Throwback Thursday: Young Justice (2010-2013)

As I mentioned in last week’s Go Fund Yourself article, I’ve recently been indulging in DC Comic’s animated television shows, specifically Justice League Unlimited. I even promised an article about it! So, here is an article about Young Justice, a completely different show that has only recently fallen into the past…

Okay, so it’s not completely different; it follows more or less the same premise: heroes from the DC Comics unite under the banner of the Justice League. However in the case of Young Justice, these heroes are the sidekicks of their mentor counterparts (so Robin, Superboy, Aqua Lad, et al.). On the surface this seems to be nothing more than a cheap attempt to capitalise on the success of an existing formula, even going as far as to recycle the popular character types from the show’s predecessors, but it doesn’t take long for it to distinguish itself from such.

In actuality, Young Justice may well be my favourite animated show of all time, and I don’t speak in hyperbole when I say this. Although it benefits from the frequent cameos of iconic characters like Batman, Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter, the real gem(s) are the youthful protagonists themselves. Each character carries a rich and thought provoking backstory with them, all of which seamlessly intertwine with one another’s and the central narrative arc itself to create a captivating watch.

That is not to say that the show is perfect. You know who the bad guys are and you know that, despite some allusion to otherwise, they’re going to do something a little naughty. It isn’t a particularly adventurous tactic, but one can hardly fault the writers for keeping the villains, well, villainous. Let’s face it, it would just be outright confusing if it were anything other than the fact. Nevertheless, it more than compensates for this element of predictability by keeping the big bads’ plans a mystery right until the end [of season one]. Even then, it manages to maintain a certain degree of suspense by not answering some questions and creating more in the process.

I’m only half way through the second season, but I could not wait to express my excitement for something that is appropriately described as a show that pairs dynamic characters with almost faultless narrative progression and, in doing so, creates a calibre of quality that will be hard to replace.

Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, the show was cancelled despite strong critical reception (for some bizarre reason) and, in its place, sits Teen Titans Go! A show that substitutes all of what makes Young Justice great in favour of something abundantly puerile.

– Joe

joe sketch3


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