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With apologies to George Takei, all I can say is, “Oh, my!” Despite my less than enthusiastic review of Young Justice back in February 2011, I’ve remained a faithful viewer of the program. And to my surprise, my faithfulness has been rewarded by a very good cartoon series that is now clearly aimed at an older audience and hints at mature themes. The writing is top-notch and the voice acting is superb. But that is not the reason that I continue to watch Young Justice.
Let me be clear, this series is not Bruce Timm’s Justice League. I will go out on a limb and tell you that it is better than that. It is clearly Greg Weisman’s Young Justice League and it is working better than expected. The character interactions and interpersonal relationships that I complained about in February 2011 have been dealt with in a much more mature fashion than I thought they would be considering this is advertised as a children’s cartoon.
For example, let’s consider Miss Martian. She is a white Martian who is passing for a green Martian. Why would she do this? Because in the episode “Targets” she tells Superboy (without revealing that she is a white Martian) that white Martians are treated as second class citizens by green Martians. In the episode “Usual Suspects,” she reveals her true form to the team. She is surprised and pleased by the fact that team does not reject her. Additionally, Superboy claimed he’d known for some time. But afterwards, she continues to appear to her teammates as a green Martian despite everyone now knowing that she is not. I’ll let others psychoanalyze her rationale for doing this, but to me, this screams that she still considers herself, her true self, to be inferior and that continued acceptance by others, to her, comes by continuing to be something she is not. Like I said, this can get to be deep stuff. Everyone in the series has a backstory that is complicated and makes them complex enough that simple answers won’t solve their individual problems. I like that.
I also like that Dwayne McDuffie’s Icon and Rocket are in the Justice League and on the YJ team. But most of all, I like that in the season 1 finale, “Auld Acquaintance,” 6 members of the Justice League disappeared for 16 hours. I admit, I am wondering what the missing Superman, Batman, the Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, John Stewart (the Green Lantern) and Hawkwoman were doing during those unaccounted for 16 hours. But I guess I shouldn’t worry because it’s probably of little or no consequence. After all, those six Leaguers have a great track record and impeccable moral character. I mean, I’m sure that it’s a coincidence that the last time just those six got together they went on to create… “a better world.” (And yes, TVtropes, I’m kidding.)
Like I said, I like where Greg Weisman is taking this program. Season 2 of Young Justice starts April 28, 2012 on Cartoon Network and I, for one, will be watching.