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The show had lots of potential. Something like Teen Titans meets Justice League / JL Unlimited, it focused on the efforts of an unnamed team of young heroes, performing black ops missions for the Justice League (let's not go there) who are too much in the spotlight.
It's a character driven show, so the characters are the most important part the thing. Only problem? Most of the characters fall just short of being bland one-notes. The Justice League appears often and rarely get any characterization for such significant characters. The team, both seasons 1 and 2, was a jumbled mishmash of conflicting personalities that rarely compliment eachother.
M'gann, or Miss Martian, actually got alot of flack for this, because on top of being boring, what little personality she did have was obnoxious. This was later revealed to be an act, as she was emulating an old Earth sitcom she saw.
Superboy...I just hate everything about him. Kryptonite needs to be shoved into every orifice he's got.
Those two had a romantic subplot that dominated most of the series, even in season 2 after they broke up.
And really they're the only ones who got any real characterization. The others had spotlight episodes here and there, but never anything suggesting an actual personality underneath their one-note exterior.
The plots are filled with holes and usually hinge entirely on the villains, a cabal of big name supervillains like Lex Luthor and Ra's al Ghul called the Light, being complete idiots and deciding, for no real reason, not to wipe the team off the face of the planet. By the second season their heavy hitter, Klarion, is relegated to glorified taxi service for the leader of the Light and villains that are actual major threats in the comics are reduced to Dumb Muscle for the Team to trounce with the help of a handy plot device they carry with them.
As a minor note: Icicle Jr could have been interesting. There was a staggering amount of Ho Yay between him and Superboy in the episode where SB&MM went undercover. Coulda been interesting to explore that. But it's a kids show and homosexuality is worse than murder to these people soooo...yeah.
Thirty words left. Season 2 was shit. Blue Beetle was the only one with a real character arc, and he had no personality beyond the occasional Gratuitous Spanish.
Okay, I must admit, I'm not a fan of any comicbooks series, and particularly not of DC comics. Even among the animated series, I only like the old Batman The Animated Series. But what this series has done, frustrated even me to no end! My real problem is not with the flat characters -'tho they definitely didn't help-, neither is the impossibly long and slooooooooowwww Myth Arc about the Light's Xanatos Gambit, or the abrupt changes that came with a freaking five years long Timeskip. Nor is the Romantic Plot Tumor between Superboy and Miss Martian -who are Kevin and Gwen all over again, right down to their appearences!-. No. I get the purpose of the Competence Zone trope, and I know Tropes Are Not Bad. But the way this show used it, was definitely a horrible abuse of it! I can accept teenagers as the only competent characters in a show, where everyone else is no-name fodder. But seriously, when you have guys like Batman and Superman on the cast, and they continously proove utterly useless in the grand scheme of things, while teenagers solve literarly everything, then you've done something really badly! Of course I must admit the plusses of the show: as everyone said, the animation and the graphics are amazing. The action scenes are really well-done, and actually exciting! The over-all plot is consistent with itself. Also except for it's horribly slow build-up, I actually liked how the Light manipulated everyone while building their plans.
All in all however I can't give the show more than 3 out of 10.
The biggest strength of season 1 is the familial bond between the Young Justice team. This is a group of people who really are a unit and it's achieved the team part of superhero team to even greater degrees than the Justice League Animated series does. There's a point where everyone starts having a psychic conversation with each other, accidentally completely excluding the stranger who joined them and it's a powerful moment that sold the whole series for me. It helps that there are a lot of clever ideas ringing through the episodes too like Megan's true nature or the idea that Batman trained Robin, not as a replacement but so that Robin wouldn't become like himself.
The three greatest flaws are
Season 2 solves the Batphone problem and manages to achieve a complex and believable threat, taking the story to several dark spaces and driving the story along at pace with intrigue and mystery. It retains the interesting ideas of the first. In particular Aqualad's situation had me feeling that it would be very normal and almost right to betray everyone, whereas in a normal story I would have dismissed it as a lame ruse.
But the grander scope interrupts the family feeling of the first and relationships were struggling to develop as they were before a time skip and an increased cast of characters. It's interesting that these were almost the exact same changes and problems in the last season of the Justice League cartoon.
Which is better? Despite the deeper and more interesting moral questions and plot of the second season, it was the characters and their interactions with each other that hooked me the most, so whilst season 2 is more edifying, I ultimately like season 1 better.
So, let's get the positive points out of the way so I don't look like a massive troll. The art style and the animation is great, really some of the best western animation I've seen in a long time. I like how they injected a deal of maturity into the series, it makes it feel more memorable. And some of the character designs are admittedly rather good.
Now for the big problems...I really don't like these characters. Some of the characters are just too scowly and angsty for me to care about (Superboy) are just outright annoying (Miss Martian) or just...bland (Aqualad.) I kind of liked Robin and Kid Flash, they were harmless for the most part. By far the worst incarnation of a character is Superman. I love the guy, one of my favourite superheroes. In this series, the paragon of justice and goodness is turned into a jerk who doesn't like Superboy for vague and rather unexplained reasons, and he's made look like a bad guy so Batman can look better by comparison. Most of the Justice League, with the exception of Billy Batson, are jerks for that matter.
And then there's The Light. It's kind of hard to root for superheroes when it seems that NOTHING they do ha any effect on the villains. The Light are just a generic cabal of Supervillains, and EVERYTHING always goes their way ("Hm, the Justice League destroyed all our bases and captured 90% of our operatives. JUST AS PLANNED! ONWARD TO PHASE 2!"). They're really the kind of villain I hate, the 'super-awesome bad guys' who always manage to outwit the heroes and are never defeated, because of reasons.
So, yes, Darkness Induced Audience Apathy claimed me. While I will admit the characters get some decent development, for the most part I just couldn't bring myself to care. I've heard rather mixed things about the second series, but I doubt I'll watch it. From the sound of things the characters just grow more unlikable.
I know this show has a sizable fandom, and I'm trying not to stomp on what they like. I just couldn't get into this show personally.
Let's clarify something - it's a positive review. I'm not saying that the show doesn't have flaws, and I'll mention them later, but mostly, I'll be praising things.
So, let's get this started!
The first thing I got something to say is the animation. The action is really enjoyable, movements are very clear, and character designs are cool for the most part. The style reminds me of DCAU movie "Justice League: Doom". I even bet, they both were animated by same team!
The most important thing in the show is the writing. And it's perfect! On every single episode at start I was thinking "What happened? Explain!", and at the end it was "All right, what a ride! What's gonna happen next?". But I have to warn you - if you didn't spoil yourself (which you should totally don't have to do) the show will catch you off guard. Multiple times. Weisman & Co. know how to manipulate you. You always have a feeling that villains are step ahead of Team, but they satisfy you with good fight or new clue. That keeps you 'till the very end. The character development of core team is fun to watch, and I think they succeed at making this many chars unique and likeable, even if for some (Rocket, La'gann) it took longer then it should.
Now for annoyances - first, designs and VO's of Joker and Riddler are terrible. Thankfully, they appear not for long. Second - the time-skip of second season. When I first saw what happened I hated it and dropped the show. Too much time have passed, too many questions unanswered, too many plot-holes created. I was able to overcome it after recent YJ spree (and BTW, I'm really satisfied with answering and plot-hole fixing thing!) but the cut is too deep. I just don't understand this decision.
And last, but not least - Why the hell did CN cancelled the show?!. Second season ended on a freaking cliffhanger, a lot more questions appeared, and they cancel it? Really? Just when things started to get real intense, when YJ got a huge loyal fanbase and the show itself is a river of money they cancel it?! It's just too abrupt to end it here... I blame it on Weisman's salary.
I`m adding my two cents to the pile here, mostly because I find that, well, so many reviews here are so negitive on a great show.
I`ll address a few complaints I`ve read.
Lack of JL Characters: Yeah, the show is Young Justice, not Justice League. The focus is on the younger characters, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Superboy, ect. This is not Justice League Unlimited: Season Six.
Lack of Likeable Characters: Are we watching the same show? I find Aqualad, Kid Flash, Miss Martian and the bunch to be very likeable. Some are rough about the edges, and they all have faults, but that means they're like, well, people. Real People.
Joker: While having LT CMD Date voice Joker wouldn't be my first choice, I still liked his take on him. Yeah, it doesn't live up to the Joker we know and love from the DCAU, but it's no less valid than Joker from the 60's TV show. Or from Brave and the Bold.
The Light as Villain Sues: Okay, I will admit this one is a bit true but I always figured they'd fall sooner or later, and Summit punched a BIG hole in their plans.
Still, I do have my own complaints. Rocker was very underused, appearing in the last two episodes of season one... Then getting Kicked Upstairs. I dislike that Kid Flash and Superboy's power levels aren't higher, as per their comic counterparts, and that it seems that they'll never grow.
My biggest complaint is... Season Two.
Yeah, I will say Season Two is Awesome, raised the stakes and has brilliant writing... But they jammed in over half a dozen new people on the team, pulled over half the old team Out Of Focus, and the Time Skip...
I hate the Time Skip. Not that they did it, but they made it a FIVE YEAR Time Skip. Way too much time passed, way too much happened that we don't know about, way too many questions to answer.
Worst of all is outside Impulse and Blue Beetle none of the new characters got any real characterization. To be fair I had that complaint about JLU; a roster of forty heroes and aside from the original seven about, maybe, four or five got some real screen time.
Despite the flaws I do love the show, and I want to see how it goes. I doubt the production crew will be able to wrap it all up for the cancellation (Sadly) but I hope they release the notes for what Season Three would have been like.
Well, always Fan Fics.
I hated Young Justice when it premiered. Aside from Robin and Kid Flash, I couldn't care about any of the characters - Miss Martian and Aqualad were dull as paste, and Artemis and Superboy were just obnoxious a-holes.
What a difference some beard growth makes.
First off, the characterization: Sometime around Failsafe, I noticed a change in quality - the show was finally working. And with each succeeding episode, it got better and better. Miss Martian became a major Woobie, and Superboy and Artemis became understandable and likeable characters. As a matter of fact, I hated Artemis when she first showed up, but she's developed into one of my favorite characters in the show.
As for my other major complaint, in The Light... Well, I don't see how Klarion and Orm could really pull their own weight in the same league as the other five members, but as individuals? They're all great villains. Klarion is by far my favorite villain in the series, even though I can't unhear Felix when I listen to him.
That said, the two new members, Rocket and Zatanna seem kind of superfluous. Or at least, Rocket does. The show focuses a little on Zatanna, but the main focus is on the main six members of the Team. I hope this changes once Jaime Reyes, one of my favorite DC heroes, shows up and joins.
As before, the show has fantastic animation and character design, but it's also bolstered by massively improved characterization and plotting - the show takes an approach to its arc like Transformers Animated in having episodes be self-contained, but move the plot along in B-plots. The Reveal of Red Arrow being the mole genuinely surprised me.
Greg, if you're reading this now, I apologize for my previous judgment. You may have stumbled quite a bit at the beginning, but you made up for it insanely fast.
That said, I still despise this show's version of The Joker.
The series is strong on action and worldbuilding. The slow burn plot may irk some but it all comes together at the end of season 1, and it's still ongoing. To quote Frank Herbert, there are "plans within plans" all around.
I'm not part of the young teen target audience so I never bought into the romance in the first season. In the second season some of that doesn't last so I feel vindicated after a fashion, and there's much less of it in general.
Another improvement of season 2 is that the team acts more professional while in season 1 it took a while for the team to gel and they often acted like teens with powers rather than superheroes who happened to be teens, though this decreased as the show progressed. The returning characters in season 2 have all matured and the new characters have their priorities straight.
The action in general is top-notch for DC shows.
The characters range from decent to great, the standouts are Ascended Extra Artemis, Roy Harper (arguably one too) and Canon Foreigner Aqualad. In the first season, Sixth Ranger Zatanna added much-needed lightheartedness.
As character focus goes, Miss Martian and Superboy actually get the most in the first season, followed by Artemis and Roy Harper. The second season has a larger cast but so far, these characters still get much of the focus, with the addition of Blue Beetle.
Ah, Greg Weisman. The man who created Gargoyles and gave the world the best damn Spidey series ever. When I learned they were making a show that aimed to be a successor to both the DCAU and my beloved Teen Titans, I was cautiously optimistic. And then I learned Weisman was on board. Surely, this would be the true successor to the DCAU - or at least, something to make up for the cancellation of the brilliant Batman The Brave And The Bold.
Sadly, I was wrong.
It started off well enough - the four sidekicks, Speedy, Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad fighting a bunch of ice-themed supercriminals with their mentors. And then it hit me - Speedy was an insufferable prick. Fortunately, he was removed from the main team, but then we got Superboy, who I can't help imagining with the voice Linkara uses for the infamously whiny Superboy-Prime. Not only that, but Aqualad, the team leader, was bland - he had no real personality to speak of. He was an attempt at The Stoic, but was just boring as all hell. I held out hope that it would get better.
Sadly, it got worse. In a stunning display of Canon Defilement, they made Superman - yes, the nicest DC hero - a Lawful Stupid deadbeat "dad" who would not accept Superboy as his son, even though a major part of Superman's character is that he's ALWAYS excited to discover another Kryptonian, even if they're just a clone.
As for the other two heroes: while Miss Martian, like Kid Flash and Robin, is tolerable, she comes off as a half-hearted attempt at Starfire without any of her quirks. As for Artemis, she's one of the most thoroughly bitchy female characters since Asuka Sohryuu. Regardless, I still held out hope it would get better.
The show then shattered that hope with the reveal of The Light's members - only four made any sense, with the other three not fitting at all - and the worst portrayal of The Joker in history, all in the same episode. I dropped the show in disgust after that. And when Weisman said the reason there weren't any more females on the team was because of "tradition," I gave up hope for both this show and any future projects by a man I once admired.
Despite great animation, character designs and (mostly) good casting, I give it a C-.
I love this show. The first reason why is, obviously, the art. The character design is wonderful, the mixture between 2D and 3D animation looks like it's finally been done right and I just love the visuals of it. Animation aside, I think the characters are great fun too. Lets go with a few overviews:
Kid flash, for example, is a fun, somewhat jerky, wannabe ineffectual Kid Anova speedster... who also fulfils the role of Science Hero sometimes.
Robin, a more experienced, serious type... who isn't actually cracked up to be like Batman, and seems to be the only character of the bunch in touch with his emotions. His experience blinds him to others' lack of it at the beginning, and I actually buy it when he ends up not being the leader, while it is slightly forced.
Miss Martian, an eager-to-please, fish-out-of-water girl... who is lying to the group about who she is, has mental powers stronger than her uncle's, and has interesting insecurities. I think Miss Martian is a great example of how a character can be girly and strong without needing to be a guy with giant breasts at the same time.
Artemis is from a screwed up family trying to overcompensate by being all "tough" because she's a super villain's kid while at the same time failing once in a while because she's actually pretty new to this, and probably the one with the least amount of experience heroing.
Superboy is a young partially-human clone of Superman's... who actually has an abandonment complex thing going, and who goes through a visible but not in-your-face identity crisis. Becoming less of a Jerk Ass as the story grows.
Aqualad is awesome, actually. While some say he's got the emotional range of a teaspoon, I beg to differ. His level-headedness is the reason he was chosen as leader. He knows not showing emotion is not the same as not having it, and there is a time and place for inner struggle; eg: not during a mission when your team needs you. He is still new to leadership, and it shows. I think out of all the others, is the most subtly developed of them.
And there are more! All in all, with wonderful animation, great designs, and fun characters, this series shows a lot of promise. There are times when the dialogue feels off, or the events feel forced, but they are relatively few and rarely intolerable.
I think it's great.
Young Justice is one of the best looking western animated series I've seen in a while, with great animation and character designs. But... it also has problems. Lots of problems.
My biggest problem with YJ is the characters. Miss Martian ("Hello Megan!") and Artemis are the worst offenders as far as bad characters go. Miss Martian provides the girly pink ranger character, who'se insecure and desperate for everyone to get along. This manifests as being dependant on male characters, baking cookies, and trying to get Superboy in bed. Then there's Artemis, who tries to balance things out by being Tough and Badass! Unfortunately she's also rude, incompetent, and awkwardly shoehorned into the team. Batman forces her into the team, so Artemis is here whether the rest of the characters like her or not.
This comes to the second problem for characters. The other characters have their moments- even though Aqualad usually has the emotional range of a brick wall, he gets fleshed out a bit in Downtime. The problem is their interactions with one another, which seem unnatural sometimes. When Artemis joins, she is very terse and pretty rude. She then screws up and lets the villain escape. The team's response? Universal acceptance! The only exception is Kid Flash, who finds himself caught up in the most obvious love-hate relationship ever. If it weren't heavy handed enough to begin with, shortly after Artemis joins the team, Dr. Fate makes incredibly unsubtle comments about how he thinks Flash should bone her. It's painful to watch.
Stilted character interactions like this hurt everyone. While some of the characters come across well at points, as soon as they start following the great invisible script in the sky, they stop being characters and start being robots. Another example is one where they decide to make Aqualad the temporary leader, until Robin can man up and be the actual leader. Why? The scene in question fails to make a convincing argument as to why either of them should lead, Robin being portrayed as an immature kid, Aqualad as a brick wall. The reason is, of course, the invisible script in the sky.
Hopefully the series will get over this and actually start to develop some of these characters into interesting people, but it's got a long way to go. Still, if they at least drop "Hello Megan" they'll be off to a good start.
I love watching young justice and I don't miss an episode, however I doubt I'd watch the show if the cast didn't consist of DC comics characters. The characterizations are either flat or cliche (except a few exceptions) and are generally a waste of space. Most of the kids, to be fair, have "grown the beard" in recent episodes and the characterizations have grown on me. Rocket and Zatanna are basically there to fill in space for romantic purposes for the left over team members. Even though Zatanna has some angst with her father being possessed she doesn't seem to contribute much beyond that. Especially Rocket, while I'm glad that a lesser known Milestone character gets some screen time, she seems to be there so Aqualad can have a token "black with black" relationship seen so often in cartoons. The Adults are the worst offenders of general flatness with a few exceptions and justifications (Captain Marvel being an exception and Red Tornado a justification). After watching shows like Justice League/Unlimited (really the DCAU as a whole) to think they don't even try to flesh out the adults is beyond me. Even "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" and "The Batman" depicted the Justice League in a more diverse and colorful fashion. I watch the show to get my weekly DC comics fix, and that's about it. Although I dislike this formula, I can't wait to see who will appear next.
The show is a mixed bag. It can do some really fun things when it plays around with the DC mythos, like with the Starro implants, or with characters like Zatanna. But otherwise? Weisman has called YJ as really being about the whole DC universe rather than just the team, and that cosmic focus shows through in the patchy characterization.
There are some bright spots. M'gaan's developed into quite a strong, creepy character with interesting trans themes. And Artemis! While the other cast members got the occasional one-shot episode detailing their home life, Artemis got such interaction spread throughout the entire season, as we saw Sportsmaster and Cheshire interact not only with her, but with each other and with other characters. This resulted in a strong sense of familiarity with the entire Crock family, which helped to boost Artemis. There was also a meta-sense of vulnerability to her character that made me interested in following her along. The show was hardly going to kill off, turn evil, or do whatnot to Dick Grayson, Wally West, or Superboy, but a D-list nobody like Artemis wasn't safe.
The other characters are... less glowing.
Kid Flash is an annoying git, and his shameless inept womanizing doesn't come off as charming or funny. Robin is good, and the nod to his eventual evolution into Nightwing was well-developed character drama in a show that doesn't often engage in such stuff. However, everyone constantly talking him up as the eventually team leader gets a little old. The idea lurks like a wolf, ready to spring from the darkness and devour Aqualad's only reason for remaining on the show. The lad's had little dramatic development save for 'Downtown' — which had no lasting consequence on his surface life.
Zatanna was an interesting spin on a fairly popular B-lister. Her development, gradually exposure to the team in her first two episodes, was nicely done and finally culminated in the tragedy of her father's sacrifice. Yet the solid development Zatanna gets in her handful of episodes only serves to show how thinly Kid Flash and Aqualad were written throughout the entire season. In comparison, Rocket was badly handled. She gets dumped into the story with no development, gets no growth, and is shuffled off to the League in Season 2.
So, patchy characterization. But it's okay overall.
I know my review slammed this show. However, to make a long story short - I think this show is starting to Grow the Beard. After Revelation, which I consider the absolute worst episode of the series due to the general Villain Sue status of The Light, and the terrible, terrible miscasting of The Joker, there's no way to go but up - Around the point of Failsafe, I felt the show was starting to slowly improve. It was still a little too late for me to truly get into the show, so I only picked it up again when I learned that Blue Beetle was going to join the team in the second season.
I couldn't have picked a better time.
We start with a character who I never will be able to bring myself to even dislike - Wally West. It's his sixteenth birthday, and he thinks he's going to go on a mission with the League and the team - however, he's given the mission to bring a heart transplant to a little girl on the other side of the country. Since Kid Flash is kind of a jerk, he complains in an internal monologue. However, he quickly gets to work and is his usual immature-yet-funny self - until he comes across Vandal Savage.
Since Mr. Savage is the leader of The Light, I felt a little red light go on in my head. However, he wasn't the main villain of the episode - in fact, The Light barely even was mentioned. Kid Flash gets into a fight, but then realizes he's running out of time, so he heads to the hospital, where he finds out the little girl is dead - even though he has nineteen minutes left.
Turns out she isn't, and the guy who told her that is Count Vertigo, who crosses the Moral Event Horizon in this episode by trying to have his niece - the little girl - die, so he can be king of the country she rules. Fortunately, he's outsmarted by Wally. It seems our favorite speedster is getting some good Character Development in this episode - and this is a good thing, since as much as I like him, he does skirt dangerously close to the Jerk Ass-ness of Superboy at times.
Overall, a pretty good episode with good writing, great (as usual) animation, and actual character development! I give it a B - it's not perfect, but if we get more episodes like this, Failsafe, and Secrets, I think this show might be worth my time.
I have to say that I did enjoy the premier for Young Justice, it had some nice action and was a good pilot episode overall. Voice acting is good, mostly hits, a few misses; for some reason I don't like Batman's voice in this even though it's the same guy that did him in Under the Red Hood which was excellent. I have two issues: I don't like how Miss Martian didn't show up until the end of the pilot. I don't read comics so I don't know what she can do (I'll look her up later), but her lack of involvement in the episode does make me concerned with how involved she's going to be in the series. I'm not going to make any calls yet though, and instead wait and see what happens. The only other complaint was the pacing but that's a given as pretty much any new show has this problem
Overall I think this will be a good series, and look forward to January when it continues. If it gets better this will definitely go on my list of shows to watch along with Rex and Titan. Looks like my Friday's are now completely full ^_^.
OK, the series is about mid-season now, and while many of the plots have yet to be revealed, we have met all the regular characters, and can see the established patterns.
I admit I'm a little let down. Not a lot, mind you, this show is still better written and animated than any other superhero show on the air in America -with the possible exception of Generator Rex- it's just that it feels like they're taking way too long to get the plots moving; so far everything has basically been introducing one fact or another that will play out later. (And btw, I'm surprised they are using Starro so soon after it was used as the main menace of a Batman The Brave And The Bold storyarc.) In particular, why didn't they reveal what is already known to the fans- that is, that Black Manta is Aqualad's father? I kept waiting for the revelation in "Downtime" but it just didn't happen. I know they will get there later, but why the wait?
Also, I'm a little peeved by the way some of the characters from the DC Universe have been used. Madam Xanadu as a FAKE seer? Topo as an Octopus-person? Why bother using the characters from the comics then, if they're going to be so radically reinvented? Why not create original ones?
I'm not really complaining, because the show seems to be heading to some very entertaining events. It's just that they seem to be pacing it way too slow.
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