The CW’s Young Justice is one of the most popular superhero cartoons on television. The show follows a group of teenage heroes who are led by Batman himself, and it recently concluded with its fourth season. With an average rating around 7 out of 10 stars from over 1 million users, this two-parter has been hailed as “a masterpiece” when it comes to writing in animation history for TV Guide Magazine
Young Justice is a superhero TV show that aired on the Cartoon Network. The show was created by Greg Weisman in 2011 and ended in 2017 after 4 seasons. Season 4 of Young Justice, which was released on June 7th, 2018, has 2 episodes so far with “Inhospitable” and “Needful”. These episodes are about the team dealing with phantoms from their pasts who have come to haunt them.
REVIEW: Young Justice – Season 4: Phantoms, Episodes 1 and 2, “Inhospitable” and “Needful” REVIEW: Young Justice – Season 4: Phantoms, Episodes 1 and 2, “Inhospitable” and “Needful”
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As part of DC’s FanDome event, HBO Max published the first two episodes of Young Justice Season 4: Phantoms early on Saturday, October 16th. I binge-watched the first three seasons of the show earlier this year and was immediately captivated. I’d heard excellent things about it, but I’d always avoided it since the concept of a squad of sidekicks didn’t appeal to me. In fact, I didn’t find the art style very appealing. Young Justice is my favorite DC project I’ve seen in a long time, and I couldn’t be more incorrect. The language is clever, the characters are multifaceted and have important arcs, and the program isn’t hesitant to shake up the existing quo in significant ways. In hindsight, this isn’t unexpected, given that series co-creator Greg Weisman has worked on some of my all-time favorite programs. While the third season of Young Justice, Outsiders, was contentious, I enjoyed all three seasons. This is a program that is always getting better. Let’s see how the most recent edition compares.
The new recruits have settled into the Carr house a year after the events of Outsiders, and M’gann and Conner are preparing their wedding. Before returning to Earth for a civil ceremony, the happy couple wants to follow M’gann’s people’s traditional rite on Mars. They proceed on the long voyage with Beast Boy/Garfield Logan and Martian Manhunter in tow, which proves to be less than pleasant. M’gann’s sister meets the guests and tells them that she has changed her name from M’ree M’orzz to E’mree J’onzz. M’gann is taken aback when she learns that her sister is the chief scientific bureaucrat on Mars, overseeing the development of a zeta tube connecting Mars and Earth. Since M’gann escaped to Earth, tensions between the Martian races have risen to bloodshed and terrorism. The zeta tube is damaged as Martian Manhunter tries to tube to Justice League headquarters, and M’gann’s fanatical brother M’comm is blamed for the crime. M’gann looks for the genuine perpetrator in “Needful,” believing that M’comm is innocent in this case. Prince J’emm enlists the services of Conner and Garfield to figure out who murdered his father, the king. The Martian Manhunter is found to be alive and well, having arrived to JL headquarters safely. M’gann’s parents arrange for the wedding to be performed by a priestess. Three costumed persons keep an eye on Garfield, M’gann, and Conner, while a fourth, invisible entity attacks them. M’gann detects the existence of the three stalkers as a result of the assault. The onslaught, along with the lack of sunshine and oxygen, is enough to suck Conner’s blood, much to M’gann’s disgust. M’comm receives a bioweapon from DeSaad that kills all red and green Martians. Despite the likelihood that M’comm may accidently murder himself and M’gann as a result of having one green parent, he cheerfully embraces it.
Phantoms is off to a great start (tee-hee), and based on these first two episodes, I believe we have a lot to look forward to this season. Throughout the series, I’ve been a big fan of Miss Martian and Superboy’s connection. In any program, tumultuous, on-again/off-again partnerships like these are a tremendous turn-off for me. This sort of interpersonal drama irritates me since it typically comes off as contrived and dishonest. However, each of these characters is well-developed and sympathetic in their own right, and their story as a pair flows seamlessly into both arcs. While I’m sure the season will bring Conner and M’gann their share of difficulties, I’m delighted they’ve reached this place of commitment. Rather than forcing the audience to face the standard Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner nonsense, it’s wonderful that her parents are accommodating.
The existence of flashbacks in the two episodes is the one thing I don’t enjoy about Conner and M’gann. M’gann gives her engagement ring back to Conner in reaction to his unwillingness to trust and forgive her over her use of mind-reading and manipulation at the start of “Inhospitable,” which is based on a scene from Outsiders. Last season, I enjoyed the scene a lot, but it irritates me when old material is replayed as if the audience has forgotten or didn’t comprehend the first time around. This also occurs in “Needful,” when the two are underground dancing. A clip-show from previous seasons plays over the discussion as M’gann speaks about how far they’ve gone in ten years. I’m not sure why we needed to be fed these old scenes when the dialogue is intriguing enough on its own, and the environment is incredibly stunning. I’ve heard that in order to keep animation expenses cheap, the animators try to avoid displaying characters’ lips moving as much as possible, instead relying on masks and telepathy. Is it possible that this clip show was created for the same reason? I wouldn’t be surprised if Legend of Korra had a complete clip-show episode dedicated to that. This may irritate me much more now that I’ve recently seen the first three seasons of the program rather than when they initially aired. Maybe if I had seen season one a decade earlier, I might have felt differently.
Em’ree and her bond with M’gann fascinates me. It’s evident that the two don’t get along, and I’m sure we’ll find out why shortly. Em’ree’s new name might be a way for her to disassociate herself from her renowned sister, who has a tumultuous reputation on Mars. Perhaps she doesn’t want to be discriminated against since she has a white parent and brother. I’m also curious as to what a scientific bureaucrat is and performs, since it sounds scary. This subplot reminds me of Starfire and her sister Blackfire from Teen Titans, but their rivalry doesn’t appear to be nearly as severe (yet, at least). Hynden Walch, who portrayed Starfire and Blackfire in Teen Titans, also voices Em’ree in this film. Other DC characters she’s portrayed include Harley Quinn in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. I’m looking forward to seeing how this relationship develops, and I hope Em’ree isn’t as dodgy as she looks.
Conner’s bleeding and Garfield’s mood swings are both troubling events that seem to be linked to Mars. M’gann’s argument that Gar misses his pals makes logical, but something more seems to be at work here. Having two members hindered in this fashion can’t be good when someone is attempting to murder the three. Our heroes are also being followed by three frightening youngsters. Despite the fact that they did not start the assault, their actions aren’t looking good. I can’t believe how much they crammed into two episodes, especially with M’comm’s complicated predicament hanging in the balance.
“Inhospitable” and “Needful” aren’t among my favorite Young Justice episodes based on my first viewing. They do, however, a lot of hard work to set the stage for what will undoubtedly be an exciting season. The character relationships are excellent, the tale is gripping, and the graphics are stunning.
Plot – 9
Acting – 9 points
8 – Progression
9 – Production Design
“Inhospitable” and “Needful” aren’t among my favorite Young Justice episodes based on my first viewing. They do, however, a lot of hard work to set the stage for what will undoubtedly be an exciting season.
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