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  • Young Justice Review

    by chad

    I didn’t realize 15 days have gone by ever since I started playing Diablo III @_@ Sorry for the backlog. Luckily, I was somehow freed from the temptation of the Burning Hells after getting one-shotted a few thousand times by the smallest fries in Act II of Inferno. I guess you can call this a sabbatical.

    In other news, I’ve kept myself busy by watching Kaicho wa Maid Sama, Midori no Hibi, Nazo no Kanojo X, Sankarea, all of which I promise to blog next, and of course, you guessed it, Young Justice. Thanks once again to Nerd Herd PH for informing me of this great show.

    Me and my friends’ first impression of YJ is that it sounded like a porn flick, and that it’s gonna be another Teen Titan kiddie cartoon. But just by watching the first two episodes, I can conclude that it’s not. If you’ve watched Justice League and Justice League Unlimited before, some episodes from this series would offer a much darker setting that would morbidly break down our young heroes’ mental, emotional and spiritual state.

    The story starts in the fictional universe of DC during a time period where superheroes are a relatively recent phenomenon, as the Justice League is only about 6-7 years old. In the first episode “Independence Day“, the day is spent defeating four ice villains attacking four different cities, and that the sidekicks are pretty much excited about ‘The Day’. It is later revealed that ‘The Day’ is step 1 in making them full-pledged members of the league.

    Much to Aqualad, Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West) and Speedy’s disappointment, step 1 only meant granting them full access to the Hall of Justice in DC, which is supposedly a decoy base in contrast to their real base in space called the Watchtower.

    The hot-headed Speedy was enraged and decided to ditch the heroes and his sidekick friends. He would later go solo in the alias of Red Arrow. The Justice League then takes off on a mission, advising the sidekicks to ‘Stay put.’ Feeling they’re just being babysitted around, Robin hacks the computer to look for other anomalies they can investigate while the leaguers have their hands full.

    A burning Cadmus Laboratory brings them to rescue the people inside, and accidentally discovers that the two-storey building actually has 50 underground alien R&D levels below, which sparks this ad-hoc team’s curiosity.

    After a failed espionage and a couple of hero-small fry bashing, the team found themselves trapped in the top-secret room called Kr. Kr, which stands for Kryptonite. And in that room also stood an illegal clone of Superman, being force-fed knowledge by the aliens at the time. Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash frees him, but got super-pounded by the super-enraged and super-confused Superboy instead.

    After a lot of plot twists and turns, Superboy finally decided to help as they barely escaped after the building exploded in ruins. The Justice League arrives just in time to see what happened. Batman was determined in punishing them, but wasn’t able to do so since there were more pressing matters at hand: the illegal clone of Superman, Superboy.

    They couldn’t tell if he was good or bad to begin with, or he himself didn’t know he was bad, or if the unknown enemy had this planned all along. It is clearly seen that Superman showed awkwardness towards this clone-son of his, which made Superboy somewhat insecure. Typical case of father not acknowledging his son. Lol.

    Due to the stubbornness of the sidekicks wanting to take on real missions like the league, Batman and Superman gave them the very first secret base of the Justice League: Mount Justice. From here on out, this would be their own along with the supervision of Red Tornado, training and psychological guidance by Black Canary, and mission briefings from Batman. Miss Martian, Artemis and Zatanna would later join the team.

    They would spend their days learning on acting as a solid team, while stopping the bad guys and sometimes helping the league in their cause. As the episodes progress, they would soon discover an ultra-evil plan concocted by ‘The Light‘ composed of key DC supervillains, in which they made multiple layers of conspiracies not just to subdue the team, but for a grander purpose. Even in the last arc of season 1, Vandal Savage was able to mind-control the whole Justice League. This just shows that it’s not episodic, and you have to watch it sequentially for you to follow the story.

    Here are some highlights that made me really love the show (SPOILER ALERT!):

    -The 3 Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner (not a leaguer though) are all there.
    -At some episode in Wally West’s house, you can see all three generations of speedsters dining together.
    -We get to see a more detailed history and background of not-so-famous DC characters like Red Tornado, Aqualad, Roy Harper (Speedy / Red Arrow), Superboy, Beetle, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Girl, Captain Marvel, etc. which will make you love them more.
    -In season 2 (which takes place 6 years after the first), we’ll now see season one’s Robin (Dick Grayson) become Nightwing, and that Tim Drake has now taken the mantle of Robin.
    -Kid Flash and Artemis will be giving up the hero act and live a quiet life together
    -Red Arrow and the villainess Cheshire will be actually married and have a daughter together

    And psychological problems and challenges of characters include:

    -Superboy being insecure and envious of Superman because of his limited powers due to him being half-human, and accidentally discovering that Lex Luthor is actually his other father. Luthor gives him patches to unleash his true powers and gets addicted to it.
    -Being one of the discriminated ‘Whites’ in Mars, Miss Martian adapts the personality and physical looks of Megan from a local US sitcom, and hides her true form from the team, even to the point of literally knocking everyone out of their minds and lying that the enemy did it just to hide the truth.
    -In “Failsafe”, Miss Martian unconsciously takes over the mental simulation training of Martian the Manhunter and makes them forget that it’s just a simulation. It was so real to them that Artemis went into a coma when she thought she died. Traumatized, Black Canary acted as their psychologist after that brutal episode.
    -In “Coldhearted”, Kid Flash wanted to fight with the league as a birthday wish, and the team does so. But he gets another assignment instead: to deliver a live heart to a hospital across the country in 4 hours for a girl who needs immediate transplant. Bummed, he runs across Vandal Savage and fights him for a few minutes. After arriving in the hospital, just before the clock runs out, he arrives only to find out the girl had died minutes ago.
    -In “Misplaced”, Zatanna becomes Dr. Fate by putting on his helmet, and Fate refuses to give back her body after the fight. Her father, Zatara, decides to exchange places with her and becomes Dr. Fate permanently, thus ending the scene with Zatara losing her father somewhat because of her. This resulted in the team having suspicions on her being the mole.
    -Artemis had to live with the lie of being Green Arrow’s niece, and had to hide that her mother was the ex-vigilante Huntress, and her father and sister are actually the team’s primary enemies, Sportsmaster and Cheshire.
    -All throughout the series, there will be suspicions of a “mole” within the group, and everyone will be violently fighting about it.
    -Red Arrow breaks down in season 2 with his never-ending search for the original Speedy, whom he replaced as a clone to unconsciously serve as the mole in season 1, up to the point of stealing money from the people he saves just to have a budget for the search, as the league had already stopped, believing that Speedy is no more.

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    Tags: aqualad, artemis, artemis crock, beast boy, conner kent, dc, dc comics, dick grayson, kaldur 'ahm, kid flash, m'gann m'orzz, miss martian, nightwing, raquel ervin, red arrow, robin, rocket, roy harper, speedy, superboy, teen titans, tim drake, wally west, young justice, young justice review, zatanna, zatanna zatara

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