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Young Justice does the time warp for season two – CartoonClack

Well ... that was unexpected. I wasn't planning on writing about 'Young Justice' again this week after I reviewed the season one finale in last week's column, but with a twist like we got ... how could I resist?

At the end of last week’s column, I mentioned how lucky fans of Young Justice were that the second season (ominously subtitled “Invasion”) was premiering just a week after the first season concluded. Even the episode’s name, “Happy New Year,” implied that we’d be seeing the very next moments after the New Years Eve-set finale. But it didn’t quite go that way. Oh, the episode was still set on New Years Day … five years later.

I’m torn about this. For one, this was a huge shock for pretty much the entire fanbase, especially since the handful of recent interviews with the show creators about the new season didn’t mention a time jump in the slightest. At least one of those interviews implied that the season would start off right where the last season ended, but I don’t think showing the last 20 seconds of the last episode before a five year jump counts. And for now, it does feel like we got a little cheated when it comes to these characters — they were finally building relationships with one another and now we don’t get to see five years worth of adventures?

Granted, I like that we have a Nightwing that apparently didn’t throw down the Robin cowl in anger (that seems to be the only version we’ve really seen in the cartoons) and I’m glad to see this older version is still voiced by Jesse McCartney. Still, splitting the team up does make me feel like we missed out on a lot of great things, especially since Rocket had just started on the younger team and now she’s part of the League with Zatanna and possibly Aqualad. Not to mention that at least one of the couples we’ve been shipping all last season (Miss Martian and Superboy) aren’t together anymore … I understand that high school relationships often don’t last (especially under stressful situations like protecting the world on a regular basis), but that’s a bit of a downer considering they were finally in a good place in last week’s episode.

Outside of the abrupt jump forward in the story, the new characters are actually all positives so far. They all were given just a little time here and there, so I’m not going to be too harsh in my judgment until we get further into the season. As I’m going back and filling the holes where I missed episodes in the first season, many of these added superheroes were introduced in season one (and I’m sure longtime comic fans took note of their initial appearances in the show). Both Mal Duncan and Bumblebee were in a few first season episodes as students at the team’s school, Lagoon Boy was in the eighth episode, “Downtime,” along with a couple of the tie-in comic issues, and Beast Boy was introduced last season in his human identity as Garfield Logan. I’ve seen quite a few responses online against Lagoon Boy in this episode, but his impulsiveness and eagerness to move up doesn’t bother me. Yes, it’s easy to dislike him off the bat because he’s dating Miss Martian and I certainly felt bad for Super Boy, but let’s not hold that against a new character just yet.

There are other well-known DC heroes that are completely new to the series. For one, we have Cassie Sandmark as Wondergirl (voiced by the always excellent Mae Whitman); it’s cool to see another iteration of WG featured in DC Nation along with Donna Troy in the Lauren Faust shorts … and I’m loving Cassie’s costume. We also have a new Robin in Tim Drake, which makes me wonder if Jason was involved with the team during that 5 year span and if we’ll get to find out what happened to him if that’s the case. And of course I can’t get too peeved at the writers for the time jump when they give me my favorite super-heroine — Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Alright, they haven’t confirmed that it’s Barbara officially, but she looks like just Barbara. And since she and Nightwing look to be around the same age, I am excited to continue my shipping of these two characters from my years of watching Batman: The Animated Series. And to round out the new characters, we also meet a not-yet superhero Adam Strange and a possibly not-yet super-villian G. Gordon Godfrey … the latter played by the king of ham, Tim Curry. Did I mention Godfrey’s television show looks incredibly similar to Glenn Beck’s in design and message ?

Obviously, the new cast members and the time jump make for a huge upheaval of the series, but I’m not giving up on the series yet by a long-shot. I’m not so worried about the season-long story arcs, because the writers proved in season one that they could handle those slow revealing stories in a satisfying way for the audience. I’m more worried about how they’re going to balance all these new characters, giving them the depth and authentic relationships with each other that we came to love about the first season. Most importantly, I hope that there will be plenty of flashbacks woven into the season so we can share in these characters’ lives during the five years we’ve missed. Also, why didn’t we see Artemis and Kid Flash? The shippers desperately want to know.

Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

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