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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Young Justice (Premiere)

Original recipe Young Justice

EDITOR’S NOTE: I had completely forgotten that I never wrote a review for the two premiere episodes until a fan reminded me and requested the reviews. YES! you can request that MTR cover specific things you want to see.

This is where it all started

In a way, it is a good thing that I forgot to write this review when the show premiered back in November of 2010. It still bugs me that nearly two years later we have not even hit the half way mark on two seasons, but that is a whole other issue. Consider where the team is now; how they have grown and what they accomplish both with and without the Justice League. Members of Batman’s juvenile covert ops team have come and gone in more ways than one. Taking a look at the origin of Young Justice will help us understand where they are going. That said, this will probably be the most spoiler heavy review of the show I have written. If you have never watched Young Justice before, I suggest that you watch the first season or at least the first ten episodes or so before reading this.

Thanks for bringing me to the sausage party, Uncle J'onn.

ALL TEENS, NO TITANS Robin, Speedy, Aqualad and Kid Flash are all happier than most kids on Independence Day. Most people are having barbecues and setting off fireworks, but these guys are taking their first steps towards joining the Justice League. At least, this is what they thought would happen. Instead, they get to go inside the League’s glorified museum and gift shop, aka the Hall of Justice. They would not even be aware of getting the shaft had Speedy not let them know that the real JL base of operations is an orbiting space station called the Watchtower. Speedy storms off, having officially quit as Green Arrow’s sidekick. The next time we see him, he will be known as Red Arrow. Our three remaining heroes have been left in the Hall while the League goes off on a mission. Disgusted at being treated like children, they take on the mission the League ignored. At Project Cadmus, we quickly see why they have not yet been inducted into the League: that being a complete lack of teamwork. Regardless, they somehow make it to sub level fifty-two,where a genetic perversion is discovered. A clone of Superman has been created whose mission is to either replace and/or destroy Superman if the need arises. Despite their freeing him, the Superboy turns on them and facilitates their capture.

“…When you're not strong, I'll be your friend…”

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO LIFE Superboy is being controlled by the smaller G-gnomes and he guards the now captive trio of Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash. After being sent back to his cell, his super hearing picks up Aqualad’s plea. The words hit home and he frees those he previously captured. The trio is now a foursome and they have to somehow make it fifty-one levels up facing insurmountable numbers of G-gnomes. Messages in Superboy’s head from Dubbilex along with Robin’s hacking skills allow them to reach the second floor. It seems like there is no way out until Dr. Mark Desmond decides to take the Blockbuster formula. Now stronger than Superboy and Aqualad put together, Blockbuster has traded all of his intelligence for brawn. This allows Robin to easily outsmart him with a plan involving all four  teens. The end result brings the roof down on them all but only Blockbuster is left unconscious. The League shows up and apprehend Blockbuster, as Batman admonishes the four. Seeing that they are not going to be told exactly what to do anymore, Batman decides to make them his covert operations team. They are neither Justice League nor are they sidekicks anymore. With the addition of Miss Martian, Batman can see that they will go on to do great things, despite his lack of praising words. Red Tornado will stay with them as sort of a “den mother,” and Black Canary will provide them with much needed team combat training. They agree to accept their missions from Batman and the rest is, literally, history.

And now we are just going to extract your mojo.

“YOUNG, JUST US” For a while, it bothered me that the team never had a name. To this day, “Young Justice” is literally homage to the comic book the show is originally based off of. Even in said comic, that was not the actual name of the team. A big difference between show and comic is that in the comic, the kids had no real supervision. They for the most part, went on their own missions and Red Tornado just happened to be resting in the cave when they took residence. When the team was still just the original trio of (Tim Drake) Robin, Superboy and Impulse, they got into some trouble with the feds and the media was there. A reporter thought they were the Teen Titans and then the young justice league. Impulse tried to tell him that they are young but it is “just us.” The reporter took their team name down as Young Justice and it stuck to the team throughout the series’ run. That aside, seeing how the show has developed over thirty plus episodes, it would have been too silly and not lasted if it followed the comic exactly. Much respect to the writers for having that foresight and for creating a wonderful story.

Kaldur'ahm's DERPface is priceless.

CAN IT BE THAT IT WAS ALL SO SIMPLE? Watching the premiere again made me do a “Hello Megan!” a couple of times. Watching now, it seems very evident that Guardian would have been a Cadmus clone, just like Superboy. While Dubbilex was able to get into the minds of Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash, he was only able to communicate with them and the other G-gnomes were only able to psychically attack them and not control them. Guardian on the other hand did whatever he was told when he had a G-Gnome on his shoulder. This also made Speedy’s defection very convenient because I doubt he would have been able to maintain his cover inside of Cadmus. The G-Gnomes would have recognized him as their “brother” and that very possibly would have exposed him as a clone, if not the mole. That was about the only lucky break the Light had. The rest of their hidden victories were from their own careful planning.

Which way did he go, George?

SUIPERBOY, I APOLOGIZE I came down very hard on Superboy during the first season. I acknowledged it and some of you readers have pointed it out to me as well. Granted, Superboy does have a lot of the same anger that Match has, but he can control it whenever he wants to. So one might ask why he was so angry all of the time. We got a glimpse of this when he confessed to Black Canary in Disordered. He would have been a lot more level-headed had Superman not avoided him for the first year and a half of his (liberated) life. I really should have been coming down on Superman because he was guilty of being a deadbeat daddy of sorts. He now refers to Conner as his brother and he could have been that big brother to him because it would have gone a long way for his character development. Conner wondered how much of his persona came from Lex Luthor when he found out he was part human. It seems that being a prick is very much a Kryptonian quality in his genetic code.

All they need is a spotted Great Dane and some chase music.

SOME THINGS CHANGE SOME THINGS STAY THE SAME I just said that Superboy has matured, but he is still very similar. He is a caring individual and he puts his all into his fights, attempting to draw fire away from those less capable of taking damage. Despite the role he currently plays in Nightwing’s ruse, Kaldur’ahm is the same as ever. He is a straightforward and honest individual. His fighting style is a bit more vicious as it has to be to keep up appearances. Even as a villain, he still behaves very much the same as when he “was” a hero. Kid Flash and Robin are the ones who changed the most. It can be debated between Robin and Kid Flash who has actually changed the most. Robin’s changes probably seem the most obvious. He has taken control of the team, changed his identity and costume. He was the youngest and shortest member of the team and has since undergone a growth spurt. He also stopped being a loner shortly after the Cadmus event and has stopped making quips since becoming Nightwing. Kid Flash’s changes were much less cosmetic, but seem like they were more drastic. He was probably the most enthusiastic at the beginning of this show. He was the one that always collected souvenirs during missions. After his solo mission in  Coldhearted, you would definitely think he was in for the long haul, but this was not the case. The romantic tension between he and Artemis culminated with a kiss in the season finale and we knew they were going to be a couple. What we did not know was revealed in Salvage, that being he and Artemis hung up their costumes to attend college and live together. I have a feeling that the death of Aquagirl may have prompted that decision, but who knows when or if we will find that out.

Those were the days!

So there you have it folks, I have finally covered all of Young Justice’s first season and I only took slightly longer than Cartoon Network took to air it. We see shades of both the Teen Titans and Justice League shows and as fans, we can only hope that the show has a run as long as its predecessors (five seasons minimum, plus movies). This is the most original TV show that DC has had since Batman Beyond. While there is a comic book that the show is based upon, the storyline is no longer taking cues directly from any one title. Where it is going is up for debate, but I am glad that the writers continue to both surprise and satisfy.


  • Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice Invasion, Episode 208 – “Satisfaction”
  • Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice Invasion, Episode 207 – “Depths”
  • Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice Invasion, Episode 206 – “Bloodlines”