Superman on Television

Young Justice: Episode Reviews

Season 1 - Episode 3: "Welcome to Happy Harbor"

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

This show may focus on the kids but it's got so many layers to it, the older the fan, the more one gets out of it. The comic series on which the cartoon is based had the team moving into the old JLA headquarters just as they do here. The references by the team on the cartoon to why the JLA left this headquarters refer to an iconic comic book story - the one in which Snapper Carr leaves the JLA after he inadvertently betrays the secret of their headquarters to the Joker. Is it necessary fans known this to enjoy the episode? Hardly. But it does add that element of 'I know something the rest of you don't' for those fans who do know the full story. It also makes this the first of the DCU modern era cartoons to directly incorporate comic book continuity into the show - whereas "JL", "JLU", "Batman: The Animated Series", and "Superman: The Animated Series" generally created their own continuity.

Mister Twister sounds like an interesting cartoon creation but he too has a long-standing and important history in the DCU and in particular with the DCU's teen heroes. There is a Mister Twister who fights the Golden Age Superman in 1946 - but he never appears again. His real name is Dan Judd. The Mister Twister who really matters here is Bromwell Stick, the first super villain faced by the assemblage of young heroes who'll eventually be known as the Teen Titans. In Brave and the Bold #54, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Robin team up for the first time to battle the Silver Age Mister Twister.

This was an enjoyable episode on a lot of levels. As if the "Light" and "Cadmus" weren't enough, we get to meet another secret group of villains who are out for the Red Tornado. Reddy is reticent to share anything he may or may not know about why someone or something is clearly seeking to ferret him out. More mysteries which dig fans deeper into the show - there's definitely some excellent co-plotting going on here.

It's nice to see Speedy hasn't been forgotten. I think there's more to his turning them down than meets the eye. Especially since we've yet to meet the last member of the team - Artemis, a green clad female archer. Will she be Speedy's protégé? Will it be Speedy who brings Artemis to the YJ team for training? It does seem this is a Speedy who's on the verge of abandoning the sidekick moniker - is Arsenal on the horizon? It'd make sense given the terrific alliteration of the team name of Arsenal and Artemis. Time will tell.

Superboy needs to chill out a bit. The idea of an angry Boy of Steel makes a certain amount of sense given his background but he's yet to become a particularly likable character. If this is at all related to the human side of his DNA, then maybe like his comic book version, he's part Luthor. Hmmmm.

I did really like the moment when everyone shared their secret identities. Though it'd have been nice to see Robin be the first to share as juxtaposition to every other incarnation where he's been so secretive at Batman's behest. The glasses wearing mystery teen reminds me of Tim Drake - though with Wally West as Kid Flash, it does lend credence that the Robin in question is Dick Grayson. Holy Untrusting Sidekick!

"Young Justice" episode "Welcome to Happy Harbor" is a great start to the ongoing series following the Pilot. It has a real comic book sense in how things are unfolding slowly and adding more mystery with each revelation.

On the "Young Justice" scale I give this episode four out of five teen stars. Get to know the "YJ" scale - one Teen Star would be a Leif Garrett; two Teen Stars a Justin Beiber; three Teen Stars would be a Molly Ringwald; four Teen Stars would be a David Cassidy; and naturally a perfect score of five Teen Stars would be a Marcia Brady. First time out David Cassidy isn't too bad.

Next week, Batman sends the team on their first real mission - against Bane! One Bane can break a Batman's back - so what's he capable of doing to a bunch of kids? The next "Young Justice" airs Friday at 7 PM on Cartoon Network.

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