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"Young Justice" goes single focus this week with an episode centering square on our favorite obnoxious speedster, Wally West. As far as character development goes, I think Wally especially needed an episode like this. I wasn't disappointed. I think we can all relate on one level, no matter how old we get, we all want our birthdays to be special, even if we say we don't. Did Wally's go well? Sure... in the end. It looks like he's finally maturing. More on that in a bit.
Artemis is my favorite character on The Team, and I loved that moment where she decided to spill the beans to Wally about Miss Martian and Superboy being an item. That she chose to deflate him like this was so mean, and yet you can't feel too bad for him because he really had it coming. I like to think Wally choosing not to dwell on it is another mark that he's maturing. This episode was all about him learning how to prioritize.
I thought his cross country run was fun to watch. Now, I am sure some people will complain that he can't move at the speed of light, or however fast the character can run in the comics, but I don't like my heroes and villains to be overpowered, it removes the tension if, say, Superman is strong enough to move planets, or the Hulk can prevent the entire continent of Australia from ripping in half. I saw one person ask why the closest available heart for a patient in Seattle was all the way in Boston, but I would hope most would remember that hearts with matching blood types for complex transplants don't grow on trees.
Let's talk about the villains for a moment. Vandal Savage was fun to watch for his brief scene, slowing down Wally. This guy is just a beast. He really lives up to his name, and I enjoyed hearing Miguel Ferrer's voice again. I also thought it was fun that this didn't seem to be his plan, so much as he was doing a favor for Count Vertigo. Actually, I wonder if this was Savage returning a favor, since Vertigo acted as his proxy in the Injustice League back in "Revelation." I would say that I hope we see more of Vandal, but I know we are going to.
But the true villain of the piece had to be Count Vertigo. I'm not too familiar with Vertigo, but he was a great villain in this episode. It was just diabolical in its simplicity. Have The Light distract both the Justice League and The Team, slow down Kid Flash, and let Queen Perdita die so he can become king. And, I'm going to be honest, considering just how dark this series has gotten, and how successful the villains have been... I actually believed he won. I thought the episode would end wit The Light declaring their triumph that they have an ally of theirs on the throne of Vlatava. So, I was as surprised as Vertigo was when the curtain was pulled back.
I suppose the only question left is, how did The Light pull off freezing half of the country? They have control of Belle Reve, so it's conceivable they could sneak the ice villains in and out. Is that what they did, or were they using advanced tech from Apokolips? Well, I guess we'll find out soon.
The animation in this episode was just stunning, particularly the snow effects. I hope for a Blu-ray release.
Psst. It was the five ice guys.