YOUNG JUSTICE: DARKEST Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
"One thing I learned in the future, amigo: is that it's easier to destroy... than to create!"
If you're looking for a jovial map-cap romp of an episode, go back to Season 1, because this is pretty much the only light-hearted scene in the episode. Impulse ropes the Blue Beetle into "chill-anging" out for a little down time between missions (and in true Impulse fashion, almost ruins Jaime's secret identity in doing so). But what starts out as some boulder-smashing teenage camaraderie quickly descends into a fight for their lives thanks to a less than playful interruption by Aqualad and his evil new droogies: the Terror Twins, Icicle Jr., and the recently re-purposed Artemis: Tigress. Speaking of little miss arrows..it's surprising to me that for all the stuff Aqualad has had to go through just to have access to the baddies and the baddie's bosses (The Light), this brand new villain gets a free pass? Weird.
"Sure thang, Aquabuddyboy, go ahead and bring in this girl no one has ever heard of, I'm sure she's aces! The more the merrier!"
Now, I'm sure there was much haranguing and gnashing of teeth behind the scenes in the supersecret baddie lair, but it just stood out as weird and a little rushed. At least my sentiments are echoed by his new lackeys as they go to ambush our heroes.
There was another scene in this episode that I hoped was going to be easy-breezy for our characters, but didn't quite go down as planned. The surely soon-to-be-powered Mal surprises love interest Bumblebee in an attempt to cobble together a romantic night out, but, well....we're starting to see some chinks forming in their l'amore. It seems Mal is looking to the past (high school), with Karen's eyes set keenly on the future (Dr. Ray Palmer, perhaps?)
We also get a glimpse at what's happening to La'gaan ever since his abduction last episode. Basically, he’s carted around from place to place, dipping in and out of consciousness, getting a chance to utter “NEPTUNE’S BEARD” only once. I love the fella, but my man needs to come up with a new variation on that phrase! “Great Neptune’s Ghost”, or “Holy Neptune, Batman” or even “Got Neptune?” come to mind. I mean, what if one day Neptune wants to change things up and shaves? “Neptune’s Soul Patch!” Just sayin’.
The best visual bit of an episode with quite a few kick-punching punch-kicks has to be a little ditty involving Impulse. Having watched every animated incarnation of the various comic book speedsters, I rarely see super-speed animated in a way that feels right, which is not to say that the animators are at fault. I completely understand that you need to slow the character down enough so that the audience can see him, otherwise he would just look like he's "bamfing" from place to place. All of this to say that there is a moment in one of the battles where Impulse is trapped in a net and immediately tries to vibrate out of it, only to fail, but when Tigress tosses a bolo his direction, Bart is gone, leaving a crumpled net. He just…disappears, with no speedster after-effect. Loved it!
All that aside, I don’t want to say too much about this episode other then “BOOM”. That’s about as in-depth as I can get without spoiling the whole thing for you. A pretty disastrous and bad-ass event occurs that took me a bit by surprise, and I love that this show is not afraid to play hard-ball with its stories and characters. People get captured, lives are put in real danger and the isht hits the fan.
If I had to sum it up, I suppose I would have to go with: “Hello Megan’s Beard, this episode was totally crash.”
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Mania Grade: B+
Episode: DARKEST (Episode 209)
Starring: Khary Payton, Jesse McCartney, Jason Marsden, Jason Spisak, Nolan North, Eric Lopez, Stephanie Lemelin, Masasa Moyo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Yuri Lowenthal
Written By: Mel Zwyer
Directed By: Jon Weisman
Network: Cartoon Network