So last week saw the official 2-part premiere of Young Justice, the latest DC animated series from Warner Bros. For those of you needing a recap, see some of my thoughts here, but I’d like to do something other than a straight-up review. I’ll probably end up reviewing most (if not all) of the episodes in this upcoming season. Or at least talking about them. I doubt anyone not already predisposed to liking a flashy new cartoon about the sidekicks of the Justice League needs encouragement to give it a shot. So let’s just talk about what I liked and didn’t like about this latest version of what we used to call the Teen Titans.
The good about the art: The background designs are as good as anything Justice League or Justice League Unlimited had going on. In a few of the scenes underground, I felt like the Cadmus hallways and vault rooms looked like the exact same cells used back in JLU in 2004. This ups the production values tremendously.
The bad about the art: Greg Weisman is a hero to many. He did the mid-90′s Gargoyles (which featured the voice talents of almost the whole TNG Enteprise cast!) and the Spectacular Spider-Man. Eh. I liked the plot and voice acting of Gargoyles 100x more than the character design or animation style, and I couldn’t stomach SSM. Too anime -looking for my sensitive Warner Bros-loving eyes. This falls somewhere in-between them.
The good about the characters: Stoic Aqualad is the team leader? Okay, that’s new. Flash and Speedy are *exactly* like all previous versions? They’re iconic. It’s okay. Robin? He’s not interested in proving anything, and has a cool new glove computer with an extending USB cord.
The bad about the characters: The bad guy was a by-the-books mad genius/evil scientist type. Voiced by Rene Auberjonois, I’ve already forgotten his character’s name. But his motivations were not clear at all, his resources and directions came from a mysterious wall of video banks and his reactions to everything made Cobra Commander look like a measured statesman. His lackey was a revamped Earth-2 Golden-Age hero by the name of the Guardian, but not for any reason. Maybe the producers had a bet to see how many older characters and names they could fit in? And don’t even get me started on the Blockbuster reboot they threw in at the end.
So will I turn in next week for Ep 3 (episode 02 was the 2nd half of the premiere)? Sure. All pilots are clunky, but advance press says that as many as 170 classic DC characters will be shown in this first season. And if they’re all gonna be like tonight’s “guest stars,” someone needs to be there, yelling at the screen.