Episodic Review: Young Justice Invasion 15 & 16

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More aliens! *insert bad spray tan / weird hair guy from Ancient Aliens meme here*

So we finally get to see the Justice League present themselves to the council of Oogie Boogie and co. You’d think that the criminals coming back to the scene of their crime of their own will would be an indicator of good will, but I guess they don’t call it “the totally-morally-right-parties always return to the scene of the crime” for a reason.

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Very odd finally being able to hear the Kroloteans speak Earthling-ese. So would this mean that Rimbor has access to tech more sophisticated than Martian telepathy since Ms. M wasn’t able to translate Krolo-speak? Or maybe the Kroloteans are the random species that attends the meetings that speak only amongst themselves since everybody else doesn’t understand what they’re saying. With the amount of race relation undertones the series has already taken, I wouldn’t have been surprised if that played out in an earlier draft of the scene.

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I’m assuming mentioning how the Green Lanterns would be off-limits on Earth in the case of the Reach invading was a clever way to write out any and all of the Green Lanterns from later episodes? I’m not all that informed on Lantern lore, but from what I’ve pieced together, they would pretty much have all the reason to go to Earth to fight off the Reach if it weren’t for John Stewart mentioning that little treaty dealie.

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I get that making me feel frustrated just by the sight of Green Beetle making nice with the heroes with his PowerPoint presentation of convenient knowledge is the point, but geez is it ever frustrating. The whole idea of double agents and certain people not knowing while the audience clearly knows is something of a delicate matter that could turn to crap if not handled properly. Thankfully, Young Justice seems to be doing fine on that front.

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Whenever shows with large casts have large “planet-wide” events like alien invasions, it’s interesting to see the show actually being able to keep track of where each character is. I mean, you have guys like Red Tornado and Rocket…

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and even Impulse and Robin that serve significant roles in the episode, but upon a second watching you realize they have absolutely no lines. It’s things like that that prove just how capable the show’s creative time is when handling so many characters all at once.

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I get that Mongul is a big deal and having his not-Death-Star come and threaten Earth is something of a threat, too, but as entertaining as the episode was, it just felt like he was used more as a set-up for more villainy from the Reach.

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I mean, alongside all the action from the Warworld are bits from the Reach who clearly has plans for Mongul’s crystal. It would have been more interesting if Mongul was actually interested in hearing out what Captain Atom had to say and make some kind of alliance with the League and the Team, but to have things clearly playing out in favor of the Reach’s overall plot… it just seemed to cheapen the action that played out this episode.

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Though seeing the Reach ships in action was a pretty interesting twist. After what the Reach Ambassador was saying about only having one unarmed ship, it’ll be interesting to see if having what are clearly Reach-affiliated armed ships shooting out of the Philippine Sea will play out in future episodes. Signs seem to be pointing towards that not happening based on the following episode, but c’mon, you’re telling me absolutely no one on the planet noticed those ships?

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Besides a means to the Warworld’s crystal, it felt like all the drama with Mongul was also used as a means to patch things up between Mal and Karen. Admirable: yes, but when considering the grander scheme of the series… really?

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If anything, the last ten minutes was where the real meat of the episode was. Small details like Blue hitting his best bro Impulse before anyone else just to make the betrayal that much more despicable, and Karen and Robin being tossed to safety by Mal and Batgirl were nice touches that I’ve come to expect from the series as a whole. I will say, though…

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Why must everything bad that happens end up happening to Sphere? I get that she’s a machine, so it makes sense to put her in the most danger since she’s able to recover, best… but to be shot into space? Seemed a bit excessive.

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Then again, I’m sure Arsenal is out there somewhere with Sphere planning their next move, so… there’s that. As horrible as Arsenal’s had it throughout the series, I feel like all his bad luck has been building up to this point. Through all the nonsense with his arm being taken for the sake of cloning while he’s put on ice in Tibet, it makes sense for him to have a survive-by-any-means mentality. And considering how little screen time he actually has, it’s pretty amazing to consider that I still buy his character progression, as a viewer.

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So tell my why after the betrayal of the series, the next episode has all the follow-up with Nightwing doing detective work as the B-story? I get that with the Beetles having apparently Boom Tubed the heroes off to places unknown there’s not much in terms of action to work off of, but to have such a high-adrenaline moment last episode, it just seemed like a waste momentum-wise to suddenly cut everything off in favor of shenanigans at Manta’s ship.

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Young Justice, the series that goes out of its way to explain why Ms. Martian shrinks her size when under enough water pressure, actually shrugs off the ridiculousness of Cheshire and Sports Master wearing their full villain costumes underneath their diving suits? It’s one thing to see Cheshire still wearing her stylishly torn sleeves under her suit, but to have the camera switch over to Sports Master already wearing his shoulder armor was a bit odd.

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I don’t know what it was about Sports Master, but until this episode, I’ve never been entertained by any fights he’s been in. Maybe it’s the whole theming of father versus father. Maybe it’s the satisfactory metal thunk sounds that go off whenever him or Manta land a hit on each other. Either way, I was more entertained than I thought I’d be by the two’s fight, and felt slightly let down when Manta bailed to have Artemis take over.

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Manta exploding the door only to have it fall on his son felt like one of those instances where I laughed when I shouldn’t have. The other instance being Artemis dramatically looking in the mirror when she says, “He’s still not himself. But then… who is?” Maybe it’s the off-brand of YouTube humor finally ruining my watching of actual stuff on TV.

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Why did we need yet another reminder of Artemis faking her death and going undercover? Normally stories tend to break away to another scene when characters repeat information that would be redundant to the viewers. So to have Ms. M explain Nightwing’s ruse again was rather irritating and really out of place. Maybe having the show go on hiatus made the writers feel the need to repeat such information, in which case I’ll blame Cartoon Network’s poor handling of the show for this poor moment of TV writing.

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Hearing Ms. M’s tough girl voice as she fake-barked orders at Cheshire and Sports Master made me realize just how cutesy her normal speaking voice is. Daw, Winnie Cooper!

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And finish off the episode with Blue further cementing his position as worst hero of the century. At least we can assume this means the overall arc with the Reach will finally be picking up. *checks Wikipedia* Wow, four more episodes before the end? It seems like just yesterday Superboy hatched out of his clone pod…

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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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