This Young Justice review contains spoilers.
Young Justice: Outsiders Episode 6
It’s a small thing to focus on, but as a moderate-to-hardcore Robin fan, it’s hard not to get REALLY excited about a show that has Nightwing, Tim Drake, and Spoiler; has acknowledged Jason Todd in the teen hero cemetery in Mount Justice in Invasion; and now has Talia walk into a scene holding a baby and a “Red Hooded Ninja” (according to the credits) whose memory is slowly coming back and making him remember who “Gray…son” is. I mean, it’s only a matter of time before we see Carrie Kelly somewhere and Stephanie shows up in a different Robin outfit, right?
But here’s the thing about Young Justice: Outsiders they have yet to let the fanservice get in the way of making a really good episode, and that continues with “Rescue Op.” The big ticket plot in “Rescue Op” sees Dick getting intel on where Brion’s sister might be: with the League of Shadows. Forager joins Brion and Halo, and they take the Supercycle to Infinity Island, the League’s home base, to try and rescue Terra. Nightwing, Tigress, Miss Martian, Black Lightning and Superboy follow to get them out of trouble, and it’s there that we get our plethora of Robins.
The plot is fairly straightforward, but there are so many excellent character interactions that are brimming with casual confidence from the writers and actors. This is a show with an expansive continuity both on screen, on paper, and off both, and the writers never treat viewers like idiots and overexplain. Jeff’s “Marstown? Little Mars?” is the kind of casual bullshitting that sounds really natural between people who have worked together for years, and Tigress’s interactions with Ra’s recall both her undercover work with him in Invasion as well as the reminder that her father was a high ranking League assassin.
But it’s the easy friendship between the new Outsiders that’s a real highlight of the episode. Brion to this point has been almost a stereotype of an angry, jilted dude. He let his guard down a little with Halo last episode, but when Forager shows up he geeks right the hell out about getting to meet an alien (which is skillfully played for laughs by Miss Martian and her half Kryptonian fiancee who he lives with). This is unexpected depth from him: in another, similar show, he’d stick to his archetype, but this show doesn’t often take shortcuts like that, and this is another reminder that this crew is better than that.
With the second batch of episodes in the can, we’re looking at only one misstep out of six, and that was an artistic choice rather than a structural issue. That’s a pretty solid track record. It also makes the return of Young Justice an overwhelming success and puts DC Universe into heavy rotation on my iPad.
Outsider Trading Tips
– Black Spider is so excessively Spider-Man, I love it. He quips, and his voice is extremely ’60s Spider-Man.
– Adding to the excessive Spider-Man-ness of Black Spider is his voice actor: Spectacular Spider-Man/Marvel vs. Capcom 3/Shattered Dimensions/Edge of Time Spidey Josh Keaton, who was until recently the best Spider-Man.
– Infinity Island is legit! It was the headquarters of the League back in Batman #335ish.
– Also legit: Sensei, who is insanely badass. Sensei was created by Neal Adams in the late ’60s as one of Ra’s’s top lieutenants in the League and has shown up as a Batman villain from time to time.
– Halo’s superhero name should actually be Kenny, she’s died so many times now. This episode she gets her neck snapped by Sensei before coming back to life. I think this one is four – once before she sat up in the grave, once when she was melted by Brion, once between those two and once on Infinity Island.
– Red Hooded Asssasin’s move where he jumps over Forager and sneaks an explosive on him is sort of Red Hood’s super move in Injustice 2. The bomb even looks the same.
– The fight choreography and teamwork when Nightwing and the gang show up is exceptional.
– Dick’s speech to Brion, Halo and Forager about disobeying director orders and endangering lives is word for word what Batman said to Aqualad, Robin, Superboy and Kid Flash at the end of the second episode of the show.
– The purple eye on Babs’ monitors is probably an Oracle thing, but it might also be a justifier thing…
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