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Todd Jensen writes...

I've been waiting since December for this. I checked out the second "Young Justice" DVD from the library then, and here's my review of its episodes (almost three months old now, I'm afraid, not fresh).

SCHOOLED: You certainly opened this episode on a surprise. A school bus is in trouble (I noticed, incidentally, that you mentioned that the school bus turns up in other episodes as a running gag, and my immediate thought was "So now 'Young Justice' has its own counterpart to the yuppie couple!"), and the first person whom we see ready to change into super-hero gear and respond is Bruce Wayne! (Obviously he has to be there to see Superman's response to Superboy and talk to him about it later on - but I can't help think that part of the point might also have been to have some fun messing with the viewers' expectations!) Of course, Superman shows up before Bruce can don his bat-gear, but it's still a bit of a shake-up.

A lot of other people have no doubt already mentioned this, but I thought that Bruce and Clark's dessert orders were wonderfully appropriate.

I immediately thought of the Winged Monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz" when Professor Ivo's robot monkeys showed up, especially since they emerged from the cornfield (yes, I know that the cornfield and the winged monkeys are in different parts of "The Wizard of Oz", but it still somehow helped with the imagery). And I loved Professor Ivo's line about how long it took him to come up with the acronym for them.

I'd heard of Amazo before, if just the name (which, in print, looks like it's derived from "Amazon"; fortunately, when pronounced, as in this episode, it's clear that it's derived from "amaze" or "amazing"). Definitely a great idea for a challenging adversary - and I liked how you had the Team take him down, using his own skill against him.

One final delight: Kid Flash getting taken out by Black Canary after he hits on her.

INFILTRATION: Red Arrow's choice for a new name over "Speedy" seemed well-advised to me (apart from his desire to be his own person rather than standing in someone else's shadow). As I mentioned in my review of the first "Young Justice" DVD (and as someone commented in the opening episode), "Speedy" sounds more appropriate for a super-fast super-hero like Kid Flash rather than an archer; with a name like "Red Arrow", it's clear what his skills are. (Artemis likewise chose her super-hero moniker well, a name that also makes it clear - at least, to anyone familiar with Greek mythology - what her skills are.)

The scene where the Team are in telepathic conversation with each other - and soon regret it (as does Dr. Roquette even more) was another hilarious moment. So was Wally suffering through his first day in the new term at his high school while everyone else is having a great time at the beach (is it just me, or is he the natural target for comical humiliation)?

This is a minor issue, but Robin's interest in word-play invites it; when he said that the Fog had decimated Star Labs, I thought that the word "decimated" would have been more appropriate if it had only wiped out 10 percent of the building, rather than the whole thing.

DENIAL: Kent Nelson's voice sounded familiar to me when I watched this, and although I usually don't give too much thought to who voices whom, I decided to pause during the ending credits to check - and, yep, voiced by Ed Asner. Who did a fine job on him, too.

Kent established himself as a great character from the start, first when he tells the phony fortune-teller that if his wife really was trying to contact him from beyond the grave, she'd be telling him off for wasting good money on a fraud rather than uttering the usual "I miss you" cliches (which also establishes her as a great character), and then exposing her tricks.

I'd only seen Klarion before in an episode of "The New Batman/Superman Adventures" (which got my attention because of its Arthurian content; Klarion seized control of an old demon that had served Merlin once through a branding-iron belonging to Morgan le Fay); there he was just a spoiled brat with access to magic. This Klarion, as a Lord of Chaos, is a lot more deadly, outranking the Klarion of "The New Batman/Superman Adventures" the way Voldemort would outrank Draco Malfoy.

And I smiled (if not laughed) when the big action took place in Salem. (Well, where else would a magic-themed super-hero keep his tower?)

Can't help but suspect that Dr. Fate was drawing on Kid Flash's style when his way of defeating Klarion's henchman was to make his outer garments vanish, leaving him in his underwear.

DOWNTIME: I immediately thought when I saw the opening scene, with its gloomy architecture and gargoyles, "Must be Gotham City" - and then a moment later, the caption confirms it.

Another good episode, with its glimpses of the Team's civilian life. I liked Alfred's cameo (he's one of my favorite characters in the "Batman" universe). The scene with Superboy and Miss Martian was funny (particularly Red Tornado's brief visit), though a bit creepy when I began to wonder whether Superboy's watching a blank screen had something to do with his upbringing at Cadmus Labs. And the scene with Wally was, as usual, funny - and also showed that super-speed apparently runs in his family (sorry, that one just slipped out), complete with the family patriarch apparently having been a super-speedster in Kent Nelson's generation.

Two bits in the Atlantis scenes got my attention. The first was when Aqualad and Aquaman were speaking to each other in Atlantean with subtitles; I knew already that their language was based on ancient Greek, and recognized one word from a high school course on Homeric Greek that I'd taken: "anax", meaning "king". It got me wondering whatever became of my textbook for that course (which included the full first book of the Iliad in the original Greek, complete with commentary).

The second was Prince Orm. He says that he doesn't mind not being first in line for the throne now that Aquaman's going to have a son, but I wondered if he meant it. I've seen enough cases of royal treachery from younger brothers who have a nephew standing in front of them in the line of succession (from John Lackland and Richard III down to Scar in "The Lion King") that I wondered if Orm was telling the truth. On the other hand, there've been some loyal "royal uncles" (such as John of Gaunt to Richard II), so I shouldn't be too quick to expect skullduggery from Orm. At any rate, if he shows up in any more episodes, I'm keeping a close eye on him.

So that's my review. I hope I can review episodes 9-12 soon.

Greg responds...

Me too! THanks. I'm glad you're enjoying the stuff.

Response recorded on March 23, 2012