Reviews

Review: Young Justice “Endgame”

Endgame

Okay…as much as you nice people know that I’m a fan of Young Justice, I’ve got to say that I was ultimately underwhelmed (Dick Grayson would probably have some thoughts on that) with the series finale. Not because it wasn’t good, but because of the frustrating number of story threads left dangling. There are enough doors and windows open on Young Justice to create a wind tunnel, which shows how unexpected the cancellation of the show was for the creators. It’s very clear by the end of the episode that they were anticipating a third season. Compared to the end of Green Lantern or even season 1 of Young Justice, the series finale takes away more than it gives.

Defeated in every way possible, the Reach make one last play against The Light, The Justice League, and Young Justice. Their endgame is the total destruction of Earth, which the team learns of after Aqualad, Blue Beetle, and Green Beetle attack Black Beetle (one more and I could’ve made a Beatles joke!) on the Reach’s ship. Though Green loses his scarab, Blue manages to defeat Black once and for all through the truly symbiotic relationship he’s developed with his scarab. It’s a nice moment that wraps up Jaime’s story even if it was mostly covered in “Intervention.” Elsewhere, Superboy and Miss Martian arrive at the tribunal with evidence that exonerates the Justice League only to find out that the League was already found guilty by the tribunal for their crimes against To the RescueRimbor while under the influence of The Light. However, Connor and M’gann manage to make a case for the tribunal to reconsider the new evidence, which results in the Justice League being set free. Within minutes of learning their mentors won’t be killed, the young heroes rush back to Earth since there’s an even bigger threat that needs their attention.

In order to destroy the Earth, the Reach deployed a number of bombs around the planet that are essentially messing with the magnetic field, creating all kinds of natural disasters. The bombs themselves are also building to a chrysalis stage that would spell curtains for the planet should even one bomb be allowed to reach that point. The team (and I mean every hero ever featured on Young Justice) receive some unexpected help from Lex Luthor who happens to have an anti-Reach technology program that can stop the bombs. His reason for helping? As Robin so wisely puts it, “It’s his planet too.” Thus, our young heroes, in teams of two, set off across the planet to disengage the bombs. The pairings we see offer some fun moments with Lagoon Boy and Aqualad reaffirming their trust in each other, Black Lightning offering Virgil Hawkins his services as a mentor, and Kid Flash and Artemis just being an awesome pair. But wouldn’t you know it, they missed a bomb in the Antarctic that didn’t show up on the scans. And though Flash and Impulse reach the bomb, it’s already entered the chrysalis stage. Their only solution is if the two fastest heroes on Earth siphon off the energy from the bomb by running around it at top speed. Not content to sit back, Kid Flash joins his family in the heroics. Unfortunately, Wally’s too slow and the energy from the bomb zaps him repeatedly until he’s zapped from existence. His “death,” however helps save the world.

DarkseidIn the aftermath of the Reach’s final defeat, Earth celebrates while Young Justice mourns. The Justice League return and offer the Watchtower to their younger counterparts as a new base of operation since they’ve earned the right to stand beside the League as equals. But because we can’t have a decisive victory, G. Gordon Godfrey, after advocating Lex Luthor as the next UN Secretary, returns to, you guessed it, Apokolips and introduces Vandal Savage to Darkseid.

The end.

Or is it? Who the hell knows at this point, but you can see why this finale is so frustrating. They end on Darkseid, for crying out loud! Darkseid! Season 3 would have been amazing! Considering we were introduced to the Forever People back in season 1 and with all of the mother and father box technology running around, bringing the rest of Apokolips and New Genesis into the Young Justice universe would’ve been epic! Granted, there were a lot of great moments in this episode. Nightwing’s need for a break after the loss of his best friend and the lengths he had to go to for the mission is very well handled. Considering this was the same kid who was scared of becoming like Batman back in season 1, it makes sense that he’d be ashamed and despondent that his leadership ultimately led to Wally’s “death.” Artemis delivering the news to Wally’s parents and her decision to remain Tigress are also deftly handled.

But here’s the thing, Wally’s “death” is both good and bad for the show. On the one hand, it’s a bit of an homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths where Barry Allen died and Wally took up the mantel of The Flash. Impulse essentially does this at the end of the episode with the mantel of Kid Flash. And shame on me for not picking up on Wally practically giving the “I’m just two days from retirement” speech that’s the death knell of most characters no matter what genre. There’s also an open-ended feeling to it because Wally, in the comics, was the first Flash to truly tap into the Speed Force, so one could imagine the creators were possibly planning to bring Wally back in The Flash Familyseason 3 using this plot device. It could work, but the only way for it to make sense would be if Barry died or Wally returned and became a different hero.

There was actually a moment when the Flash family was running around the bomb where I thought Wally was going to unwittingly tap into the Speed Force in his attempt to catch up with his uncle and cousin. He even tells himself he’s got to go faster. It would’ve made more sense for Wally to have hit the Speed Force and then have Barry sacrifice himself to save Wally and Bart from the combined forms of energy, making Wally step up as The Flash and Bart taking over as Kid Flash. But then that would have negated the whole “Nightwing feels bad that he got his best friend killed” stuff. I’m not saying the writers of Young Justice wouldn’t have found a way to bring Wally back, I’m just saying there was possibly a better way to accomplish this story. I also refuse to believe that Wally’s dead.

With all of the loose ends leftover, I’m not entirely confident the show will get picked up by another network, but I have hopes that maybe a direct-to-DVD movie might be in the works to wrap everything up. Because there’s a lot left to wrap up.

Nitpicker’s Corner:

  • Why did it take the Justice League so long to get back to Earth?
  • There’s really no reason why Static shows up except that they wanted Static to be there.

DC Nation Short: DC Nation’s Farm League starring The Flish, Captain Cod, and Robin’s Egg!

Favorite Moments:

  • Superboy and Miss Martian’s promises of “more mores” for the tribunal should they let justice prevail
  • Jaime and the scarab working together!
  • Bruce Greenwood is back as Batman!
  • NOOOOO!! WALLY!!!
  • Oh hells, yeah, Darkseid!

About the author

Samantha Cross

Sam is a self-described "sponge for information" soaking up little tidbits here and there that make her the perfect partner on pub trivia night! Hailing from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, she indulges her nerdy and geeky qualities by hanging out at the local comic book shop, reading anything she can find, and voicing her opinion whether you welcome it or not. An archivist and historian, she will research any and all things and will throw down if you want to quote Monty Python, Mel Brooks, or The Simpsons!

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