at the end of "Fireworks", while the subsequent two issues take place entirely between "Fireworks" and "Welcome to Happy Harbor". Also, some issues expand on the events of the show, like issue #0, whereas others depict events referenced in the episodes, such as issues #1 and #2.
There were originally intended to be five or six more issues released prior to the comic being rebranded Young Justice: Invasion to match the second season of the show, which would have been set during season one. However, since the show had already reached the second season, DC wanted the comic to move forward sooner. Writer Greg Weisman wanted the rebranded comic to launch with a big story featuring the whole Team, so the planned stories for those issues were shelved with plans to return to them later on in the run, and issue #20 became the first issue of Young Justice: Invasion.
Milestone characters Icon and Rocket were originally to be featured in the Young Justice: Invasion comics arc. Icon was meant to be one of Kylstar's captives, and Rocket would be part of Zatanna's contingent. Rocket even appeared in issue #20 and Icon was featured on the solicited covers of issues #21 and #23, but he was later removed from the dressed covers, and Greg Weisman was forced to rewrite both characters out of issues #21-25. The writer ascribed this decision exclusively to DC Comics, but the reason behind it remains undisclosed.
Since its cancellation, Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones have revealed some details about planned but unpublished stories, some of which have since appeared the revived comics:
Revival campaign and Young Justice: Outsiders prequel
Following the show's revival for a third season in November 2016, Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones have been lobbying DC Comics to revive the comics series as well, spurring fans to show their support by buying the comics digitally.
On October 10, 2018, it was announced that the tie in comic would return for a one-shot prequel to the third season, with Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones returning as writer and penciler, respectively. The comic would be digital-only, exclusive to the DC Universe streaming service. It was subsequently announced that the comic would be released in two ten page chapters, on January 2 and 3, 2019, immediately leading up to the premiere of the show's third season on January 4. "Torch Songs, Part 1" was noted as being the first comic created especially for DC Universe.
Weisman and Jones continue to hope for a full renewal of the comic, encouraging fans to subscribe to DC Universe and read the old and new issues to demonstrate demand. To help promote awareness of the comics, a number of unofficial, fan-made motion comics have been produced featuring members of the show's voice cast reading short sections of existing comics. The first was released on YouTube in November 2018.
On April 6, 2022, DC Comics announced Young Justice: Targets, a six-issue series that takes place after the finale of Young Justice: Phantoms. Each issue will first be available on the DC Universe Infinite platform for 30 days before making their way to comic book shelves. Moreover, each issue includes a bonus story detailing previously unseen adventures from past seasons of the show.
Based on the upcoming hit animated show from Warner Bros. debuting on Cartoon Network! Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Aqualad star in this explosive issue kick starting an all-new ongoing series! They're four young superheroes learning how to be a team ... and maybe doing a bit of growing up along the way – but only just a little bit!
Superboy discovers that an unwanted guest in the Team's cave is not really what he appears to be! Is the threat deadly to only The Boy of Steel – or is the entire Justice League in danger, as well? Superboy struggles to find the balance between fighting for himself and for the sake of others!
On a hunch and in an attempt to improve their teamwork, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad try to prevent an assassination carried out by the League of Shadows. But will they be able to save the target if they can't even save themselves?
This super sampler is the perfect place to check out two sensational series from the DC Kids line, Young Justice and Batman: The Brave & The Bold, based on the popular animated series seen on Cartoon Network. It includes two exciting, all-new stories that readers of all ages will enjoy!
A woman is targeted by a covert group of assassins! It's Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad to the rescue, but can they save her from the combined menace of Hook and Black Spider? Only if they can escape from the deadly duo themselves! The junior heroes must prove they can work as a team and take on the menace of the League of Shadows at the same time!
Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy and Miss Martian are ready for their first mission as a team. To get to know each other better, they decide to trade stories around the campfire, revealing how they all started as crimefighters. Will this bring them together or underscore their differences?
Campfire bonding continues as the members of the Team share their background stories as well as their hopes and fears. But when do these team-building exchanges cross over into TMI territory? How about when Superboy tells everyone how he's thinking of taking out Superman?
When night descends on Gotham City, Artemis takes to the streets. Prowling the rooftops and the alleyways for the first time, this teen archer has a choice to make: Will she fight on the side of the angels or follow a darker path?
Can someone with Artemis' pedigree really be a hero? A close encounter when the Team takes action against the deadly android Amazo may give her the chance to prove herself – if she can survive the onslaught of Professor Ivo's malevolent MONQIs!
The Team is taking Espionage 101 from Captain Atom. Their class project is to solve a cold case that involves a forty-year-old murder mystery, a military conspiracy and a half-decent chance that none of them will come out alive.
Captain Atom's cold-case assignment is definitely heating up: The true killer has resurfaced to target anyone who might expose the truth about the murder of General Lemar back in 1968 – and that includes each and every member of the Team!
The spotlight turns to Robin, who must leave his teammates to fight alongside his crimefighting mentor, Batman. And the stakes couldn't be higher for the Dynamic Duo as they face off against the Demon Head himself: Ra's al Ghul!
There's a new menace in Gotham City: a creature so strange – and so versatile – that not even the combined might of the entire Young Justice team can stand against it. Witness the origin of...Clayface!