YOUNG JUSTICE “Denial” Review

YOUNG JUSTICE Denial Episode 7

YOUNG JUSTICE “Denial” Episode 7 – Since this is my maiden voyage review for Young Justice, I thought I’d give a quick primer on the show before actually touching on the episode itself.

Young Justice is what happens when some of the people behind the Teen Titans (or Teen Ti’ans!) cartoon are looking to do another Teen Titans but don’t really want to do Teen Titans. The show takes place in the DC comics universe; specifically on Earth-16 for you continuity fans.

(Aside: has there ever been a better excuse to ignore / make up one’s own continuity than the alternate universe theory? The fact that it is considered by some scientists to be an actual valid theory makes it even wonkier. Or cooler. I can’t decide which. Marvel Comics probably wishes they had thought of this first.)

Here are our young heroes:

Robin: (The Crazy One) He is age 13 (youngest on the team) yet the most experienced superhero. Batman has forbidden Robin from revealing his secret identity (Dick Grayson). As per the norm, Robin has no powers, making use of his intellect, athleticism, tactics training and bat-gadgets. He also knows a little computer hacking. He may be slightly crazy, since he sometimes can he heard laughing in combat He has a weird habit of experimenting with prefixes, roots and suffixes in the English language.

Aqualad: (The Stoic One) The leader of the team (named Kaldur’ahm, or “Kaldur” for short), Aqualad has powers channeled through the tattoos on his arms which are a mixture of Atlantean sorcery and science. He displays super strength, stamina, the ability to control water, and the ability to discharge electricity through his hands. Aqualad was elected leader because of his calmness and penchant for efficiently and clearly giving orders, but does not want to remain leader. (He’s said he wishes to turn the position over to Robin when he is ready, saying that it is his destiny to lead this team.) (Probably when Robin’s less crazy.) Thus far it doesn’t seem as though he minds being called “Aqualad,” even though it’s clearly a substandard name.

Kid Flash: (The Mouthy One) Age 15, real name Wally West. Like the Flash, Kid Flash has enhanced speed which allows him to run very fast, though he cannot vibrate his molecules through solid objects like the Flash. He has a laid back personality, and enjoys flirting with girls, clearly not understanding that it has very little effect on them. (Well, other than to make Artemis jealous, since he doesn’t seem to flirt with her at all.) He and Robin are old friends. Kid Flash isn’t the brightest dude on the block, and seems to sometimes forget he has super powers.

Superboy: (The Pissed-Off One) This is a completely different Superboy; basically a 16-week-old clone of Superman who is supposed to eventually assume the alias of Conner Kent. Superboy does not have all of Superman’s abilities, most noticeable being his lack of an ability to fly. (“Look! Up in the sky! It’s not Superboy!”) He does have super strength, increased durability, super hearing, and super vision. This Superboy is a temperamental lug. His nonexistent relationship with Superman has caused him to become more angry and irrational as the series has progressed. I am actually hoping he turns and becomes a villain. Stay tuned for that!

Miss Martian: (The Oblivious One) Martian Manhunter’s 16 year-old Martian niece (named Meagan) is a recent arrival to Earth. She basically takes the ditz role that Starfire used to inhabit on Teen Titans, but with green skin rather than gold. As a Martian, she has telekinesis, telepathy, and flight. Additionally, she can shapeshift, though sucks at mimicking men. She owns and pilots her own bio-ship, which can fly and turn invisible. Miss Martian is kind, optimistic, and pretty much naive. She has a crush on Superboy and is oblivious to the fact that Kid Flash has a crush on her. (Don’t you love how it mirrors real life? The green-skinned chicks always like the “bad” boy…) She thinks Kid Flash and Artemis would make a “cute couple.” Oy.

Artemis: (The Tuff One) 15-year-old Artemis is the team’s archer and resident angry chick. (She’s also a very obscure existing character in DC Comics, though I’m told she does indeed exist.) Like Robin, Artemis (named after the Greek goddess of the hunt) has no superpowers, but is very skilled with a bow and arrow. She is introduced as Green Arrow’s niece, though it is later implied that this is not actually the case. (My guess is she has some tie to Wonder Woman, being Greek and all.) (But it’s all Greek to me.) Red Arrow, who is Green Arrow’s former partner Speedy (and not officially part of the team), believes Batman and Green Arrow are keeping a secret behind their decision to add her to the team, and he has (thus far) agreed not reveal his suspicions to the rest of the group. He has warned Artemis not to hurt his friends.

All in all, Young Justice is promising, though it has both good and bad qualities. On the plus side it is pretty faithful to DC canon (though as I said, with multiple earths, this isn’t as tricky as one might think), and gives plenty of nods to both Golden and Silver Age heroes. “Denial” featured Doctor Fate, as well as the villains Abracadabra and Clarion the Witch Boy (a Lord of Chaos, always opposed by Doctor Fate’s Lords of Order). I like the fact that they are putting forth the “magic vs. technology” argument; Kid Flash’s inability to believe in the metaphysical (except when around Miss Martian) is interesting, and it provided “Denial” with its best lines: “Guy knows a little advanced science and he Dumbledore’s it up to scare the bad guys and impress the babes,” and “Adaptive micro-opto electronics combined with phase-shifting!” (You had to be there.)

The animation is done by Korean-based MOI Animation partnered with Warner Bros. Animation, and is generally pretty smooth. The updated costumes look good. The ‘shippers will adore the various “should he be with her or maybe her??” love … pentacles (?) … that may develop.

On the bad side is the fact that, well, it is a cartoon on Cartoon Network, so it’s pretty much aimed at the kiddies (preteens perhaps) with more than a few obvious jokes and convenient “moving at the speed of plot” developments.

But what are you gonna do? It’s a freaking WB cartoon. The good news is it introduces young minds to the DC universe. Mold those kids correctly!

I don’t have super powers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you n00bs!