(DC NATION) MARCH 31st, 2012

Young Justice
Season 1, Episode 23
“Insecurity”

“Insecurity”, like many Young Justice episodes, gives audiences a general idea of what the story will be about with the title. Artemis begins to doubt her worth on ‘the Team’ when a second archer, Green Arrow’s old sidekick, Red Arrow, joins the ranks, so she begins to act out. The writers of Young Justice are doing a fine job incorporating teenage melodrama into the thick of superhero action. While careful not to overpower the hero-oriented story, teen ‘issues’ are rarely handled subtly (and even in this episode, there are some real clunkers), so it’s refreshing to see a show that can effortlessly combine action and drama without seeming too preachy or cheesy.

“I wear my sunglasses at night.”

Young Justice seems to be getting better each week. Even though I somewhat disliked this Earth-16 version of Cheshire, she’s grown on me and this episode, she shines without stealing the spotlight from agitated Artemis. Another dollop of teen drama comes into play when Artemis’ mom admits she spoke with the League before coming to Artemis about joining ‘the Team’. It’s a little unnecessary in the grander scheme of things, but it succeeds in establishing more characterization between Artemis and her mom, who used to be Huntress.

Of course, this week’s big reveal is that Sportsmaster is Artemis’ American father. Honestly, I’ve found it weird that a third-tier villain like Sportsmaster has been so prominently featured among higher-caliber names like Hugo Strange, Anthony Ivo, and Lex Luthor. Either way, this revelation finally shows why Artemis has been so jumpy around ‘the Team’.

GRADE:
A



Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Season 1, Episode 5
“Heir Apparent”
Another weak episode of Green Lantern: TAS. Yes, I said another weak episode. Last week, I went on a small rant about the non-use of power rings in a show about characters who wield power rings. Well, things get no better this week, even when the writers lifted a story straight out of the comics! Hal and Kilowog travel down to an alien planet to recruit a Frontier GL in the fight against the Red Lanterns. 

“Seriously, use your ring, dude.”
Upon reaching the planet, Hal and Kilowog become entangled in the local politics of the monarchy, and soon, Hal is wearing armor and fighting the planet’s mightiest warrior to save the Queen’s hand from a loveless marriage. It get’s super wacky super fast. And with NO RING USE. I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record, but if Batman didn’t ever use his gadget’s or Superman never used his powers, fans would be pissed. There needs to be more ring use or this show doesn’t make any sense, from a logistical or biased point of view.
The story descends into a murder mystery when the planet’s GL turns up dead. Soon, Kilowog falls over, apparently poisoned, and his rings flies to the weird, GL-loving Prince of the planet whose greatest dream is to be a Green Lantern. It was the Prince who killed his world’s GL so the ring would be his, and it was the Prince who poisoned Kilowog when the other ring flew away. Of course, Hal and Kilowog set a trap and ‘Wog was just fine in the end. Turns out the Queen of the planet became the new Lantern after the Prince killed the old one. See – didn’t even need to use names or places to explain this episode! That’s how disconnected it feels.
With all ring use apparently sidelined (except for flight and force fields), Green Lantern: TAS is little more than a CGI cartoon about space travel. You could honestly re-color their uniforms and give them a name like the Dinosaur Squad and the show would be no different.
GRADE:
D
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