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.

Continue reading “The White Martian’s Burden”

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.

Continue reading “The Worst Birthday Ever”

It’s 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 19

“Misplaced”

SUMMARY: When everyone above the age of 18 (or whatever the magical criterion is) disappears, it’s up to the Young Justicers to defeat Klarion and break the spell. But can they do it without calling upon the unpredictable and possibly malign power of Dr. Fate?


Syd: This episode is an adaptation of the JLA comic “World Without Grown-Ups,” which was a backdoor pilot for Young Justice. Basically the premise was that a child with godlike powers throws a tantrum and banishes all adults to another world. This premise was already adapted into a cartoon in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Kid Stuff.” The comic had more material than would fit in a twenty minute cartoon, but most of it was justifying a Young Justice solo series, which was unnecessary at this point. The villain in the comic was Bedlam – a villain created for this story – and the one thing I missed from the comic was the Team fighting the kind of monsters a magical child would conjure, including a Nazi dinosaur:

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It was refreshing that Robin and Superboy don’t debate whether it is ethical to punch Nazi dinosaurs, because they’re good guys. Of COURSE they punch Nazis.

Continue reading “It’s 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?”

BOO-yah!

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 18

“Secrets”

SUMMARY: Artemis and Zatanna spend their Halloween fighting the supervillain Harm. Then they meet a ghost. Meanwhile Happy Harbor High’s Halloween party is invaded by Martians – or at least one Martian.


Syd: So, if we’ve timed this correctly, this entry will be posted on October 31, 2016. We’re on schedule for that, right?

Margaret: Uuummm, yes. Totally on schedule. The episode starts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The sword of Beowulf has been stolen. It can only be wielded by someone who is pure of heart and is supposed to hold great power. The police officer assigned to the case sounds incredibly skeptical.

Syd: It is here that we meet the episode’s villain – Harm, a character created for the Young Justice comic. Harm is kind of a weird name, though it is kind of in line with some other villains like Bane or Stryfe, from which Harm is not too far a cry. Also, he refers to himself in the third person, which is creepy and arrogant and perhaps fits in with the character, but let’s cut the crap, I have read tons of Peter David books and I know that puns are his lifeblood and he did this solely so that Harm could tell people to “stay out of Harm’s way.”

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Margaret: But he has yet to say it! Just “Mediocrity such as this is never far from Harm.”

Syd: But you KNOW it’s coming!

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Margaret: Let’s keep a ‘Harm watch!’ I think that definitely makes sense. If you name a bad guy Harm in a comic, you should use the full extent of his punny-ness.

Continue reading “BOO-yah!”

BFFP

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 17

“Disordered”

SUMMARY: After the trauma of everybody dying last episode, the Team sits down for therapy sessions with Black Canary, except Superboy, who thwarts a gold heist with the Forever People.


Margaret: The episode opens with the Team still scarred from the simulation they went through. Batman comes into the Cave expecting everyone to have already healed and moved on from saying the simulation went ‘badly’. Badly? Everyone died, Bruce! Jeez, you are so emotionally stunted.

Syd: I don’t know what Batman’s reaction to traumatic situations is supposed to be. He tends to violently overreact, but that also always works out for the best. I’m not sure if we’re meant to see Batman as horribly maladapted or absolutely the BEST adapted.

Margaret: I’m sure we’re supposed to read him as maladapted, as J’onn chides him in his response to thinking everyone should be okay by now. In many ways J’onn acts like the show’s moral compass at times.

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Syd: Well, You would expect that J’onn would be wiser and more mature than Batman, as he has several decades on him (and come to think of it, it’s weird how many interpretations of J’onn are less mature). I expect that his life was much more normal before he left Mars, too, so he would have more experience dealing with people – albeit a different kind of people.

Continue reading “BFFP”

Blue Beetlecrantz and Booster Goldenstern are Dead

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 16

“Failsafe”

SUMMARY: When aliens attack, everyone dies! Or do they? Probably.


Syd: The episode starts with two Green Lanterns fighting a spaceship in space. I was just starting to think that there are too many Green Lanterns when they both get vaporized. Oh well, there are more where they came from.

Margaret: I was surprised the killed the Green Lanterns off so quickly. That surprise was quickly expounded upon as they kill not only random Green Lanterns, but all the recurring League characters. It was quite a shock.

Syd: This episode is hardcore. As soon as we get back from the theme song, we cut to Iris West-Allen’s report from the ground and people are being killed left and right. Like, you see their skeletons and everything.

Margaret: Yeah! It’s insane. Everyone is dying everywhere! Iris is in the middle of the action, as any good reporter on the ground would be. Flash and Zatara rescue her and put her on what they assume is a safe rooftop. A grateful Iris remains professional by thanking, “….The Flash” because she obviously was about to thank Barry.

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Syd: It seems like Cat Grant has been promoted to anchor. Last time we saw her, she was a field reporter. It looks like, despite Kaldur’s meddling, she’s well on her way to her own media empire, then leaving the show when shooting moves to Canada.

Continue reading “Blue Beetlecrantz and Booster Goldenstern are Dead”

Red Dawn

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 15

“Humanity”

SUMMARY: The Team and their new friend Zatanna uncover Dr. Morrow’s plot to use  element-themed robots for world domination.


Syd: The main villain of this episode is Thomas Oscar Morrow, whose name can be shortened to “T. O. Morrow” or “Tom Morrow,” depending on if you want the pun to work when written or spoken. I kind of love this name. It’s up there for me with the Riddler’s name being Mr. E. Nigma.

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I know we touched on this the first time we talked about Morrow, but I am annoyed by the push in modern comics to downplay characters’ joke names. Some writers seem to think that silly names are unrealistic and distracting when plenty of people in real life have pretty funny names. For instance, the guy who drew that panel I just posted was named Dick Sprang. I like that Blink’s real name is Clarice Ferguson, even though that’s a reference to a show that kids today have never heard of. I will even give a little bit of credit to Mr. Freeze being named Victor Fries, even though that’s confusing and doesn’t quite work. What I can’t stand, though, are characters whose names are ALMOST jokes. The worst offender there is Harley Quinn, whose real name is Harleen Quinzel. What kind of bullshit is that? First of all, “Harley Quinn” is perfectly plausible as a person’s real name. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Quinn didn’t even notice that the first name “Harley” would make their daughter’s full name sound like a character from Commedia Dell’arte, but having that be her real name would in itself explain why the Joker would fixate on her. Failing that, she could have a name that has nothing to do with clowns – “Maria Shapiro” or “Susan Epstein” or something. Harleen Quinzel is nothing. Either commit to the joke or don’t make one – don’t give a character a name that sounds KIND OF like a pun. I love that Young Justice – unlike Supergirl – has the courage to use the name T. O. Morrow on air.

Margaret: Punny names are part of the game in comics, I think. It’s also why the Batman movies before Batman Begins kind of leaned into that sort of humor. They went overboard with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, but I feel like when you’re dealing with movies and shows that involve people dressing up in costumes and fighting crime you have to prescribe to the Willy Wonka theory: “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” There’s nothing wrong with taking the puns with both seriousness and a bit of levity. It’s when you either ignore the fact that some of this is silly or decide that ‘because it’s comics no laws or logic apply’ that things tend to go off the rails.

Syd: We start with Morrow working on Red Tornado in pieces on an operating table. Morrow is talking and waits for a response before he remembers that Tornado’s voice isn’t operational, though his senses and mind are hooked up and working. So, Tornado can hear and process what’s happening, but can’t react. With this horror movie setup, the cartoon lets even first-time viewers know in the creepiest way possible that Morrow is bad news.

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Margaret: You can tell this guy is evil before he even speaks because he has the evilest mustache I have ever seen. It’s only compounded by the fact that every sentence he utters is creepier and creepier. Poor Red Tornado! He’s disassembled on a table and Morrow is taunting him gleefully about the fact that he is the one that did this to him. That is remarkably terrifying.

Continue reading “Red Dawn”

Shedding Some Light on the Subject

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 14

“Revelation”

SUMMARY: While the Justice League is fighting off killer plants that have been grown by Poison Ivy, Young Justice must fight Ivy herself and her six cohorts in the Injustice League.


Syd: This episode only exists for the last scene.

Margaret: You can kind of tell that by the fact that the episode starts off so dire so quickly.

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Syd: The plants that are attacking Metropolis are picking up cars with their flowers! What are those flowers made of?

Margaret: Miracle-Gro? They’re a big threat, though.

Syd: So, the cold open ends with a reveal of a group of seven supervillains. Can we talk about how insulted we are as an audience that they want us to think that these are the Light?

Margaret: As a first time watcher, I wanted to believe that these were the Light at first. However, as an experienced media consumer and someone who works in the industry, I can already tell that these seven people cannot be the Light. You don’t reveal your surprise bad guys in the cold open in the middle of the season. That’s ridiculous.

Syd: I will give them some credit that they chose some pretty big name ones. Obviously, any Main Villain group in DC is likely to have Lex Luthor, The Joker, or Darkseid in it and we get two of the three in this episode. Of the other six in the cold open, the only one I didn’t recognize was Wotan – though I didn’t immediately recognize Atomic Skull, because what is with that creepy ass character design?

Margaret: Right! They do a good job in trying to tell us that they are the Light, especially as they have that super relevant line, “It’s time for the Injustice League to step into The Light.” That’s classic viewer manipulation. There’s no one there but the audience to lie to and no reason for him to say that except for to make us think they are the Light. It’s incredibly annoying.

Continue reading “Shedding Some Light on the Subject”

Billy and the Kids

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 13

“Alpha Male”

Margaret: I already dislike the name of this episode and what it implies

SUMMARY: After finding out that Aqualad withheld information about a potential traitor on the team, the rest of the team distrusts him.  Aqualad must reassert his leadership to pull the team together and thwart The Brain’s animal experimentation. 


Syd: The episode starts with Mayor Hamilton Hill hunting tigers in Northern India.  Suddenly, their hunting party is attacked.

Margaret: Oh oh! It’s a gorilla with a machine gun! Is that Gorilla Grod?

Syd: The main villain for this episode is Brain.  I checked his wikipedia page and they still haven’t given him a real name – he’s just Brain.  He is a brain in a jar who supposedly was a scientist before he lost his body and he did experiments on animals – giving them human-like intelligence and things like that.  That gorilla is Mssr. Mallah, one of his experiments.  They are from the series Doom Patrol.  I was going to try to explain what Doom Patrol is, but instead I decided to Google Doom Patrol panels.  This one sums up the series nicely:

doom6Anyway, after the cold opening, we cut to the Justice League fixing up Mt. Justice after it got blown up by robots last episode.

Continue reading “Billy and the Kids”

Mind Games

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 9

“Bereft”

SUMMARY: Awakening in the desert with no memory of the past six months, the team must regroup to take on the psychic menace of Psimon.


Margaret: Everyone loves a good amnesia episode. It reveals character dynamics and brings things to light that wouldn’t otherwise have happened because they don’t remember what they’re supposed to keep secret. Usually, it happens later on in a series once everyone is established, but I like how they handle it in this episode.

Syd: Well, they didn’t erase that much of their memories – just enough that Artemis didn’t remember to avoid Wally.

Margaret: And to reduce Superboy into a mindless ball of anger. I like that it basically broke them down to how they were before they were on a team together, which also shows how much they’ve grown having known each other.

Continue reading “Mind Games”