The Life & Times of an Auteur.

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

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Now this episode kicked ass. After the more low scale stories of the previous weeks, we get a sense of grandeur that seems like it's going to permeate through the final five episodes following this.

Having not seen several major members of the Justice League since the third episode of the season, we catch up with them on trial on Rimbor. It does not seem to be going well as news breaks that the Reach are on Earth, and as they were invited, have every legal right to now be there. Vandal Savage, also on Rimbor watching the trial, whispers some suggestions to Mongul who brings his War World to Earth in order to prevent the Reach from gaining enough power to challenge his own plans. The Team takes him down before Blue Beetle sucker punches them all and makes off with the key to the War World.

Greg Weisman and Jamie Thomason have a history of reusing certain voice actors from his previous shows. Thus far, "Young Justice" has brought back Josh Keaton (Spider-Man); Thom Adcox (Lexington, Tinkerer); Ed Asner (Hudson, Napoleon, Uncle Ben); Clancy Brown (Hakon, Wolf, Rhino, George Stacy); Bill Fagerbakke (Broadway); Tim Curry (Anton Sevarius); Brent Spiner (Puck); Cree Summer (Hyena, Ember, Glory Grant); Kath Soucie (Princess Katharine, Mary, Weird Sisters, Nerissa, Martha Conners); Jeff Bennett (Brooklyn, Owen, Magus, Vinnie, Shocker); Ben Diskin (Venom); Kevin Michael Richardson (Tombstone); Steve Blum (Green Goblin); Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy); Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson); Peter MacNicol (Dr. Octopus); and my personal favorite, Marina Sirtis (Demona), among others. But, from almost day one, I've been wondering when Keith David (Goliath, Thailog, Officer Morgan, Tombstone) would make his debut on the show. He had to be coming. I definitely had my theory on who he would portray, and it wasn't Mongul. Not that I'm complaining at all, because Keith was perfect for Mongul. It was a joy to hear that voice again.

The action was fast and intent, and it's a lot of fun to sometimes watch our supers cut loose. But this episode is, thankfully, far more than just super-powered wrestling as it seems to be laying the groundwork for what's to come.

One gripe I have with this season is sadly summed up in this episode. I wish we had twenty-six episodes instead of twenty, because I feel some character focus was lost. It's not as big a deal as some other comments out there seem to think it is, the characters who need the most focus are getting it, and in the realities of this world, there is only so much time to go around. Wonder Girl has gotten barely any development this season, outside of one episode where she proved she could cut it. Likewise, Guardian and Bumblebee's reunion lacked a little bit of punch. Yeah, we got some moments here and there with them this season, but more would have been nice. But hey, more would be nice for every aspect of this show. I wish we had more of Batgirl, too. But it is what it is, and that gripe aside, the twenty episodes of screen time seem to be budgeted as best they can be, and certain choices need to be made. So far, those choices haven't been wrong choices, I just wish there was more. But wanting more is hardly the worst complaint in the world.

Now comes the question, what is Vandal Savage's game? We know he wants to evolve mankind to take its place among the cosmos, and they can't really do that as just meat for the Reach. The Reach obviously had no idea the War World was coming, so Savage clearly did not fill them in. I doubt Vandal wanted Mongul to destroy the Earth, so he probably banked on the Team and the Justice League defeating him, which they did.  Does he know that Blue Beetle is a pawn for the Reach now? Did he expect the Reach to steal the key to the War World? Was the gambit for the Reach to lose most of their fleet to make them easier to defeat once they had outlived their usefulness? Time will tell.

Also interesting that Mongul was overthrown once, and feels the best way to retake his throne is to conquer the galaxy first... to defeat someone. Hmm, who is this someone?


  1. Who is this someone indeed? and will Darkseid ever see the light of day? or was he a season 3 plan?

    1. Maybe the two are the same and Darkseid is the someone...? Just my guess.

  2. One of the things I liked about this episode was that it took into consideration what would if something the size of War World entered the Earth's atmosphere, it gave the situation an extra sense of urgency then just being an invasion, alot of other shows would've simply glossed over this, so it was much appreciated.

    I would've thought Greg and Jamie would've casted Keith David as Darkseid, but he still kicked ass as Mongul. He had some great lines, "Allow me to put the Earth out of it's misery from the Reach.", "Hmmm, smells like victory.", "I'm insulted."

    I think the reason Karen and Mal's rekindling lacked is because we only got things from Mal's p.o.v. though their bickering was worth a chuckle or two, not as funny as Wally and Artemis's bickering but good all the same.

    This version of Arsenal is also growing on me a great deal. He has an air of cockiness about him that Crispin Freeman captures, but still manages to feel different from Red Arrow. I also enjoyed his response to Cassie pecking him on the cheek. Also loved his PTSD moment when he attempts to bolt, like Jeph Loeb from any form of logic.

    While I was pretty hard on Mark Allen (there's one you forgot), earlier this season, I've warmed up to his hispanic accent. He was deliciously evil when he turned on The Team.

    I hear you on the lack of screen time for some characters. My biggest gripe is for 1 of the main six, and Wally's lack of screen time. I know why he's being kept off, and I'm sure Greg is aware of this, but for someone who's supposed to be one of the main characters, his role this season has been underwhelming thus far. I suppose him being my favorite character, and the season feeling longer because of the dumb fall hiatus doesn't help the wait.

    But next week the focus returns to my second favorite character (Artemis), maybe we'll see Wally's return in that?

  3. That was an original episode in regards to War World causing a global crisis such as the tades changing. It makes sense.

    Keith David was just an instant add of awesome in regards to Mogul and fully showcased what a badass he can be and he's not stupid.

  4. Keith David can voice most anybody and adds instant awesome. I will say that even if Mongol was a total badass here, I feel that the heroes getting their assess kicked is getting a little old, but the fight was still good. Vandal Savage's plan seems to be taking unnecessary risks, since he nearly got the Earth blown to pieces. Still, fighting the War World was epic, it's the first global scale crisis we have had this season. Again, pity to their not being a 3rd season, because it makes me think that show will likely end with The Light winning and the plot not being resolved, like how in Spectacular Spiderman, the show ended with the Green Goblin getting away with everything he did (I hope there would have an explanation for how he survived the fight with Spiderman). Well, if I'm lucky, given the show's fanbase, maybe I'll come across a good fanfic for the show's third season.

  5. Vandal Savage couldn't have known that the Reach would manage to get Blue Beetle on-mode - which was a result of Miss Martian being too subdued to probe Green Beetle's mind properly, which was a result of her attack on Aqualad, which was a result of the undercover op being put into place. So the undercover op is scuppering the Light's attempts to help limit the damage that they've set in motion. Not good.

    I do think this season has something to answer for when it comes to the screen time that some Team members are getting, actually. If you're gonna include Batgirl and Wonder Girl, you'd better make damn sure you explain who they are. Otherwise it's such a waste. Even if the season had been 13 episodes, I would have expected them to be fleshed out more, regardless of the potential effect on the Blue Beetle arc.

    As for Keith David, I'm not sure if his voice, as great as it is, works for the ol' yellow juggernaut. It just doesn't quite fit... But now I'm wondering if they can keep up the trend of deep-voiced VAs (Kevin Grevioux, Keith David) in the event that Darkseid shows up.

    "War" was fun but not as good as JLU's excellent "The Return". As far episodes where pretty much everyone is needed to stop a threat from space are concerned, "The Return" is simply better.