Featured image courtesy of StevenRayBrown
I’ve enjoyed Young Justice for the most part since its premiere, despite the fact that I didn’t really buy its premise at first. It made no sense to me that Batman would send a bunch of kids, half of whom have little to no experience as superheroes, into dangerous battles against major League villains like Bane and Kobra. But the crazier thing turned out to be that the kids usually won. If that’s the case they should be in the Justice League with Superman and Wonder Woman. But getting past that stuff, YJ is a pretty solid show with a strong respect for DC history, solid animation and character design, and a nice balance between serialized and self contained storytelling. It’s not perfect; it takes itself too seriously at times, and sometimes the show forgets its about the kids, not the adults, but it’s good stuff. YJ is currently wrapping up its first season, and in this episode, the series looked to set up some changes for Superboy and The League going forward.
In “Agendas”, the spotlight fell on Superboy, as he battled a darker version of himself in the depths of Cadmus, which clued him in to his true parentage. Meanwhile, the Justice League met in their giant frozen clothing iron in space to furrow their brows and debate about expanding their membership. Not much was resolved in the end. Such is the life of serialized television.
One of the questions the episode asked is what it means to be a hero. Does it matter how old you are, or if your “father” is an evil bastard? The latter situation is something that Superboy will have to deal with from here on out. The revelation of who his other “parent” is puts his behavior throughout the series in a whole new light, and doubles the daddy issues he has too. What’s he gonna do? Go evil? Stay on the side of good? Brood a lot and slowly distance himself from his friends before they pull him back from the brink, assured of who he really is? I thought his storyline was well done, and I liked the nods to the comics, specifically to the comic this show shares its name with. I also liked how “Agendas” showed a more compassionate side of Conner. He tends to be all rough edges, especially when he’s not around Miss Martian, so to see him empathize with Match was nice to see. Of course he beat the @$&* out of him too. Their fights were very well done by the animation team. The action moved quickly and fluidly, and each punch or kick landed had some serious power behind it. The show, and the animation especially, is at its best when the fists fly.
As for the Justice League storyline…yikes. They’re a bunch of boring stiffs. And they all look alike too! Talking about how their meeting will reverberate for years to come, shut up. I hope they keep Captain Marvel around, because at least he keeps things light and in perspective. Otherwise they’re a bunch of bores who aren’t as important and great as they think they are. Seriously, a thirteen year old could lead them and do a good job. The best part of that plot, aside from seeing Wonder Woman finally play a role in the show, was seeing all of the other heroes they were thinking about inducting into the group. It was some nice fan service. While I always like seeing the Justice League on screen, I think they should take a significant step back so that the kids can really take center stage. It’s their show, its their story. At least it should be.
Meanwhile, the DC Nation short that aired during the commercial breaks had Plastic Man run through a gauntlet of his worst villains in order to mail in his electric bill on time. It was quick, clever stuff, with a lot more life and energy than the 22 minutes of YJ.
Look, “Agendas” was fine. It had some really good action, and will probably end up being a major turning point in the series going forward. I just wish these guys would lighten up.
Young Justice: Agendas is Rated: Functional