Blitz Catchup Marathon: Young Justice Invasion 07, 08, 09 & 10

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For the sake of my sanity, I’m gonna go ahead and blitz through episodes 7-10 of YJ season 2 this post… also known as the three super plot-heavy episodes plus the one that ties up loose ends with Speedy. And… GO!

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Alright, so one of the biggest twists the series does and we’re shown it within minutes of the episode playing… only to find out it was a total fake-out and there was a twist on top of that twist. It’s writing like this that really calls for repeated watchings… and for the network not to hiatus the hell out of it, but I’ll save that gripe for another post.

So for those keeping score at home, we have not one but two alien species set up as our protagonists, with Nightwing hiding secrets of double agents behind his team’s back with the Justice League being written out for the sake of given The Team more prominent roles. Episode 7 of this season alone seemed dense with plot and revelations, so to have the following three episodes also be filled with crucial plot gives the feeling that they should be watched one after the other rather than a once-per-week pace. It’s one of those strings of episodes where if you miss one, you’ll be completely lost. Still, for the direction to still be entertaining as all hell and to have the writers give a sense of trust that viewers will be able to pick up on everything came off as more of a nice gesture than um… a bad one? Moving on!

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Undertones of brain on brain ackshun aside, I really did feel for Conner when he had his whole talk with Megan. I guess being grown and literally spoon-fed knowledge before his “birth,” still provided SB with some kind of sense of morals. Then again, that mindset could have just been one of those things that comes with being Superman’s clone. Either way, it’s pretty difficult to get on Megan’s side of the argument. I mean, leaving behind a trail of comatose victims aside, she’s also the main reason behind Lagoon Boy’s screen time… which no one really asked for. At all.

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You know what people have been asking for? Something resembling a proper wrap-up to all that “original Roy Harper” talk. While it did come off as something of a breather episode after everything that went on with Artemis last episode, the series was just begging for a proper closing of previous plot points other than “Hey, let’s go to Tibet and find the guy I was cloned off of and just kinda leave it at that”

…though Roy’s line about feeling embarrassed after being abducted had some serious rape undertones that almost made me not want to see how the rest of the episode played out. I get that it was more than likely just in reference to his arm being removed, but seriously, this series just really likes its undertones.

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Besides being another chance to hear Crispin Freeman talk to himself in the scenes where the original and clone were in the same room, the animation was also noticeably nice. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the shading… also hands. Everyone just had really nice hands and hand gestures this episode.

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Though I will say that apparently all female attire being form fitting no matter the design was somewhat distracting. Also, Rocket is throwing a bridal shower? No idea how I missed that detail before (thought it was just a generic party at first).

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Establishing Impulse and Blue’s friendship was one of those nice touches that pays off in later episodes. You don’t know the real reason behind Bart’s sudden clinginess to Jaime, but I like to think they would have become friends even without considering plot-centric prophecies. It’s like the writers were thinking of the most likeable of the new cast and gave them more screen time together by making them bestest friends.

The whole scene taking place among the tributes to the fallen did seem somewhat out of place (for someone that grew up in a dystopia, Bart doesn’t seem to get the concept of shutting up when honoring the dead), but it did give an interesting insight to how this universe with heroes really works. Somewhat depressing to think that the tributes had to be hidden away to keep the public from thinking that even superheroes can die. Though it does give something of a reason behind G. Gordon Godfrey’s complete ignorance, I guess.

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Now that I’ve brought him up, I feel like Godfrey is to this series as J. Jonah Jameson is to Spider-Man (hehe, coincidence that they both have alliterative names?). While they’re not villains in a super-powered sense, they can be complete and utter asshats to the heroes who can’t do anything about it since the media would probably have a field day about superheroes ganging up on a normie. It’s a different brand of villain that could be boring if done wrong, but has yet to be in YJ’s case.

And now for the two-parter not-finale!

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So Blue and Impulse’s bro-time gets interrupted by the baddies, but the two escape and head straight to the Cave along with the baddies’ tracking device? Siding with Nightwing in calling this a rookie mistake. I mean, if it’s semi-common knowledge not to drive straight home when someone’s tailgating you, then I think similar tactics apply in this case. If anything, bury the device in a junk yard or something and get it at a later time. Then again, the plot called for it, and what the plot says goes.

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As quickly as the pacing’s been for these episodes I will say that it at least takes the time to pause for dramatic effect. Using Artemis’ actual face sparingly was a good move, and the look on Mal’s face when the Cave was bombed was one of those rare instances where you feel for the character not only for their current circumstances, but for the sad, sad look on their face. I hesitate bringing it up, but Mal’s performance as the Cave exploded reminded me of the looks on 9/11 victims during those live footage recordings. Yeah, excuse me while I slowly back away from that statement while anticipating the hate mail from that one.

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At the risk of having the plot get that much more complicated, I’m siding with Wally’s suspicions about Aqualad being a triple agent. While it seems like Nightwing’s been the one in charge of all this secret side mission stuff, things have definitely not been going in his favor as of late, especially with all the leaps of faith he’s been making for Aqualad’s sake. Batman he is not.

The whole bit with Dick having to trust Kaldur based on info on a flash drive was one of those instances that just sounds too silly if you begin to over analyze it. Just imagine Aqualad writing up a notepad document in secret while trying to drown out all the nonsense with Icicle Jr. and the Hick twins. Still, it’s a good enough setup to lead into the next episode, and I do love it when heroes are presented with what seems to be their all-time low point.

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Having a gag based on how Ms. Martian has to shrink slightly because of something-something-water pressures was just odd. Every now and then the series tends to give a Death Note level of explanation to things most fans wouldn’t even consider. Sure, it’s a nice touch that the writers would even take such minute details into consideration, but sometimes I just feel like… really?

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Enter the start of Ms. Martian being a completely useless character after she sends Kaldur into a state of derpness. Sure, it’s a logical step to take her character, but to have such a powerful hero on The Team only to have her go through a self-imposed punishment via guilt is irritating to say the least.

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Speaking of irritating, Black Beetle’s lines. All of them. The series has done such a good job of making villains with actual drive and reason behind their villainy… and then we’re introduced to this Black Beetle guy who seems to be nothing more than muscle for the Reach. This would be fine, but his villainous lines are just so ‘80s baddie, which you’d think Young Justice would be distancing itself from. His whole bit with putting Wonder Girl through the door was not only wordy villain speak, but it didn’t even make sense since well… he didn’t put her through the door in a literal sense. Though the constantly changing camera angle with every hit WG took almost made up for it. Gotta love clever ways at concealing excessive amounts of violence.

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Was it just me, or did it seem like Batgirl had more control over The Team than Nightwing did this episode? Not only did she give Dick direct orders to follow, but she was the one to make the call on whether or not they should rescue Blue when their getaway ship was ready to leave. MVP definitely goes to Babs.

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Additional points for actually saving Blue. Gonna go ahead and assume that sending Lagoon Boy out was Babs’ idea, too. Actually going back to rescue Blue last second felt like a major indicator that the writers wanted to move on with the plot and not be bogged down by any loose threads. The masses want to see Virgil Hawkins in all his Static Shock goodness already!

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Throughout the past four episodes, there would always be occasional reference to Aquaman sending out the orders/intel that Nightwing acts on. So to see him at the Watchtower with Captain Atom was a nice touch to something that could have come off as a dues ex machine otherwise (there’s nothing lazier than offscreen exposition).

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So the Reach just happens to speak perfectly fluent English, and knew exactly who to contact for a formal meeting between world leaders and absolutely nobody outside of The Team questions this? Sometimes I feel like this is the typical uneducated Amuhrican’s mindset when it comes to immigrants, which the series is clearly harking on. While it’s understandable that there are certain hoops to jump through during immigration, it’s equally understandable for those wanting to emigrate to not understand certain customs, thus making a “backdoor approach” seem more appealing.

Gonna go ahead and stop myself before things get too real up in this here blog.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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