Reviews

Yet Another Cartoon Roundup

My apologies, but as I was otherwise occupied with Emerald City Comicon (posts to follow on that) and find myself recovering from the dreaded con-cold that most people tend to catch, there just isn’t enough time to fully delve into my regular cartoon reviews. The truth of the matter with this week’s batch of animation is that in light of season and series finales coming up, the storytelling is much more invested in wrapping things up in order to make the most impact when things come to a close. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it makes doing this recap a whole lot easier.

TMNT “TCRI”TCRI

After another failed attempt to track and retrieve the power cell they lost, the turtles decide to go back to their old friend Leatherhead on the off-chance that he might lead them to where the Kraang would take the power cell. With only a symbol to go on, Donnie figures out that the Kraang have been hiding in plain sight the whole time. For those of us turtles fans from way back, we’ve always known the significance of TCRI, but thankfully the turtles haven’t gone meta yet so watching Donnie try to figure it out (despite the distraction of his brothers) is pretty entertaining. Knowing they have precious little time to stop the Kraang from opening the portal to Dimension X, the turtles fight their way to the top of the TCRI building, but find they might be in over their heads this time around.

While I’ve been a bit nitpicky about the lack of Shredder in the first season, I think I’m starting to see why the decision was made. Shredder has always been the ultimate villain for the turtles, so automatically brining him in as the Big Bad could potentially waste him as a bona fide threat in later seasons. Remember how ridiculous and campy Shredder became as the seasons wore on in the ’87 cartoon? Try watching those later episodes. I guarantee you don’t make it ten minutes. By keeping Shredder and the Foot on the back burner, with the occasional episode here and there bringing them back into the fold, the series has laid the groundwork for the next season by creating a slew of recurring villains while keeping its focus on the origin of the turtles and the immediate threat posed by the Kraang’s intended invasion. The longer we wait, the sweeter it’s going to be when Shredder is at the forefront of the story.

Favorite Moments:

  • Leatherhead always grabs Donnie by the face and shakes him like a rag doll
  • The Olympics running gag
  • Leo’s impression of the Kraang
  • The amazing fight sequence in the elevator shaft
  • How Mikey figures out the Kraang’s ultimate plan!
  • General Traag looks awesome!

Green Lantern Scarred

Green Lantern: The Animated Series “Scarred”

The fight to stop/save Aya continues and unfortunately, for our heroes, it becomes more complicated. Not satisfied with Appa banning him from further looking into the Science Director’s involvement in Aya’s creation, Hal and the boys decide to do a little breaking and entering. They discover that the Science Director had a secret lab with notes and coordinates to a particular planet written in the Guardians’ ancient language. Heading to the planet, they find another laboratory and, shockingly, the very much alive Science Director who managed to escape being killed by the Anti-Monitor by teleporting herself to her planetary hideaway. It’s an ability the Guardians forbade themselves to use, but one that the Science Director, or Scar, retained. After informing Scar of what happened with Aya, she reveals the truth about the Interceptor’s A.I.

Seems as though Scar infused her experimental machine with a sliver of the creature that inhabits the Green Lantern power battery, thus giving actual life to Aya, which is great for Razer because now all those confusing emotions can have some resolution. The consequences of Aya’s emotional birth culminated in her curiosity and use of free will, which forced Scar to wipe her memory and shut down her emotions, making me wonder why she bothered to make Aya the Interceptor’s navigational A.I. in the first place. Wouldn’t that just be tempting fate? Anyway, they determine that the only way to weaken Aya enough to stop her is to use the yellow crystals that naturally sap Green Lanterns of their power. Scar’s motivations, however, may not be on the up-and-up.

Favorite Moments:

  • Hal, Kilowog, and Razer “acting natural”
  • Did you see the Black Lantern book? Did you?!!
  • Hey, it’s those jellyfish aliens!

Zatanna

Young Justice “Intervention”

And now it’s time to deal with the issue of Blue Beetle and his sudden, yet inevitable, betrayal. Arriving in Blüdhaven after their rescue from last week’s episode, the team make getting BB back their priority one. The plan? Capture, subdue, and magically remove the Reach’s control over the scarab. It’s a fairly decent plan, one that’s been in the making since “Beneath.” Apparently Jaime is well aware of what’s going on, but has no actual control over his body. The scarab, under the control of the Reach’s Ambassador, is making all the moves while the Ambassador literally makes Jaime say whatever he wants. En route to his family, BB is attacked by Batgirl and Impulse, but they’re merely the distraction so Rocket and Zatanna can contain him in a shield reinforced with magic. They take BB to Bialya’s underground Egyptian cavern of magic where Zatanna performs the ritual that originally stopped the scarab when it first landed on Earth thousands of years ago. Green Beetle shows up to stop them, but Young Justice is prepared for him this time, knocking two scarabs off the Reach’s influence. Oh, and M’gann picks up Lagoon Boy, they break up and that’s the end of that.

Actually, M’gann’s B-story is well done and maturely handled on the part of the writers. She openly admits to him being her rebound guy after breaking up with Connor and realizes that staying together was selfish on her part since they’ll never move beyond where they are. Of course, he doesn’t take it well, but it wouldn’t be Young Justice without some teen/young adult angst. The best part of the episode is the tribute we get to the history of Blue Beetle as the team reveals the origins of the scarab and how it was passed from its previous owners – Dan Garrett and Ted Kord – to Jaime. Further proof that Young Justice at least understands the importance of legacy when it comes to DC characters. The downside is that all of attention paid towards Blue Beetle has left some characters ill-defined or untouched since about the mid-season. Of course, I’m talking about Nightwing. You’ve got two more episodes, Young Justice, so Dick had better get a decent fight sequence or we will have words!

Favorite Moments:

  • Jaime’s running commentary since he can’t control his own body
  • The women of Young Justice kick all kinds of ass!
  • The reveal of Beast Boy is really well done!
  • “Maybe backwards is my native tongue.” – Zatanna
  • The little nod to Tim being inspired to become a hero without super powers was a nice touch

 

So, there you have it. My recap/mini-reviews of the weekend’s cartoons. At least the ones I watch. See you next week for some more in-depth coverage.

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!

1 Comment

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  • YJ was awesome (and yes, Nightwing needs more time on screen)

    Im hoping YJ comes back next season somehow (ESPECIALLY if one of the replacement shows tanks faster than the Titanic)

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