As a kid who grew up reading comic books I couldn’t help but get caught up in the lives of sidekicks. Robin, Impulse, and Superboy was the trio of young heroes that went from forming the Young Justice to the new Teen Titans. Now Cartoon Network has peeked into my grown up Christmas list with the premiere of their new show, Young Justice.
Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad are finally going to be allowed in the Hall of Justice, the headquarters of the Justice League. But when they’re told to stay behind while the JLA goes on a mission they do what most teenagers do; they get bored and go find trouble. The boys stumble onto Cadmus Labs, a genetics corporation with secret benefactors and a secret project to clone Superman. The young Superboy is awakened from his sleep, but once freed is he going to be friend or foe to the young heroes?
The series doesn’t begin until January, but if this 1-hour movie is any indication of how the series will do then I am on board for this adventure. Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Superboy all have different personalities which makes them fun to watch, and function well as a team. I especially love the way they’ve spiced up Aqualad. He’s isn’t the original white boy with blue hair like in the comics, but a dark skinned young man who can go toe-to-toe with the boy of steel and make any weapon using water. Robin is a little more childish than I think he should be, but of course Kid Flash is right on the money.
In this series its seem that they are using Tim Drake and Wally West as Robin and Kid Flash instead of Tim Drake and Bart Allen in the comic books. But I’ll put my continuity issues aside just being happy to see a show like this air. By the end of this special the boys even get their first girl teammate; Miss Martian.
The juiciest part of their series is the voice casting. Not only are there actors who have done lots of voices on lots of well known shows, but also a lot of known actors. Bruce Greenwood is Batman, Alan Tudyk is Green Arrow, Jesse McCarthy as Robin, Rob Lowe as Captain Marvel, and Winnie Cooper herself; Danica McKellar as Miss Martian. I wonder if they can get Fred Savage to provide a guest voice?
Anyway, this series is off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing whether the creators integrate comic story lines or make up their own? With the series starting off with the discovery of Superboy it’s only natural they sometime reveal that he is not only a clone of Superman, but Lex Luthor as well. I know a new Speedy will be joining their ranks soon, but please let’s keep the Teen Titan characters away from this. They had their own cartoon and I couldn’t stand watching five minutes of it. Besides, this is something different. Young Justice is something a little more sophisticated and mature for kids hoping to see Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I would recommend this show to young teens, and definitely not kids under 11-years-old.
I have give props to the DC animation projects, who have always found a way to keep their loyal fans interested in what they’re doing while also trying to attract newer and younger audiences to their characters. This series isn’t going to be about legendary heroes everyone knows, but the kids standing in their shadows. I think this show about teenage heroes is going be just like adolescence; complicated, fun, and enough drama to keep everyone watching.