Sunday, January 8, 2017

Young Justice: Independence Day

Welcome aboard our new weekly look at my favourite series ever, Young Justice. A show so good that it kept me from ending my own life because I needed to know what happened next. No, I am not joking. Every weekend I shall be focusing on reviewing one episode and giving it a full review, complete with my patented smart assery. So yes, this is a review. Without anymore build-up or bollocks, let's get this thing started.

"It's about time! I can feel myself getting old over here!"

Our first episode opens up as Gotham City is under attack from Mr.Freeze, basically doing that thing he does with the freezing and the ice. No cold puns though. Say what you want about Schwarzenegger's portrayal, but I personally loved those puns. Sure, I prefer the pathos of the tortured and emotionless Freeze seen in BTAS, but there is just something so infectious about the campy pun delivery of the live-action version. Anyway, a batarang hits his gun, which he assumes is from Batsy but nope. It's from ol' Dick himself, the OG Robin, all grins as he distracts Freeze from freezing more people. Batman shows up, they break his dome, and the ice age has been cut short.

"What? No Christmas in July joke?"
Meanwhile, over in Star City we get to see Icicle Jr. causing trouble while the local heroes, Green Arrow and Speedy, take him down with a quick one-liner and Speedy excitedly proclaiming that "today's the day", so either Ollie is taking him out for ice cream or something extra exciting is going down. Over at Pearl Harbor, Aquaman and Aqualad take down Killer Frost and Aqualad also seems rather excited about today. Central City? Flash and Kid Flash take down Captain Cold and Wally here is brimming with excitement about today. I had no idea teenage superheroes were so excited about watching fireworks...yeah, this all literally takes place on July 4th. But no, they're not excited about that. They're excited because today is the day they get invited into the Hall of Justice, headquarters of the Justice League.

"It's only a model."

Yeah, the young heroes are excited because they figure this is their moment to step into the big leagues and be respected as peers. To be more than sidekicks. But that comment about it being only a model? Yeah, partially true because they quickly learn that it isn't the real headquarters. They only use it for show, instead teleporting to the real deal, the Watchtower. It's a literal space station where they watch over the world from above, not unlike Greek gods. I always found that idea interesting, setting the League up as a sort of modern version of the gods of old. But the kids aren't happy with this. Especially Speedy, who has had it with being second fiddle. He takes a walk and recommends his buddies do the same. Personally, I think he's just extra pissed because everyone else got an updated look but him.

"This is bullshit. I have to wear this and Aqualad get fucking swords? I'm out."
Superman then calls for the League to come help put out a fire at Cadmus, but Zatara instead calls on them for some much more important business as Wotan has apparently decided he's gotten too much sun lately, so blotting it out is the solution. Yeah, that's just a wee bit more important than a fire, I'd guess. Thus the adults take off and the kids are left annoyed and bored, one less friend among them and with the revelation that their mentors didn't trust them with all the information about their actual headquarters. Robin suggests they channel their frustrations constructively by going to handle the fire at Project Cadmus, showing how capable they are by taking care of the League's business for them.

Which is probably a fair bit more exciting than just showing them sitting there for the duration of the episode.
They manage to handle fire pretty easily, but of course their curiosity leaves them wondering about why and how the fire was started in the first place. They infiltrate the building and follow a horned shadowy figure down a fairly deep elevator. Gee, I wonder if they're being led down there by any character who worked at Cadmus I might have a emotional connection to from my own teen years? A character who appeared in a comic series that I read religiously and still love to this day, even with it's very cheesy 90s-ness?

"Maaaayyyyyvbe..."
After descending as deeply as they can, they find some strange things are going on here as Project Cadmus. How strange? Well, they have giant friggin' trolls wandering around down there, so that's a pretty big red flag. Further exploration of the place reveals that other creatures are being used to power the place, meaning that this place is off the grid. Yeah, I'd say that's two red flags. We want to try for three? Don't worry, because in a place this shady, I'm fairly certain it won't take long to get there. They download some data but get interrupted by Cadmus' on-site superhero, Guardian, who they employ as chief of security. He is unsurprisingly shocked to see them there and has questions, but things go a big sideways when one of the little creatures uses telepathy to take his mind over and he then sics a groups of them on the young heroes.

"Maybe after these thing rip you all apart, you'll learn an important lesson about not trespassing."
You'd think that'd be red flag number three but no, we've already seen a mess of creatures so far so learning they're aggressive and might not want them there isn't shocking. They fight the critters off until Robin hacks into the elevator, allowing them to escape deeper into the installation. They run into some more trouble, which ends up leading them directly to the room where Camus is keeping their top secret weapons project, Project Kr. Now, why does Kr sound familiar...? Isn't that an elemental symbol for something? Let me look this up real quick and...oh...Krypton. Yep. Meet red flag number three, their own personal clone of Superman. I'm sure that will turn out well.

"Dick...if you wake him up and her starts hitting us...I swear to you that I will make you wear a disco suit."
So, feeling sorry for him, they of course wake him in the hopes they can save him from Cadmus. Then, because mind controlling gremlins are present, Superboy returns their good gesture by beating the living shit out of them. He then does to the door and lets the Cadmus boss and company in to take the young heroes in custody as we're left wondering what their fate will be.

I'm betting on it involving this asshole getting punched in the face.
There you have it, episode one of the much loved series is over and now we have to wait until next week to see what comes next. Could they all die? Well, probably not. It's hard to have a series when your stars die on the first episode. Then again, Milligan and Allred pulled it off with their X-Force comic. All in all, this was a pretty nice start to the series. The cliffhanger may seem cheap, but the reason for it is fairly simple as this originally aired as a double length special. I almost covered the full thing but figured I should cut it off here because I want to give all these episodes fairly equal time. Next week, we will come back and see how this initial outing goes for the team and see what comes when the League finally shows up to see what they got up to. Later days, bleeders!

Sadly, I doubt the Flaming C will show up, but one can dream.

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