Thursday, 25 August 2011

Young Justice

I recently discovered that the new Young Justice cartoon can be viewed on Youtube; when it first came out I'm assuming the copyright gestapo where out in force because I couldn't find it.  I am about 5 episodes in right now and hope to finish the rest in the next few days.
Minor spoilers ahead.

Kid Flash got into
the Atom's stuff again.

The show is based on the Young Justice comic book by Peter David, created by Peter David and Todd Nauck, and merged with the Teen Titans as well.  The show features Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Aqualad,  Ms. Martian, and Artemis (apparently the show chose not to use the name Arrowette for the archer as was the case in the Young Justice book).  Green Arrow's former partner, who started out as Speedy but redubs himself Red Arrow after severing ties with his mentor, is also in the mix but not as a member of the team.  Red Tornado and Batman round out the cast as the team's supervisors and to assign missions.  Various Justice League members are in the mix as the plot demands; in one episode, Black Canary drops by to do hand-to-hand combat training with the team, for example.

While I have yet to see evidence of it on the show, a little research on the internet reveals that Robin is Dick Grayson.  I find that a little disappointing because the trio of Tim Drake, Connor Kent, and Bart Allan was always the heart of Young Justice, and then later the Teen Titans.  To me Dick & Wally belong to the Titans, with Starfire, Donna Troy, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy.  The revelation that this is Dick doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the show, but it would be enhanced if this were Tim.  Anyway, Robin is one of the younger members of the team, if not the youngest, but also the most experienced.  He has a real flair for technology, and a habit of butchering the English language for his own amusement.

Kid Flash was quickly revealed to be Wally West, which I wasn't terribly happy about.  In my mind Wally West is the Flash, but since we've seen an adult Flash it has to be Barry Allan in the Justice League.  As I said before, the big draw of Young Justice, and then later in Teen Titans, was the relationship between Bart Allan, Tim Drake, and Connor Kent.  Considering their identities I do like the relationship between Robin and Kid Flash, as they are the two original (comics) Titans members on the team.  Wally is impulsive, as many speedsters are, and his speed isn't over the top like in the comics; while he can vibrate through objects, it is very draining on him, and I'd estimate that the speed of sound is probably his top range.

On the other hand though, I really like what they've done with Superboy.  He has a lot of anger at the world, and considering he grew up in a test tube a lot of it is justified.  He doesn't like letting people get close, and he feels lost.  Young Justice gives him a place to belong, but he is definitely not a team player yet.  What I also really like is his relationship with Superman; basically, he weirds Superman out.  The man of steel basically wants nothing to do with him because he makes him feel uncomfortable (a perfectly natural reaction), which future fuels Superboys feeling of rejection.  There is a scene I really liked with Batman giving Superman parenting advice, which makes total sense since Batman has raised Robin.

Aqualad is a new character with an old name; he's been reimagined as a black character, presumably to bring diversity to the cast rather than using another Teen Titan character like Cyborg or Bumblebee.  It doesn't really bother me though because the new Aqualad is pretty cool, and I'm a lot less harsh on these kind of changes in a cartoon than in the comics themselves (more on that topic in another post).  He is the leader of the team, but only until Robin feels he is ready, which is a great compromise I think to take some of the focus off of Robin (as he was the star of the Teen Titans cartoon).

Ms. Martian is said to be the Martian Manhunters niece, which is a change from the comics (where she is actually a white martian, not a green one) but a nice and easy way to include her.  She is less powerful than her uncle but she provides a fresh, innocent perspective on things, such as Starfire did on the Teen Titans cartoon.  Also interesting is that she and J'onn are not the sole survivors of Mars, as she mentions she has twelve sisters on Mars.

Finally, Artemis.  I've only seen one episode with her so far so I'm not sure how similar she is to Arrowette of the comics; at a glance I think the only similarity is blonde hair and archery, to be honest.  She is the team mystery, as she and Green Arrow claim she is his niece but Red Arrow dispels that pretty quickly (privately, not to the rest of the team).
What really surprised me about this show was the inclusion of the Justice League.  Unlike the Teen Titans cartoon (which is highly underrated in my opinion), where the Justice Leage was kept completely separate (Batman's name was never mentioned once in the entire 5 seasons the show aired), here the League is represented in full force.  These kids are the sidekicks, much to Speedy's disapproval.  One fun aspect of the original Young Justice comic, as well as the early issues of the relaunched Teen Titans, was the kids trying to find their own way and gain trust from their mentors.  These kids are privy to the secrets of the world's greatest heroes, and also want to prove themselves.  Having the Justice League around for the kids to look up to and rebel against should make for some fun television.

If you can park your DC continuity at the door and enjoy the show as a new take on the DC Universe, you're in for a treat.


  1. genial la serie nunca me la pierdo claro el cartoon dice qe lo dan a las 5 pero el kmbio de horario para chile es la 7pm

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