Slick’s Nit-Picks: Young Justice, Episode 115 – “Humanity”
Young Justice may be oblivious to the fact that they just beat a team of scapegoats. They may have no idea of the danger ahead and they definitely do not know for certain who their friends are. Regardless, beating the Injustice League, which they did mostly on their own, is a huge accomplishment and they have reason to feel like like the Justice League should cut them some slack. Aqualad is a proven leader; he has silenced the doubts about him and proven that he puts the needs of the team before his own. Robin has shown that he can be a team player despite his primary training. Miss Martian has proven invaluable because her psychic powers allow the team to run silent while staying in constant communication, not to mention that she might be the most powerful member of the team. They have shown the Justice League that their existence as a team is useful and necessary. Now they are going to do a little housekeeping, even if it has to be behind the backs of their mentors.
LEAGUE BUSINESS MY ASS!Batman made it very clear to the team that they were not to pursue Red Tornado before he sent them to India. He told them that if a League member has turned traitor then that is League business, not theirs. Obviously that does not sit well with them because it was Young Justice that he betrayed, not the Justice League. Coming forward to this episode, Zatara visits the cave and introduces his daughter Zatanna to the team. Robin immediately takes a shine to her and she gets along with everyone after their initial rudeness of having a psychic conversation in front of her regarding Red Tornado. Once they are away from the adults, they tell her that they intend to go after Tornado despite the repeated warnings from Batman and Black Canary. Zatanna suggests that they “kidnap” her so that she can help them. So now the seven member team must find Tornado quickly before the Justice League gets wind of their activity. What they are uncertain of is what they will do when they find him since he wiped the floor with them last they met.
SDER?? As much as I love this show, it makes my head hurt sometimes. I never quite understand the need to jumble up established history. I am saying this with full knowledge that the Young Justice animated universe takes place on Earth-16 and that things are not going to be exactly the same as Earth-One. That said, let’s look at the history of the Red family from both perspectives. Traditionally (Earth-One), Red Tornado is the senior sibling of the family. He was created to infiltrate the JSA from within and destroy them but he became a true hero instead. Next came Red Torpedo, who is the female sibling; Morrow tried to bury her in the Pacific when she too refused to do his bidding. Red Inferno thought he was a regular teenage boy until his powers “awakened” and Red Volcano was the only true villain of the family. He wants to destroy the other three, making himself the only “Red.” That is basically the Earth-One family tree. On Earth-16 however, Tornado is the third member of the family. First Red Torpedo (who is male here) was created to infiltrate the JSA and that failed because he was too detached from society. Then Red Inferno (originally named Firebrand) was created to do the same but she was too heroic and “died” in battle. Note the gender swap and that in this universe, the first two Reds are roughly the same height and look very similar. On Earth-One, Torpedo is taller than Inferno as she was a woman where he was a teenage boy. Red Volcano is still a villain, but the Volcano wants to eradicate humanity and create a Red army instead of being the “Highlander .“ There is also the difference in the Earth-One story where T.O. Morrow worked in concert with Professor Ivo to create the Reds, whereas in this universe it seems Morrow did it on his own. Personally, I like the Earth-One story better because it gives Torpedo and Inferno personalities, making for a better story.
SUPERBOY…GROWING UP? I have been bashing on Conner for a while and it is because I cannot help but compare him to his comic counterpart, who has so much more personality and is so much less of a jerk. That said, I have to applaud that he is showing some growth in this episode. After being admonished by Miss Martian for being overprotective, we see him try to keep his feelings in check during the psychic discussion about Tornado. Then in the bioship, he is all gung ho about tearing Red Tornado apart until Kaldur asks him if he is so sure that Tornado betrayed him. He goes on to point out that even if Tornado were a traitor, that it is possible that he is just a victim of the programming of his creator. That hit home for Conner and he put his head down and shut up. The one time he runs to protect M’gann made sense because she was surrounded by fire (lava to be exact). Hopefully we continue to see this improvement in his character because all this complaining about Superman and worrying about his probably stronger than him girlfriend makes him far from likeable.
ZATANNA Here we have another character that clashes with the comics. I am not going to go too much into detail about the differences or complain about her being on the show because as Artemis said, she fit in just fine. I do have to point out that she traditionally was a friend of Bruce Wayne in his early years of training to become Batman so she should be a woman instead of a teen, but it seems that the writers may want to create something between her and Robin. The problem there is that I thought they were establishing Barbara Gordon as his girlfriend. None of that matters right now because so far Zatanna is only in one episode. Zatara seems a bit strict and may keep her from joining the team. I hope not because she was very cool and she immediately clicked with everyone. It is also cool to see Robin act a little goofy around a girl, something we never really saw in Teen Titans. I don’t care how much training Batman gave him or discipline he instilled, Dick is a teenager in this show. Teen plus pretty girl equals awkward. Zatanna humanizes him more, especially since the only other character he really relaxes around is Wally and we are not seeing them together as much as in earlier episodes. Only time will tell but the writers need to be willing to expand the team with regular characters, not just semi-recurring ones.
SHAZAM! I feel bad for Captain Marvel. With Tornado returning to the cave, there will be no reason for him to be there anymore. He may have the abilities of Greek gods, but he is still just a child inside. He feels more comfortable with this team than he does with the League because he can relate to them better. Or maybe I just think Rob Lowe is funny as Billy. Whatever the case, I hope this is not the last we see of him on the show.
THE MOLE Kaldur said it in front of everyone to Red Tornado: “You were never the mole; never a traitor.” And there was never any reason (for viewers) to believe he was. The whole thing with The Light is that there are always connections. Sometimes we don’t see them even when they put them right in our face (did not peg Klarion as a member). There was no connection between Morrow and any of the other villains the team has faced except Ivo, and that was rivalry. He literally just wanted his “son” back. So whoever the mole is knows that Aqualad’s search is back on because they were in the room when he cleared Tornado’s name. Oh, I’m sorry, did I say “he?” While there is the possibility the mole is female, it is less likely and do not read further if you don’t want to know who the mole is. Once again, the hints are right in front of you. Who is the only one who may have been “programmed” to fight his friends and who is the only one there might be more than one of? Think about that and pick up some Young Justice books. The answer is out there – but if I am wrong, I will be the first to admit it.
Now that he is back, I hope the writers make more use of Red Tornado. I am not saying he should go on missions, but his interaction with the team has a lot of potential. Despite his monotone voice, he does have a sense of humor and his delivery makes it funnier because of the robot voice. I also hope he stands up for the team when the inevitable Batman scolding comes for going after him. The only saving grace there is that Batman knows his team gets the job done. Looks like we shall have to wait and see what happens next.
Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice, Episode 14 – Revelation (mytakeradio.com)
Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice, Episode 12 – “Homefront” (mytakeradio.com)
Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice, Episode 13 – “Alpha Male” (mytakeradio.com)
Slick's Nit-Picks: Young Justice, Episode 11 – “Terrors” (mytakeradio.com)