21-OCT-2011 The teens are finding their footing as individuals who need to explore their personal gifts of power and intelligence; and they have to simultaneously figure out how to function as this team. You might see it as a choice that you can walk away from the minor leagues but where else is a crimefighting teen supposed to learn valuable lessons?

The character choices for this show have been debated since its launch. Fans were outraged of the legal issues barring Wonder Girl from appearing (word was she would eventually join the team). Characters like Superboy and M’gann however open up a different can of worms. Superman was supposed to be the last Kryptonian then Power Girl, Supergirl and Superboy were introduced – even Krypto and Streaky. Miss Martian is considered Jonn J’onnz niece that he treats like a cold fish. Sure, she’s annoying as can be, but as the only female character in episode 5, you need to feel sorry for her.

The voice acting is inferior compared to the great animated series of Bruce Timm and company. Bruce Wayne, Aquaman, and Clark/Superman are, quite frankly, William Shatner parodies. All of the voices are choppy and filled with awkward pauses. Wally seems to be the most genuine in conversation. The acting is truly horrible and since it’s across the board, I’m blaming the directors.

M’gann’s powers seem closer to Raven (from the Teen Titans show) than Martian Manhunter at times; this sort of transference is why it’s hard to move from one show to another. Young Justice is supposed to fill the void now that Teen Titans is off the the air. For some viewers this will work fine because they don’t have preconceived notions about characters like Robin or martians.

The relationship developments between the characters are charming and PG. Such wholesome approaches to the male-female dichotomies are lost in every single live action teen show on television. Leave it to a cartoon to make them more realistic. Not every teen is wealthy and consumed with partying.

It’s actually great to see that conflict is still acceptable in a kids’ show. Too many shows are “nerfed” and never seem to get passed bullying as the only type of conflict in the world. There are real fights, real wars and family rivalries. Young Justice does a fabulous job allowing those truths to be addressed.

You can own Young Justice, Season 1 Volume 2 on DVD on October 25, 2011.

Episode 5 – SCHOOLED ANGER
“The lack of relationship and interaction with Superman angers Superboy, leading him to lose control of his anger and decline training with Black Canary. When Young Justice encounters an opponent that even their Justice League superiors have experienced difficulty in defeating, will Superboy decide to help the team?” tv.com

It’s always a popular nerd debate whether someone who has expertise in martial arts could win in a fight with someone highly superpowered like Superboy or Superman. Batman might be smart enough to carry kryptonite with him but a Kryptonian not only has strength, they also have speed, resistance, ice breath and the often forgotten superior intelligence. So when episode one of volume two opens with Black Canary (mildly super powered) having Superboy as a hand-to-hand combat student, the question of who can win comes up again.

Android monkeys attack the team. The worst of the foes is Amazo, the android with a stock of powers mirroring the Justice League elite members.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkDLxtXOt7M

Episode 6 – INFILTRATOR
“Green Arrow’s niece, Artemis, joins Young Justice and must save a bright young scientist from the League of Shadows.” tv.com

Artemis joins the team and has to prove her skills. The hint of mystery surrounding a double-cross by a team member is unoriginal considering the popularity of “Starcrossed” when Hawkgirl’s loyalty to her people of Thanagar prevailed over her loyalty to Earth. Artemis’ true connection to Green Arrow is apparently known only to non-team member Red Arrow. Her opponent in this match is a kabuki style warrior calling herself Chesire.

The beach scene. What was with the pause in the animation where M’gann is mid-air in a bikini but her hair is still blowing in a breeze? The animation felt awkward.

Dr. Roquette abducted by the League of Shadows. Rescued by Red Arrow. The nanobots are a fierce opponent that can infiltrate any building and hack any software. The new addition of Artemis is the best change in the lineup. Her personality is bold without being jerky. She is put in a tough position of taking a spot on the team placed by Green Arrow because Roy (aka Speedy/Red Arrow/how many names does one kid need?) walked out at the beginning of the Young Justice assembly. I could do without the bare midriff on Artemis’ design. It’s another unnecessary element that shows young female viewers what’s important are sculpted abs over intelligence and combat skills. The show really didn’t need a Huntress replacement like this.

Episode 7 – DENIAL
“Young Justice investigates the disappearance of Kent Nelson, the former Dr. Fate. Meanwhile, Kid Flash, who doesn’t believe in magic, must defeat Abra Kadabra and Klarion the Witch Boy to obtain the Helmet of Fate.” tv.com

Opening with Madame Xanadu is a treat! She’s a character I adore and love much more than Zatanna for magical elements. However, changing her so that she’s a phony is brutal deconstruction of this character. Historically she doesn’t always have her full power but to turn her into a sham is like when Wonder Woman was depowered in the 60s. Dr. Fate was hinted at in ep 6 and become central here in ep 7. The dig or jab at Marvel by calling Dr. Fate the “Sorcerer Supreme” is shallow. Maybe kids don’t really notice that sort of thing. I sure didn’t at that age. I couldn’t tell you if Spider-Man was Marvel or Batman was DC. I just know I like their cartoons when I was seven years old. Opening up discussion about where magic ends and science begins is appropriate for any age. Klarion the Witch Boy is an analog to Mordred from JL/JLU/Batman (can we just call that the Timmverse?). He’s the same character in behavior, powers and even hairstyle. Fate needs to find a suitable human host. He test drives Wally West/Kid Flash but Dr. Fate is convinced that a boy of science is not appropriate as a vessel for sorcery.

Episode 8 – DOWNTIME
“After a team mission goes badly, Aqualad returns to Atlantis to reconsider his role as team leader, or whether he should pursue personal interests. However, he soon discovers that there is no escaping his destiny.” tv.com

Aqualad wrestles with his desire to be back home in the water with people he loves, a girl in particular, versus his choice to be in the League. It’s time now for Robin to be tested for the position of team leader as fans are used to seeing him.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ofz1leh_DQ

1 comment on “Review: YOUNG JUSTICE Season 1 Volume 2”

  1. I completely agree about Madame Xanadu. I thought it was great they were including her but was shocked when she was revealed to be a fraud.

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