When I first heard that Young Justice was in production I was quite excited. I’ve longed for the days of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, and The Justice League. Those shows were great super hero shows and everything I heard about the production of Young Justice made me believe it would follow in the same footsteps. Now that season one has ended and the show has jumped right into season two, I can safely say that not only is Young Justice action packed and beautifully animated, the story telling is superb and the show as a whole is great and reminds you of the superhero shows of yester year.
The show begins with Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, and Aqualad being showed the Justice Hall by their respective heroes they are side kicked too. Realizing it wasn’t the main hall, Speedy strikes out on his own while the others decide to take on a mission they were told to stay out of. They find Superboy, a clone of Superman, and from there begin their adventures as a covert team under the Justice League to earn their way in. Along the way they meet Miss Martian (Martian Man-Hunter’s niece), Artemas (replacement sidekick to Green Arrow), Zatanna (daughter of Zatara), and Rocket (who was completely new to me and joined at the end of the season). What Young Justice really has going for it is its characters development. Just about every character receives at least one episode dedicated to them as it dives into who they are as a person. You find out about heartbreak, troubled pasts, and how they deal with their surroundings as a young hero.
While the characters drive this show, plenty of attention is paid to the villains. Many pop in and out but it is established early on that there is an overarching force driving many of the events called, “The Light.” It’s not clear exactly who they are but more and more is revealed as the show goes on, including how far their reach truly is. In the end it’s revealed who they are but their plans are still not completely foiled as it leads into season too. The voice acting is great and every character, with their very different personalities, sounds amazing.
Another great aspect of the show is the secrecy. Not secret identities, but the secrets team members keep from each other. Trust is in short supply between them and it comes to a head on more than one occasion throughout the season. Outside forces including Red Arrow (the former Speedy) not trusting the team and refusing to join along with some villains stating there is a mole in the team threaten to tear the these young heroes apart. Some of these conflicts have great resolutions while some seemed a little rushed and forced. The season finale was great with a lot of action and fights between characters that really tested the bond between members and how far they have grown as a team and as a hero. There is a nice twist at the end that was a little predictable but the execution was great. Add a good cliff hanger to lead into the next season and you have a great first season to a show.
One of the biggest issues I had with the show, and I don’t even think I can blame this on the show itself, is its time schedule. Twice during the season did the show go on break and usually it was just as things were picking up. It took nearly a year to air 26 episodes. I don’t know if the production on the episodes had a part to play in that but I’m sure Cartoon Network wanted to wait for it’s DC Nation block to start showing it again. It’s not something anyone who wants to see the show now has to worry about but as I was watching it as the showed air, it was very annoying to wait months between breaks. Other than that issue though I can’t think of any other problems.
All in all, Young Justice had an amazing season that was action packed and provided plenty of story. It is a must see for anyone who likes superhero shows. However, some conflicts seemed to wrap up a little too neatly without much payoff but very rarely did that happen. Characters were developed nicely and you really felt like you knew who these people are. Voice acting is superb and the animation is one of the best I’ve seen in years. Aside from the weird scheduling, I loved the show and had very few problems with it. Season 2 is already underway and I’m excited to see what carries over. I haven’t enjoyed a super hero cartoon this much since Justice League. The first half of the season is already on three DVDs with the second half releasing on one DVD in late July. If you haven’t seen the show run out and get it. Season 2 is currently airing on Cartoon Network Saturday mornings at 10:30.