Young Justice - Season 1 Volume 3 Review
Young Justice is a comic book series that I'm well acquainted with. Way back in 1998 I grabbed the initial comic book series by Todd DeZago and Todd Nauck. In what seemed to be DC's response to Image's Gen 13, Young Justice quickly became one of my favourite series. The later issues, predominantly penned by Peter David, showed a human side to superheroes that seemed to be lacking in other titles. These characters had some serious issues, well, they seemed to be big issues to my teenage mind. These superheroes were going through many of the problems that I had experienced! All of those awkward moments that you look back on as an adult and cringe.
So when I heard that the series would be back and in the animated form, needless to say, I was excited. Thankfully, it is close to being as enjoyable as the original book.
It is incredibly difficult to remove these rose coloured glasses and come to terms with the fact that this isn't the old Young Justice. In fact, half of the team has changed! Where we once had Superboy, Robin Wonder Girl, Secret, Arrowette and Impulse we now have Superboy, Robin, Artemis, Aqualad, Miss Martian and Kid Flash. These changes seem to reflect the fact that this isn't an adaptation of the original Young Justice and is instead an amalgamation of Young Justice and Teen Titans. Both great franchises in their own right. But as these kids are... err... kids, they need mentors and who better to mentor a super group of teenagers than the Justice League? So, expect to see your favourite heroes in an episode or two.
The animation quality is fantastic. The colours are bright and the line work sharp. In fact, this DVD looks so good that it's a pity that there's no Blu Ray release. DC Comics and Warner Bros have really got their animation down pat. From their feature films to TV series, Warner's have got it down pat. After seeing how well this series is animated, I can only hope that they decide to re-boot the Justice League series at some point.
In this volume we are shown the more "human" side to these super humans. In episode 12 (Homefront) especially, we are shown how untrained the team truly are. Faced by an unexpected menace, danger seems to draw deep emotions from the team, even sparking a touch of romance. It's in these moments that Young Justice shines. It is fantastic to see that even though super heroes maybe tough on the outside, they're still human on the inside and what's more, they're angsty teenagers. This is also evidenced in episode 11 (Terrors), which almost acts like an emotional lead up to the events of the following episode. If you're not really looking for an emotional series, you're in luck because Young Justice has enough action to keep you going.
When talking about action, episode 10 (Targets) hints at a bigger story about to unfold. A story that could very well tear the team apart from within. We're lucky to know that, with 26 episodes in the season, there's plenty of time for larger and deeper stories to be explored. Not only is there more time to explore an overarching story but there is also ample screen time to unfold the mysteries behind each one of our once-upon-a-time sidekicks. Within these first 3 volumes, we get a glimpse at each characters real selves, not just their alter egos. We also get a taste of the bigger story that threatens to tear the team apart. Sure, it may not be the Young Justice that I remember but it does bear many of the hallmarks that made it such an enjoyable series. I for one can't wait to get my hand on more.
Young Justice Season 1 Volume 3 is available now on DVD from all good retailers.
While you're at it, you may as well preorder Volumes 4 & 5 which are both set for release on June 26th (the same day as The Best of Superman and Superman: Unbound)