Episode Number: 2
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number: 100
Airdate: November 26, 2010
Writer: Greg Weisman
Director: Sam Liu
Voices: Jesse McCartney (Robin), Jason Spisak (Kid Flash), Khary Payton (Aqualad), Nolan North (Superboy, Superman), Danica McKellar (Miss Martian), Bruce Greenwood (Batman), René Auberjonois (Blockbuster), Crispin Freeman (Guardian), Phil LaMarr (Dubbliex), Unknown (Light).
Plot: Deep on the 52nd sublevel of Project Cadmus, Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad discover a clone of Superman.
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): While the majority of this episode follows the team as they try to escape from Project Cadmus and is a little light on plot, there is plenty to talk about!
The first thing that came to my attention while watching this episode is the level of violence. It's quite violent, and in a much more intense way than Justice League. The design of the show is not as streamlined and stylized as the DCAU, making it look much more mature, and the violence is played out to match the maturity. I would even go as far as to say that it is almost on the same level as the PG-13 DC Universe Animated Original Movies (sans blood, of course).
I'm not complaining. I appreciate the producers aiming this show at a higher age demographic.
Another thing that came to my attention is this characterization of Robin. This is a very seasoned Robin, not moody like the Batman: TAS Dick Grayson, but not a young brat like in The New Batman Adventures. He is closer to the leader-type that we see in Teen Titans, but without that style of humour. It is good to see him being taken seriously.
I'm also quite impressed with this new Aqualad. Creating a new character for a show is always a bit trick because of the potential backlash from the fans, ESPECIALLY when you give him the name of a pre-existing character! However, Geoff Johns did a super job of making him interesting and mysterious, completely different from Garth, yet living up to his moniker. (Apparently Johns liked this character so much he decided to introduce him to the DC comic book universe, which ended up pre-dating this show by a few months.)
If people haven't figured it out already, Young Justice isn't adapting any comic storyline. Everything here is new, especially Superboy's origin. Bypassing the whole "don't call me Superboy" phase that spun out of the Death of Superman epic, this Superboy is serious and will be a very interesting character to watch as he experiences everything for the first time.
The level of animation is very impressive in this show. The characters sport fairly detailed designs (much more so than Justice League) which is much more work to animate, but the team at Warner Bros. Animation does a fantastic job! This episode is a very good example due to its intense action sequences.
I did notice, however, that one the League showed up, the drawings looked really flat. It might be because they were backlit, so the shading that was used to round out the characters in the rest of the episode couldn't be used in the same way. Whatever the reason, it brought me out of the episode.
All in all, the Young Justice two-part premiere blew away my already high expectations for this show. Every aspect of the production has been well thought out and executed. With the DCAU behind us, this show promises to be the start of a new era of DC animation.