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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Young Justice Invasion, Episode 209 – “Darkest”

I'm getting good at this peekaboo stuff

Our previous episode seemed to be filler, but given the writers’ previous track record I am sure it will play into the story somehow. Back to the main story where one of my favorite characters on the show is the new bad dude to be reckoned with. Aqualad has made quite a name for himself on both sides of the coin. His former teammates (most of them anyway) now hate him for what he did to Artemis but his father could not be more proud. The evil powers that be still have not allowed him to “step into The Light,” but he definitely has their attention. The deception that he and Nightwing have created is working; I only worry because The Light is extremely deceptive and dangerous. Not to mention the fact that our heroes do not have the best track record in being one step ahead of their enemies.

I'm totally gonna be Bulkhead for Halloween this year.

BUGGIN’ OUT Lagoon Boy opens the episode swearing all kinds of vengeance on Kaldur’ahm. Black Manta advises his son that he will handle the transportation of La’gaan to the partner and that he must perform one more task to gain the trust of The Light. His team consists of Icicle Jr., The (real) Terror Twins and his right hand, Tigress (aka Artemis). They head to Texas in an attempt to abduct Blue Beetle and Impulse, who is Jaime’s current uninvited guest. The duo dispatch Kaldur’s team a little too easily and Bart makes off with the tracking device used to find them. This was according to plan as Kaldur advises his subordinates that the device hacked Mount Justice’s defenses the moment Impulse entered. With playtime over, his team takes down Beast Boy, Nightwing, Superboy and the aforementioned duo with ease (and inhibitor collars). What the Scarab thought was a bluff becomes a very real nightmare as Tigress follows Kaldur’s command and obliterates Mount Justice with the same type of bomb used on Malina Island. Wally berates Nightwing in the Hall of Justice as he believes the plan is falling apart. He even suggests that Kaldur may actually be playing him as a triple agent. At this point you would need a lightsaber to cut the plot.

That's for trying to kiss me back on the beach!

QUITE THE CROCK I understand why the writers chose to have Artemis take up the mantle of Tigress but it does not seem to fit too well into the story. Granted, in comics, this is her villain persona and for that matter, she really is a villain in the comics. The problem I have with Tigress in this story is that Artemis Crock is supposed to be dead and Tigress is supposed to be someone completely different. In the world of comic book villains, it is not uncommon for someone to take up a former criminal’s name and or even their old costume. It could be total coincidence that the mother of the hero Kaldur killed used go by the name Tigress. It could also be total coincidence that his new right hand showed up right after he killed Artemis. The problem with wishful thinking is that the members of The Light are not stupid. At least four of them in fact have genius level intellect. There is also the other matter of Sportsmaster and Cheshire, both of whom are agents of The Light that have sworn revenge against Black Manta and Kaldur’ahm. Before this is over, someone is going to see through that disguise.

OMG, it's like, gonna be the biggest bonfire party, EVER!

DAYS OF FUTURE. . . PAST? We know that Impulse is on a mission to save the future and we have seen a glimpse of the bleak future that awaits if he fails. For one, he has alluded to the fact that Barry Allen, the current Flash, is dead. The future version of Neutron fell to his knees when he realized that the future had changed, but not enough. Mount Justice was still gone, and we now know who was responsible. Quantum physics would say that Impulse is not going to succeed in his mission, but those rules never work very well in comics. Considering who he is, he spends a slightly abnormal amount of time with Blue Beetle. Someone from the future would probably know Jaime’s darker secrets; you know, the ones he does not even know himself as yet. Despite the tragedy at Mount Justice, Impulse has not totally failed. . . yet. Also consider what Nightwing said – that the cave was just a place and its destruction was necessary to keep Kaldur’s cover. Neutron may be standing in a location of a necessary evil. We have not seen the rest of the world in his time.

It slices, it dices, it even blows up islands!

SUCKER PUNCH? Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: despite what he ordered Tigress to do, Kaldur is not going to betray the team. The fact that Nightwing is alive and not crippled is proof enough. One thing is common to heroes like Superman, Aquaman and their protégés: they hold back when they hit normal humans. Even with the physique and training of someone like Batman, if Aqualad hit Nightwing at full strength he would probably break his spine. Even if he survived the hit, he would not have been able to escape the blast or get anyone else out. Wally is letting his emotions get the better of him because he is worried about Artemis. While that is understandable, he is probably the smartest member of the original team and should have been able to put the facts together better. That is also assuming that Dick gave him all the facts. It might also be better for Wally to be on the “Kaldur is evil” boat because the fewer people that trust him, the better his cover will be maintained.

Dude, no more tanning bed for you!

We have seen just how far Kaldur is willing to go in order to make Nightwing’s plan work. He has followed his father’s instructions to the letter and gone above and beyond his current call of duty. This, along with what I have said earlier proves his loyalty to the team. The Light is extremely dangerous and extremely difficult to stay ahead of. I think this scheme is all about that: finally beating The Light at their own game. The problem now is The Reach. They want Jaime which means they are probably ready to make a move. Blue Beetle will definitely be a key factor in determining the direction of the impending battle. I wonder if The Light is aware exactly of what they have brought to Earth. Then again, the head members, Vandal Savage and Ra’s al Ghul are both about survival of the fittest so I doubt they care very much.

EDITOR’S NOTE I don’t care how crazy things get this season, we need more moments of random foolishness like this from Impulse.