In a world where Heroes rule the summer box office; one group is left to the wayside: the Sidekicks.
In the past week, lovers of sidekicks have been in misery with the cancellation of Young Justice. Due to the absence of the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning lineup, many fans of young heroes have started to make the underrated series known.
If you know about the DC comics, then you know the ever-present sidekicks that the main heroes have acquired over the years. From Batman’s apprentice, Robin, to the Atlantean Sidekick of Aquaman, Aqualad, young heroes have been always present. With these young heroes, the demographic of the comics has changed to include younger children that see that even they too can help make a difference.
When YJ first aired on Cartoon Network, I was extremely excited. Robin/Nightwing has always been one of my favorite characters in all of DC and I was happy that he was out of Batman’s ever darkening shadow. (Now don’t get me wrong, I love Batman and have watched nearly all of the movies that have come out since the 60s, but to see Robin without the dark influence being so heavy was nice.) The hour-long episode setting up the show was thrilling! We got to see the heroes that everyone knows, The Justice League, asking their sidekicks to come together to form an undercover team for the Justice League.
We have the brooding Batman who brings Robin (Dick Grayson) whom is extremely playful and witty. The Flash brings along Kid Flash (Wally West) whom is overly funny, but intelligent. Aquaman brings his apprentice Aqualad (Kaldur’ahm), a young Atlantean that has a heart of gold and a calm demeanor. And Green Arrow brings along his sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper), the hot-headed archer with hero envy. Bringing all of these egos together was tough, but the team worked. With the addition of Super Boy and Miss Martian, the team is almost complete. When an altercation with the Green Arrow goes awry, Speedy takes on the mantle of Red Arrow and Artemis( Artemis Crock) takes his place on the team. The first season lets us into the home of the young heroes, Mt. Justice, to see exactly how they live and train before taking on dangerous missions. To me, this was an amazing inclusion on the writers part. As a fan of the comics, I love to see what makes the team work on and off the battlefield. With a MASSIVE plot twist at the end of the season, Young Justice cemented itself as one of my favorites. (The Light has been plotting something that goes slightly wrong, but still gets their point across, that’s all the spoiler that you get!)
Season Two sees the advancing of some young heroes to the Justice League, others dropping the mantle of hero to go to college, and new prospects for the team. Joining the team are: Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), Wondergirl(Cassie Sandsmark), Robin (Tim Drake), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Lagoon Boy (La’gaan), Beast Boy (Garfield Logan), Impulse (Bart Allen), Bumble Bee (Karen Beecher), and a few others. These heroes are met with the challenge that was left-behind at the of season one and must find a way to prove that heroes are not the cause of what has happened to the world. With the inclusion of the Reach from the Blue Beetle comics, Lex Luthor (who is prominent in the first season through Cadmus Labs), and the Light (imagine the Legion of Doom, only more capable and much more bent on world domination) the world needs saving from aliens and its own people on occasion.
I could go on and on about the plot behind this amazing cartoon, but I really suggest that you give it a try. With just as much action as the Justice League cartoon that aired several years ago, Young Justice is a gem among the ashes of what CartoonNetwork has recently become. The story is smart and extremely well thought out; the characters, while being heroes, are believably just like all other teens (they have boy/girl issues, are getting bullied, etc.); and the show is very well animated.
To save this show, please find one of the internet petitions and sign it. Once you watch it, you are hooked!