Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated Series end

This weekend, both Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated Series are both airing their final episodes. I know that the Bruce Timm-helmed CGi Green Lantern series has had its detractors, but I am sad to see it go. In contrast, the Young Justice series remains one of my all time favorite toons. Utilizing every bit of inspiration and mythology from the comic books, Young Justice very quickly developed its own universe. A third season would be very welcome, but I have to say that I am happy with what was achieved in two short years.

Via Newsarama:

They were taken too soon. No, this time we’re not talking about one of the many kids DC Comics has killed off throughout the years; this time we’re talking about two of the best superhero animated series we’ve ever seen, both of which end on Saturday March 16, 2013.

Young Justice lasted two (albeit disjointed) seasons, finding its voice, taking huge risks, and presenting a DC Universe that included Wally West, Tim Drake as Robin, & even a cameo by Stephanie Brown.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series only got one season, but somehow fit in Anti-Monitor, a tease to Sinestro’s turn to fear, Red & Blue & Violet Lanterns, the rogue Guardian Scar, & so much more amazing mythos.

Here are your final preview images for both series. In blackest night, indeed.

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Green Lantern encounters the orange light, Young Justice on the Hunt

Images and video from the latest Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated episodes premniering this weekend below…

Via Newsarama

This week’s DC Nation sees Hal Jordan get greedy when he encounters a new alien and seeks a secret weapon to help/battle Aya-Monitor.

Then on Young Justice, Lex Luthor is… saving the young heroes?

DC Nation delayed until 2013, Young Justice top TV download on iTunes

Being a fan of comic books can try anyone’s patience. Titles are revamped (see: Hulk), canceled (see: Frankenstein, agent of SHADE) or taken in entirely new directions (see almost all of DC Comics). Throughout it all there can be tremendous stories and art but it is also difficult to keep up. However, fans of cartoons based on comics such as Avengers and the Justice League have it even harder. Both cartoons are incredibly well-received by fans, but both have also been plagued with scheduling changes and threats of cancellation.

Young Justice has primarily focused on the ‘sidekicks’ of the DCU who have the legacies of the elder heroes; Kid Flash, Robin, Speedy, Aqualad Superboy, Ms. Martian and Artemis. However, other characters have also been introduced including a large roster of Justice Leaguers and their villains.

At the conclusion to its first season, several members of the senior Justice League of America came under villainous mind-control of Vandal Savage. Batman, Hawkwoman, John Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman all disappeared for 16 hours that the heroes cannot remember. When the second series started, a time jump of five years has shown a very different vision of the DCU effected by the consequences of those mysterious 16 hours.

Young Justice is one of (if not ‘the’) most amazing efforts in translating a comic book universe to the small screen, so of course it’s airing dates has been moved and delayed (with sometimes six months between episodes, mid-season), this challenging viewers to keep up or jump. Through it all, Young Justice has retained its strong following while developing a compelling and expansive story.

But it appears the worst is not over.

Via Newsarama:

Young Justice year one roster

First, the good news: More new DC Nation, including new episodes of Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and DC Nation shorts are coming.

That’s the confirmation Newsarama received from a Cartoon Network representative Tuesday, as all three, Young Justice, Green Lantern, and shorts including Amethyst that was due to premiere October 13, 2012, will return to the network.

Now, the bad news: They won’t air again until January, 2013.

Despite being a mere three weeks into the schedule of new episodes, and both series ending their second episodes on cliffhangers, the erratic presentation of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros Animation’s superhero themed television programs by Cartoon Network continued Saturday, October 13, 2012 when the network suddenly and without warning pulled the programs from air, airing an hour of How to Train Your Dragon spin-off Dragons: Riders of Berk in place of the hour-long DC Nation block.

The only indication of this to fans was a single tweet from the official Cartoon Network twitter account at 4:19pm, after already receiving many upset inquiries:

“Hey #DCNation fans! Have you heard?? DC Nation will return in January with all new episodes!”

The tweet did not go over well with fans or the creators involved with the shows. Angry, curse-filled tweets filled @CartoonNetwork’s reply box quickly (don’t look below that linked tweet if you don’t want to see several F-bombs), but the more interesting responses came from those actually involved in the production of the shows.

Young Justice made it all the way to #2 on iTunes’ most downloaded list for television – not for kid’s television or animation, but for television overall.

Young Justice year two roster

Brandon Vietti, Producer, Writer, and Director for Warner Animation on Young Justice, started with simply, “I hate waking up to bad news,” while Giancarlo Volpe, Producer on Green Lantern tried to joke about it right away, saying, “So allegedly there will be no new DC Nation until January. Did anyone remind Cartoon Network that the end of the world is this December?” before posting to tumblr his “official response” showing a video of Al Pacino screaming “It was not what I wanted!” The producer also directly addressed CN’s tweet, saying “”Hey #dcnation fans! Have you heard?” Is the new way to start ridiculous tweets.”

Sam Liu, director of several episodes of Green Lantern, as well as multiple DC and Marvel animated films was disappointed in the decision, and gave fans their only hint as to why. “Shows I’d have went crazy for as a kid now considered ‘not popular enough to air'” It’s unclear who he is quoting in the tweet, or whether that’s any kind of official statement, however.

Brianne Drouhard, animator for Amethyst, was a little more visceral in her reaction, prompting her followers saying, “Hey everyone tweet @cartoonnetwork . U R BUTTS. #DCNation.”

Interestingly, the new episodes of both series went up on iTunes and Amazon as planned, before being pulled later in the day. Young Justice made it all the way to #2 on iTunes’ most downloaded list for television – not for kid’s television or animation, but for television overall, proving there is a demand for the series. Likewise, a fan petition is fast approaching their initial goal of 10,000 signatures – a number that likely means far less to CN than the iTunes stat, as it represents only a tiny fraction of the viewers needed to successfully produce and air a network television program.

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Both Young Justice and Green Lantern have had strange releases for their episodes leading to this time already. Rather than the traditional half-season in the fall, 4-6 week hiatus, remaining half in the late winter and early spring airing schedule that most television programs have, the series have both had erratic airdates.

Young Justice teased the series with an early premier of its first two episodes, followed by episode three two months later. After two months and 9 total episodes of Season One, the series took a hiatus for six full months, then picked back up for only three. The remaining Season One episodes aired four months later, with Season Two starting the week after Season One’s completion, with the five-year jump in story time. Seven episodes aired before a three-month hiatus, followed by two episodes and now the new four-month hiatus.

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Vietti did give fans some hope, saying the team had put their all into “the last ten” episodes that have currently been produced of Young Justice, and said that while they haven’t received a third season pick up, he is hopeful. Volpe likewise advised fans to keep hope alive like “Saint Walker would want,” using the Blue Lantern to try to cheer up fans.

Neither Warner Bros nor Cartoon Network provided further comment on exactly why the block was pulled, keeping their statement to the January 2013 return and the clarification we received above.

Got a comment? There’s lots of conversation on Newsarama’s FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

Recommended:

Young Justice: Season One Part One

Young Justice: Season One Part Two

Young Justice Invasion Destiny Calling: Season 2 Part One

Young Justice: The Complete First Season Streaming

Young Justice: The Complete Second Season Streaming

Young Justice – Darkest

Darkest


Story 2.09
Written by Jon Weisman, directed by Mel Zwyer
Transmitted October 6, 2012

There has been a schism in the teenage superheroes as Kaldur has betrayed the team and has sided with his father, the evil Black Manta. As the team struggles to maintain order, the mysterious evil organization known only as The Light steadily grows in power.

When Batman The Animated Series arrived in 1992, everything changed. Before the Batman Animated Series, superheroes were mainly recognized in TV in Super Friends. The new cartoons featured fully developed characters, gripping intense plots and ideas that drew from a large body of work dating back to the earliest days of the DC Comics universe. It marked the beginning of something very new and set the bar for all superhero cartoons that followed. That challenge was met by the Justice League series and subsequent animated feature films.

However, there are few comic book cartoons out there as good as Young Justice which is a shame as its constant rescheduling and delays has cost it many viewers. The quality of the writing and animation is so high that this should be the most talked about program on the air for comic book fans. Yet… it is all but invisible to most. If you enjoyed Justice League, you need to be watching Young Justice.

The story of Young Justice delves into the legacy of the DC Universe and the relationships that make it function. When the Teen Titans were formed in comics, it recognized that Batman, Aquaman, Green Arrow and Wonder Woman all had proteges that hid in their shadows. It opened the door to any number of stories that explored what it could mean to be the sidekick. The family of crime fighters that makes up the heroes of the DCU is unique and is used so well in this program. The frustration that Speedy, Kaldur (Aqualad), Kid Flash and Robin feel are made all the more complicated in this second series that follows a five-year jump into the future where the team has become broken by mistrust and deceit. Don’t get me started on Superboy and Miss Martian, two characters who are entangled in the capes of their mentors.

Blue Beetle and Nightwing

While Robin has graduated to Nightwing and the team has been bolstered by Rocket, Blue Beetle, Lagood Boy and Mal, there are many casualties for the team. Wally West has left his superheroing behind him and his girlfriend Artemis has rejoined the team only to be killed in an attack by Kaldur who has become associated with Black Manta. Kaldur is perhaps the most tragic loss. Seemingly devoted to destroying his former teammates and delivering them to his masters, Kaldur is a force to be reckoned with.

The latest episode is another chapter in a series of failures as Kaldur kidnaps most of the team then destroys Mount Justice, leaving the survivors in disarray. Wally confronts Nightwing only to learn that this has all been a ruse to get someone inside The Light’s inner circle. But the only catch is that Kaldur may in fact be a traitor after all. And if so, what next?

I have been following Young Justice since its debut, often hunting down episodes online when necessary (even the assistance of a DVR service was useless when the program changed its name to Young Justice: Invasion) and I have been regularly impressed by the sophistication in storytelling, the crisp character design and the outstanding voice work make this a cartoon that should be on your weekly watch list if you are a comic book fanatic like myself.

Kaldur and Black Manta

Recommended:

Young Justice: Season One Part One

Young Justice: Season One Part Two

Young Justice: The Complete First Season Streaming

Young Justice: The Complete Second Season Streaming

A Flash family reunion is coming to Young Justice

DC Comics has one of the most impressive stables of superheroes. Caped crimefighters, superhuman strongmen, sensitive robots and of course speedsters. Marvel Comics may have Quicksilver and one or two others, but DC has the Flash, the human whirlwind, the sultan of speed, the fastest man alive.

So how come there are three?

When college student Jay Garrick breathed in some heavy water vapors, he found he had been changed. Able to move faster than any mortal, he donned a helmet looking much like the one belonging to Mercury, the god of speed, and fought the criminal element, even when it was just a weird guy armed with a violin.

The Flash may have started as the only super-powered speedster on the DC Universe, but in 1956 he was joined by another Flash from a parallel Earth and then another, young Wally West the Kid Flash. Soon there was a vast Flash legacy that extended into the far future and into the past, thanks in part to Mark Waid who developed Max Mercury and the ‘speed force.’

A fan favorite hero, the Flash has one of more impressive rogue’s galleries in comics and makes a startling scarlet impression on readers. Even today, his series is one of the most visually stunning comics on the racks. The Young Justice series has been incredibly impressive and (despite a lag in broadcast) ranks up there with the Bruce Timm Justice League cartoon for excellence.

Via Speedforce.org:

Image: Character design by Jerome K. Moore.

There’s been a lot of speculation among Young Justice fans about the fact that Kid Flash/Wally West has been missing from the five-years-later second season, and that the Flash has barely appeared (and hasn’t spoken). Did Wally West die during the gap? Did the Barry Allen die, and Wally West stepped up to become the new Flash like he did in the comics?

One thing is known: An upcoming episode by Peter David will feature three Flashes: Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West. Geoff Pierson will provide the voice of Jay Garrick.

I haven’t found a definitive source for the airdate, but it appears to be the June 2 episode, “Bloodlines.”

Set your DVRs, folks. This is going to be bigger than Wally’s spotlight in “Coldhearted.”

Young Justice Episode 14: ‘Revelation’

Throughout their career, the Young Justice team has operated as a covert operations team directed by Batman to uncover threats that the Justice League of America cannot handle due to their high profile reputation. So far, the team has investigated several plots that seem to be interconnected to a larger threat. From their first incursion into STAR Labs, Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash have had their eyes opened to another deadlier world that lies just beneath the surface of their reality. In this world, power brokers, drug runners and black marketeers operate in secrecy while superheroes battle alien invasions.

Young Justice has been a magnificent animated series, taking up the mantle from the Justice League cartoon of the past. Utilizing a diverse team dynamic and the angst of youth, the program has a stunning main cast and some very cleverly written episodes. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy Robin in this series. A vastly intelligent kid, he’s also socially awkward and a bit too headstrong for his own good. As Kaldur (Aqualad) has risen to the challenge of leadership, he has been faced with steadily increasing dangers to his team. It has been a bumpy ride fret with accusations of betrayal, but it has all been leading to the revelation of the group secretly behind all of these connected crimes, known only as The Light.

When a series of plant-based creatures erupt from the streets of several global metropolitan centers, Batman uses the League’s base strength to deal with the main problem while instructing his secret team to head directly to the source and take out the Injustice Society. A powerful collection of supervillains (Count Vertigo, Poison Ivy, Wotan, Ultra-Humanite, Black Adam, Atomic Skull, and the Joker), the team could give the JLA a run for their money, but Batman trusts the Young Justice team is ready for the challenge.

New to the series are a couple of unusual voice actors such as Alyssa Milano as Poison Ivey and the surprising addition of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Brent Spiner as the clown prince of crime, the Joker. Spiner has caught some flak for his performance from fans of Mark Hammill’s Joker, but I think that it’s undeserved. For the limited amount of time he had, Spiner’s Joker was quite good. I hope we get more. Of course if I had my druthers, I’d chose John DiMaggio’s Joker from Under the Red Hood… but that’s another story.

Revelation is the half-way mark in the 26 part season and it’s a biggie. The introduction to a Legion of Doom-level foe is a major boost to the program and really sets the bar high as to where the series can go from here. Rumor has it that the second series is already planned and will be re-titled Young Justice: Invasion, hinting at another interconnected string of stories built around a single plot.


As the Young Justice team ably battled the combined might and cunning of the Injustice Society (a nuclear-powered, magically enhanced cybernetic plant-based infection filled with Joker gas), it became clear that Aqualad’s plan B scenario, previously alluded to as being small enough to fit in a gym bag, was needed. Inside was the helmet of Fate, containing the spirit of the ancient sorcerer Nabu. Seeing this, Kid Flash freaked and insisted that it was too dangerous to use, insisting that Nabu would never let go.

That’s when I realized that this series had decided on its audience… the very well-read and devoted comic book fanatic.

This was a really well done adventure, but I have to admit that all of the ‘comic book fan Easter eggs’ thrown in weirded me out. At first it was exciting to see the JLA in action as bearded Aquaman and Martian Manhunter battled a giant plant in Paris. But then Blue Devil showed up and even Green Lantern Guy Gardner flew by. By the end of the episode, it was a challenge to the casual viewer to make sense of it all. I mean, how is anyone unfamiliar with Dr. Fate meant to understand Kid Flash’s reaction or the reference to ‘your friend Kent’?

The true revelation of course arrived in the conclusion which revealed the secret society pulling the strings from the shadows. Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor and Ra’s al Ghul step into the light but who are the others? Get out your decoder rings, everyone!

For all of its drawbacks, this series and this episode really rubbed my fan-boy belly.