Last Friday saw the midseason finale of one of the most anticipated shows of the year. I’m not talking about Brooklyn-99 or The Bachelor. Rather the animated show Young Justice.
Based on characters from DC Comics, the show follows the adventures of a group of teen superheroes. It takes the company’s much loved sidekicks and teen heroes and combines storylines from the Teen Titans comics of the 80’s and early 2000’s with the Young Justice comics of the 90’s to create its own unique story about growing up and saving the world.
In 2013 the show was cancelled by Cartoon Network after its second season and left viewers on a major cliffhanger as one of the first season’s main characters, Wally West, was seemingly killed. Other plotlines were left dangling and longtime viewers like myself were left shocked and annoyed.
2016 rolled around and the age of binge watching had officially settled in, with it was Young Justice’s release on Netflix. The show regained popularity as fans new and old alike streamed it and once again expressed their discontent with being cancelled after two seasons. The rise in popularity on Netflix and fan petitions, in addition to social media campaigns, gained the attention of Warner Brothers and DC. By the end of the year it was announced that the show would indeed be returning for a third season.
Since 2016 news of the return has been fairly steady and when DC announced their own streaming platform, DC Universe, it was with the third season of Young Justice as an exclusive that brought in subscribers.
Young Justice officially premiered the third season in early January, releasing three episodes each Friday with an extra forth for the midseason finale this past week. The show is now on hiatus until June and I can finally tamper my excitement at its long awaited return (five whole years) and take a more analytical look at it.
The original two seasons were complex — and in my opinion part of the reason it did so poorly airing at a 10:30 a.m. time slot on a Saturday morning — with multiple characters and storylines that stretched out over the course of the season.
The first season had a main cast of seven characters by the end, with an extensive list of secondary characters and villains pulling from all corners of the comics. The main cast was then more than doubled for the second season as a two year time jump took place and the focus shifted off the original members of “the team” and onto the new ones.
Just keeping track of so many characters can be confusing, not to mention when you have three or more complex plots happening over the course of multiple episodes and the typical “villain of the week” as is typical with superhero shows.
The third season has managed to be even more complex, adding in more characters and interconnected storylines in addition to focusing on the Justice League and other characters in addition to the team of young heroes. This means that some characters or storylines are only seen or touched on once in the entire first half.
As much as I love this show, have loved this show, and enjoyed the third season I have some complaints. I get so excited to see so many of my favorite characters, especially minor ones, being included but with so many characters to juggle you don’t really get to see these characters at all. They exist on the screen for a few minutes with minimal effect on anything often times and then are gone. Without spoiling, they have decided to use a storyline from the Teen Titans comics that is one of the most famous but I had hoped would be avoided as there are so many others that could be done and this particular one has become frankly overused.
I am beyond thrilled that the show is back and if you corner me and get me talking I will ramble at all the great things about the new season. There are so many! I just hope that the second half surprises me with its plot, as right now it seems very obvious, and actually allows fans to get to know so many of these wonderful characters they’re trying to include.