] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Monday, February 21, 2011

Young Justice - "Denial"

Episode Six: "Denial" - Airdate 02/18/11

by Andy Luckett

On this week's Young Justice, Wally West gets a crash course in magic from the one and only Doctor Fate!

Episode seven of Young Justice begins in New Orleans, as an old man with a cane enters the storefront of a medium by the name of Madame Xanadu (nice shout-out to an obscure DC character).
Asking her to contact his late wife, he soon discovers that her act is a fake, but he reveals himself to be much more than just a wise old man, telling her that he senses great magical potential in her. Unfortunately, before she can answer, the old man is captured by Flash foe Abra Kadabra and teleported away.
Back at Happy Harbor, the team has assembled, but with Batman and Robin busy in Gotham City, The Red Tornado suggests that they should check on original Justice Society member Doctor Fate, who has been missing for close to a month.
Since Dr. Fate's power source, the Helmet of Nabu, is incredibly powerful, Red Tornado asks that the team find both it and Kent Nelson before they fall into the wrong hands. Of course, while the others react in awe to the mention of Kent Nelson being Doctor Fate, Wally thinks his magical powers are a scam to frighten criminals. He quickly changes his tune, however, once his not-so-secret crush Miss Martian volunteers to lead the search.

Following Tornado's last coordinates, the team lands near an old theater where Abra Kadabra and his partner Klarion the Witch Boy are torturing Kent Nelson to learn the location of the Helmet of Nabu. The answer is provided for them as the Young Justice team enters Fate's invisible Tower using a mystic key.

Upon entering the Tower, they are questioned by a hologram of Nelson, asking them to explain their purpose. Wally, attempting to impress Miss Martian, gets them dropped through the floor toward a lava pit, where they are barely able to stop themselves.

After finding a portal to another, snowy plane, the team finds Kent Nelson's cane, but then needs to find a way out.

By now, the villains and Kent have entered the Tower, and Kent uses Kid Flash and Artemis as a chance to escape his captors, informing them that Abra Kadabra is a sham, and that the real threat is Klarion. After the team reassembles, the fight with the villains reaches the roof of the tower, where Wally and a wounded Kent face off against a cheesed-off Klarion. In order to save the others, Wally finally embraces belief in the mystical and (briefly) dons the Helmet, becoming the host body for Nabu and defeating Klarion.

So, while he learns a lesson in believing the unlikely, at the end of the episode Wally is up to his old tricks, this time using magic show tickets to ask out Miss Martian.

I had a hard time liking this episode generally. While it was nice to see old-school Flash foe Abra Kadabra, I'm not really sure why Klarion needed him as part of the scheme, seeing as how he uses technology instead of actual magic. Kent Nelson's storyline was confusing as well. Apparently, he hasn't actively been Doctor Fate since at least the 1950's, but it is made to seem that this is the first time his helmet has been in danger from supervillains, even after all those years. And while I understand the idea for Wally's storyarc, he doesn't really learn much by the end. For instance, Kent tells him to find a girl that won't let him get away with anything (which is clearly Artemis, who calls him out at least three times in the episode) but he still continues to purse Miss Martian. Perhaps this will play out in upcoming episodes.

Aqualad once again doesn't have much of a presence here. He is still the leader, and has an interesting line about studying the mystic arts in Atlantis (which is apparently where he got the eel tattoos on his arms), but on the whole, this is Kid Flash's spotlight episode. I am looking forward to the (hopefully inevitable) Aqualad spotlight show down the line. But as for this one, it just didn't work for me.


Joe Slab said...

I agree with you Andy. It was way too soon to do an episode that delves into the E-16 DCU like that when they haven't even begun to fully flesh out the YJ team.

Of course I'm partial to Aqualad, who we've barely even seen swim, let alone touch on his legacy and origins.

But keep the reviews coming, I think there are some good stories not too far down the road.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Right there with ya on this one, rob! I love DC's magic-using characters, but didn't care for this particular treatment of them. Also, Abra's updated look may be less silly than his old white tux, but it's also boring. And I didn't like that they used a literal key to gain entrance to Fate's tower; the "key" should have been the answer to a riddle or something like that. But enough griping; there was still plenty of action, and once again, little details like A-lad's tats and weapons being magical in nature and that Atlantis has a "conservatory of magic" make the fanboy in me swoon.