After our weekly triple (and occasional quadruple) servings of episodes during the first half of the season and last week’s three-episode midseason premiere, Young Justice: Outsiders settles down a bit and gives us one episode this week, “First Impression.”
It’s been something of an unorthodox release schedule for DC Universe’s first original animated series, but I’m happy to roll with it, if it means more Young Justice. My reviews for single episodes will have the same format as the previous batch reviews, because I’m just too nit-picky to change it up! With that in mind, let’s dive into this week’s adventures! As always, beware of slight spoilers.
This week on Young Justice!
In “First Impression,” Garfield Logan is tired of being controlled by the system and playing the quiet game when it comes to handling the threats against the metahuman community. It’s time for a new kind of young hero to emerge!
Now this is the show I know! While I’ve very much enjoyed Outsiders, I’ve had a bit of an issue with the many, many balls being juggled by this season. There are always so many different plot threads going on, with multiple talking heads attempting to recap things for us, that it feels like the show has lost a central storyline. This episode kind of gets back to basics, showing a team of young heroes trying to save the day. It also forwards the story by allowing these heroes to step into the light in a way the previous teams never could.
It feels like the first season of the show in all the best ways. The banter is there, the action is fun and light, while the characters are all genuinely pushing to be the best they can be. There’s no doubt in Garfield’s mind that this is what he should be doing, and while his speech to the assembled members of the League was a bit cheesy, it felt right. Garfield is a showman, so he’s not about to stay in the shadows and let the world continue to fall apart. This shows an intimate understanding of Beast Boy’s character. He’s the perfect hero to lead this new charge.
This season has made some fun barbs at the expense of livestream culture, showing how quick and easy it is to spread disinformation in a digital age. Sure, you saw on the news that Superman saved Metropolis, but this guy on Twitch (or Eyespasm, as it’s hilariously called in this universe) says he’s a menace, so that’s probably true, right?
This episode takes that a step further, as the heroes finally embrace that modern sensibility to turn their image around. The revolution will, in fact, be televised. They’re helped by my new favorite characters in the universe: the Newsgirl Legion. Think Betty Cooper meets Kirby’s original Newsboys and you’ll understand why they’re everything to me and I hope we see more of them!
Where the episode faltered is when it reminded me of my main issue with this season. We still have no idea what Batman’s plans are, but it’s getting a little old checking in on his every six episodes so he can talk vaguely to some of our other main characters about his plan. The League has essentially formed its own version of the Light, keeping people at a distance and puppeteering events to their own ends. This is an interesting thread that I hope will be addressed with some skepticism from our young heroes, but I’m ready for things to be out in the open already.
Otherwise, this was a fantastic, back-to-basics episode of Young Justice. It has a great message and a real feeling of optimism that’s been somewhat missing lately.
- The release strategy of this show is starting to remind me of the way Cartoon Network released the first season, with almost none of the holiday-themed episodes airing in the correct timeframe. For a show that relies so heavily on placing dates and times to everything (it’s basically Chyron City in this piece), it’s always a little disheartening to see such a gulf between the scheduling and the production itself.
- I reallllllly hope the constant reminder that Angel O’Day took a selfie with Gar isn’t going to be left as simply an Easter egg. The world needs Angel and the Ape in all their animated glory.