Show: Young Justice
Episode Title: “Independence Day part 1 & 2”
Air Date: Friday, November 26th
Network: Cartoon Network
Based on the ‘sidekicks’ of the DC universe (but not on the comic book series by the same name), this two-part pilot for Young Justice centers around Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash breaking free of their larger than life mentors. They investigate a fire at the mysterious Cadmus Labs and find more than they bargained for – including a clone of Superman who calls himself Superboy.
If you thought Young Justice was going to be a clone or retelling of the Teen Titans series of a few years back, I’m here to tell you that it ain’t. This show has a much more serious tone to it – which I liked immediately.
Warning: Spoilers abound…
In the opening scenes, we are introduced to four characters: Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Speedy. They are the sidekicks to Batman, Aquaman, The Flash and Green Arrow respectively. They each battle a cold villain – Mister Freeze, a female ice villain I didn’t recognize, Captain Cold & Icicle. Each battle ends with one of the kids saying “Today is the day”.
Turns out, that means they’re getting access to the Hall of Justice & membership in the Justice League. Or are they? Turns out, the adults are letting them into the building, but that’s as far as they can go – they are not full fledged members. This enraged Speedy, who storms out, telling Green Arrow he’s done. The other kids are stunned. The League goes off to investigate an emergency, leaving the kids to wonder what to do next.
A fire at Cadmus presents them with an opportunity to ‘prove themselves’ to their mentors by using the fire as an excuse to dig a little deeper into Cadmus. What they find is a secret underground lab, enough genetically engineered creatures being bred to form an army and a special weapon named ‘Kr’ who turns out to be a clone of Superman.
Okay – where do I begin?
I loved this show. First off, it had a dark side and I like that in my animation. Although the team is made up of teens, these are teens who’ve essentially been raised by Batman, Aquaman and Green Arrow – none of whom are exactly Fred McMurray.
The creators of the series, Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, have said that the show will not be based on the comic book series of the same name and is instead set in the DC Multiverse world of Earth-16. What does that mean to you and me? Not much. It will have the flavor of the DC Characters that we know with slight differences that the casual viewer probably won’t even notice.
I would compare it to the Bruce Timm Batman or Justice League series if you forced me. The setup is good, the whole Cadmus thing, and Superboy, who doesn’t really know how to act since he was raised in a test tube. The addition of Miss Martian, the Martian Manhunter’s niece at the end helps to add a female prospective to an all boy team. When the show itself debuts in January, they will also be adding a female archer named Artemis to the roster.
Ongoing, the series will feature the Young Justice team working for Batman on covert missions.
When I compare it to something like Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it truly shines. There is just something about a DC show, even one about kids from the DC Universe, that seems to appeal better versus the Marvel shows, which always feel very cartoony and light.
I, for one, am looking forward to this show’s regular season.
Article first published as Young Justice – Don’t call us sidekicks! on Technorati.