Young Justice: More Than Just a Cancelled Kid's Show








If you're familiar with DC Comics, you'll know it's the birthplace of some of the most world famous longest running comic book heroes in the world. Superman and Batman are the most well known, but there are many others that have thrived in the comic book world.


My access to comic books has been more limited than I would have liked, but I think this was a good thing because I approached the series Young Justice with fresh eyes and no expectations. My conclusion? It's a brilliant show! Although it was aired on Cartoon Network for 2 seasons before it was abruptly cancelled (for reasons unclear to anyone), it was a layered animated series, with nuances at many levels - a factor that appealed to a much older audience than the usual CN target age group.

Premise
The Justice League is a group of the greatest heroes in the DC Universe, the main ones being Batman and Superman, but also including Aquaman, The Flash, Martian Man Hunter, Green Arrow, and more. Young Justice is about the sidekicks of these major players, who at the beginning of the series decide that they have outgrown their "sidekick" titles, although they are still all under 18 years old. As a result, they form their own group who still operate as a secret facet of the Justice League proper, and commonly refer to themselves as The Team. In the first season, they are namely Aqua Lad, Robin (as in "Batman and.."), Miss Martian, Kid Flash, Artemis, and Super Boy. Between them, their superpowers and skills range from super strength, manipulating water, super speed, morphing, telekinesis, hacking, and archery. 

As they start to embark on missions with significant danger levels, they develop their personalities and relationships within the team - a story arch that is not without it's challenges for each of the team members. They have to learn about trust, leadership, keeping secrets, and betrayal - all very "grown up" concepts, and handled in a way that is believable for a group of hormonal teens. 



The series must be watched in order, as there are overarching plot lines that build up and even carry on to the next season. Clues are laid out from the beginning, and there are major plot twists at key points in each season. 


It's Great Because:
  • Each character is well developed, with a back story that directly explains their actions during missions, whether logical or illogical. The writers never lose track of any one of the large group of characters and supporting characters, and make them likeable and relatable.

  • The concept of leadership is cause for much tension amongst the team, especially when they are instructed to choose a leader amongst themselves. Stakes go up when this results in a competition between each other at the same time that they should be united on a dangerous mission...

  • Aqua Lad, the oldest team member, and my personal favourite character! He is the most level-headed, decisive, disciplined, and has a great sense of honour that comes from serving Aqua Man (who is also king of Atlantis), and he has to live with unrequited love. His character arch is the most dramatic over the two seasons.


  • Watch Young Justice if you enjoy spy movie plots, amazing choreographed fight scenes, and large scale "save the world" agendas. The writers have done well in taking the characters more seriously than some movies that are supposedly less cheesy than the superhero genre. My opinion is that teens and adults can get more out of the show than kids.

A note to whoever is in charge: 

Put Young Justice Season 3 back onto the program!


Comments

  1. you are so right..I loved this show and I am in no way a huge DC fan....they also cancelled thundercats which was also a fantastic show

    ReplyDelete
  2. All good things come to an end it seems! But there's always reruns

    ReplyDelete
  3. yeah..I still watch the reruns....there is a new tmnt show out now....lets hope that one doesnt get cancelled too

    ReplyDelete

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