Sub Optimal

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 16

“Complications”

SUMMARY: Cheshire and Sportsmaster break into Black Manta’s ship to kill basically everyone who works there and must be stopped by Artemis, the very person they are there to avenge. Meanwhile, Nightwing investigates the disappearance of almost his entire team.


Syd: This episode starts aboard Black Manta’s ship, with a quick recap to get everyone up to speed. Artemis is pretending to be a villain, guarding Kaldur, who is being mentally repaired by Megan, who Deathstroke has orders to kill. Everybody got all that?

Margaret: It’s a complicated situation, but I guess that’s why that’s the name of the episode. They manage to remind us of it all very quickly. I will admit I had forgotten that Megan was under the ocean and last episode had to wonder why she wasn’t with the rest of the Team.

screenshot.png

Syd: The plot starts moving forward when we find out that Kaldur is actually fine and Megan has been stalling to try to come up with a plan. They were just wondering how long they could stall when Black Manta enters and tells them that he’s run out of patience and he’s going to have Megan killed in 24 hours. So that answers that question. It’s funny to me that they never actually come up with a plan – they’re really saved completely unexpectedly.

Continue reading “Sub Optimal”

On My World, It Means “A New Hope”

screenshot.png

 

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 15

“War”

SUMMARY: Mongul comes to Earth in a moon-sized space station with an excessive amount of ordnance. While the Justice League holds off the big guns, the Team sneaks inside to shut down the station. Meanwhile, Mal is dissatisfied with his relationship with Karen and wants to end it.


Syd: This episode is notable in that, according to an interview, this story was the first one pitched for a Young Justice series. The idea was to show, even in a world where there is a Justice League to take on huge, world-threatening challenges, the smaller, subtler team of young heroes can have even more interesting adventures.

Margaret: That’s an interesting one to pitch, as it seems like there is quite a lot that has to go into it in order to make sense. Otherwise it’s just some large Death Star the team has to fight and once that’s taken care of, where do you go from there? To me, for this show, it doesn’t work as a one off that isn’t tied to the main story.

Syd: I think that’s why they saved it for the second season. They did tie it into the Reach’s plans for the season so it didn’t feel pointless.

Margaret: Right. I like how they handle it in the scheme of this season. There’s still the bigger threat of the Reach. Without those ties, once you fight a Death Star and without a plan for something afterwards things tend to devolve into needing BIGGER and MORE INTENSE villains until one day they’re going to Hell again to fight an even worse version of Lucifer. Sorry, that’s just Supernatural.

Continue reading “On My World, It Means “A New Hope””

Jaime Vs. The Volcano

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 1, Episode 14

“Runaways”

SUMMARY: The Reach’s former abductees escape from STAR Labs where they are being held, but shortly must return there to save it from an attack by Red Volcano.


Margaret: We start the episode with the titular Runaways (or at least the DC versions, not the Marvel ones. You can tell because this team doesn’t have a dinosaur) that the Team rescued from the Reach earlier in the season. Their powers are being rigorously tested. To the point of slave labor, honestly.

screenshot.png

Syd: With the exception of Virgil Hawkins (on loan from the series Static Shock – but also a stand-in for Black Lightning, who is already an established Justice League member in this series) all of these characters are from Super Friends.

supery.jpg

What you may not know about the Super Friends original characters is that none of them were given real names in that series, so in this one, we’re treated to a series of joke names. There’s Asami, or Sam for short, or Sam-urai for short, but then the rest of her name added on. Then there’s Ed Dorado, Jr., who is the son of another character named Ed Dorado, just to make talking about them confusing. Finally, we have Longshadow who has giant powers, and that’s the least offensive name. I am not okay with any of this.

Margaret: Yeah, I don’t like any of that. I’m glad they don’t say any of their full names in the cartoon. Or, at least, they don’t address each other that way. Only Lex Luthor uses their full names and we already know he’s a villain.

Continue reading “Jaime Vs. The Volcano”

It’s All in the Mind

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 13

“The Fix”

SUMMARY: Tigress “kidnaps” Miss Martian and “coerces” her to repair Aqualad’s mind. Green Beetle “disables” the Reach’s connection to Jaime’s scarab. Everything works out?


screenshot.png

Syd: We start in the Atlantic Ocean. Artemis’ narration is catching up first-time viewers on where the plot is. For her part, she regrets taking her mission. She was happy living a completely non-superhero life with Wally, but maybe she wasn’t as happy as she thought, considering how ready she was when Nightwing called on her.

Margaret: She feels like she’s losing herself and that the only time she’s reminded is when she looks in the mirror and sees her own reflection. I know they never really go into it, but it does make me wonder what exactly she’s had to do as Tigress. She’s obviously trusted by the group to a certain extent, so has she murdered people? That seems like it’d be the standard evil outfit initiation.

Syd: That does seem like an odd detail to leave out, if it did happen. But, then, that is also exactly the kind of plot detail that this show would spring on us as a surprise.

Continue reading “It’s All in the Mind”

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 1, Episode 12

True Colors

SUMMARY: The Team investigates the Reach’s farm that they are running with Lex Luthor. There, they are ambushed by Black Beetle, but are saved by a Martian superhero called Green Beetle.


Syd: We start inside of Jaime Reyes, where Karen and Ray have shrunken down to try to extract the scarab. The scarab creates antibodies to fight them off, which is bad news. Also, the Atom and Bumblebee hold hands, which is REALLY bad news.

screenshot.png

Margaret: Poor Mal. While I like the Ray Palmer from Arrow, this one just sounds smarmy and boring. I guess without the charisma of Brandon Routh, Palmer is just someone who thinks the sentence, “You see? Most problems can be solved by reducing them to their smallest components” is a badass line.

Syd: He has worse one-liners than Barry, which is saying something.

Margaret: Poor Barry. He’s adorable as Grant Gustin.

Syd: So when they retreat and reembiggen, they meet Dr. Mid-Nite and Bart who are there for the operation. I had to look up who Dr. Mid-Nite was, and apparently he’s blind by day, but has perfect night vision, which is a WEIRD superpower, but the operating room is really well-lit, so what the hell?

Margaret: Wait wait wait. This isn’t just a dumb comic book name? That’s really his made up name? WHY? Why do you both hyphenate and misspell it at the same time?

Syd: Maybe it looks cool and badass in Braille.

Continue reading “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch”

Despero Measures

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 11

“Cornered”

SUMMARY: In a meeting with the United Nations, the ambassador for the Reach goes out of his way to make the Justice League look bad. Despero comes to Earth looking for a champion to take home as a trophy. The Team relocates to a warehouse in  Blüdhaven.


screenshot.png

Syd: The episode begins with L-Ron, the cutest non-Star Wars related robot in the world briefing his master Despero on Earth and which of its champions would make the best trophies for him. It’s a standard villain motivation when you want a fight scene but don’t want to waste time on a plot or anything frivolous like that.

It’s interesting that L-Ron notes that Despero can’t target Rimbor because it’s under Green Lantern protection, but Earth should be fine. See, this is what happens when you send both of your Green Lanterns into space.

Margaret: Shouldn’t Earth be under Green Lantern protection no matter if there’s one in residence or not? That’s like saying England isn’t currently under British Rule if the Queen visits the US.

Syd: I guess the Corps can’t protect the planet if there are no Lanterns present. It’s like how the next time the Queen is overseas, I’m going to try to take the throne and see what happens.

Continue reading “Despero Measures”

Papa, Don’t Preach

screenshot.png

Preacher Season 1, Episode 0

“Pilot”

SUMMARY: Jesse Custer gets superpowers and meets a vampire.


Syd: We’ll return to Young Justice next week. After the trauma of what happened to Kaldur, Margaret needs a week off. In the meantime, Foley and I will check out my dad’s favorite DC Comics adaptation, Preacher. I hear that the first season takes place before the comic series starts, so I guess it’s about a reverend with no superpowers who has never met a vampire. I imagine it’s going to be like 7th Heaven.

Foley: But hopefully with less pedophilia than Stephen Collins is famous for

Syd: No, how Garth Ennis rolls is to have the pedophilia in the first half of the story, then have someone beat the shit out of / shoot the pedophile. It’s called a dramatic arc.

Foley: I think it’s called “Righteous Fury”, the go-to for every Rage-a-holic looking for an outlet to allow their hormonal imbalance to be allowed in Society… Supposedly concocting and following through with rage fantasies is a lot easier than “Working on your mental issues”.

Syd: But if he didn’t have his issues, then The Boys would have ended after the second issue, which actually would have been a lot better now that I think of it.

Foley: I’ll be honest, I actually re-read Preacher a year or two ago in prep for this show coming out.

Syd: I read it over ten years ago, so I remember just about nothing. So I guess you’ll be the Syd and I’ll be the Margaret for this one.

Continue reading “Papa, Don’t Preach”

The Blue and the Gray

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 10

“Before the Dawn”

SUMMARY: The Team breaks aboard a ship where the Light’s alien partners – The Reach – are keeping Blue Beetle, Lagoon Boy, Impulse, and Beast Boy. There, they meet the Reach’s heavy Black Beetle, who is like Blue Beetle but bigger. Miss Martian encounters Aqualad and mindwipes him. Impulse tells Jaime about his dystopian future.


Margaret: To start the episode, we finally see the origin of Jaime’s attachment to the Blue Beetle. He’s skateboarding home when something explodes and tosses the beetle implant onto the street. When he picks it up, it bonds to him.

screenshot.png

Syd: We know that Jaime is a rad to the max teen, because he skateboards. Unfortunately, he wakes up in the tube where he was left last episode. The flashback was all just a dream. So is he not really as tubular as his subconscious pictures him?

Margaret: Please stop talking like that.

Syd: Fine. Be square. Anyway, the aliens who have them kidnapped start talking about how the scarab is damaged and they can only access data from the past eight months. That means they know all of Jaime’s secrets – which I think includes the Konami code and the lyrics to Pink Floyd songs, if my memories of high school are accurate.

Margaret: Syd, this takes place in 2016, so there is no way he knows the Konami code unless he’s a hipster. And he probably listens to The National ironically.

Syd: The code was in a Moldy Peaches song, so he definitely knows it. Also, it was probably in Ready Player One, but I’ll never know because I’ll never read it.

Continue reading “The Blue and the Gray”

Earth-Shattering Kaboom

 

screenshot.pngYoung Justice Season 2, Episode 9

“Darkest”

SUMMARY: Kaldur’ahm and his team infiltrate and explodify Mt. Justice, taking Impulse, Beast Boy, and Blue Beetle captive.


Syd: The episode begins with the defiant, rebellious Lagoon Boy imprisoned on the Manta Ship’s brig and chewing out Aqualad for betraying their King.

Margaret: It’s not just the King he’s upset about, but also the Team. He even calls Kaldur your favorite term: “Chum”.

screenshot.png

Syd: Of course, we the audience know that Kaldur is still working with Nightwing, but he is totally willing to drug Lagoon Boy to shut him up, which is pretty sucky.

Margaret: Well, it’s more than to simply shut him up. As Black Manta quickly points out, though he has his father’s utmost approval other of the Light are more wary of him. He has to play the perfect son to gain the innermost Circle’s trust.

Continue reading “Earth-Shattering Kaboom”

A Swift Kick in the Arsenal

screenshot.png

Young Justice Season 2, Episode 8

“Satisfaction”

SUMMARY: The 15 year-old Roy Harper seeks revenge against Lex Luthor for kidnapping him and amputating his arm. Meanwhile, Rocket has her bridal shower and Wendy uses the occasion of Superboy’s birthday to flirt with him.


Syd: This episode starts in the hospital where Li’l Roy has been for the last month. He sums up what has happened in the eight years he has been missing, including the alien invasion, the Young Justice team, and Oliver’s goatee, leading to my favorite line of the series – “You don’t like the goatee?” Ollie has his priorities in order.

screenshot.png

Margaret: One of the best and worst things about Ollie is that he’ll always go for the joke. That’s great to break the tension, but at a time like this it’s just sort of tone deaf.

Syd: He really doesn’t know how to apologize for taking in the clone, and then, when he found out that he’d been tricked, not going to look for his original partner. I’m not sure to what extent Green Arrow’s actions were at fault, and to what extent Red Arrow went above and beyond what was expected – to his own detriment.

Margaret: I can see it from both points of view. To Oliver, he did try looking for Speedy for awhile, but already believed him dead. Why would Luthor keep alive the original Speedy after getting what he wanted? To Roy, he needed to assuage his immense guilt at knowing he took over someone else’s life and then also was only created to betray the people to which he felt closest. For Speedy? He was kidnapped, experimented on and mutilated, only to be told that everyone except the person who took over his life gave up looking for him. The whole thing is messy.

Continue reading “A Swift Kick in the Arsenal”