All right, they did it! Young Justice finally winnowed down their various subplots to two storylines! It may have taken the greater part of their final season to do it, but I’ll be damned if it hasn’t at the very least been an entertaining half-hour of animation, even when the story felt like it was dragging. Young Justice is probably the best example of how to do a serialized cartoon, but it’s unfortunate that what makes the show so entertaining and fulfilling is probably what got it cancelled. That and the whole “not matching the New 52” thing. So, with only three more episodes to go, “The Hunt” manages to wrap up some loose ends and give the team a clear focus all while battling aliens and each other.
It seems that the aftermath of the battle with War World hasn’t done the Reach any favors. Forced to reveal their extensive fleet of ships to combat the threat, the Reach’s ambassador is pulling out all the stops on their PR campaign to recoup any loss of faith the population of Earth might have. This includes trotting Blue Beetle around as a symbol of the symbiotic relationship humans and the Reach might obtain, gifting War World to the people of Earth, answering some properly vetted questions from cute little girls, and appearing on the ever-reliable G. Gordon Godfrey’s talk show. But it seems the Reach’s honeymoon period has run out.
Capturing the bulk of Young Justice may have been a good plan on paper, but no one could have predicted the fight or flight instincts of Arsenal. As we saw in “War,” OG Roy had a massive freak-out at the prospect of being captured by the Reach again. Going so far as to open War World’s airlock, nearly killing his own teammates, he then ran off when that plan didn’t exactly work out. Now Roy’s pretty much running around War World trying to evade capture, throwing everything at them while he tries to get a message to the Justice League or the remaining members of Young Justice, which pretty much constitutes Nightwing and Miss Martian. Despite mentally scanning for their friends in the bio-ship, M’gann’s unable to detect them, putting even more guilt on the two as both feel responsible for what’s happened to the team and everything that led to this point. When they return to the site of the abduction, Dick and M’gann share a nice moment together (hashing out all the idiotic decisions they made) and conclude that they need to forgive each other and themselves. If the show had another season, or more episodes, it would’ve been nice to expand on the mature, adult friendships shared by the core members. And then I made myself sad…again. But fear not, because Sphere has shown up and she knows where to find Superboy and, therefore, the rest of the team.
Who else has a direct link to the young Kryptonian clone? Why that would be the Father Box and, wouldn’t ya know it, Lex Luthor has one to loan out to his newly formed group of Super Friends. Yep, the runaways are living together and fighting the Reach in their own way…vandalizing private property! That’ll show ’em! Go team! Luthor informs the runaways that the members of Young Justice who rescued them are now in need of rescue. Deciding to return the favor, the intrepid youths use the Father Box to get them as close to Superboy as possible, landing them smack-dab in the middle of War World where they encounter Arsenal and take on Black Beetle. It is, quite possibly, the one of the best fight sequences on the show since “Before the Dawn.” All of the runaways and Arsenal get amazing moments to show off their abilities and skills while Black Beetle snarks his way through the whole thing. This guy is the best antagonist ever! Right up there with Luthor. Villainy and annoyance are just more entertaining, I guess. A last-minute save by Nightwing and Miss Martian, however, turns the battle in favor of our heroes and just before Nightwing can get the runaways to get on board with the team, the really good stuff happens.
And by good I mean things get real! Bumblebee, none too happy with how Arsenal handled things when Blue Beetle switched sides, calls him out for nearly getting them all killed. Roy counters with the old “if I hadn’t run away, you wouldn’t have been rescued” defense, but Nightwing’s already aware of how unstable and unreliable Arsenal has become, so he kicks him off the team. Unfortunately, the runaways fought alongside Arsenal to free the team, so they don’t care for how their new friend’s been treated and refuse membership into Young Justice, taking Roy with them through the boom tube. Discovering that the kids are taking orders from Luthor, Arsenal convinces them (though Lex doesn’t exactly cover up his involvement in anything) to reject Luthor as well. With no one to rely on but themselves, they keep running. Even if they don’t show up in the next three episodes, the ambiguous ending is still satisfying. It clears the way for the major plots to conclude and shows that the kids have a sense of honor and some brains. If they can’t trust anyone else, they can at least trust each other.
DC Nation Short: Farm League! And Batmongoose is played by Diedrich Bader! Cue lightning!
- The Reach ambassador is really laying it on thick
- Super Friends = Charlie’s Angels
- It’s a guilt-off between Nightwing and Miss Martian
- Oh yeah, Deathstroke totally stole your power crystal!
- Black Beetle is so disappointed
- G. Gordon Godfrey for the win? Seriously, that’s one of the best heel-face-turns I’ve seen on television in a while!