YOUNG JUSTICE: SATISFACTION Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
"So….let me get this straight: While I was on ice, you found another Roy Harper, the side-kicks formed their own team, aliens invaded the Earth and Ollie grew that dopey goatee?"
So begins Satisfaction, episode 8 of Young Justice: Invasion. The second season of one of the world's best superhero animated series continues! Yes, the kids took the summer off and are finally back, but first things first for the uninitiated.
The show started out titled Young Justice, but with Season 2 came a 5 year Marty McFlight into the future and a new title of Young Justice: Invasion. Much of the original team has grown since Season 1. Robin (Dick Grayson) from the first season has since become Nightwing, and a new Robin has taken his place as the resident Boy Wonder. The team has expanded in that time as well, bolstering a roster of very familiar faces! Beast Boy, Batgirl, Wondergirl, Bumblebee, Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle have joined, there's a new Robin in Tim Drake and there's a new character that I'm unfamiliar with, The Team's mission coordinator, Mal Duncan (known to comic readers as Vox).
Let me stop for just a second to make myself clear on this. I felt that the first season of YJ started off "pretty good", and as the season zipped by in a blur of red and yellow, it became "REALLY good". Like, Batman The Animated Series or Justice League Unlimited good. However, it wasn't until Season 2 that I realized that this show is AMAZINGLY GOOD. I *think* it might be my favorite superhero series so far. This is not something I say lightly. I'm a long-time comic book fanboy, and this is without a doubt one of the most faithful and satisfying comic-vision (comics + television, natch) experiences I have had to date. Not only are the characters spot on, the action intense and the emotional beats realistic, this show has some stones. I was flabbergasted when I witnessed the 5 year jump, creating a vastly different dynamic for the audience. I've always touted a theme of progress and change for the comics medium that I hold so dear, but rarely do I get that. Things seems stuck in amber in the universe of the comics page, and even the DC Universe, the purveyors of super-hero legacies (Barry Allen Flash to Wally West Flash to Bart Allen Flash and The Justice Society to the Justice League) recently reset itself, destroying all the previous advancements. Thankfully I can come here to have that particular continuity itch scratched.
And speaking of continuity, holy cats is this episode filled with it. So to catch you up, 8 years ago, the original Roy Harper (Speedy) was on a stakeout, keeping an eye on Lexcorp, when he was captured, put on ice and cloned. "But JD, you silly so-and-so, that couldn't have been 8 years ago, Roy has been the grouchy fella who shows up here and there every couple of episodes, right?" Well, gentle viewer, the Roy Harper you've been seeing on the show (who's been going by the name Red Arrow) is a clone! Duhnn Duhn-Duhn!! As viewers, we hadn't actually ever met the original Roy until Episode SE2E6: Bloodlines, two episodes ago. Well, now he's back all caught up on what's been going on, and he is NOT happy.
This episode starts with a surprisingly emotional and heart-wrenching scene, where Speedy is confronted in his hospital bed by Green Arrow, Red Arrow and oh yeah, his LACK OF A RIGHT ARM below the elbow! It turns out Luther, the Big Bad who's been holding Roy 1 and cloning him got a little greedy when selecting some DNA to steal and just lopped off my man's page turner. It's stuff like this that makes this show so much more interesting then some of its predecessors. I can't remember the last time a character in a cartoon lost an arm. Anyhoo, Roy takes the clone thing surprisingly well, but lashes out at GA, who he feels should have kept searching for his missing partner and his missing partner's missing part. It's at this point that he decides to get his revenge on Lex Luther and it's at this point forward that I kept going "Oh dayyyammn" as each bad-ass scene unfolded. There is a missile launcher, something called Detonation-Cord that's pretty rad, a hot robot-armed body guard fight in a parking lot that is just so much fun to watch, and there is a decision to be made for young Roy Harper. Does he "want revenge….or satisfaction" in the form of the mysterious cargo of a mysterious briefcase? What is in the briefcase of mystery and how does that effect our young Speedy? I'll let you watch and discover that on your own. It's pretty rad.
That is the meat of the episode, but there is also some time spent with other characters here. Artemis's grave receives a visit from her mother and Wally West in the open while Cheshire and Sports Master conspire from the bushes. Jaime Reyes (Blue Beetle) and Bart Allen (Impulse) start to test the waters of a burgeoning friendship, there's some flirting between Superboy and Wendy (side note: Sboy's bday is March 21 and he's now 6 years old…er…22 years old), and the girls throw a bridal shower/bank-robber-thwarting party. It's wicked impressive how much quality the creators can fit comfortably into a half-hour show. That actually about sums up the show itself: Wicked Impressive.
Mania Grade: A
Episode: SATISFACTION (episode 208)
Starring: Crispin Freeman, Alan Tudyk, Jason Marsden, Nolan North, Eric Lopez
Written By: Greg Weisman
Directed By: Doug Murphy
Network: Cartoon Network