Today in “Should I Toon In?” I take a look at Young Justice. In case you haven’t heard of it, Young Justice is a relatively new show on Cartoon Network taking a look at the next generation of Heroes based off the Justice League. While you will see such favorites like Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, etc, as cameos the show primarily focuses on the younger stars such as Robin and Kid Flash. The sidekicks if you will, though don’t call them that, they’ll get all huffy on you.
Ok, let’s just get right into the show. Young Justice started on a one hour pilot, later split into a two-parter for syndication, that introduces four heroes with four sidekicks (Sorry) fighting four different ice based super villains. Robin with Batman, Speedy with Green Arrow, Kid Flash with Flash, and Aqualad with Aquaman. Aqualad is now darker skinned for some reason leaving me to assume that Aquaman is “down with the swirl.” After each of these fights the sidekicks (there’s that terrible word again!) comment that “Today is the Day”.
What day is today? Wonder Woman’s playboy shoot comes out? It’s time to neuter Krypto? No…, today is the day that the 4 young heroes are allowed into the Justice League. They enter for the first time and are given free access to the library, the galley, and Aquaman’s interracial pornography . Three of the members are OK with this, but Speedy will not stand for this. He knows that this is only the window dressing area of the actual Justice League’s headquarters which is actually in outer space. He throws a hissy fit and quits being Green Arrow’s sidekick and walks out.
Blah blah blah, plot device plot device, the three remaining teen members decide to prove they are worthy by going out on their own to investigate the Cadmus building where they find evil’s a foot. They found that they’ve been cloning Superman leading us to be introduced to Superboy. Blah blah blah, plot device plot device, and Superboy joins up with them, the day is saved, the Justice League isn’t happy the kids went off on their own but since the kids are still pissing and moaning they decide to make them a subset of the Justice League, “Young Justice”, and so we have our series.
Basically the show consists of this group of teen super heroes being sent on covert missions by the Justice League to subtly investigate things, usually with the edict, “This is just a recon mission, do not get physically involved.”, which always leads to the team getting physically involved by the next commercial break. In between the missions we see the young heroes interacting with each other usually in a pissy teenage way and crying that the league “still doesn’t trust them yet.”
Let’s take a look at the characters, shall we? First we have the leader of the group, Aqualad. Oh yes, the leader isn’t Robin because… well, just because. There’s a whole episode on choosing a leader with Kid Flash and Robin trying to outdo each other. Finally Robin realizes that Aqualad is the best choice and very reluctantly, Kid Flash agrees. Even though Aqualad is kind of bland he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s very level headed and actually makes a good leader and a good voice of reason amongst the other less mature characters.
Next we have Kid Flash, the super fast kid. He’s your typical wacky light hearted party character who’s constantly mistrusting the new recruits and hitting on anything with boobs. He’s fun enough as a character but I do find him to get annoying after a while. (The Teen Titans Go Kid Flash is a wayyyy cooler character). He’s also constantly picking up “souvenirs” of the team’s successes, like the eyeball of a fallen cyborg. Yes… seriously, an eyeball as a souvenir. Doesn’t remind me of a serial killer or anything like that…
Next we have the Boy Wonder himself, Robin. Robin is the only character who doesn’t reveal his true identity because Batman is one paranoid son of a gun. This Robin is somewhere between the cool Robin of Teen Titans Go and the more annoying Robin of the 60s. He has no powers but is still a good fighter. Basically his gimmick that he disappears at random times and you just hear his laughter echoing. Like a manic depressive Ninja. Oh, he also has this gimmick where he like to play with words asking stuff like, “Overwhelmed, Underwhelmed, does anyone just get whelmed?” or “Disconcerted… does that mean if you’re happy your just concerted?” These insights to the English language are then made into running bits throughout the show.
Miss Martian or M’gann M’orzz, or Megan, whatever you want to call her, is one of the female members of the team and Kid Flash is warm for her green form. She’s Martian Manhunter’s niece, and is your bubbly cheerful fish out of water “she’s sooooo unworldly, isn’t that cute/charming” character. Kind of like Starfire, but maybe not quite that niave. But she’s naïve enough to not understand why people don’t like to have their minds read without being asked first. It’s because Kid Flash is probably using his superpower to super speed masturbate to thinking about killing her and keeping part of her as a “souvenir”. You don’t want to glimpse in on that sick mind.
Then you have Superboy, the bad boy of the team. He’s angry and misunderstood, but maybe the love of a good woman can change him and save his tormented soul. He’s probably the most manic of the characters since some episodes he’s just a happy member of the team and other time’s he’s a angry tormented soul.
Finally you have Green Arrow’s “niece” Artemis, the newest member of the team. The group was slow to trust her because she’s not Speedy, but in the end they are just one big happy family…. OR ARE THEY??? At the end of her debut episode its’ revealed she has a mysterious past. Not much has been revealed about her yet (at least at by the last episode I stopped watching at) except that she’s not really Green Arrow’s niece. I’m quite upset that DC lied to me.
Oh, and how could I forget? You also have the outsider Speedy who doesn’t want to join the Young Justice League and goes off on his own changing his name to “Red Arrow”. Instead of Red Arrow they should have called him Bitchy McWhinington. I think his superpower is PMS’ing. Anytime he gets screen time its to bitch about how the league doesn’t trust him, they don’t think he’s good enough, he doesn’t need to be babysat, he’s got a nasty diaper rash, and that women don’t care for his company.
Ok. After all is said and done, the question remains, “Should I Toon In?”. This is a tough one. The show has some bright points. Good animation, nice use of the DC characters and villains, and even some clever moments like crowd chatter going this way: “Hey there’s Flash’s sidekick Speedy.” “No, Speedy is Green Arrow’s sidekick.” “Well… that makes no sense.”. The downside to the show is that most of the characters come off like pissy hormonal emotionally wrecked teenagers. I guess in other words, normal teenagers. Which to be fair, I guess that’s ok since they ARE teenagers, but it does start to grate on me after a while.
So… should you toon in? I’ll say if you enjoy DC superheroes give this one a shot. Yes, the characters come off as more whiny than likable much of the time, but they are interesting twists on the classic characters, plus the cameos are pretty cool. For instance, how often do you see Dr. Ivo and his Amazo robot in a cartoon? However, if that sort of thing doesn’t appeal to you then there is nothing extra to grab your attention.
Well that concludes this extra long look at “Young Justice”. You can watch this show at 7 PM on Cartoon Network on Fridays. Please feel free to send me your thoughts on the show below in the comments section or to email me at: SuperfriendEd@Gmail.com.
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