Episodic Review: Young Justice Invasion 17 & 18

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T minus four episodes!

Oh goodness, didn’t even realize all the space carnage the battle left. Eeyep, no way even the Reach would be able to clean all that up before at least some Earthlings find out.

Also, just realizing how weird the whole concept of the War World can be. So the size of the War World is pretty big, as the name implies. But if I’m getting this right, the Reach was able to spread out the entire remainder of their army (~40% after Mongul exploded the rest) to stand guard around the… everywhere on that mini death planet? And what’s the Justice League’s stance on this? They’re guarding the crystal key’s chamber the entire episode, but are they aware that the Reach’s goons are there, too?

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Even more things I didn’t notice on my initial viewing! I guess it would make sense for Despero to have been captured. Though I wonder if that was the Reach’s doing or Mongul’s. Either seem like logical options.

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Alright, so I’m not a politician, but I feel like the Reach is laying it a bit too thick with the schmoozing. It goes perfectly well with his character, but man… the whole bit with Blue lifting up the kid was just too much to handle.

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Arsenal… how far you have fallen. His actual decision of letting out all the air as a last second option was morally ambiguous, but his whole wackadoo screaming to the random Reach guards definitely brings home the idea that he just isn’t… all the way there mentally. But more on that later.

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When YJ first started, I was a bit let down by their base of operations leaning more towards a base of operations and less towards a Teen Titans-ey dorm. Thankfully the Runaways have fulfilled that need. Lex hooking up the kids with quite the digs as well as a matching set of skateboards? How… radical.

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I will say that for a series that’s all about the little details, I was kinda disappointed with the vanilla wallpaper chosen for the Runaways’ laptop. I can just imagine Asami convincing the guys into getting a kitty-themed wallpaper and browser theme.

And while I’m on the topic of Asami… wow, did she learn English fast, broken as it still is. I feel like expressing foreign languages has always been a problem for most movies and TV shows since the creative team behind it just seems to not be willing to put the extra effort into it if it isn’t the center focus of things. At best, I’d think her English would be Chuunibyou-status. And considering the problems in voice recognition with things like Siri, I doubt Father Box would be able to understand Asami’s Engirsh. Still, she needed something to do this episode, so… yay?

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Sorry, but I just have to call out the derp faces at the start of this scene. One of the downsides to having a show available in HD… still bitter that HD versions are up on iTunes and amazon, but a blu ray set has yet to be announced. Honestly, WB’s been fairly decent when it comes to their animated movie releases, but not so much when it comes to their TV shows.

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Still not sure how to feel about the semi-meta talk between Nightwing and Ms. M. Yes, the script went the trite route of having characters have a confession spill between each other, but it’s immediately followed up by Megan saying how ridiculous doing such is and to just get over their faults and move on. Still, she ends with a reference to Nightwing in his Robin days, and the pure sweetness in her voice really does bring it home. I’ve said it before, but Winnie Cooper is just so… d’awwwwwwww (note to self: watch The Wonder Years on sister’s amazon prime account).

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Similar language inconsistencies with Asami can be said about the Reach? Are we to assume that they’re so deep undercover that they’ve even stopped using their native language once they’ve reached Earth a la The Americans? (sidenote: Five or so episodes in, The Americans has pretty much solidified itself as the incredibly poor man’s version of Breaking Bad. The same kind of “villains in the lead roles while living double lives” thing, but done noticeably worse. If anything, watch it for Felicity.)

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Have been waiting for this moment since they first showed the cameras recording the Ambassador claiming to not have any more Reach ships and boy howdy did it deliver. As much of a scumbag as G Gordon is, at least he disperses his scumbagginess equally.

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So Slade steals the crystal key, but Arsenal notices the heroes’ utility belts and miscellaneous accessory stuffs sealed away. I’ll look past the convenience of the situation since 1) the heroes don’t use their accessories when they get them back, and 2) you’re never shown Arsenal giving them back even though the appropriate heroes are seen with them literally one frame after Arsenal’s seen holding them. With this along with the derp faces, I gotta wonder if they’ll pull some revised animation for the home release version a la what Japan does with their Blu Ray releases of some anime. Highly doubtful, but it’d be a nice gesture.

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You’ve just escaped from the bad guys who are literally still in the next room very much alive, though otherwise distracted and yet Nightwing chooses then of all times to revoke Arsenal’s team membership and still expects things to not be awkward on the ride back to Earth? For someone apparently known for being super suave with the ladies, that was a pretty rookie move. Everyone knows to dump your date after you’ve dropped them off to their place.

And while it’s pretty much understood that Arsenal putting his teammates in danger due to his failing at dealing with his inner demons is a bad thing, I’m curious as to whether we’ll see that bite him in the ass if/when the rest of the team finds out about all this Aqualad and Artemis nonsense. Even more reason to pick up the series for at least one more season, Cartoon Network!

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Seeing Arsenal go from sidekick, to gun-toting badass, to gun-toting badass with problems, to possible den-mother for the runaways was a weird note to leave off on. The portrayal of the Runaways in general seems to be a call-back to the days of grunge when not only were the main cast all people of color, but they were radical as all hell doing stuff like skateboarding into the sunrise.

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So from Black and Blue Beetle have mentioned, absolutely no contact has been made with the Justice League guarding the crystal key room even though dozens of Reach drones are in the room literally right outside it. Yeah, I still don’t get the whole placement of characters on the War World without certain people crossing paths dealie.

They also mention how Reach warriors live to serve, though I wonder just how literally viewers are to take this line. Black and Green are speaking amongst each other, and they have no real reason to lie, so I feel like they’re dropping the hint that the Reach as a species is no more than a slave race meant to serve, or at least live strictly in accordance with their species’ laws. Either way, I feel like this should have been mentioned a lot earlier in the season.

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Toy Man’s appearance makes me wonder just how in-peril this universe is. We already have the Light and Reach to worry about, and with the main Leaguers off in space, I wonder just how many minor baddies are running around. Sure, the Team and some other Leaguers are still on Earth, but I wonder if they respond to more minor threats or if they just leave that stuff to the police.

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It’s somewhat comforting to finally hear things from Blue’s perspective again. Though with the Ambassador being Blue’s voice, it’s become pretty confusing keeping track between Jaime and the Scarab since neither is speaking out loud to better differentiate between the two. It wasn’t even until this episode that I realized they were voiced by the same person.

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Oh, Megan’s face. I’m sure everyone has been waiting for when she breaks up with Sasuke, but I still can’t help but feel bad for him. From his standpoint, he’s done nothing wrong and seeing him defend “his case” for why they should still be together was very much one of those “too real” moments. hnrrrrrrgh

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Zatanna, I’ve always loved in the series. The fact that her super power is magic proves more than helpful, though, I’m sure it made things pretty difficult to deal with writing-wise (magic doesn’t exactly have a weakness unless you make one for it). So for her to be more of a defensive character alongside Rocket in the first half of the episode makes sense. And it made me like Rocket somewhat.

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I was gonna bring up how clever it was that Beast Boy disguised himself as an animal that’s actually green for once, then I ended up pausing at this screencap and lost track of most other thoughts relating to this scene. Seeing villains emote in something other than angry or brooding is always funny to see.

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(And now I’m reminded that Disney’s Atlantis got pulled from this month’s Blu ray releases. Like, seriously, why? You’re releasing Blu Rays for Mulan, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Wreck-It Ralph so it’s not likehaving one more major release this month would be too much, Disney. Especially when it’s for a kick-ass disgustingly underrated movie like Atlantis. Is it because you hate anything with a strong female role that can’t be capitalized on as being a Disney Princess even though she’s one of the few technical princesses you’ve shown? Plus she stabs people. Plus she becomes a Queen/God (yes, with a capital to her people. I hate you Disney.)

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Long explanation is long. Though I do like how it somewhat made that Wonder Girl-centric episode be more relevant to the overall season’s plot.

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And there’s a reason to write in the Bat-kids to do Batman-type things like investigating things via ginormous monitors while pushing random buttons. I’m pretty sure this is the most amount of lines Time Drake/Robin’s ever spoken.

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Speaking of investigating, you sure don’t need to be a detective to know that Megan and Lagann broke up. I’m sure Nightwing must hate having to lead a team when young adult drama creeps its way into things. Of the plot points that’ll most likely be left hanging, I have a suspicion that the whole Ms. M/Superboy thing will be one of the bigger ones. I mean, even in the case that some kind of time jump were done in the last couple episodes, I can’t help but feel that it would be rushed.

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With the Reach pretty much neutralized, or at least significantly de-powered this episode, it looks like things are slowly starting to focus back to the Light as the main villains. Really excited to see how things play out, though with two episodes left in the season, I’m hoping there’ll be less loose ends than I’m expecting.

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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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