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Todd Jensen writes...

This is a sort of late review of the latter fourteen episodes of the first season of "Young Justice" (which I saw several months ago, but had to wait until now to comment on). Since you've already read lots of reviews, I'll stick to the moments that most won my attention, rather than overall comments.

ALPHA MALE: The opening reminded me of an English teacher I had in college who used to joke that he believed in "the right to arm bears" - give the animals the opportunity to shoot back at the hunters.

I liked Captain Marvel's depiction of a ten-year-old boy in an adult super-powered body (and it explained so beautifully why he was so eager to hang out with the Team).

Among my favorite moments: "One word - souvenir." "Two words - gorilla lice." And Brain telling Captain Marvel that he'd have been better off with the invulnerability of Achilles than his courage. (Good point - you'd have a hard time extracting his brain through a hole in his heel.)

REVELATION: One of the highlights, Joker saying "Retributionable! That last one might not be a word, so sue me!" (Both Batman's protege and his arch-enemy engage in word coining.)

HUMANITY: I understand that the Red Tornado arc in this season was based on a mini-series comic you were going to write, but which DC Comics cancelled - and I'm glad that you were able to salvage it for "Young Justice". I thought it was effective, with Red Tornado persuading his two fellow robots to help.

FAILSAFE: I knew already (coming to this part of the series late) that this one was an illusion - sort of the "Young Justice" counterpart to "Future Tense", but still found it good watching. I spotted a monument in Central City getting blown up by the aliens that looked a lot like the Gateway Arch here in St. Louis. (More on that when I get to "Young Justice: Invasion".)

DISORDERED: The team's sessions with Black Canary were great, but my favorite was Wally's - eating popcorn, apparently undisturbed until she mentioned Artemis's "death" in the scenario.

And I shared Superboy's astonishment that Sphere was a she. (I never even thought of it having a gender.)

SECRETS: I'm tempted to wonder what particular sword the Sword of Beowulf was. The best candidate in the poem was the ancient sword, forged by giants, that he found in Grendel's lair, except the blade dissolved when he used it to behead Grendel. Of course, I'm probably overthinking it. I liked the notion of its scabbard being (apparently) Grendel's arm - and the notion that "pure of heart" didn't have to mean "pure good".

Marvin tries pulling a Martian landing prank on Halloween, around 75 years after Orson Welles - and Miss Martian gives him a dose of his own medicine (complete with an impersonation of the Martian from "Loony Tunes").

MISPLACED: Another of my favorite parts: the allusions to the Pied Piper and Roanoke in the spell that splits the world in two.

Artemis mangling all those nursery rhymes was hilarious (though I read a comment that it might suggest, underneath, some dark hints about the kind of childhood she'd had).

Captain Marvel's alter ego being a small boy comes in handy (I liked the bit about Billy Batson having the courage of Billy Batson - though he quickly showed that that could be impressive).

I know it's from the source material, but still - when I heard Captain Marvel cry "Speed of Mercury! Power of Zeus!", I thought "Shouldn't that be 'Speed of Hermes! Power of Zeus!' or 'Speed of Mercury! Power of Jupiter!'" (This must say a lot about me - I'm reviewing a cartoon based on DC Comics, and I focus more on the mythological references than on the DC elements. Stems from growing up reading a lot more Greek and Norse mythology than super-hero comics. I remember also thinking that Wotan's name ought to be pronounced with a v rather than a w, like his Wagnerian namesake - but of course, I don't know if the character actually was named after the Wotan of the Ring Cycle and Germanic myth.)

And some ingenious scheming by the Light - splitting the two worlds to create the perfect diversion by which to steal that starfish piece (with Commissioner Gordon even calling the mob protest a distraction, without realizing how right he was). And with Zatara paying the permanent price to become Doctor Fate for good.

COLDHEARTED: One of Wally's finest moments (and I was delighted to see him choose the pouch he carried Perdita's heart in for the souvenir, over the swordstick, at the end).

I did wonder whether the schools would have been closed anyway on November 11, even without the continent-wide blizzard, because of Veterans' Day.

I was amused to notice the Space Needle in the background in the "establishing shot" for the hospital in Seattle - following the unwritten rule in television that if you're setting part of the story in a city with a famous landmark, to get a shot of the landmark somewhere (as in a few shots of the Statue of Liberty in New York in "Gargoyles" - not to mention the Houses of Parliament in the visits to London, the Eiffel Tower in the visits to Paris, the Sydney Opera House in the Sydney scene in "Bad Guys", etc.).

IMAGE: Got a big smile over the names of the producers of "Hello, Megan" (which does indeed sound like a likely sit-com for the 1980's).

AGENDAS: When you had Aquaman coming to fetch Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to start the meeting, was that intended as a "Superfriends" allusion?

I got a kick out of Captain Marvel's nervousness once the Justice League started talking about the questionability of children as members.

And the Thanksgiving scene at Mount Justice. I enjoyed the shift through the year in the two seasons, from Fourth of July to the New Year - and vice versa in the second season. I hope that you'll get to do more such seasonal cycles in future projects (though, in light of the setting, I doubt we'll see much of that in the "Star Wars" project coming up - "Rain of the Ghosts" is more likely, though I doubt we'll see too many seasonal changes in *its* setting).

INSECURITY: For me, the big highlight of this episode was the police box serving as a Zeta-tube entrance. (Kind of funny this was in the same episode as the revelation that Red Tornado's civilian identity is named "John Smith", the alias most often used by the Doctor in "Doctor Who" when he needs something more than "the Doctor" - though I suspect that was just a coincidence.)

I laughed at Wolf curling up and taking a nap instead of staying on sentry duty.

PERFORMANCE: Made a good "calm before the storm" story. I liked Robin's reference to "The War of the Worlds".

USUAL SUSPECTS and AULD ACQUAINTANCE: A good two-parter season finale. The Light were certainly ingenious in handling their mole - who better than the person most zealously searching for the mole?

I'd suspected from the portrayal of the Light that its goals had an ideological slant, and Vandal Savage didn't disappoint me, in his belief that super-heroes were a bad thing for the human race since they made things too easy for everyone else, prevented humanity from moving forward properly and growing up. I liked the touch that he had to call Klarion off because he was too powerful, and might have wiped out the Justice League prematurely if he'd exerted his full strength.

And I smiled again at Red Tornado's response to the team members' New Year's kisses.

The "Young Justice: Invasion" commentary/review will come later this week.

Greg responds...

Superfriends allusion: absolutely.

Response recorded on January 07, 2014