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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Young Justice Invasion, Episode 201 – “Happy New Year”

About time Robin gets to sit at the big boy table!

The team made it through the impossible. They survived launching an assault on The Watchtower where they had to battle and save their elders, The Justice League from Vandal Savage and Klarion The Witch Boy. It would seem that for once they can truly relax. However, As he left the JL orbital HQ, Savage commented that The Light would be moving into phase two of their plan. He also did not seem very distraught over the loss of control of the Justice League. Considering the fact that for sixteen hours, a squad consisting of six of the most powerful members of the League were off in a place only The Light knows about doing their bidding, Savage probably still calls the mission a victory. That missing time along with all seven of The Light still being at large equals plenty of future problems for both teams.

Superboy teaches the class how to make ugly clay sculptures.

HAPPY WHAT YEAR? We instantly see changes as the episode begins. The team is in Gotham City thirteen hours after Robin mentioned the missing sixteen hours fighting Clayface in the sewers. However, the team consists of Superboy, a shorter-haired M’gann, an older Garfield, now called Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, Bumblebee and some kid that looks like Robin but clearly is not Dick Grayson (It’s Tim Drake now). Change is further noted as Miss Martian radios in to the team leader; instead of Aqualad, Nightwing responds. Five years have passed, Dick is no longer Batman’s partner, there is an allusion to the death of Jason Todd and Tim Drake is the new Robin – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Welcome to a very new and different Young Justice.

Wolf never hangs his head out the window with his tongue out.

TITANS, GO? The membership of the team has greatly increased. Along with Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Blue Beetle and the new Robin, there is Mal Duncan (hero identity not yet revealed), Lagoon Boy, Batgirl, Wonder Girl and possibly others. Zatanna and Rocket have accepted membership into the Justice League. Noticeably absent are Aqualad, Artemis and Kid Flash, with no word on where any of them are. The Batgirl seen here is most likely Barbara Gordon since Bette Kane would be more likely to appear as Flamebird. I like how this episode showcased the abilities of the new members. Wonder Girl versus Lobo let us see her strength level, considering he normally goes up against the likes of Superman, Green Lantern and Batman. To keep their activities covert, the team now frequently breaks up into squads, ranging from alpha to gamma. Lagoon boy laments over being placed in gamma squad because he thinks they always get the soft missions. Under Nightwing’s direction, the team seems even more focused than their original lineup Even though they are technically still under the supervision of the Justice League, they are more than capable than operating without them.

THAT is for not calling me back after our date!

THE MAIN MAN Fans of the comic and many DC fans in general went nuts when the trailer showed everybody’s favorite Czarnian, Lobo. Believe it or not, this behemoth that looks like he dwarves Superman was a member of Young Justice in the comics. He even fell for Empress, another member we have yet to see. However, in this episode, Lobo was simply carrying out a contract. There is no clue as to who hired him, but it would have to be someone that does not like the Kroloteans too much. The weird thing is that Lobo was contracted to capture a single specific Krolotean. Green Lantern mentions that they are always in packs, so capturing one really does nothing to their efforts. Something is definitely fishy about this situation. Much respect to the writers for making up an alien language so they could get away with having Lobo curse a little.

Gizmo says he doesn't have any family this ugly.

GREMLINS GET INTO EVERYTHING Members and/or agents of The Light are nowhere to be seen in this episode; instead we see a new enemy in the form of the Kroloteans. John Stewart explains that they are a race that steal technology from others and always travel in packs. Since Lobo is seen apprehending one as a bounty, John is certain that there are more on Earth, a lot more. By themselves they are not much of a threat, but when their numbers increase they are capable of almost anything. Robin and his gamma squad learn this first hand during his first field command. Outnumbered, the Kroloteans begin to overwhelm the trio until their leader notices Blue Beetle and seems to be frightened by his presence. He orders a retreat and activates the base self destruct sequence. Fortunately gamma squad rescues the human captives and even captures one of the Kroloteans. The question is why were they only afraid of Jaime’s armor when Robin and Lagoon Boy did more damage?

Irony is when the bug becomes the exterminator.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE The history of the Blue Beetle has several different incarnations and exactly what the show is using is unclear as yet. We can make some educated guesses from this episode however. The fear that the Krolotean leader has of the suit indicates that he and his people have seen it before. Also, the arguments that Jaime has with the scarab let us know there is an AI involved. This would lead us to believe the Blue Beetle history where the scarab is a tool of a cybernetic alien species called the Reach. If that is the case, then Blue Beetle will be pivotal in the overall plot of this season. We shall also see many more individuals that wear his armor. In fact, I might be reaching here (no pun intended), but the logo changed from red to blue this season and the word “Invasion” is a glowing yellow. These colors match the armor and eyes (respectively) of the Blue Beetle. It might be coincidence, but we shall just have to wait and see.

Gotta love how Connor goes undercover - turns his shirt inside out.

After the finale of season one, I was expecting a slightly relaxed intro to the second season and I was sorely mistaken. While not as action packed as the YJ/JL battle, the fights were great in this episode. The story drives forward as we have as many new questions as we were left with previously. Here are some of the things I pulled from this episode:

  • Where are the three remaining members of the original team?
  • Where is Red Arrow and did he find the real Roy Harper?
  • Which of his hero persona will Mal Duncan assume?
  • Will we see Slobo or Empress join the team?
  • What happened between Superboy and M’gann?
  • Are Nightwing and Zatanna still an item?
  • What is Phase Two of The Light’s agenda?
  • What connection do the Kroloteans have to the Blue Beetle armor?
  • What did the six JL members do while they were gone for sixteen hours?

I can go on, but those are plenty of questions to ponder. There is still the big one that needs to be answered. Going back to the new title of the show, does the invasion refer to the Krolotean presence, or is there something worse coming? Odds are the answer will blow our minds just like the revelation that Red Arrow was the mole. Stay tuned or you will regret it!

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