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Megan writes...

Would it be fair to describe Wally's relationship with Artemis on Young Justice as being an unhealthy one for him? Because as much as I loved Artemis as a character, I failed to see what Wally got out of their relationship that could have been considered beneficial for him over the course of the series. It appeared the entire basis of their relationship as it was portrayed on the show was Wally doing all the work and making all the concessions because only Artemis' wants and needs really mattered within it.

Wally was shown to take the initiative to tell her she was beautiful, tell her she was brilliant, tell her she had nothing to prove, take her hand in support, stand up for her, and show complete trust & faith in her at various points in the episodes "Bereft" & "Insecurity" during the first season to combat her insecurities and their rough beginnings while Artemis was only really shown to think he was a joke and treated him as such unless he was propping her up. Even when the show was having Kent Nelson nudge Wally in her direction in "Denial" she was only shown to think and expect the worst of him in the episode.

So where Wally was shown to like and accept Artemis for who she was by the end of the season, I thought Artemis was just going to reinforce whatever doubts and insecurities he had about himself based on her never being shown to like anything about him on a personal level and their interactions. I just didn't see how her constantly belittling, criticizing, and expecting the worst of him like she was shown to do was a solid foundation for a healthy relationship given his own apparent insecurities. The only thing Artemis was shown to accept was that he thought she was great.

The second season appeared to follow a similar strategy. Wally was once again doing the heavy lifting and making sacrifices for Artemis because she was important to him while she was off "having fun" doing the hero thing like she wanted to do. It wasn't until she began feeling sorry for herself after things had taken a turn for the worse on the mission that she started to doubt her choice if what she said was to be believed. It would have been one thing if she was shown to care about what she was putting Wally through or about what he wanted, but it appeared she only cared about what was best for her in the grand scheme of things.

That was why I thought Wally came across as being more of a tool Artemis could use or toss away depending on what was convenient for her at the time than he did as her partner since there never appeared to be anything equal about their relationship on the show. Wally ended up being an ineffective plot device since Artemis was never really shown to have any real attachment to him or their relationship beyond what he/it could do for her. I know you have said Artemis supposedly loved him, but her actions and the choices she was shown to make over the course of the series made it feel like the show forced her into a relationship her character wanted absolutely nothing to be with. I couldn't help but think Wally deserved better than that.

Greg responds...

Well, I mean I obviously disagree strenuously with nearly everything you've written above. I'm not even sure how to respond to this.

But here are a few examples to refute your arguments:
*Artemis clearly knew she liked Wally long before he realized he liked her.
*She shows her love and care for him the night he comes back from trying to talk to the clone Roy Harper.
*She feels horribly guilty for leaving Wally and risking what they had.

She's not perfect. Neither is he. But they seemed like a great couple to me. And I certainly don't see him as a "plot device" for her. He's a character in his own right. So is she. At least that's my opinion. And it seems to be the opinion of the majority of the fans, who worship at the Spitfire altar. And while that proves nothing, it does suggest that we were more successful demonstrating my take on things than you indicate.

But your mileage may vary. I can't make you change your mind if you're not feeling it. But you're hardly going to make me change my mind either.

It might have helped if we hadn't cut the dialogue in "Endgame" where he says he wants to come out of retirement and go back to the hero life. Have it all with her. We cut it because we thought it telegraphed his death too much. But maybe that was a mistake. It might have changed things a touch for you. Or not. Probably not. But <shrug>, that's all I can think of that we might have done differently. I'm pretty happy with what got on screen.

Response recorded on February 27, 2017