YJ: Schooled

Young Justice - 01x05 - Schooled - 09

In “Schooled,” the team meets their new trainer, Black Canary. Then they get a new mission. The Justice League has defeated a new foe, android Amazo, who can absorb its opponent’s powers. The android has been dismantled and the team must protect its parts as they travel to STAR Labs–and the creator tries to get his android back.

This episode has a faster pace than the previous two; there was a lot more action still focusing on character dynamics, so it felt more like a superhero show than a teen drama. Black Canary was the perfect choice to train the young team; she proves that skill is more important than power by repeatedly defeating Superboy, and Robin’s sniggering was just perfect.

Speaking of whom, Superboy’s angst reaches new levels of…angstiness…as he struggles to connect with his “father” Superman, who consistently avoids him. It seems fitting that the team member with the most power is unable to harness it, and therefore doesn’t overshadow the rest of his peers.

Young Justice - 01x05 - Schooled - 16

Aqualad and Megan are attacked by flying robot monkeys!

Amazo looks exactly like his counterpart in Under the Red Hood, though a nod isn’t much of a surprise–the film’s director, Brandon Vietti, is an executive producer of the show. While the ‘droid has zero personality (unlike the philosophic Amazo from Justice League), it’s yet another worthy adversary being introduced, as well as its creator, Dr. Ivo. That’s probably my only kvetch with this episode: Amazo’s sentience in JL was very complicated and interesting, but making him a programmed piece of metal in this episode feels dull, especially since Ivo came off as a mad-scientist caricature.

Young Justice - 01x05 - Schooled - 26

I'm pretty sure this Amazo wasn't voiced by Robert Picardo.

Perhaps one of the most surprising scenes so far was the conversation between Clark and Bruce at a diner. Bruce Greenwood does a great job creating separate voices for Bruce and his alter-ego, and seeing the two without their costumes on felt genuine instead of contrived. Maybe that’s because apple pie was involved.

In a strange off-handed note, why is Gotham City separate from New York on Batman’s map? I thought Gotham was New York.

There’s little doubt that the show is getting stronger with each episode. The animation remains strong–the backgrounds are especially gorgeous–and the character dynamics are progressing nicely. I am continually impressed with Young Justice‘s balance between forging a new superhero-show identity, and remaining true to the DCU continuity, as well as appealing to young and mature audiences alike. We saw an off-camera cameo of the last member of the team, Artemis, so maybe we’ll see her in next week’s episode? We can only hope!

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