So here we are, three episodes into the second season of YOUNG JUSTICE, DC Entertainment’s TV version of Teen Titans. So, what’s new? Episode one opened with Robin (albeit in a more Tim Drake styled costume), Superboy & Miss Martian tackling Clayface, ok, normal enough. Then, Hey! Beast Boy? Well, yeah, they introduced Gar Logan last season & with a transfusion from Megan, you KNEW Beast Boy was inevitable. Blue Beetle? Where’d HE come from? Bumblebee? Well, again, Mal & Karen were ALSO introduced last year, so again, it was inevitable. OK, they’re checking in with HQ…NIGHTWING ?? OK, HOLD THE PHONE!
Seems that five years have gone by since the season finale where ‘The Team’ rescued the JLA from Vandal Savage’s control. In that time, a lot has happened that we KNOW of, and there are STILL questions left unanswered.
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!
1) Team changes – New members include Blue Beetle, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Mal (ops station), Robin (Tim Drake), Batgirl, Lagoon Boy & Wonder Girl (FINALLY). Nightwing (formerly Robin), is the overall team leader. Zatanna & Rocket ‘graduated’ into the JLA.
3) Aqualad – ok, during the five years, Kaldur’ahm got together with Tula, she joined The Team as Aquagirl & she died on a mission. Aqualad also found out that Aquaman lied to him about his father, who turns out to be Black Manta (as in the comics) and has joined him (Holy Darth Vader, kids!) to get vengeance on both his former King and his former teammates. We still don’t know how Tula was killed. We also have no idea how recent his turning was, as Aquaman says, “I didn’t want to believe it when Nightwing told me.”, when he sees the Manta helmet knocked from Kal’s head, revealing him.
4) The Missing 16 Hours – At the end of the mind-controlled JLA arc, we found out that 6 Leaguers – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern John Stewart, Martian Manhunter & Hawkwoman (the ‘first’ JL Cartoon cast, minus Flash), under Savage’s control, went into deep space, and 16 hours were unaccounted for. This season, it was revealed that they went to a distant planet (Rimbor, which is prominent in DC’s Legion comics) and wreaked havoc. There are now intergalactic warrants for the JL’s arrests. They decide to go to Rimbor to stand trial, accompanied by Hawkman & Icon.
5) Relationships – Superboy & Miss Martian aren’t together anymore, due to his ending it, because he’s discovered he doesn’t outwardly age. She’s now involved with Lagoon Boy. However, Superboy’s relationship with Superman has improved, as shown by Kal calling Connor ‘Little Brother’ as he leaves for space.
1) Kid Flash -There’s been no sight or even a mention of what’s happened to Wally during the five years, as of the third episode. Nobody had mentioned Aqualad either, and up he pops in ep. 3 as a villain. When the JL shows up at the end of ep. 3. We see Flash among them, but again no sign of Kid Flash. Did DCU history repeat itself, with Barry dying & Wally taking his place? Did something happen to him, like Aquagirl? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.
2) Artemis – Like Wally, there’s been no hint of her. During the five years, did she join her father (Sportsmaster) & sister (Cheshire), like Aqualad joined Black Manta? Is she still alive? Again, hopefully we’ll find out soon.
3) Red Arrow/Roy Harper – This mystery surfaced in the last story arc of season one. The ‘mole’ was Red Arrow, who turned out to be a clone of the real Roy Harper/Speedy, who was shown to be in the clutches of Vandal Savage (and possibly, his alliance, The Light). Red Arrow vowed to find him. Did he? What are the status of both of them? The ‘real’ Roy, was shown in stasis, missing his right arm from above the elbow, as he was in the comics. Could this mean we’ll be seeing Arsenal? Time will tell.
4) The Light’s ‘new’ allies – the Supervillain group, The Light (Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Queen Bee, Ra’s Al Ghul, The Brain, Klarion the Witch Boy and Black Manta) have said they have new alien allies who the Kryloteans (the alien presence on Earth for the first three episodes) referred to as ‘Competitors’. Who are they? (For my suspicion, see below)
5) What happened to The Guardian? There’s a statue of The Guardian in the Hall of Justice. Ordinarily, this is for someone who’s died. Did he die during the search for Roy Harper, his nephew? Is he still alive?
6) What’s up with Miss Martian? In episode two, she does a deep mind probe of a Krylotean, which basically leaves him looking like a drooling lobotomy patient. Connor is concerned, but doesn’t bring it up. She does it again to a Krylotean, already being interrogated by her ‘uncle’ Martian Manhunter. He seems to notice it, but he says nothing about it, nor does Connor, despite the look of concern on his face. Could this be a sign of her latent White Martian nature coming out? As a race, they were not the pacifists that the Green Martians (like J’onn) were.
7) What happened to Ocean Master? Black Manta is brought in as Ocean Master’s replacement in The Light. What did Orm do that cost him his role? Could it have something to do with what happened to Aquagirl?
So there are MORE questions than answers so far this season. But that’s to be expected when they present a five year gap in the storyline.
Cool things for DC Comics fans (Pre New 52, or course)
1) Lobo – The Main Man! The toughest Bastich in the universe showed up. This should prove to be very interesting in the future.
2) Catherine Cobert is introduced as the JL’s PR liaison, escorting dignitaries on tours of the Hall of Justice. She’s obviously taken from the Justice League Europe character of the same name, who served the same function, and even as a team ‘leader’ for a time.
3) Blue Beetle – He talks to his armor, which confuses his teammates, who obviously don’t know this and think he’s talking to himself, or an imaginary friend. This is, as comic fans knows, is because his armor is sentient, and part of an alien race called The Reach. As soon as the Krylotean freaked out at seeing Beetle, I knew why. The Reach are NASTY, to say the least. The Krylotean leader tells his underlings that they have to get off world fast, because he was attacked by what he called a “Competitor warrior”. We then hear Savage tell Black Manta that their new alien allies were these ‘Competitors’. So the ‘big’ invasion will be the Reach? VERY interesting, and will also no doubt involve a LOT of drama for Blue Beetle.
4) Starro – The Light had to get those Starro pieces from SOMEWHERE! Granted, it was a lot less noticeable having them graft into their victims, as opposed to the full-blown starfish-slapped-onto-your-face motif of old, but it’s still a main component of the Starro character. So could it be a victim of The Reach, since THEY provided the tech for The Light? Or is it their MASTER in this universe? Time will tell.
Overall, I like the show. I wish it was still on Friday nights, as opposed to Saturday mornings. I accepted the differences in the characters between their comic versions and show versions last year, and am fine in continuing that acceptance, especially as they get a little closer to the comics versions. I don’t even mind that it’s set in yet another universe (internally designated as Earth 16), separate from the previous DC Animation Universe (DCAU) in which not only JL & JLU was set, but so was Superman, Batman the Animated Series & Batman Beyond. I LIKE this new self-contained universe. I actually would have preferred it if THIS was the New 52 universe as opposed to what we got last September. But that’s a whole OTHER kettle of fish.
I know I’ll keep watching and waiting to see what happens next & what little ‘treats’ they have in store for the fans. At least DC Animation seems to care about THEIR fan base.