TV Review: Young Justice

Young Justice
Featuring the voices of Jessie McCartney, Danica McKellar, and Nolan North
Cartoon Network
Monday Nights
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.


  1. To be fair though this isn’t going to be like the Young Justice comic series from the 90’s (which is unfortunate on so many levels) and more like the Teen Titans just…not named as such.

    I’m being cautious–I wish they had a stronger female presentation. Miss Martian is interesting, I guess (and some of her storylines will be fun), but Wonder Girl? Not even a little bit? You have representation from the other two ‘Big Names’ of the Justice League–why not from Wonder Woman to fill out the triad?

    I’m glad this won’t be stuck on canon though.

    Comment by Lexie C. — February 6, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  2. The title sequence gives the impression that there will be at least one other female sidekick making an appearance…a female Green Arrow type person? I’m not up on all the sidekicks in the DC universe so I’m not familiar with that character at all. I’m going to give this show a little while to get it’s bearings. I’d really like them to get over the Superboy/Superman animosity pretty soon though.

    Comment by Jeff in Texas — February 7, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  3. Wonder Girl will appear later, they didn’t have the tv rights for her when they started the show, but they now do and she will appear. No idea if it wikk be Donna or Cassie though.

    Comment by Royce Earnest — February 8, 2011 @ 2:28 am

  4. i hope its cassie because i grew up reading young justice and the current teen titans and she’s my favorite superhero.

    Comment by al — February 23, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  5. It was mature, and it was quality. However, it was also a little “bland” as you say. The conspiracy thing took way to long to pay off, and when it did it was underwhelming.

    Here is our take on Season 1 with a lot
    of pics, and more humor than the show, if your are interested:


    Comment by Fortress Guy — July 7, 2012 @ 9:43 am

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