(DC NATION) MARCH 24th, 2012

Young Justice
Season 1, Episode 21 – “Agendas”

Most of the ‘Team’ takes some time off this week while Superboy runs off to brood, then get right back into the thick of things with the Genomorphs and Double-X and a mysterious ‘other clone.’ Meanwhile, the Justice League takes some time to discuss new membership into the League – including nominations for Aqualad and Kid Flash.

Conner must fight a second clone of the Man of Steel who apparently has no brain function beyond ‘Kill Superman’. The fight sequences are well animated and never feel half-asked. While I’m a little wary that the writers have decided to make Conner less powerful than in the comics, but that’s a biased choice based on my love of Conner in the comics (not the ‘New 52’ Superboy).

It was interesting getting to see images of a bevy of new DC characters animated, some of whom have never been so. The membership drive for the JLA is important because they discuss not only Doctor Fate’s recent actions, but the truth that Captain Marvel is actually a ten-year-old boy. Both Fate and Marvel are there for the discussions, which makes the whole thing very awkward and Marvel even mentions it! I feel like the writers could have found a less clunky way to bring up a restructuring of the League and it’s ranks. In the end, it seems like some decisions were made, but the audience is never made privy, so it feels like a big waste of time.

GRADE: B-

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Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Season 1, Episode 4 – “Into the Abyss”
Is anyone else as disappointed with GL:TAS as I am? Being a huge Green Lantern fan, this new animated incarnation is sorely lacking, both in tone and content. Why don’t they use their rings? Why do the Red Lanterns have coherent thoughts instead of being their rage-filled selves? In this week’s episode, a transport cruiser is stuck in the gravitational well of a black hole. The writers try to gussy up the language by calling it a “pinhole”, but it’s a black hole. 
So basically, this cruiser is slowly heading toward the black hole and one of it’s engines is busted. Hal and Kilowog (who I’m now fearing will be the only featured players, at least for some time) try to pull it back with their super-awesome-Green-Lantern-plane thingy. The final episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold poked metafictional fun at the integration of toys into an animated series and the Lantern spaceship is definitely a blatant example of this practice at work. I’m sure the producers will say that they had this idea for ages and it’s a part of the show and blah, blah, blah. The ship is in the show because it would make a great toy.
My biggest gripe about this episode – and the show at large – is the nonexistent ring use. At one point during this episode, Hal and Red Lantern Razer are trying to escape the transport ship that’s slowly being crushed by the gravitational well. Instead of using their rings to blast through the ship or create constructs to dig their way out, they both simply crawl out, squeezing through tight spots and avoiding debris. OH MY GOD, YOU BOTH HAVE POWER RINGS! This was pretty much my sentiment throughout the show’s 22 minutes, as it seemed that nearly every obstacle could be overcome with ring use, yet it was only used a few times throughout the episode.
Unless Bruce Timm & Company seriously step up their game, Green Lantern: The Animated Series is doomed to cancellation. The fanboys won’t think it’s authentic enough and new viewers won’t understand it enough.
GRADE: D+
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