YOUNG JUSTICE “Independence Day” Review

Young Justice (Cartoon Network)

First shown late last year as a one hour preview, “Independence Day,” the first part of the pilot of YOUNG JUSTICE, the latest DC Universe animated series, has aired as the official series premiere and it still looks great.

The comics continuity is mixed – we get Dick Grayson as Robin, Wally West as Kid Flash, though Aqualad is the new version from the current “Brightest Day” comics. And then there’s Roy Harper, Speedy, who walks away before the action really starts, but he’ll be back as Arsenal in the regular show, which will also include Miss Martian from “Titans” comics.

Following a series of crimes by ice based criminals – Mr. Freeze, the Icicle, Captain Cold (a mystery still to be explained) the big day at the Hall of Justice for the sidekicks (who hate the term) is a bust, they don’t get to see the real stuff, though we get Batman, Green Arrow, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado and Superman on a video screen. Great cameo stuff.

Then with news of a fire of at the facility comes probing of the mysterious genetic research lab Cadmus, which turns out to be many stories underground, by Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad moves along at a clip, with wonderfully strange genetically engineered creatures plus the Guardian (Note that he and Cadmus all came from the late, great artist and writer Jack Kirby, thank you).

We get the sinister scientist, using little mind-warping creatures to control every one and then there’s the big discovery of the clone of Superman (and as it will likely be revealed, Lex Luthor, too!). He’s powerful and being controlled and takes out the boys, despite their best efforts. But it’s not over. This was part 1 of “Independence Day” and it gets even better in part two next week as the story’s big finish will lead the the formation of Young Justice. The characters are already nailed down, the personalities and the way they interact. Great stuff here, true to comics. Here’s to the full season of the show.

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