Movies / Animé and Toons

Young Justice Season One Volume One

By Hervé St-Louis
July 25, 2011 - 04:23

The first four episodes of the Young Justice cartoon series have come to DVD. This series started in January 2011 so the quick release of the first four episodes is a good thing, but not enough to fight piracy. This series s based on an alternate DC Comics universe where the super heroes are new. What the producers mean to say is that it’s a cleaned up DC Universe with much of the confusion and complicated continuity thrown away. Here we see Robin, KidFlash, Aqualad as the core Young Justice members just like the original Teen Titans and briefly joined by Speedy. Introduced by their respective Justice League mentors to the rest of the team, the kids are meant to train and become the new generation of super heroes. But their treatment as kids infuriates them and set out to do more with their powers and skills, whether the adults like it or not.

After realizing that the kids do need mentorship and that the new Superboy, a clone of Superman has to be contained, the Justice League decides to create the Young Justice team, in the first base of the Justice League. Martian Manhunter’s niece, Miss Martian and Green Arrow’s niece Artemis also join the team. But Artemis seems to have a secret origin that would make her the daughter of the villain the Sportsman, just like in the comic books.

I really enjoyed this series. I was doubtful about a junior league. Like many fans I’d rather watch the real deal rather than sidekicks. But the theme and concept of sidekicks here has been taken to a new level and completely integrated within the core of the series. As the producers say this series is not just about the Teen Titans or Young Justice, it incorporates the entire DC Comics universe through the kids. Moreover, in four brief episodes, this was easy to see and appreciate. There is a cool shot in the second episode where all of the Justice League shows up, after the kids have blown up Project Cadmus, where Superboy was created. It’s a remarkable shot that really shows the majesty of the team. Interesting ly, some of the members of that wide group shot included characters that have never been members of the League, like Zatara and members of later variants, like Captain Atom.

It was the first time that I was watching this series and it was really entertaining. I understand that there is some delays in the airing of new shows, and I had a constant dreadful feeling that four episodes would not be enough to sustain my interest. I was right. The series quickly grew on me and I wanted to watched more of this alternate Justice League and Teen Titans. What I really like is that although most characters are based on existing ones from the comic books and that much of their backstories are the same, the individual fights they get into are unique. In series like the Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the stories feel like updates of existing ones with a few cosmetic changes. In Young Justice, most missions are completely new and the situations could lead almost anywhere. For example, what about Artemis and her dad being a villain – or so we think?  What about Miss Martian? Is she really a white Martian under the mask or really a green one and the actual niece of the Martian Manhunter?

The character design is simple and not as elaborate as the one in previous DC animated project. Although they were garish and bulky, the old Batman animated designs, used for over a decade in Batman Beyond, Superman and Justice League were interesting. Here, all the character’s faces look the same. They all have the same nose and facial features. Superboy’s eyes did evoke enough information, especially when he first met Superman, but there was something bland about his expression. Of course, the animation is fine. There are no extras in this set, which is really bad. It’s difficult to make a case for this DVD, when knowing that eventually other episodes in the season will be collected into one volume. There are a few trailers fornew Cartoon Network animated series premiering in the fall – Thnder Cats and Loonie Tunes, but that’s about it. Some spec sheets on the characters, anything would have been appreciated.

P.S. Did I mention how I like when Robin grins in the background before announcing himself?

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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