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Monday, May 21, 2012

Young Justice - "Alienated"

It's Young Justice Monday!

Hey again everyone, Shrine Correspondent Andy Luckett here with my review of Episode Three of Season Two of Young Justice, entitled "Alienated." Once again, I skipped reviewing last week's episode "Earthlings" because it lacked any Aqua-content. The episode covered in detail Superboy, Miss Martian, Beast Boy, and Adam Strange's trip to Rann to find answers to the Krolotean invasion of Earth. While there, Miss Martian telepathically interrogated a Krolotean leader and extracted the information regarding the League's missing sixteen hours from his mind.
As we pick up this week, Bumblebee and Blue Beetle, in street clothes, approach a diner in Metropolis. The large restaurant owner offers them a seat while on the television, G. Gordon Godfrey once again rails against aliens and the Justice League. Suddenly, the owner recognizes the heroes, and bolts out the back door. They give chase, but their quarry is suddenly knocked out by his exact double! Turns out the fake owner was another Krolotean in a sophisticated robotic suit, and he escapes in a hidden rocket ship, leaving the heroes and the real diner owner, Bibbo Bibbowsky, confused. The Krolotean makes it out of the city and to the waterfront, where a very familiar ship waits. He enters to find a few of his brethren and…Black Manta!
Later, at a Star Lab facility in Taos, League members wait for the Rann covert team to arrive via Zeta beam. Miss Martian tells the team that their mission on Rann was a success, and Adam Strange now possesses technology that can create a Zeta shield around Earth to prevent any more unauthorized alien Zeta-landings, while still allowing the League to beam off-world if necessary. Beast Boy then brings up the topic of the missing 16 hours, to which Miss Martian shows the events to the others telepathically. Apparently a Krolotean leader bribed a high-ranking Rannian official to establish a Krolotean base in the jungle outside the Rannian city of Ranagar. From there, the Kroloteans used the base to begin stealing Zeta technology from the scientist Sardath, which they then used to beam a new base to New Orleans (the base that Robin, Lagoon Boy, and Blue Beetle destroyed in "Happy New Year") and started kidnapping humans, which they replaced with the robotic copies. Miss Martian believes this may be part of their invasion plans.
Wonder Woman asks about the missing sixteen hours. After Vandal Savage mind-controlled the League, the six implicated members (Superman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Hawkwoman, and Batman) were teleported to a planet near Rann called Rimbor. They spent the next sixteen hours laying waste to everything in their path, loudly announcing who they were and where they were from. The Leaguers are confused, since they have no memory of these events, but John Stewart resolves to meet with the Guardians of Oa to discover the meaning behind the trouble.
Meanwhile, at The Hall of Justice, Justice League liaison Catherine Cobert is giving a tour through some of the League's trophies and exhibits, including the host bodies of the Appelaxian aliens that brought the team together for the first time (gotta love the shout-out to JLA #200, eh, Rob?). Some of the tour members insinuate that perhaps G. Gordon Godfrey is right about the heroes. Miss Martian and Superboy make their way to an interrogation room, where Batman is watching the Martian Manhunter mentally question a Krolotean, something he has been doing for days with little success. Captain Atom has asked Miss Martian to assist with the interrogation based on her extraction of information on Rann. Within seconds, she is able to get the information she needs, but leaves the Krolotean in a catatonic, drooling state when she is finished, which disturbs Superboy. The Kroloteans have a neutral meeting point for regrouping, which they have been using since their primary strongholds on both planets have been disabled. It is located on Malina Island.
On Malina Island, a Manta ship flies in and submerges, reemerging at a base inside a volcano. Manta video-conferences with another Manta on his screen, who he calls father. He removes his mask to reveal…Aqualad. Whoa!! At the same time, Miss Martian's bioship approaches the island carrying Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, Aquaman, and Lagoon Boy. Aquaman and Lagoon Boy drop into the ocean and approach the base from underneath, while the Bat-family lands on the shore, taking out the Manta-men guards. Inside the base, the Kroloteans are working on a large machine. They mention a Competitor, who destroyed the New Orleans base and is making things harder for them. Aqualad/Manta checks on his guards, and not hearing from a few, realizes the heroes have arrived. He first uses his eyebeams to attack Aquaman and Lagoon Boy in the water, while the Bat team takes down more guards and Krolotean Mech machines. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure attaches a bomb to a discreet location under the machine.

Soon, it comes down to a fight between Aquaman and Manta, who retreats and pulls out his men before the bomb goes off. Superman, Superboy, Wonder Woman, and Wonder Girl arrive and help mop up the stragglers. Before Manta can reach his ship, Aquaman rolls up and hits him so hard his mask flies off, revealing the former Aqualad underneath. Aquaman says, "I did not believe Nightwing until this moment." To which the young Manta replies, "You dare question me? After you all let Tula die!" Nightwing tries to tell him that Tula's death was part of a mission she signed up for, but Manta Jr. is angry that Aquaman never revealed to him the true identity of his father, i.e., the original Manta.
Aquaman admits that it was his mistake to not tell Aqualad the truth, but Manta responds with, "All will die if Black Manta demands it. Blood is thicker than seawater." He fires a missile at the group, which explodes harmlessly on Superman. Nightwing gets behind him, but Manta reveals the bomb and sets up the old "stop me or defuse the bomb" ploy, and gets to his ship. When they cannot defuse the bomb, all the heroes get out save Superman, who tries to persuade the Kroloteans to come along. They don't believe him and are all destroyed in the massive explosion that results. The rest of the heroes barely make it out using the bioship, and even Superman is knocked unconscious in the ocean and is rescued by Aquaman.
Nightwing questions where the bomb came from, since he noticed that Manta Jr. did not plant it, only knew of it. Batman asserts that the Young Justice team may have to discover the true bomber. In an undisclosed location, the newer Manta meets with his father, the original Manta, who is disappointed that Aquaman wasn't caught in the explosion. He receives a summons and leaves his son to consult with the Light members. Vandal Savage tells him that the Krolotean "competitor" is the Light's new partner, and that the Light is pleased with their choice of Black Manta to replace the disgraced Ocean Master, making him an official member of the Light. Back at Young Justice's headquarters, the six accused Leaguers and their sidekicks meet, as the Leaguers have agreed to return to Rimbor and face trial for their actions. They all say goodbye to their sidekicks and take off for Rimbor, accompanied by Icon who has experience in interstellar law.
Well, contrary to last week, this week's episode was absolutely chock-a-block with Aqua-goodness. So, we now know what happened to Aqualad in the last five years. Tula's death during a mission (maybe Chemo killed her like in the comics?) and the revelation of Aqualad's true father was too much for him, and he joined his father on the other side. I have to say I'm a little disappointed to see such a heroic character go bad. But I will concede that it makes for an interesting dynamic with his former teammates and perhaps it will lead to an eventual redemption for him. Here's hoping.

The explanation of what happened during the League's missing sixteen hours was about what I expected; they were used to sow seeds of violence and mistrust. I'm sure the Light has a deeper purpose in mind as well. Surprises abound as each new episode this season brings new secrets and new revelations. I'm excited to see what's next.


aquaman said...

i liked this show when it first started, but it lost me in all this alien stuff. It feels a bit Ben 10 to me. Not what I like...

Nick Danger said...

Sometimes the Aqua-family can't catch a break. I loved the new, revamped Aqualad! It seems a little contrary to Kaldur's disciplined character to go evil like this. Here's hoping for a time travel back into the past to fix it all...

r duncan said...

I suspect that either Aqualad is undercover or if not he will be rehabilitated somehow. He is too much of key member of the team.

I notice that we haven't seen Mera (or Ocean Master) yet. Last season (five years prior) Mera was two months pregnant with Arthur Jr. (assuming it was a boy). So Aquaman and Mera's son would be four and a half. Unless the writers have forgotten this, I think we will see Arthur Jr. this season.

Now to really go out on a limb...The "light" say that Orm has "disgraced himself" and that's why they replaced him with Black Manta. What if Manta tried to kill AC Jr. (ala the comcs) but Orm rescued him (AC Jr. would be his nephew after all, and Orm had originally had mercy on the tyke back in the old days)? What if this was Orm's "disgrace" according to the Light?

Here's another thought. What if Manta tries to kill AC Jr. later this season, which shocks Kaldur so much that he turns on his father and he rescues the kid?

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

@r duncan: I think both of those theories about Orm and Aqualad's possible rehabilitation could be very possible. My only hope is that Aqualad's eventual reconciliation with the team(s) doesn't come packaged with his death scene.

@aquaman: I haven't warmed up to the Krolotean shenanigans yet either. They just seem more of an annoyance than a serious threat to me so far. But I believe that the writing team has much more to play out as far as that goes.

@Nick Danger: I think the new status quo for Aqualad is a shifting of his discipline from one purpose to another, which will make him a very dangerous foe. But I have to say this plot thread is my most anticipated to see where it goes.

Andy Luckett