Geeking Out: ‘Young Justice Invasion’

Welcome to Geeking Out. This is me, geeking out. It’s pretty self explanatory.

The second season of Young Justice (subtitled Invasion) premiered this morning, and it pretty much blew my mind to useless bits of nerdy gray stuff. I thought nothing could get better than the already stellar first season, where we were introduced to the Team, a group of former sidekicks running special ops missions for the Justice League. Now that already sounds pretty bad ass right? The original team consisted of Robin (Dick Grayson), Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Superboy, with new members Artemis and Miss Martian joining shortly after.

The first season was full of cameos from every corner of the DC Universe, and the team later grew to include Zatanna and Rocket. By the end of the first season I was already stunned at the amount of characters they managed to fit into the series without it seeming like overkill. Not only that, but a solid and thorough storyline full of great characterization of the Team and who they were behind the masks. I won’t get into many story and plot related stuff here, as I said my brain is currently full of just ridiculous geekcurds.

The first season ended with a bang as the Team proved themselves against their mentors, the mind controlled Justice League. I was left in anticipation of the new season, which amazingly enough started only one week later. I expected more o the same, the continuing adventures of this new team as they grew and developed. But I was mistaken. And happily so. The season begins with Superboy and Miss Martian who are seemingly on a business as usual mission. Then everything changes as we get to meet some of the new members of the team. In walks Robin, but not the same Robin we are used to.

Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, and Bumblebee follow shortly and its clear things have changed. And then one word changes everything for me. The team reports in and over the comms the voice identifies itself as Nightwing. And here is where the geek in me broke out and devoured my usually controlled self. The time stamp of the episode identifies that the story has jumped ahead 5 years, and the Team has grown incredibly. The storyline seems to carry through, yet its clear that it has been a productive 5 years for the Team.

Now led by Nightwing in a truly badass costume, the Team has truly developed into its own unit separate from the League, and continues to carry on its missions while training and developing the new string of heroes. Things have changed as Superboy and Miss Martian are no longer a couple, and the new Robin is clearly Tim Drake, but they are all great changes. Lagoon Boy also appears to be a big part of the team and Miss Martian’s new beau.

Even the dynamic between Nightwing and Robin warm my little nerdy heart to no end. I would have been happy if the episode had ended there, but this was all about 2 minutes in. Next we have Lobo entering the situation as he reveals that there is a bit of an alien problem on Earth at the moment. To do this he has to face off against Wonder Girl and another welcome surprise, Batgirl. 5 minutes in.

The train ride keeps rolling as the world reacts to the footage of the alien, and the Justice League discusses the situation. This ties in the leftover storyline from the first season, and we are introduced to Adam Strange, who fans of the comics know as… well… Adam Strange. A lot of other stuff happens, but I’m still geeking out over the whole Nightwing/Robin thing. Especially when Robin is tasked with leading Gamma Squad, which consists of Blue Beetle and Lagoon Boy into a cushy gig that turns dangerous. The interactions between Tim and his team, as well as between Tim and Dick are excellent, and I’m already starting to root for the new members of the Team. Although I wish they would name their team already.

The rest of the episode effortlessly introduces us to the new members and the aliens at the heart of the invasion as they rescue some captives at a hidden base. We also get to see Zeta Squad (Superboy, Miss Martian and Beast Boy) arrive on the planet Rann with the previously introduced Adam Strange. The rest of the season is set up while still cloaked in mystery, and I’m left drooling waiting for next week to get my Young Justice on. Great episode. Nightwing and Robin. Still drooling.

Some notable absences from the team are Kid Flash (who may or may not be Flash at this point, depending on how the 5 years has treated the Flashes) and Artemis, as well as Aqualad. Nightwing was always destined to lead this team, but I don’t want to count Aqualad out. He has quickly risen to one of my favorite new characters on the show, and it would be a shame for him not to remain. Also curious about the whole Red Arrow/Roy Harper thing going on from the first season that I would love to see more of.

So, highlights of the new season?

Expanded Cast:
Wonder Girl, Batgirl, Lagoon Boy, Bumblebee, Robin, Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Mal (AKA Herald/Vox) were all showcased in this episode. I can only imagine who else will be making an appearance in upcoming episodes.

5 Year Time Jump:
Its great to be able to jump ahead and see the Team flourishing in its new role in this DC Universe. Also good to see the growth of former members Rocket and Zatanna who are now part of the League. I just hope we don’t lose out on some of the great dynamics between characters that the first season brought us.

It was pretty amazing to get a full season of Dick Grayson as Robin and then boom, we see Nightwing in his prime leading the Team. Plus Tim Drake makes his appearance as the new Robin, complete with a slightly new costume and his signature bo staff. I have been a lifelong Batman fan, but I’m even more of a fan of Robins, and their respective characters. Nightwing 4 Life.

Well done, Young Justice. You have cemented your role as the greatest DC cartoon ever in my eyes. Now I know some people will attack that comment, especially if your a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, but I stand by my call. Can’t wait for the next episode.

Until then I’ll just keep Geeking Out.

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