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Young Justice: Season 1

Warner Bros. // Unrated // August 12, 2014
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kyle Mills | posted January 16, 2015 | E-mail the Author
I'm not a typical cartoon viewer, however last year I was fortunate enough to be able to review an absolute gem of the DCUU that was criminally cancelled after only 1 season, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, which was heralded as one of the best cartoons of the decade. Thankfully, another series came to me, a little show called Young Justice, a series with a nice spin on the standard Justice League formula, which aired on Cartoon Network between 2010-2013, and was unfortunately cancelled after only two seasons. Is the series worth a look?

Considered to be one of the quintessential series in the DC animated universe. Young Justice, instead of focusing on Batman, Superman or Green Arrow, decides to put its focus firmly on the sidekicks here, more specifically at the start, Robin (played by Jesse McCartney), Kid Flash (voiced by Jason Spisak), Miss Martian (Danica McKellar), Aqualad (Khary Payton) and Speedy/Roy Harper (played by Crispin Freeman.) Sick of playing second fiddle to the "real" heroes, Roy throws down the ultimatum, to either let them be full fledged members of the Justice League, or he walks. The League decides that they're not ready for it, and Roy effectively leaves the group. The Justice League are soon called off on a mission by Zatara to prevent a villain from destroying the sun.

Agreeing with what Roy had said, Robin decides that it's their time to shine, deciding to take a Justice League level assignment on their own. The mission leads them to CAMDUS labs where they uncover genomorphs, genetically engineered life forms created by the lab, among them is one a clone with the DNA of Superman (both the clone and Superman are voiced by Nolan North.) The team, with the help of Superman's clone are able to escape with their lives and complete the mission. Due to the events, Batman (voiced by Bruce Greenwood) and the other members decide to let the team continue what they're doing and work for the Justice League.

Now that they're a team, they set up a base of operations at "the cave" at Mount Justice, Robin is appointed the leader, the group is doled out assignments by Batman, supervised and guided by Red Tornado, and trained by the Black Canary. Over the course of the first half of the season we watch the characters grow, primarily showing Robin struggling with being leader of the team, Miss Martian dealing with her insecurities, and Superman's clone deciding to stick it out and become a member of the team, renaming himself Connor Kent/Superboy, as we follow him struggling with his identity and finding a place in the world. The team eventually pick up Artemis (voiced by Stephanie Lemlin), Green Arrow's second apprentice, as Roy's replacement.

The first half is mainly a set up for the second half, though it seems more like it's a procedural with the team dealing with various villains of the week including Bane, Captain Cold, the Black Spider (voiced by Spectacular Spider-Man's Josh Keaton) and even the Joker! but they're just the tip of the iceberg. The second half of the story is more serialized with it focusing on putting all of the pieces that came before together, the team has to deal with a betrayal that can destroy the entire team, all of the villains of the week tie together and the team faces their biggest foe yet that will test the entire teams resolve.


1. Independence Day - While Batman is away on another mission, Robin decides to lead his own Justice League.

2. Fireworks - The group must escape CAMDUS after unleashing Superboy.

3. Welcome to Happy Harbor - The team is led to believe that they're being trained by Red Tornado, leading to a face off against Mister Twister, who is attacking Happy Harbor.

4. Drop-Zoned - The team is given their first assignment by Batman; They're tasked to shut down a factory creating Venom for Bane.

5. Schooled - Superboy finds a hard time fitting in; The group take on Dr. Anthon Ivo and his creation, Amazo.

6. Infiltrator - Speedy (now called Red Arrow) returns to bring the team a mission; Artemis joins the group.

7. Denial - Red Tornado sends the team to The Tower of Fate, where the group encounters Abra Kadabra and Klarion the Witch Boy, who are looking to steal the Helmet of Fate.

8. Downtime - Batman gives the group some time off after he notices their exhaustion; Aqualad takes a trip to Atlantis.

9. Bereft - The group lose their memories and it's up to Miss Martian to help recover them.

10. Targets - Superboy and Miss Martian begin adapting to everyday life; Aqualad assists Red Arrow on preventing an assassination attempt on Lex Luthor's life.

11. Terror - Superboy and Miss Martian go undercover to infiltrate Belle Reve.

12. Homefront - Mount Justice has fallen under attack by acquaintances of the Red Tornado's.

13. Alpha Male - The team travels to India to take on The Brain, who is mass producing Bane's venom.

14. Revelation - Batman assigns the team the mission to take out the Injustice League, led by The Joker; Secrets about the past villains come to light.

15. Humanity - In light of his recent betrayal, Red Tornado falls off the grid, resulting in the Team and Zantana leading a search for him.

16. Failsafe - The Justice League are defeated in an invasion, so the team has to step up to fill in and save the day.

17. Disordered - Still left reeling after the events of the previous episode, the team go under therapy by the Black Canary.

18. Secrets - It's Halloween! and the team heads to a party at Megan and Connor's school; Meanwhile, Artemis and Zatanna are pursued by a psychopath.

19. Misplaced - A spell is cast by Klarion, resulting in every adult in the world disappearing, it's up to the team to save them all.

20. Coldhearted - Kid Flash is disappointed when he's sent on a solo mission, missing the team joining forces with the Justice League.

21. Image - Miss Martian must confront her past when the team travels to Qurac to track down Queen Bee.

22. Agendas - Superboy returns to CAMDUS when he learns that Lex Luthor may have engineered a new super clone; The Justice League discuss expanding their roster.

23. Insecurity - Red Arrow joins the team to track down the Sportsmaster; Starro is created.

24. Performance - The team go undercover at a circus to discover a link between it and stolen weapon technology.

25. Usual Suspects - Red Arrow, The Atom, Icon, Plastic Man, and Doctor Fate join the Justice League; the team uncover Starro bio-tech.

26. Auld Acquaintances - Season finale. The team finds out the identity of the traitor, leading to an all out battle.

- Positives:

+ Wonderfully told story.

+ Great plot twists that keep you guessing.

+ Great characters.

+ Top notch vocal performances.

- Negatives:

- It was cancelled. So no season 3.

Video and Audio
Young Justice: The Complete First Season is presented on Blu-ray in a 1080p High Definition in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen and it's a beautiful presentation. The color palette are vivid and strong. The action scenes are wonderfully fluid with bold colors, while the characters are overall fantastically detailed.

The audio is presented in a lossless DTS HD Master 2.0 track, with English audio and English subtitles only. Overall the cast is fantastic from top to bottom with the standout being Nolan North and Jason Spisak. The music never really command the scenes and remain at the appropriate levels whether it's during an action scene or a intimate moment between the characters. There were no signs of dropouts or distortions throughout the set.

Extras: - Completely barebones release, no extras.

Young Justice: The Complete First Season is an incredible television series that was criminally cancelled before its time. The series is chock full of excellently developed characters, terrific animation, fluid action sequences and the series has a wonderful story that is built up extremely well throughout the 26 episodes. This is a must watch. Highly recommended.

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Highly Recommended

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