Prequ-El

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Krypton Season 1, Episode 1

“Pilot”

SUMMARY: After thwarting a terrorist attack, Seg-El is granted a rank and house that had been denied him since his family was disgraced over his grandfather’s treasonous scientific research. He is also given a wife, which may cause friction with his secret lover, Lyta-Zod. Then his parents are killed. Then Adam Strange shows up to warn Seg about Brainiac, because those are characters whose names we know.


Syd: With Margaret in Chicago for C2E2, I decided instead of missing a week of our strictly maintained schedule, I would do something a little different. So we’re taking a break from Young Justice to watch the pilot for SYFY’s new Smallville prequel, Krypton. Now, you may think that I can’t write anything coherent about a TV show on my own and you’re probably right. So I brought in a special guest. You may know him as my cohost from Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School or from various bars around New York City. Say hello to the people, Foley.

Foley: Very excited to be here, especially right now before the show even starts. At this moment Krypton has the highest potential for greatness. Until we hit play I cannot be disappointed. That said, I for one hope to be pleasantly surprised by this interstellar period piece with no “known” DC characters to mess it up… Until like episode 3 when they bring in Hawkgirl for no reason (The reason is a love triangle).

Syd: Now, before we watch this, I have to say, this is a bad idea, right? Like, Krypton as a concept only exists to be destroyed. Right off the bat, there is the burden of creating an entire lived-in world while they are also weighed down by the established continuity of all of cosmic DC. Also, they’re going with the version of Krypton where they don’t have superpowers on Krypton. The entire time I’ll be thinking about how much better it would be if they went with the more interesting original version of Krypton where everyone was Superman.

Foley: Thanks to you I watched a LOT of Supergirl… Powers can really mess up a show.

Syd: That was the least of Supergirl’s problems. Here, if the main character is a cryptofascist, I can chalk it up to cultural differences.

Foley: …Until they do the slow cutaway to the Kryptonian Holocaust. I still can’t believe Supergirl went there.

Syd: Let’s start this up, then, and see if it’s actually offensive or just regular dumb.

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What the Hell Just Happened?!

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 7

“Depths”

SUMMARY: The Team is onhand to protect the communication satellite being launched between Earth and Mars. The launch is disrupted when Black Manta’s troops attack. Then Kaldur stabs Artemis, seemingly killing her.


Margaret: The episode opens with Godfrey talking his general shit about aliens and the fact that a satellite is being launched between Earth and Mars. To him, it’s bad enough that aliens are on the planet, but now they’re going out to contact more. It pulls back to show Wally watching the program, who does not seem to like it.

Syd: Artemis is on her way out, going to join the Young Justice team for a mission, and Wally disapproves. Artemis says that it’s no different than him helping out the Flash when Neutron attacked. Wally doesn’t think it’s the same at all, while being careful not to mention exactly what the mission is and give away anything to the audience. Artemis says, “What could go wrong?” leading to a cut to 10 hours later and Nightwing pronouncing Artemis dead.

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Margaret: Geez Artemis, you should know by now in the superhero business that you never ask what can go wrong! That’s practically just asking for terrible luck.

Continue reading “What the Hell Just Happened?!”

Do the Bartman

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 6

“Bloodlines”

SUMMARY: Impulse, a tourist from 40 years in the future, visits Mt. Justice and helps fight Neutron alongside his grandfather, The Flash.


Syd: This episode starts with Nightwing recapping what we know of the Kroloteans’ plan – that they are kidnapping humans to use as experiments.

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Margaret: They are looking for something that there is no English word for: the metagene. Aha! So they’re trying to do DC mutants. Got it. I can’t blame them. Mutants are popular.

Syd: Fox has been hogging the all-purpose origin story for too long. It’s a good idea for Warner Brothers to jump on their own. They were kind of running out of non-ridiculous origin stories anyway. What I think is interesting is that Dick says there is no English word. So is “metagene” French or something?

Margaret: If anything, I’d think it would be German. They tend to shove different words into each other to get a new descriptive one. Like der Kühlschrank, which literally means ‘cool cupboard’, which is a fridge.

Syd: Enough linguistics! Bart is here!

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Teen Girl Squad

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 5

“Beneath”

SUMMARY: While Jaime looks for his missing friend Tye who ran away from home, an all-female Team goes to Bialya where they fight a Fearsome five.


Syd: So last episode ended with a shot of a Navajo character and this episode opens with a shot of an Apache character. Coincidence? Almost definitely.

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Margaret: Yes, I definitely think that is a coincidence. Tye calls Jaime saying he’s sick of Maurice and he’s going to Houston. Jaime sits up and we can see there is a big blue beetle on his back like no big deal. Yikes. He tries to convince him to stay long enough for them to talk. Tye makes no promises, but moves to the statue and is immediately kidnapped.

Syd: The beetle on Jaime’s back tries to convince Jaime to let Tye go, saying that the Blue Beetle armor was intended for greater purpose. Seriously, what was with Ted Kord?

Margaret: My new theory is that he created something that definitely murdered him.

Continue reading “Teen Girl Squad”

Appellaxian Trail

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 4

“Salvage”

SUMMARY: Green Arrow arranges an intervention for Red Arrow, who has been on the skids since he devoted himself to finding Speedy. Meanwhile, Conner and Jaime fight an Appellaxian shell that has been animated by Apokaliptan technology.


Syd: We open with Red Arrow stopping a health food store robbery. He knocks the criminal unconscious and gives most of the money back to the store clerk. So, mostly yay?

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Margaret: It doesn’t seem like Roy is doing very well. He’s got long stringy hair and a five o’clock shadow now. Not to mention stealing. I’m guessing he is not taking the events of the season finale well.

Syd: He’s remarkably capable considering he looks like he hasn’t eaten since the season finale. Still, Green Arrow, who is watching, is very concerned.

Continue reading “Appellaxian Trail”

Diary of a Mad Black Manta

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 3

“Alienated”

SUMMARY: Discovering that they committed atrocities on Rimbor while under the Light’s control, six members of the Justice League turn themselves in to the authorities, but first they do battle under a volcano with Black Manta’s troops led by Black Manta’s son, Kaldur’ahm.


Margaret: We start out with a VO of Godfrey being terrible – as he always is, talking about the Justice League trying to find a way to root out aliens who are disguising themselves as people. Bumblebee and Blue Beetle enter a diner and we learn that the program is coming from the restaurant’s TV set.

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Syd: So the “Bibbo” who is watching Godfrey’s show – as we soon see – is actually a Krolotean in a fleshy mech suit, which makes me wonder – why is an alien watching anti-alien propaganda? Is this an alien with emotional issues, or is this like those assholes who are totally progressive, for reals, and think Donald Trump is HILARIOUS. Either way, I think I hate this alien.

Margaret: I assumed it was part of his disguise. Of COURSE I’m not an alien, I like Godfrey, who hate aliens! No aliens here in this diner wearing people suits!

Syd: Then he’s drawing too much attention to himself. No wonder he got found out.
Continue reading “Diary of a Mad Black Manta”

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?

Continue reading “See You Next Year!”