We’ve been discussing the Young Justice show for a while here at AFi. Several threads. Here is one dedicated to the show Here is another dedicated to a recent magazine article.
What I find interesting is the preconceptions people have about what this show should be. A number of them seemed to imply that the poster did not know the history behind Young Justice. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has read the same comics I have. This is especially true of a series my son has read, loved and discussed with me over and over.
So I decided to put together a bit of a history piece on the topic of Young Justice. Sure, you could go look it up in Wikipedia, but what fun is that.
Part 1. The Teen Titans. The first grouping of teen sidekicks was in Brave and Bold, back in the 60′s. Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad. The team became the Teen Titans when Wonder Girl was added. At some point, Speedy joined and replaced Aqualad as a core member. The team got bigger, added a number of other characters over the years and eventually faded into obscurity.
Part 2. The New Teen Titans. 1980. DC recognized how popular the X-Men were and asked some people to revitalize their teen heroes as a team. The name was obvious, the members not so much. Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changling formerly Beast Boy from the Doom Patrol, and 3 brand new characters. Raven, Cyborg and Starfire. It is interesting to note that Aqualad and Speedy were ignored. No mention was made of them for over two years. As all comics do, the creators moved on, the title changed direction, the members changed, and eventually it too ended.
Part 3. Who are those guys? DC’s next incarnation of teen heroes made everyone ask why? None of the better known characters. The team was made up of 4 heroes no one – OK, hardly anyone – remembers and a de-aged Atom. Fans pleaded with DC to change the team. One suggestion that was made repeatedly was to replace the team with a grouping of the three teen stars of the day: Robin. – Impulse – Superboy.
Part 4. Young Justice.
DC listened. Robin, Impulse and Superboy became a team. The team began in a story called, JLA: World Without Grownups. Think of the JLU episode where Mordred sends all the adults away and you get the basic idea. In the end, the group has a something only they know, a secret. Secret becomes the code came of the girl they are hiding. The team gets its own comic shortly after this. A few issues in Wonder Girl, Arrowette, and Secret join the team. 55 issues. About halfway through, Arrowette leaves and is replaced by Empress. I think my son has read the entire run more times than I’ve read any single comic.
Now for the show what do you need to know?
1. Well, there is my blog covering the YJ series panel at NYCC. You could start there…
You could start there…
… Now that you are back …
2. Young Justice is not the Teen Titans. Young Justice was the result of a fan requested replacement of a group of teens that had no appeal with one that had mass appeal.
3. Don’t be surprised at the character choices. Only Robin seems to be a given, and not even that always happens. The 80′s gave us a Titans without Speedy or Aqualad. The 90′s gave us Superboy who had not been available before. Sure, Cyborg was a big part of Teen Titans Go. Cyborg will probably be on YJ at some point, but just not as part of the main cast (Cyborg was on the last season of the Super Friends, too). Being a member of a prior team does not guarantee reappearing in a starring role. Just ask Speedy.
4. This is not the same exact universe as any DCU you have seen before. The writers for the show came right out and said it. Just like BatmanTAS, The Batman , and Brave and Bold are all different takes on Batman, Young Justice is a new take on the teen heroes of the DCU. That allows them to play fast and loose with DC history. Grayson can be Robin and West can be Kid Flash at the time Superboy is created.
5. Where are the Teen Titans in this DC universe? Simple, they do not exist yet. Instead, we have this group.
For me, the biggest surprise is the absence of Wonder Girl from the main cast yet again. I think Wonder Girl is about the only comic Titan that did not appear in the TT Go show.
However, the biggest rush of the show is including the Hall of Justice AND the fact the writers said so many characters will be appearing in just the first season. Young Justice will start in January 2011 on Cartoon Network. The show has just started, and I’m strapped in for the whole ride.
(picture credits: comics - Grand Comics Database , animation: Newsarama ).