The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

True Colors

"True Colors" was a much better episode than "Cornered," I think. We get the slightest of glimpses of what the Reach and the Light are up to, and we get to showcase Tim Drake and Arsenal.

The A-plot of the episode revolves around Tim Drake leading a few members of the Team into Lexcorp farms, in Smallville of course, to discover what the Reach are putting in our food. The answer is a mysterious additive that we'll learn more about soon. Considering the current controversies of what gets put in our food by these big conglomerates, I thought this was an interesting plot for an episode of a superhero cartoon. We also get the return of Black Beetle, who is a hell of a lot of fun, and the introduction of the Green Beetle... a scarab wearer from Mars. Like Nightwing, I also think Green Beetle's sudden, convenient arrival is a little bit  suspicious... if the Reach and the Light want to plant a mole inside the Team, we've seen more subtle ways to do it.

The B-plot gave us the most "human" moments we've seen from Vandal Savage so far in the series. While I do think his sympathy for Sportsmaster's woes was somewhat genuine, he is still an evil man and sympathy does not equal remorse. And while he did refer to Sportsmaster as "old friend," and probably even meant it to whatever level he can, he was still not above quietly being prepared enough to replace him with Deathstroke. Likewise, later, I thought his sympathy for what Black Manta's grief over Kaldur's condition was genuine, even as he brought in Psimon to rebuild Kaldur's mind and learn his secrets in the process. I did enjoy Vandal mentioning that as a father himself, he understood Manta's grief... and I tend to think there was a twinge of that with Sportsmaster as well. This, along with Lex Luthor suggestion of forming their own version of The Team makes me hope we'll see Scandal Savage show up... and with Ra's al Ghul's previous mention of the Light valuing family ties, I am hoping Talia appears in the series as well. We'll see.

Sportsmaster barks about his rep, and while he was a horrible father, I think this is just as much about his daughter getting killed as it is about his rep. Suddenly I am curious to see the alternate universe where the Light did ask his permission to kill Artemis.

Great episode, and the reference of the Green Beetle's name, Ba'az O'om to Edgar Rice Burroughs' stories made me smile.


  1. "This, along with Lex Luthor suggestion of forming their own version of The Team"

    Before the time-skip, me and a friend were wondering what other rogues would appear in YJ and I called that an evil version of the team would be made. Hmmm.... prediction coming true?

    That and I think the leader would be Sun Girl (leader of Titans East, evil Teen Titans), but now that you mentioned Scandal Savage... for some reason, I see her taking the leadership role.

  2. This episode of the show won me back. Before, I had kinda felt like how people who saw Phantom Menace did, disappointed with the series, though for, it was because I had difficulty getting past episodes end with the villains winning over and over. That I admit is just a matter of personal preference, things can get bland if one side wins too often, though I liked the show regardless. Also I thought that Despero was boring, and his comedic robot sidekick didn't make up for him never talking. Black Beetle was way more fun. I especially liked his comment about throwing tomatoes at him being a waist of fruit.
    I really liked seeing our villains get more humanized. One of the problems I had with The Light was that they weren't getting enough screen time and they just seemed so boring, but gradually we've been getting around that. Though Psimon looking in Aqualad's thoughts means he's going to notice that he's a mole.
    I personally think that The Light plans for The Reach's invasion to fail, that's why they didn't kill the Justice League, and why they planned for them to break in and escape, which I admit I was expecting to be a trap.
    My one problem with the episode, why, why, WHY, did Nightwing put Arsenal on the team? He's clearly not very stable, and nobody excepted there to consequences of using a weapon against Luthor that he designed. On that note, I heard some people on tvtropes add to The Light plotting against The Reach with the fact that Arsenal's weapon could actually hurt Black Beetle.

  3. The really annoying part of YJ is I really want to see more of the side characters, like Vandal, Sportsmaster, or Red Arrow and Cheshire. Sadly there's not enough time to go into their stories that much.

    I think the Light are playing the Reach and the League against each other. They wanted them to see what the Reach was adding into the food and they clearly have other plans that don't involve a Reach controlled Earth.

    Also the new annoying Ask Greg question is now "What Martian race is the Green Beetle?" Not like that's entirely obvious if you give it a moments thought. Goddamn fans.

    1. Agreed with the Light playing the Reach as well as the Light. Was I also the only one who found it suspicious that Arsenal's Lex-supplied arm could actually damage Black Beetle's armor?