Papa, Don’t Preach

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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.

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See You Next Year!

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 26

“Auld Acquaintance”

SUMMARY: With the Justice League under the control of Klarion, it is up to the kids to free them from their mind control and thwart the Light’s plan.


Syd: We start under Washington D.C. with Roy getting his cheek sliced by an arrow. Two things are notable about this: One, that after the previous episode’s ending, Roy is now being hunted by the Justice League, and Two, that this show will never shy away from blood, which may not be unusual nowadays, but is markedly different than the cartoons I watched as a child featuring the same characters.

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Margaret: From his run from the Justice League, we can assume that Roy has broken his initial brainwashing, though we still don’t know why he did what he did.

Syd: Well, what’s nice about the cold opening is the ambiguity. We don’t know who the good guys are yet. Are a brainwashed Justice League chasing a Red Arrow who has broken his programming, or is a Justice League that has overcome their initial assault by Vandal Savage now hunting the traitorous Red Arrow?

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Spoiler: Everyone is the Traitor

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 25

“Usual Suspects”

SUMMARY: While tracking down Cheshire, the secrets that Artemis, Miss Martian, and Superboy had been keeping from the Team come out. More importantly, the audience finally finds out the identity of the mole(s).


 

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Margaret: The episode opens on a speech by Superman inducting five new members into the Justice League. We see that those five are Dr. Fate, Atom, Icon, Red Arrow and Plastic Man. Superman even makes a dad joke about “Truth, Liberty and Justice” with Justice being in the name.

Syd: I kind of like that they excluded “The American Way” from Superman’s motto without any fanfare, considering the unfortunate implications of it being added in the first place. We discussed that back when this was a Supergirl blog, didn’t we?

Margaret: Honestly, I’m not sure if we actually did. I know how much you hated the S being a symbol of hope, though.

Syd: Right, the S on his chest stands for “Superman” and he fights for Truth, Tolerance, and Justice. I’m kind of an originalist like that. However, I’m fine if he isn’t actually as fast as a speeding bullet, as I am convinced that nobody involved in creating the character fully considered how fast bullets actually are.

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Swings and Roustabouts

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 24

“Performance”

SUMMARY: A string of robberies seems to be linked to the circus where Robin used to work. Robin sets out to save the circus’ reputation and find the real thief, while Red Arrow tries to determine which member of the Team is the mole.


 

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Syd: We start at the circus in Bruges, with our heroes posing as a family of acrobats – the Dangers. All of their names are alliterative, because their parents thought they were clever.

Margaret: They always knew they were going to be a circus act and had the foresight to name them appropriately! Robin, who grew up in a circus, should be in his element. However, he caught a 24-hour flu and therefore misses his catch and almost falls. Superboy and Megan subtly use their powers to save him.

Syd: Robin chastises Megan for using her powers publicly, potentially compromising their cover. Frankly, I think that telekinesis would make a way better circus act than acrobatics, but then I don’t call the shots.

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An Arrowing Ordeal

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 23

“Insecurity”

SUMMARY: When Red Arrow joins the Team in tracking down Sportsmaster, Artemis is eager to prove her worth to the Team. However, her eagerness to complete the mission on her own leads to the mission’s failure.


Syd: Our episode starts with a shot of a spider web, and then a shot of The Black Spider – as voiced by Josh Keaton, who has experience playing spider themed superheroes.

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Margaret: This is the DC evil version of Spider-Man, right?

Syd: I guess? Honestly, I’ve only seen this character in Young Justice comics and cartoons. I think the reference is that Greg Weisman, Peter David, and Josh Keaton have all done extensive Spider-Man work and this is a shout-out for the fans. Who knows? Maybe this Black Spider character has deep resonance for the themes of this episode.

Margaret: As I have assumed this is a Spider-Man allusion, I’m assuming him attacking a ‘crusading’ journalist is a bit of jab at the photojournalist Peter Parker.

Syd: That’s kind of an oblique reference. That seems as unlikely as including Bernell Jones as a character in a cameo in the first season of a series to have something pay off in the third. Probably just a coincidence.

Margaret: A coincidence. Uh huh.

Continue reading “An Arrowing Ordeal”

A Match Made in Heaven

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 22

“Agendas”

SUMMARY: When Superboy is called to Project Cadmus to see a new Superman clone, he learns shocking truths about his own origin.  Meanwhile, the Justice League discusses inducting new members.


Syd: The episode starts with Wonder Woman’s first spoken line. Then, we get the full Justice League meeting to vote on new members.

Margaret: And adding to that, I like that Diana wants more women in the league.

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Syd: Yeah, especially since before this episode only one had spoken. We still haven’t heard from Hawkwoman.

Margaret: That is a bummer! I really like Hawkwoman on the Justice League cartoon and the fact that she’s not represented here at all is – I guess – understandable as there is no hawk protege. But, the only female adult mentor, really, is Black Canary. Black Canary is amazing, but you need more than one female mentor to round out a team. Especially when there are no less than four dudes and a robot that round out the mentorships of the Team.

Syd: Well, Superman wants a more diverse League, nominating Icon, who is both a black man and an alien.

Margaret: That’s because he thinks he’s a Kryptonian!

Syd: And there’s only one of them on the League!

Margaret: I feel like that’s heroic false equivalency, honestly!

Continue reading “A Match Made in Heaven”

The White Martian’s Burden

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Young Justice Season 1 Episode 21

“Image”

SUMMARY: While the vaguely Middle Eastern nation of Qurac is being overtaken by Bialya, possibly under sinister circumstances, Miss Martian is confronted with the secret she had been keeping from her teammates and would go to any lengths to protect.


Syd: So, there is a lot to dissect in this episode. It starts with Batman showing Ollie and Dinah a video of Black Canary training with Superboy. The video takes an unexpected twist when the two start making out. Black Canary then shapeshifts to reveal she was Miss Martian the whole time. Ollie thinks this is hilarious – Dinah much less so.

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Margaret: There are a lot of things to say about this scene. It’s hard to come down on one side or another on this. I get Megan’s side where she is training Conner in the visage that he generally trains with and then kisses her boyfriend. At the same time, Dinah is incredibly disturbed by the fact that it is her visage making out with Conner. This is completely understandable on both points of view.

Syd: So, this is totally normal for Conner and Megan who are comfortable with each other’s bodies – as malleable as Megan is – but why did Batman feel the need to present this to Ollie and Dinah – a couple whose relationship might be tested by their reaction to this footage – without any context? What the hell is wrong with Batman?

Margaret: Batman is always an odd man out in a lot of ways. Even if he knows that this is the way that Megan and Conner interact there is no reason to bring it up with Oliver and Dinah unless he is attempting to do some weird personal investigation into their relationship.

Syd: Oh, God, this is Batman’s fetish, isn’t it?

Margaret: Yes, he has a detective fetish.

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The Worst Birthday Ever

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 20

“Coldhearted”

SUMMARY: While the Justice League is occupied fighting a team of ice-powered villains, it is up to Kid Flash to deliver a heart to an ailing Queen. However, Vandal Savage and Count Vertigo are trying to stop the organ transplant from happening.


Syd: Those of you who have been reading this blog and know what we think of Wally will know how much we were looking forward to this – a whole episode of his own.

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Margaret: UUUUGHHHHHH!! Not to mention, who the hell sets an alarm for 7:16 on their 16th birthday unless they are a total jerk?

Syd: My theory: His clock is set 15 minutes fast so that he isn’t late for school. Then he sets the alarm 16 minutes late because he’s an idiot.

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Fire Water Burn

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 12

“Homefront”

SUMMARY: With their teammates incapacitated, Robin and Artemis must fend off two robots with elemental powers who have invaded Mt. Justice.


Syd: Since we just had an episode focusing on the two most powerful members of the team, now we get one that tries to demonstrate that the two members with no superpowers are still useful. It’s a time-honored superhero team tradition.

Margaret: It starts with Artemis flashing back to her sister packing to run away. Their mother isn’t getting out of jail any time soon and she refuses to live in the same house as their father.

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Syd: This is a variation on the old kid running away to join the circus trope, but since they already have Dick who was in the circus as a kid, they instead have Cheshire run away to join a ninja dojo, and if I had known that was an option, I would not be writing this blog right now.

Margaret: It’s certainly an appealing option. As the Alice in Wonderland poster on her side of the wall alluded to, this scene also reveals that Artemis’ sister is Cheshire.

Syd: Artemis and Cheshire have never been sisters in any continuity before this. In fact, in any continuity where Artemis appears, she had always been completely white, so they changed Artemis’ race so she and Cheshire could be sisters. This changes not only their backstory, but those of their parents, too. On this show, their parents have the same names as Artemis’ parents from comics, but the same ethnicity as Cheshire’s. I think this is a positive change, as the two characters being sisters allows for some compelling character dynamics, but I’m at a loss to explain how Kaldur becoming Aqualad caused this change in continuity, as it would involve time travel and genetic engineering. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Orm is responsible. Good old Orm – bringing families together! He’s so not evil!

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Tuppence to Spend and Tuppence to Lend

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 11

“Terrors”

Note: This was written before Young Justice was picked up for a 3rd Season.

SUMMARY: Superboy and Miss Martian go undercover in Belle Reve prison in order to stop an attempted breakout. Then they kiss and it’s adorable. 


Syd: The episode begins with the Terror Twins – Tommy and Tuppence Terror – being defeated and apprehended by the Justice League. You may be wondering you these characters are. More importantly, you may be wondering what the hell kind of name “Tuppence” is. Is she worth twice as much as Mike Pence? Actually, Tommy and Tuppence are the names of a husband and wife detective team from a series of Agatha Christie novels, but that should be obvious, because the sort of people who are watching a cartoon about teenage superheroes are exactly the demographic that has a thorough familiarity with the works of Agatha Christie. However, in my research, I also found out that Tuppence is an actual name that parents have given to their daughters, which is kind of unsettling.

Margaret: I think one of the interesting things about those kinds of references is that they’re doing it for themselves, rather than the audience. I doubt the creators thought that any of their audience would get the fact that they named their twin villains after a pair of detectives. They just wanted to name them that.

Syd: I really like the Terror Twins’ character designs. When they first showed up in Young Justice comics, they looked plausibly like the kind of delinquents that I would have hung out with in high school:

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I think I should point out how Hot Topic-level Punk Rawk they look, because although all of the details, like the plaid skirt being held together with safety pins, were present, I don’t think the look translated perfectly to the cartoon. Maybe the animators weren’t 100% confident what suspenders look like.

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Margaret: Oh man, I definitely remember that look from high school. In the show, the suspenders looked like they were just part of their shirts. They were flush with their body as opposed to actually sticking out from the curves, like normal suspenders would do.

Continue reading “Tuppence to Spend and Tuppence to Lend”