So here we have the triumphant return of Young Justice after another long hiatus that I am sure other fans appreciated as much as I did. The 2012 debut comes with a new time slot on a new day as part of a new programming block called DC Nation. Now this animation block was announced months ago as the next big thing. It was to be the next big animation movement for both DC and Cartoon Network. So that would stand to reason that the new YJ episode would be a big event. One of three things was bound to happen: either the team would start unraveling the truth about the light, or maybe Wally and Artemis would admit their feelings for each other. If not that, at least Artemis would come clean with the team about her family and her past. The problem is that none of that happened. So the big questions outside of the plot now are why fans are being made to wait so long for the conclusion of season one of this show. The show debuted almost a year and a half ago; there is no way the first twenty-six episodes are not done. Cartoon Network needs to stop hanging on to the episodes and give us what we want. That however, is an issue for another article, so let us continue with the review for Misplaced.
THE CIRCLE SEPARATES US The episode opens in the middle of a crossroads where Klarion the Witch Boy appears with his familiar, Teekl. A spell circle forms around him and he summons Wotan, Blackbriar Thorn, Felix Faust and Wizard. Together, they begin a chant which causes the four summoned wizards to disappear as Klarion continues his chant. We then see the circle again, but this time the four remain while Klarion disappears. Back at the cave, Artemis and Zatanna enter the cave and Artemis asks if Zatanna was finally joining the team. Zatanna is unsure and wishes her father would give her more space. No sooner does she say that do the Justice League members disappear. At the same time in the cave, Batman and Zatara are talking about Zatanna possibly joining the team and Zatara admits that he knows she is growing up but wants to know that his child is safe. With that, the members of Young Justice and Zatanna all disappear. YJ is faced with a world populated only with children seventeen years of age or younger, while the JLA tries to calm a world furious over the loss of their children. Both teams struggle with finding a way to find those they have lost and both are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. The answer may lie in young Billy Batson who, realizing that all adults have disappeared, is now afraid to change into Captain Marvel.
THE MARVELOUS LOOKING GLASS Captain Marvel had been feeling out of place in the Justice League because at his core, he is a child. The members of Young Justice, with the possible exception of Robin, would humor him and wonder why he hangs around them so much. Obviously he felt more comfortable with heroes closer to his own age. When Klarion's spell took effect, he was at home with his uncle and his uncle disappeared. As he was about to change into Captain Marvel, he noticed that all adults disappeared so he figured he had to do something as Billy and find his way to Happy Harbor. Fortunately, he summons the courage to change. The age transformation he undergoes allows him to travel between worlds and lets the two teams combine their efforts to reverse the spell.
WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHT? I accept that we do not know what the group known as “The Light” is up to, but this scheme does not really fit their normal M.O. While it is not the first time one of their members has stepped out from behind the scenes (Klarion especially), it just seemed like a waste. The plan, while much more grand in scale, was just as doomed to fail as The Brain’s animal enhancement plan. All likelihood suggests that these are bit pieces of a larger plan, but Starro being part of it just seems lame.
Again, this was not a spectacular premiere for Young Justice or DC Nation. What makes it less spectacular is the fact that season one was supposed to be done airing a while ago. Season Two was supposed to begin with the launch of DC Nation, so who knows when we will actually see that begin. I have a lot of issues with this episode, the first being that it was only one episode. This story could have been fleshed out better and should have been at least a two-part deal.
Misplaced is an amalgam of a Young Justice story called Sins of Youth and a JLA story called World Without Grown-Ups, the latter story being the prelude to the Young Justice comic. Sins of youth did feature Klarion as the major antagonist, as his magic mixed with the technology of Doiby Dickles and caused all the Adult heroes to become teenagers and vice versa. Oddly, Nightwing and several founding members of the Teen Titans were unaffected and remained adults. World Without Grown-Ups featured a boy possessed by an entity known as Mung. The boy called himself Bedlam and created two Earths (like DC doesn’t have enough) ; one for adults and one for kids where he could do whatever he wanted. He was defeated by Superboy, Impulse and (Tim Drake) Robin. Bedlam made his base in an all too familiar cave in Happy Harbor. After he was beaten, the trio proceeded to hang out there and eventually became Young Justice.
If you are confused at all, imagine how people who read all that feel watching it jammed into a twenty-one minute show. The only relevance this episode really had is that the Starro piece Star Labs was studying after the events of the Downtime episode is now in the hands of The Brain and that Zatanna has joined the team after losing her father. Both of these events make me shake my head. Starro has been done to death in DC animation. We have seen the creature in Superman: TAS, Batman Beyond and Batman: Brave and the Bold. It has even appeared in all three Justice League movies. Enough with freaking Starro already! And Zatanna being part of this team is just stupid. I get the whole Earth-16 bit, but Zatanna is closer in age to Batman. She is a grown woman and would not be a teenager at the same time as Robin. I will get over that as well, but it is just a dumb thing to do.