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Young Justice Invasion: Pilot Episode Review

04/29/2012

Sorry I didn’t get to post this sooner, I didn’t realize that I my babysitting duties would encompass an entire day. Anyway, Young Justice Invasion premiered yesterday. I was excited, but, to be honest, Season One just ended the week before so I didn’t really have time to let the anticipation sink in. I loved Season One – from episode one to twenty six and everything that led up to the final fight between Young Justice and the Justice League on New Year’s Eve.

So Episode One “Happy New Year” premieres and I am slightly confused. It opens with Superboy fighting Clayface in the sewers under Gotham. With help from Ms. Martian and Robin (in a different costume) and Bumblebee and Beast Boy, they manage to stop him. Skip to the UN where Batgirl and Wonder Girl are facing off against Lobo who is trying to collect a bounty on the Secretary-General Tsang, who turns out to be a diminutive alien in a robot-man suit (MIB-style) called a Krolotean.

It’s not until we get to the Watchtower and meet Nightwing that I realize we’re not in the same Young Justice as season finale. It’s revealed that we’re five years in the future to the day that they defeated Vandal Savage and the Light’s plans to take over the Justice League. FIVE YEARS!!!! In that time Robin became Nightwing, Rocket and Zatanna left to join the big boys in the JLA, Ms. Maritian got a haircut and ditched Superboy for Lagoon Boy of all people, and a bunch of newbies joined the Young Justice team.

I’m a little bummed they just skipped over this huge gap of time without any explanation. I mean, five years in the comic book realm is like a decade in real life! I know there will probably be flashbacks to catch us up on what happened in the five-year gap, but I’d rather watch the gentle progression of events, not just be told about them retroactively. Also, I’m disappointed there is no appearance or mention of three of the previous YJ members: Artemis, Kid Flash, and their leader, (and my second favorite character) Aqualad.

I have nothing against the addition of new blood to the team – it’s what will keep the series fresh and exciting, adding new drama and conflict and romance to the cast. But I miss the original team and their dynamic. So far, there’s been very little exploration of the character’s other than new Robin Tim Drake’s hesitance to be a leader and Blue Beetle’s outbursts talking to himself (which is actually him arguing with the suit, which only he can hear). There’s also a bit of bitterness on Superboy’s face when Ms. Martian kisses Lagoon Boy leading me to assume he’s not to thrilled with their break-up and her new relationship. I suppose this leaves him open to date Wonder Girl, which is cannon, or someone else (Tim!?! – fangirl squee!).

So is there anything I like about the new series? Well, the new plot line has me intrigued. The “Invasion” title seems to be directing your attention to the Kroloteans that have stolen Zeta technology (the same tech that powers the Watchtower transport tubes) and are impersonating humans. But I think the “real” invasion is going to be a bit more Apokolyptian. We have G. Gordon Godfrey, a GNN reporter, building anti-alien and anti-superhero propaganda on television and there was mention in Season One of the Light taking orders from someone bigger. So will Darkseid be making an appearance this season? I think it’s pretty likely.

I’m not going to give the new series a grade – yet. I’m curious how things will play-out over a couple episodes before I make the final call. I will, however, leave you with a few screen caps of the new characters so you can judge for yourself.

Tim Drake – the new Robin (sans cape). Tim is my favorite Robin, but since Dick was the
tech/hacker Robin in Season One, what will this version be?

Nightwing – Dick Greyson all grown up. I’m curious why some YJ
characters aged more than others?

Ms. Martian – no more freckles and a sassy new haircut. Not that I was a big fan of the
Meg’gan/Conner relationship, but what did she do to break his heart?

Lagoon Boy – YJ cannon character. He can grow big, like a puffer-fish. He’s
Ms. Martian’s new squeeze.

Beast Boy – introduced as an un-powered Garth in Season One, he got a blood transfusion
from Ms. Martian that may have led to his superpowers. Not a big fan of the tail.

Wonder Girl – haven’t seen much of her yet, though she did manage to hold her own against Lobo.
She looks like the Cassie version rather than the original Donna.

Batgirl – I love Babs, I’m glad she made it to the party. Could be an interesting love triangle
between her, Dick, and Zatanna if they pursue it.

Bumblebee – haven’t seen too much of her yet, either. She mentions meeting up with Dr. Palmer
(the Atom) and seems to have a flirtatious relationship with Victor (not yet Cyborg).

Blue Beetle – so far my favorite new YJ character. Everyone thinks poor Jamie is
talking to himself when he’s actually just arguing with his sentient suit.

Superboy and Wolf – a little change to his costume, but why has Conner remained un-aged
compared to the rest of his team? Something in his cloned DNA?

G. Gordon Godfrey – better known as Darkseid’s dog Glorious Godfrey. Using the media
to create dissent in the populace against the Justice League.

Character designs for some Young Justice members.

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