Young Justice Featuring the voices of Jessie McCartney, Danica McKellar, and Nolan North
Premiere Date: January 7, 2011
I think 2011 is probably the perfect time to be a comics fan. From blockbuster movies, direct-to-DVD movies, and even TV shows, people everywhere can’t seem to get enough of the superhero genre. So it should be no surprise then that along with the movie or TV show, there has to be a superhero cartoon out there. Marvel has already kicked off the new wave of cartoons with the Avengers and the soon to debut Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. DC, not wanting to be left out in the cold, plans to bring to the table Green Lantern later in the year and just recently out their newest series, Young Justice, to the Cartoon Network.
Young Justice follows the escapades of some of the sidekicks in the DC Universe. Comprised of Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Aqualad, and Miss Martian, the groups struggles with working together as team, living up to the expectations, and just dealing with teenage hormones. Teen Titans they are definitely not.
After watching three episodes, I am not exactly sure where I stand. On one hand, I am happy with the overall direction the cartoon is headed. According to the creator, Greg Weisman, since the series is set in an alternate DC Universe, expect some of the characters to die on the show. This certainly is a game changer and is a welcome change to the standard cartoon conventions. Without the need to adhere to the standard DC universe canon, Weismann can also create new storyline opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be considered.
On the other hand, with the cartoon trying to throw in more adult storylines, a lot of humor seems to go by the wayside. Other than Kid Flash’s interactions with just about anyone and fun moments here or there, the overall tone of the show feels too serious. Unlike their comic book counterpart, Young Justice appears to have trouble trying to find a balance between the fun and the serious nature of superheroes. Even Superboy, while not exactly carefree, feels too EMO. Hopefully, show will find its balance in the later episodes.
The team also feels a bit too bland. While the core group of sidekicks (Robin, Kid Flash, and Superboy) are interesting, the rest (Aqualad and Miss Martian) don’t offer much to the group other than representing sidekicks analogous to Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. I would rather learn more about Speedy, the lone sidekick who doesn’t want to join the group.
I do hold out some hope for Young Justice. The show is only at the beginning of the season, with plenty of time to find its sea legs. I also wouldn’t count out Weisman just yet. His prior cartoons, Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man, have been fun and entertaining. So while I am on the fence on about this show, I still think the cartoon deserves a shot.