The newest Young Justice DVD, Season One Volume Three, contains four episodes, continuing from where the previous release left off.
“Bereft” gives me what I’d been waiting for since the start of the series: a significant role for Artemis (Stephanie Lemelin) with the team. Unfortunately, the group is all split up, with no one remembering the last six months, and Superboy’s (Nolan North) kind of Hulk-like here, nothing but rage and power without his memories. I’ve seen amnesia episodes before done better — the one from Angel is a particular favorite — but it’s a good starting point for the disc, since it reintroduces many of the characters to each other and, by extension, the viewer. It’s also good to see Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) take more of a lead role, since her powers are particularly well-suited to the problem.
“Targets” lets Red Arrow (Crispin Freeman) — sensitive about his ex-sidekick status and unwilling to join the team — return in a story featuring Lex Luthor (Mark Rolston) as an envoy attempting to bring peace between two warring Asian countries. Cheshire (Kelly Hu) has been hired to assassinate Luthor to interrupt the summit. Meanwhile, the kids go to school, requiring secret identities for Miss Martian (as Megan Morse) and Superboy (now Connor Kent). That allows for cool cameos from teacher Mr. Carr (who snaps his fingers), kids named Wendy and Marvin, a Bumblebee cheerleader named Karen Beecher, and tough guy Mal Duncan. Here’s a clip showing them all:
This was a good episode to scan through all the fight stuff until more high school hijinks came up. Trivia that interested me: the only creators given “created by” credits at the end of the show were Bob Kane for Batman, Geoff Johns & Tony Daniel for Miss Martian, and Marv Wolfman & George Perez for Cheshire. Those last two also got a credit for Psimon, voiced by Alan Tudyk, in the previous episode.
“Terrors” gets its name from the villains, the Southern-accented Terror Twins. Miss Martian and Superboy are sent undercover, impersonating them in the Belle Reve prison for superpowered villains. The penitentiary is run by Amanda Waller (Sheryl Lee Ralph), and the prison psychiatrist is Hugo Strange (Adrian Pasdar), and there’s a conspiracy among several ice-powered bad guys. (Waller is credited as created by John Ostrander & John Byrne, and Cat Grant is attributed to Marv Wolfman & Jerry Ordway. Oddly, the latter wasn’t listed when she appeared in a previous episode.) This was my favorite of the four shows included here, since the main plot/fight kept my attention the best.
“Homefront” returns to Artemis after two Megan-and-Superboy-focused episodes. She’s attending Gotham Academy with Robin (Jesse McCartney), Bette Kane, and Barbara Gordon, and we get flashbacks to a surprising family connection, but the main plot involves Red Inferno and Red Torpedo (fire and water robots from the 2009 miniseries, “siblings” of Red Tornado) attacking the kids’ cave headquarters. Artemis and Robin, the two non-powered heroes, find themselves working together when the others are incapacitated.
It’s an odd choice to end on, thematically, since it closes with a sort of defeat for the team, with plenty of loose ends left. Those characters return three episodes later, but you’ll need the future DVD that contains that one to find out what happens.
At this point, I think you already know whether you’re interested in Young Justice. The cast is established as emotional teens with powers. The battles are the focus of most episodes, which gives a viewer like me less to hang my interest on, since I want to see more of the character interactions. But as I’ve said before, I’m not the target audience for this — they’re aiming for boys and filling the episodes based on their perceptions of that type of viewer. If you liked the previous volumes, you’ll like this one; if not, there’s nothing significantly different here to change your mind, unless you want to collect all the cartoon appearances of Barbara Gordon.
I was surprised to see this disc contained something other than just the four episodes and a couple of trailers for other projects. There’s also a digital comic listed, but it’s only the first three pages of Young Justice #0 plus an ad for DC’s online comic site, so it feels like an unfulfilling tease. The issue promoted is a free sample, for now, but you have to know how to find it once you transfer to the comiXology site.
If you haven’t purchased the series yet and you’re interested, you may want to wait until April, when a discounted collection of the first three discs will be available at a more reasonable price. (The studio provided a review copy.)