Young Justice Review “Welcome to Happy Harbor”

Feels like I’ve been waiting forever for a new episode of Young Justice!

This episode picks up about two weeks after Independence Day. Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad head to Star City to try and recruit Speedy. Speedy is working on taking down Brick, and ends up dropping him for good with a polymer foam arrow. Speedy tells them they are still acting like children, and that the League is just trying to control them.

The next day, back at Young Justice’s new headquarters in Happy Harbor, the team is eagerly awaiting Red Tornado, expecting him to give them a mission. He reminds them that Batman is in charge of that, and tells them to familiarize themselves with the cave as a team building exercise. Miss Martian tries to use telepathy on Red Tornado, but it fails because he’s a machine.

Robin tells the team the history of the Happy Harbor base. The cave was the Justice League’s original base, but it was compromised so the League relocated to the Hall of Justice. The base should be safe for Young Justice because they would be in plain site. I do think there is a bit of a flaw in that logic..

The team formally introduces themselves to each other, though Robin is not allowed to give his real name. Superboy feels left out being he has no real name. Miss Martian tries to make him feel better telepathicly, which freaks Superboy out. To try and make up for it, she shows the team her bio-ship, which her powers let her reconfigure and camouflage. She shows off her powers, but explains she can’t walk through walls like Martian Manhunter, and she has problems shape shifting to male forms.

They get a call from Red Tornado about an alarm at the Happy Harbor Power Plant. The team thinks it is just busy work, though they remember the last time there was an alarm, they found Superboy, so they go anyway. When they arrive, they see a tornado attacking the Power Plant. The bio-ship is caught in the twister. The team finds the tornado was caused by a villain called Mister Twister.

Because she is unable to telepathicly scan Mister Twister, Miss Martian is certain this is Red Tornado in disguise testing the kids. This causes the team to not take Mister Twister seriously, and he summons a massive storm. The team manages to get under the camouflaged bio-ship and hide. Mister Twister considers them beneath his notice, and heads off to attack Happy Harbor.

Superboy blames Miss Martian for their mistake, and the team goes after Mister Twister without her. This causes Aqualad to have doubts about whether they can even call themselves a team. They are no more successful the second time.

Miss Martian contacts Red Tornado, who won’t help the team. He does say it is strange that Mister Twister is also a robot with elemental wind powers. Miss Martian comes up with a plan, and reaches out to the others.

Minutes later, Red Tornado arrives to fight Twister, and tells the team to retreat. It is immediately clear that Mister Twister’s intentions all along were to draw out Red Tornado. Twister knocks down Red Tornado, and tries to reprogram him…only to discover that it was a shape shifted Miss Martian (Kid Flash provided the tornado powers).

The heroes attack the confused Mister Twister and rip him open, to reveal a man inside. Miss Martian crushes the man with a rock. Robin freaks out, but she reveals that the “man” was a robot too.

Afterwards, we find out that the man was based on a real person named Brom Stikk (voiced by John DeLancie!). He’s with an unnamed man in a lab coat who is happy that their tracking program worked, and they are certain Red Tornado must be in the area.

YJ returns to the cave, and Red Tornado is glad they were able to take care of this on their own. He says he will stay out of the team’s business as long as they stay out of his. Superboy apologizes to Miss Martian, and Aqualad starts to feel more confident about the team’s future.

End Spoiler

I really like the opening sequence. Much better than Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. And I promise, I will try to limit my comparisons between the two shows. I love them both, but they are very different.

It’s a small thing, but I like the fact each episode so far has had a date to say when it takes place. “Independence Day” took play on July 4-5 and 8. “Welcome to Happy Harbor” takes place on July 17 and 18. It’s a very nice touch.

While she could be annoying at times (my wife was especially annoyed at how many times she smacked herself in the forehead), Miss Martian was great. She actually reminds me a little of my friend Crystal, so bubbly and good-natured. I also thought her bio-ship was completely bad ass.

I have never read a comic with Miss Martian, so I know nothing of the character, but I definitely like this version. It was also clever the little ways they showed how her powers worked, though it was not clear how she was able to mimic Red Tornado so easy, when she has problems doing non-female forms.

I was disappointed that they didn’t give Aqualad more to do. He was my favorite part of the pilot, and he basically was just there in this episode. Hopefully we get to see him take on a bigger role.

I have heard a lot of people complain about Superboy’s attitude, but I think it fits very well. He hates telepathy…DUH, he was raised in a Cadmus tank and programmed by telepathic monsters. He lacks social skills…DUH, first people he ever met was Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad. Yes, I like the comic version better, but that version would sort of be redundant in this cartoon with how absurd Robin and Kid Flash are.

Kid Flash is the character that surprises me the most. I am a huge Impulse fan, but I really liked that they used a young Wally, right down to his constant flirting with Miss Martian. And the banter with Robin was great. Can’t wait to see how he reacts with Artemis shows up.

And huge kudos for using Mister Twister (even if he was nothing like his comic counterpart). For those who don’t know, Mister Twister was actually one of the first villains the original Teen Titans fought. The original is on the left. The animated version on the right. Note some differences…

I did think the fight against Mister Twister felt a bit drawn out and repetitive. The team’s strategy (and they did this against Blockbuster) seems to be rope-a-dope. Get pummeled and win with a last minute surprise victory. Granted, they are supposed to be young and inexperienced, but I would definitely like to see a little more variety to fights in this show.

I was glad the episode avoided the cliche of having the villain be Tornado testing the team, which is where I immediately thought the episode was going. It was especially cool that the characters even thought the same thing was going on. And it was pretty odd to see an entire episode where the heroes fought out of costume, but I liked that too.

Final Score: 8.0/10: All in all, it wasn’t quite as good as the first episode, but it still was a very good show.

Tags: , , , , , , ,