YJ: Drop Zone

Young Justice - 01x04 - Drop Zone - 31

The team goes on a covert mission (with matching covert outfits!) to Santa Prisca, an island that develops an illegal strength-enhancing drug known as Venom. Apparently,  the island is no longer exporting the venom, even though the factories are still operating. The team is caught in the crossfires between between terrorist cult Kobra, Bane and Sportsmaster (who’s working for Cadmus)– while trying to determine who should be the leader.

Great strides are taken in this episode with new villains and team dynamics; but at the same time, more doors are opened and questions are asked. (Probably explains why my reviews are still all over the place!) As the show is just getting started, the crew is developing a great balance between the two, hopefully assuring most of the audience that the best is still yet to come.

‘Drop-Zone’ is mostly in shades of black, both visually and in terms of content, as the episode delves into trafficking illegal narcotics, terrorist cults, and mildly grotesque genetic mutation. These are pretty mature topics for a ‘cartoon,’ and really lends itself to the accessibility of the show. Bane might be the first villain whom most casual fans will recognize; though his Spanish seemed off at times, this Bane is true to his roots–Santa Prisca is his homeland–and his venom-injection sequence was one of the best I’ve seen. Kobra and Sportsmaster didn’t do much, but their presence and connections with Cadmus/the Light also give a great sense of the larger universe–you can’t step on just one evil-organization or villain’s toe.

Young Justice - 01x04 - Drop Zone - 18

While the last episode focused on Miss Martian, this episode further focuses on relationships within the team as a whole. Miss Martian’s crush on Superboy is obvious, awkward and undeniably cute, if one-sided. (Aren’t they living together in Mount Justice? Scandalous!) Her ability to coordinate the team via telepathy, even sending images to other members, is really cool. The banter between Kid Flash and Robin was also well written just like the last episode, though I find it hard to believe that Robin is only thirteen. And during this mission the team must choose a leader, and Robin is convinced he’s the one, as he has the most experience. In one of the best scenes of the show so far, Robin realizes that Aqualad is the right choice to lead, and Aqualad accepts the burden, telling Robin that he was born to lead the team someday.

We’ve seen Red Tornado as the parental figure, and Batman’s sending the Young Justice on their missions. The last Justice League-piece of the puzzle is Black Canary, and hopefully we’ll be seeing her within the next few episodes. The stakes go way up with Kobra and Cadmus working together, so the team could really benefit from Black Canary’s training; plus, she’s awesome.

image credit!

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