Young Justice‘s first episode takes a break from the non-stop action in the pilot. Instead, it focuses a lot more on character development and “team basics”–the team gets a tour of the HQ, meets their guardian, Red Tornado, as well as their newest member, and learns to never piss off Superboy. While younger fans might find the first half a bit of a drag, until we meet the villain, it’s still a worthwhile episode for those willing to stick with the series.
Miss Martian, niece of Martian Manhunter, is the team newbie, who arguably has the most power–she’s telepathic, can shape-shift, mimic voices, and fly, and she pilots the jet too. The episode is mostly concerned with her getting to know the other superteens and becoming part of the team. Megan is spunky and eager to please, though she constantly makes blunders–ones you’d think her uncle would have warned her about. It might be frustrating to an older viewer that the only girl is also the first member who needs to prove himself to be included, but hopefully as the series moves on this will become less of a focal point.
The first half’s focus on dialogue and character might bore a younger audience, but allows for some great in-continuity moments–Wally reveals his high metabolism and won’t stop flirting with Megan, while Robin refuses to reveal his identity while everyone’s introducing themselves. Those two are soon competing for Megan’s attention as well, and their banter is very cute.
The episode picks up when we meet Mister Twister, voiced by John de Lancie, best known as the omnipotent Q from Star Trek TNG–though he’s using a different voice here. It’s hard to take the villain seriously when his name rhymes like that, but he makes a tough opponent for the team–they’re forced to work together instead of individually. Once again, the animation is top-notch, and it’s easily one of the best animated shows on Cartoon Network. In particular the sunset scene–where the final battle takes place–is beautifully done.
‘Welcome to Happy Harbor’ isn’t a make-or-break kind of episode, as it’s really focused on building the team vibe and including Miss Martian into the roster–the pilot will probably better gauge how much you enjoy the show. But it’s still an entertaining, high quality twenty minutes of superteen banter, angst and awkwardness that future episodes will surely build upon (and it’s better than that sounds).
Images thanks to Captain’s JLA blog, and check out their post for a lot of aforementioned continuity and background information too.