Sep 17, 2011

Breakfast Club- Season Premieres of Young Justice & Batman: Brave and the Bold

2:21 PM

We got some serious double-duty of season premieres in comics animation via the cool kids at the Cartoon Network.  First is the long delayed return of Young Justice with episode 10: Targets.  The episode worked as a nice solo story for the rebellious, non-conforming Red Arrow (Roy Harper)-- who is working incognito to help foil plans to assassinate politicians from Rhelasia.  Roy calls into Aqualad for help with
intel and ends up playing back up to him once he finds out that the Rhelasian hit-squad is not only Cheshire and Sports-Master but ultimately backed by Ra's Al Ghul.

A plus to see Lex Luthor finally brought forward in the story rather than only being a voice for the mysterious Illuminati known as "The Light" (looks like the Legion of Doom to me!)

Along with giving Arrow some real shine, we also see the beginnings of what will most likely be some ill-fated relationship between Cheshire and Arrow.  Which is covered with a lot of connections to the books and obviously adds to how legit Young Justice has been so far.

The arc also covers some of Conner and Megan going back to school with a seriously funny scene that includes J'onn J'onzz & Red Tornado acting out as their parents saying oh, look how much they have grown.  Awkward!

As Luthor is working as negotiator between the North and South of Rhelasia-- Roy is brought in to help protect both dignitaries as Cheshire attempts to finish her job.  Fantastic potrayal of Luthor as he utterly manipulates the hell out of the outclassed young hero to support him.  Some crazy-action packed scenes between Cheshire/Arrow and Sportsmaster/Aqualad-- especially with Kalder's water constructs.  We later see that Ra's and Lex were working together towards bringing more countries under their influence and power.

The topic of a potential mole within the team is brought up again and Kalder asks Roy to keep things quiet as they both agree to work together on seeing if there is any truth to it-- along with Red Arrow looking to be more included within the team dynamic.  Loved how the title of targets works as a double meaning between the Malaysian politicians and the Young Justice via "The Light."  One of the more smarter articulated animations out there for kids and their parents to share together (though a bit on the violent side).  Amped to have the animation back on the regular with another incredible series- Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Don't know if there is any linkage at DCE between starting the season with a Bats/GL story in the same way they opened with Justice League #1 in the books with their two major DC heroes as a centerpiece, but hey at least we noticed!  Famed hero-humor scribe J.M. DeMatteis rocks this episode with a great introduction to Star Sapphire and the Zamarons.

"Scorn of the Star Sapphire" starts with a confrontation between Bats/Steve Trevor against the Baroness and her Nazi cronies where the heroes look to be done for.  And to the rescue is Wonder-Woman in her invisible jet and 70s theme music.  Bats starts hating on Trevor for winning over the love of the Amazonian princess and this works as a pretext for the main story between GL, Star Sapphire and Bats as relationship counselor. 

Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris work together with Batman to test pilot some of his latest vehicles.  A part of the agreement between GL and Bats is that while he is testing the new Bat-tech-- Bats is to watch over Coast City.  A nice rumble takes place between the Tatooed Man, Bats and eventually GL and we get to enjoy the creative face-off of GL's constructs of will and Tattoed Man's deadly ink.  The human flashlight gets some haterade thrown his way by the Dark Knight on what Carol is doing with him while the badassery of Tatooed Man battling the two ends.  Real fun stuff and fabulously animated.

The story pushes forward with a reporter who is looking to uncover the connection between Carol Ferris and the Green Lantern when Star Sapphire makes her entrance and though a lot of the action is pretty quick it is great to see that it's Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis' re-imagined Star Sapphire with her power ring and all thats represented.  With the shows heavy use of more golden age-Dick Sprang-ish art and stylizing it was nice to see how they kept things modern (makes sense especially with Sapphires' potential appearance in the GL Animated Series and movie sequel in the future).

Bats and GL are being served up by Star Sapphire and her Zamorans when Bats finally tells GL he needs to defeat her by reaching out to Carol.  Hal professes his love for Carol--a rarity to see in the comics these days-- and Carol exercises the spirit of the Zamoran entity (Predator) from her.  GL finally confesses his only fear is to lose Carol--ahhh, some touching shit for a hardcore GL fanboy.

The episode was superbly written with a flare for showing the many faces of Batman through the ages and a wonderful means of highlighting the many fave & obscure characters of the DCU.  Continually this is the best of comics animation out there and fingers crossed it will be Black Dynamite that rivals Brave and the Bold for me.


Breakfast Club is a new feature where I kick up my feet on a Saturday morning with a big bowl of cereal and run through the DVR to play catch-up on recorded cartoons, animation or break open new/old blu-ray releases that keeps me nostalgic on this classic, American weekend ritual. 

This post was written by:
big O
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