Misery in Space

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 2

“Earthlings”

SUMMARY: On the planet Rann, the Team attempts to destroy the Krolotean zeta platform, which would prevent Kroloteans from teleporting to and from Earth. This affords the perfect opportunity for Conner and Garfield to work through personal emotional trauma.


Syd: So this episode opens in a forest on Rann, where Superboy, Miss Martian, Beast Boy, and an as-yet unidentified woman are being attacked by some sort of crab robot tank. This in media res opening is a good way to cut right to the action, because once the flashback starts, we are treated to a lot of dry exposition, though we have no context for this action and don’t really know what’s going on.

Margaret: But first! We get to see what the animals on Rann are like and they are little bird dragons that are super adorable. They remind me of green Lockheeds and I would like twenty, please.

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Syd: Beast Boy is with you. I love how he is immediately taken with alien animals – as much as Adam is taken with alien humans, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Margaret: I love Garfield’s enthusiasm with everything. It’s like they found a way to make an exuberant character that is not the worst, like Wally is. It’s also very cute that he calls Megan ‘sis’. It makes sense, as they’re now literally blood related, but it’s the emotional connection that I like.

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The Heart is a Lobonely Bounty Hunter

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 1

“Happy New Year”

SUMMARY: Lobo’s attack on the United Nations reveals an invasion by the alien Kroloteans. Robin leads a small squad to rescue human captives from a Krolotean base. Oh, also, it’s five years after the last episode and we have a new Team.


Margaret: Picking up from last season, we replay the last scene, which disclosed that 6 of the members of the Justice League were missing for 16 hours. No one has any idea what they did during this time, but we can assume it is nothing good.

Syd: I assume nothing. Anyway, we cut to the sewer, where Conner is fighting Clayface. The fight itself isn’t important, but the way it’s set up is. The change of scenery indicates that this is a different day and the start of a new adventure. Conner is wearing fingerless gloves. You might not have even noticed that at first. Then, Megan shows up to provide support and Robin throws batarangs to provide a distraction, allowing Conner to throw some sort of clay freezing pill into Clayface’s mouth. Once the fight is over, Robin steps out of the shadows and — holy shit! That’s not Dick!

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Margaret: Or! Maybe puberty just hit him like a brick.

Syd: And it mostly affected his costume and haircut?

Margaret: Puberty hits us all in different ways, Syd.

Continue reading “The Heart is a Lobonely Bounty Hunter”

Shipping Extravagaynza

The first season of Young Justice ends like a Shakespearian comedy with the leads all paired off and presumed to live happily ever after. Not everyone was thrilled with the reinforcement of heteronormativity. Indeed, the only known queer characters in the first season are the Brain and Mssr. Mallah and their relationship, which is never made explicit, would be hard to portray for reasons unrelated to them both being male. Let’s not mince words – the lack of queer representation on the show sucks. We could discuss whether Greg Weisman could have pushed harder for representation (and whether that would have endangered his job) or how crazy it is that there were executives who were fighting him on this in 20-fucking-12, but what’s done is done.  We would rather look on the bright side – Weisman said that there are LGBT characters on the show whose relationships he can explore if and when he is allowed, and we would prefer to believe that everyone who was not paired up at the end of season 1 was secretly gay.  We created this entry to celebrate some of the relationships that you can’t prove aren’t canon.

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Superman and Lex Luthor

This is almost certainly the most obvious. Not only am I sure there are a ton of people who ship Lex and Superman in general – even outside this show – but the pair have a kid together.

I imagine the relationship between Superman and Lex is definitely the result of a romantic comedy movie or possibly a Two Men and a Baby situation. They both have differing views on the world and on morality, but now they must raise their son that they both love and are confused by. They’ll bond over their shared misreading of what ‘music is today’ and also Conner’s definite anger problem. One day they’ll both just sit down on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa after Conner has yelled that they just don’t understand him and watch the news together. They’ll argue about politics and then fall asleep.

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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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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.

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The Roy of Lex

New Bitmap Image.pngYoung Justice Season 1, Episode 10

“Targets”

SUMMARY: Lex Luthor is targeted for assassination by The League of Shadows and it is up to Red Arrow to protect him and ensure that Lex can mediate the Rhelasian peace talks. Meanwhile, Miss Martian and Superboy have their first day of school.


Syd: The episode begins with Cat Grant reporting from a peace summit between North and South Rhelasia – which seem to be the DC Universe’s analogs for North and South Korea. You may be wondering why the Daily Planet would be sending their gossip columnist to report on a peace summit, but you’re forgetting that this is an alternate reality where Kaldur’ahm became Aqualad instead of Garth, which led Cat Grant on a completely different career path. In this reality, Cat reports on more substantial geopolitical stories, but that means that she never had the opportunity to start her own media empire or to date Harrison Ford.

Margaret: The first signs of Kaldur’s choice being good for Atlantis, but not the best for the people on the surface. Who wouldn’t want to own a media empire and date Harrison Ford? Though, I think I would prefer hard news as opposed to gossip, but Catco has shown to report on world events, not just celebrities, so I would say she ends up in a much more powerful position in the Garth Aqualad world.

Syd: Roy Harper shows up tracking Cheshire, who is looking to assassinate the unnamed arbitrator of the peace talks. As we mentioned way back in “Infiltrator,” Cheshire’s name was never said in the episode. How does Roy know who she is? The Justice League has a file on her, which apparently lists her exact height, but Roy isn’t in direct contact with the Justice League – he has to contact Kaldur to get this information. Keeping in mind that Roy recognizes Ra’s Al-Ghul on sight, one has to wonder what previous encounters he has had with the League of Shadows since he separated from Green Arrow.

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