With DC getting a relaunch with characters getting a makeover, we decided to take a look at the other time Warner Bros. decided to change things up with the Teen Titans in the form of the second volume of the Young Justice animated series.

YOUNG JUSTICE: SEASON ONE VOLUME TWO
Studio: Warner Bros.
Episodes Info :

  • Schooled
  • 
Infiltrator

  • Denial

  • Downtime

MSRP: $14.99

Synopsis (from Warner Bros.)
Animated DC Universe cartoon series for a new generation starring ROBIN, AQUALAD, KID FLASH, SUPERBOY, MISS MARTIAN and ARTEMIS . Combined these six teenage heroes are YOUNG JUSTICE the JUSTICE LEAGUE’s secret weapon against the forces of evil. Based out of THE CAVE, the teen heroes will take on under-the-radar missions that would be impossible for the League proper (with its incandescent star-power) to handle covertly. In addition, these kids are in constant training to take their place alongside the great heroes. RED TORNADO will be their supervisor; BLACK CANARY will be in charge of their training, and BATMAN will hand out their assignments. And of course, Young Justice will push their missions, often turning a simple assignment from Batman into something much larger, often discovering that what they’ve been tasked to do is just the tip of the iceberg.

SURPRISES AWAIT

What really works in this series is that this is a team that is familiar and yet unfamiliar to fans and new viewers alike. Characters like Artemis and Aqualad are the two that are the most altered from their comic book counterparts, and yet each fits well in this new imagining. This volume contains episodes 5 – 9 that aired on the Cartoon Network, and it is episode eight, “Downtime” where viewers get to see where this new Aqualad comes from and where the other Atlantean heroes (Aquaman, Garth, Aquagirl) have been placed. The way the series is put together all of the changes work, and work quite well.

In fact, when the initial backlash over the reimagining occurred, people probably didn’t see the big picture of what was to come a year later in the pages of DC Comics. It is interesting to see some of the concepts in Young Justice (Barry as flash, the piping and armor alterations of the costumes) appear in the New 52. Watching the series now seems like it is more closely related to the comics than it was before.

The biggest problem in our household watching this series wasn’t that we weren’t interested, it was simply on too early for us to see it on a weekly basis (5:00 PM CST). This weekend, the family sat down to watch the collected episodes, and even though my oldest son (age four) had seen the first episode at some point, he sat through and asked all the right questions during the remaining three. I will admit that initially I didn’t have any interest in this series when it debuted, but it surprised me, and now it looks like we’ll be picking up the rest of the episodes sooner rather than later.

The animation style in this series is more in line with the style found in the direct-to-DVD movies Warner Bros. has been putting out, than the animation style in either the Batman : The Brave and The Bold, or the upcoming Green Lantern Animated Series. It makes the series feel a bit more grown up, and thus should appeal to teens and young adults (and even older adults). The writing is smart, and from what I’ve seen in these four short episodes, there is a general continuity that flows between each episode.

The voice acting in these episodes is good too. Each of the central characters is brought to life by their respective actors, and even the guest stars, like Kelly Hu as Artemis’ mother bring a high level of professionalism to the episodes. That being said, it does become a bit annoying when multiple characters are played a single actor, and the actor doesn’t really have the range to play two different characters. It happened a couple of times in this collection, and while my son didn’t pick up on it, it did make my ears perk up.

BOTTOM LINE: PICK IT UP

If you don’t have the Cartoon Network in your area (or you won’t pay for it), picking up the series in volumes like this makes sense. The action and animation style is great, the stories are well told and each episode contains solid character development. Young Justice: Volume 2 is available on DVD now, and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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9 Comments

  1. Jake P
    November 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm — Reply

    Would knock another star off for the typical money-making WB practice of not putting out the whole collected season on one DVD or Blu-Ray. (Justice League animated? I’m looking at you…)

    • November 7, 2011 at 8:17 am — Reply

      I’m completely in agreement Jake P – I felt the same way about Spectacular Spider-Man on DVD. The only reason I can think for this is they are targeting kids, who don’t have 50 bucks to spend on an entire season. Then again, you can buy any season of Ben 10 for well under $20, so this probably isn’t much of an issue.

      • November 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm — Reply

        Ben 10 is split up in this exact same way, though, with only X number of episodes per DVD instead of one whole season at a time, the seasons aren’t released until some time later.

  2. Steamblade
    November 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm — Reply

    I wish this had been the way DC did the reboot, a revamped Silver-Bronze Age.

  3. Burrakooka
    November 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm — Reply

    I really enjoy this series, except the whole ‘Superman is such a monumental dick to Connor that the goddamn Batman has to call him out on it’ thing. As a Supes fan it’s jarring when they show him acting like a jerk every one of the few times he’s appeared. I realise the intention must be to address it at some point, but it feels incredibly out of character.

  4. November 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm — Reply

    According to the producers and some DC folks, Young Justice actually takes place in Earth-16 of the DC Multiverse, at least the Earth-16 of the 52 Multiverses that existed just before the big revamp.

    I’m curious where or if it even does exist now in the new multiverse of the New 52. It was stated before the revamp that the Multiverse of Earth–1, Earth-2, etc would return, but only the main DCU and the Earth-1 timeline (of the recent Superman Earth-1 and upcoming Batman Earth-1 graphic novels) have been confirmed so far.

    • Krypt0nian
      November 7, 2011 at 1:17 am — Reply

      The way I read it, the Earth One in the graphic novels is just a stand alone for the hardcovers and not a full “earth” per se.

      They have said that the new Justice Society series coming up by James Robinson/Nicola Scott is based on Earth 2.

  5. Krypt0nian
    November 7, 2011 at 1:21 am — Reply

    On topic, I’d say that Young Justice is well on its way to equal the brilliant Justice League Unlimited. They utilize the full DCU so well that it’s so satisfying. The characters are developing so well so far.

    Season two details make me sooo happy. Hopefully it can break the recent two season curse that DC animation seems to be plagued with. I’m gutted that Batman: Brave and the Bold is being killed long before its time. :(

  6. The_Bear_Jew
    November 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm — Reply

    Looks pretty good, I might pick this up.

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