Young Justice is one of the newest animated shows from DC Entertainment and Warner Bros and is a damn fine show. Debuting nearly 16 months ago, it’s only now that the first season has reached it’s finale. You heard me right, 16 months for 26 episodes. Yeah…… Cartoon Network are fucking assholes. But despite being spread across three years (2010-2012) and constant delays, the show has been consistently engaging. Any time the show has appeared on screens, it’s just as fresh and brilliant as when it left off.
Following the exploits of a covert ops team of teen heroes, Young Justice is written and produced by some of the best in the business, namely Greg Weisman (He of Gargoyles and Spectacular Spiderman fame) and Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Batman). Not to mention an all-star cast, running the gamut from DC Animated staples to relative new-comers.
So with the Season 2 premiere only days away (Seriously, 16 months but Season 2 starts the week after Season 1 finishes? What clown is in charge of scheduling?) I’m going to be counting down my Top 5 episodes of Season 1, starting with…..
5 – “Welcome to Happy Harbor”
The third episode of the season is where we really start to see the team come together. In the hour-long premiere, the team solely consisted of Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad. They retrieved Superboy from Cadmus Labs, and Miss Martian was introduced just before it ended. It was a pretty dark episode to kick off but fun nonetheless. It’s in this episode where we start to get a feel for how the show is going to portray it’s team when they deal with the villain, Mr Twister, in a surprising show of teamwork. The only downside is the over-use of Miss Martian’s catchphrase “Hello, Megan!” but thankfully that lessens in the future episodes. A fun episode to showcase what the show is and well worth checking out.
4 - “Coldhearted”
Kid Flash is the comedic relief of the Team so to have an entire episode focus on him and show he’s capable of growth was an excellent move. This is probably my favourite episode of the season so why is it only 4th? Because while I enjoyed it, other episodes did far better in terms of character development. Our red-headed speedster has to run across country to deliver precious cargo to a heart transplant patient, in the snow, with Vandal Savage standing in his way. It’s a recipe that works for me! Wally learns his lesson, grows up a little and even showcases his powers in a more successful way than ’Denial’ did but its just not as strong as some other episodes and this is purely on the list because I enjoy it. It’s my list, I’ll do whatever I want!
3 – “Secrets”
One thing you’ll notice about this show is that it has a definitive timeline, the show makes it clear what day of the year a particular episode takes place on, whether through on screen text or mentions on the show. Case in point, this episode which is a Halloween episode and while Conner, Wally and Megan do the usual Halloween schtick, the episode truly focuses on Zatanna, the relative newbie to the team. Zatanna and Artemis head out on patrol and encounter a seemingly unstoppable opponent in the form of Harm. Aided by a mysterious young girl, the two uncover a horrible secret that ties Harm and Secret together and is actually pretty dark, especially for touching on a subject that is danced around in many other shows. The dark and heavy A-Plot is balanced out by the B-Plot’s humour and shenanigans. From a story perspective, it’s a perfect episode and an excellent way to further add Zatanna to the team.
2 – “Failsafe”
The Justice League is dead before the credits. Yeah, this episode isn’t dicking around. Granted, this is obviously a “What If?” scenario because we’re only 16 episodes into the first season but it’s very apocalyptic and doesn’t mess around with killing off people. It’s an episode along the same lines as “Over the Edge”, an episode of New Adventures of Batman which is quite similar but nowhere near as good. Sorry, but it’s not! “Over the Edge” didn’t have lasting consequences while character development is at an all time high in this episode. We see the Team step into the shoes of their now-dead mentors and deal with this alien threat as the situation becomes more and more dire. Even the Team itself is not safe and while the outcome is obvious, the emotional impact of this episode is felt well into the later half of the series. I’m not giving too much away but it is well worth your time.
1 – “Usual Suspects” & “Auld Acquaintance”
I’m kinda cheating here by having the penultimate episode and finale as my number 1 but they feel so much like a two-parter that they deserve to share the top spot. Greg Weisman said that the theme of the first season is ‘secrets and lies’ during early promotion of the series and that really comes to the fore in these two episodes. The series has been steadily building it’s story from the get-go and these two episodes are where all those plot threads are tightened into one epic story. Who is the mole? What was The Light’s plan? Why did they use so many villains? How will the Team deal with such a threat? And what is “Phase 2”? It’s a rip-roaring two-parter that delivers on all levels and serves as set-up for season 2: “Invasion”.
Check out the trailer for Season 2 (SPOILERS)
See you next time!
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