An event occurred in America which had been the build up of 18 months. It received much media coverage, and divided a nation nearly in half. This event has caused a lot of doom and gloom in my part of the country.
Forget that event. I’m fatigued; I’m done talking about it, and I’m done thinking about it.
On the upside, Young Justice was recently renewed for a third season. For the unfamiliar, Young Justice tells the story of a team of young superheroes from the DC pantheon, such as Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Miss Martian, as they try to defend the world and earn the respect of the superheroes they look up to and formerly sidekicked for.
In its original run, Young Justice had two seasons which spanned much of the DC Universe. By its second season, it had incorporated seemingly every character in the DC pantheon, and, admittedly, sometimes did feel like they had too much on their plate, but for the most part balanced the many plotlines to make a large and compelling narrative. But after this second season, it was cancelled, with various reasons given as to why. Depending on what you believe, it was cancelled due to low ratings, or it didn’t sell enough toys, wasn’t kid friendly enough, or (and this notion is the most disturbing,) network executives didn’t like the fact that girls were watching it. In 2013, the second season ended and the show was pronounced dead. This started up Firefly-esque campaigns to bring it back. Almost four years later, the fact that Young Justice is coming back is nothing short of a miracle.
This is my favorite animated series, easily, bar none other than probably the Airbender and Legend of Korra series. People try to tell me that, as far as DC shows go, they prefer Justice League or Teen Titans, but Young Justice brings together many of the characters you love from both of these shows into one beautifully cohesive universe.
So many plotlines were left unresolved. Finally we’ll get to see what happened to that character who “died” in the last episode, or what that bombshell villain has in store for our heroes. It seemed as though the showrunners had counted on a third season happening, and filling out a nice little trilogy.
The heroes are all great. Each of them is given a compelling storyline throughout the first season. They’re interesting, vibrant characters. They struggle with acceptance by their peers, being competent leaders, earning the respect of their various mentors. They’re a wonderfully diverse bunch; Aqualad is black, Artemis is half-Asian, Blue Beetle (who is introduced in the second season) is Hispanic, and Miss Martian’s character arc deals with her being a racial minority on Mars.
Did I mention the great female characters on this show? They’re really all a delight to watch. They’re nuanced, they’re empowering, they’re everything you could ask for in a cast of characters.
I’m this close to going into great detail about individual episodes that I love, but if you haven’t watched the series yet, and you love superheroes, just go experience it for yourself. The first two seasons are currently on Netflix, and definitely worth watching.
Just to tie this back to that big cataclysmic event that I really don’t want to mention (since things must always tie into the political landscape), this is the great thing about fiction. As I said in my post titled Things I’ve Learned from Superheroes , we need Superhero media to inspire us. Young Justice does just that, and rather poignantly. The heroes of Young Justice are young, diverse, people – one might even be inclined to call them “millennials” – who are on a quest to protect the world they love from power grabbing villains, such as alien invaders or a certain businessman turned politician who wants to conquer the world (y’know, Lex Luthor). The Young Justice team is constantly referred to as “the sidekicks” or “kids,” as though this makes them weak. As though these young people can’t make a difference. To borrow from another Batman-related work, these characters are the heroes we need. When we needed it most, Young Justice came back.