Here we are the fifth episode of Young Justice as part of our summer binge, and I think this is the episode where this show finally hits it’s stride and becomes something special. This episode really broadens the scope on the universe while also centering in on Superboy. We get the sense here that this show is really about this whole world filtered through the eyes of the team. Without further ado let’s begin!
1. Superboy v Superman
The real theme of this episode centers down on fatherhood, on parenting and what it means to be a parent and the responsibilities therein. Superboy shows up to help Superman as a bridge is collapsing in Metropolis and Batman looks on from a Wayne Tower building (reminding us that Bruce Wayne’s influence is vast). As they save a bus from falling into the body of water below Superman blasts Superboy for trying to help since he could’ve possibly destabilized the entire bridge. Superboy asks Superman for help, to teach him how to use his powers and to be there for him, and Superman completely blows him off just like he did in the first episode.
To me this seems really out of character for Superman, a character that is one of hope and caring and optimism. For someone raised on a small farm in Kansas in the midst of a small town this seems out of step of the values of Clark Kent. This especially seems ridiculous in light of Rebirth and a Superman who is an actual father. Luckily Batman calls him out for it. More on that later…
2. Black Canary
If you didn’t love Black Canary before Young Justice you are sure to love her afterward as this is the first episode we get a good look at her. She appears in the cave to begin to train the team and wipes the floor with Wally and Superboy, even with a slight injury. Also Wally hits on her and then gets creamed which is hilarious and I’m really tired of his libido. She also works to further the theme of parenthood, offering Superboy assistance and comfort after she puts him on his ass. Her interaction with him at the very end of the episode is a very heartfelt moment as Superboy says “I’m ready” and she tells him “Good, because I am here” as she accepts that mentor role.
3. Batman v Superman
There are no Marthas, but Superman and Batman have a little spat, in a diner of all places, in this episode. It’s really cool when Clark walks in and orders apple pie (the epitome of Americanism) and Bruce orders Devil’s Food (cause Batman) and then they begin the conversation. It is not too often that we see Bruce and Clark interact in their civilian identities and I appreciate that this episode did that. What happens after the greetings though is interesting as Bruce tries to tell Clark that Superboy “needs his father” which causes Clark to storm out. This really feels like a role reversal for the two and paints Bruce as a stern, but altogether nurturing character, and Clark as a younger, brasher, irresponsible man. When Batman at the end of the episode tells Superboy that Superman will come around it feels earned with this version of Batman who absolutely cares. This interaction, as well as Canary’s appearance, really solidifies to me that this show is as much about the Justice League, as it is this newly formed team of teens.
4. Dislike and Disaster
Are you feeling the aster? Robin continues his fun wordplay in this episode, but what’s cool is you can see a growing friendship between him and Superboy as even Superboy gets in on the fun, telling Ivo when he meets him that he is whelmed. I love that this bit of fun extends to Superboy, and I think this friendship is important as the two characters are honestly the most similar. Both really have something to prove as this version of Dick is trying to be like Batman, and Superboy wants to and was created to be Superman.
5. Ivo and AMAZO
So Ivo was honestly a perfect antagonist for this team, playing on their biggest fears as former sidekicks and teens of thinking about am I good enough? He certainly angers Superboy enough with this idea at the center and calls the team “poor copies of the originals.” AMAZO also only uses the powers of Justice League members we’ve already seen and those related to the League, calling on Superman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, and Black Canary. AMAZO turning those powers back on the team plays on that idea. After they defeat the pair it is good that the League, that Batman and Canary affirm to the team that their abilities and work is enough. Great character beats and care all around this episode.Continued below
– The dates are still screwed up as the last episode ended August 4th and this episode begins August 3rd. I have since looked though and the first airing of the previous episode had its timestamps screwed up on the first airing, Netflix seems to have kept this up.
– The trucks leave from Litchfield County and all I could think about was Orange is the New Black.
– Gotham Academy makes an appearance as the school that gets torn up. If you haven’t read that series you should.
– Whose arrow is that? Find out next week!
All in all Young Justice hits its stride here and this episode is really solid. Sound off in the comments and check back next week as Artemis appears! (Finally)