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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 1, Episodes 19 – 20

January 8, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 1-19 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Have A Little Heart: A Young Justice Retrospective, S1 E19-20

Episode 19

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

We open up on Roanoke Island because this show actually does subtlety a little better than Buffy does. Klarion (BUM BUM BUM) The Witch Boy has started a spell. As he casts it, he summons four other DC villainous mystics to assist him, like Wotan and Felix Faust. And two others whose names I didn’t quite catch, but I’m pretty sure one was just “Wizard”. That’s a very well-considered name!

At Mt Justice, Zatanna is still hanging around with the team, but Zatara won’t let her join full time. She wishes for space from her dad, and all the adults in the room (Batman, Zatara, Red Tornado) vanish! Also, before that happens, Miss Martian reports she is going to make Snickerdoodles, GOD DAMN IT.

We see on Roanoke that Klarion’s other summoned mystics, also adults, have vanished into thin air, too.

We cut to Billy Batson watching TV with Uncle Dudley, when the latter disappears, too. Billy thinks it is a ploy from his foes, but he looks up and sees Cat Grant has disappeared from TV, as well. He sees her chair spinning in place, and I know that is supposed to signify “she was suddenly gone!”, but I like to imagine she was spinning around like an idiot when it happened. “Slow news day, everyone! Weeeeee!”.

Billy is too afraid to turn into Captain Marvel because his hero form is an adult, and he may vanish, too. He decides being Billy will have to be enough. He will rely upon The Courage Of Billy!

What do the I, L, L, and Y stand for then?

With the world in chaos, Young Justice has gathered all of the smaller kids they can find into a gymnasium so they can protect and care for them.

Billy tries to use Captain Marvel’s zeta tube code, but the device refuses to take him, even after his override authorization. He sees on TV that Young Justice is sending a message out to the world’s kids, vowing to protect them until the adults come back.

Billy runs into a friend who can fly him to Mt Justice, but during their flight, midnight hits and she turns 18 and disappears, haha. What are the odds of that, come on! He decides he has to give Marvel a try–or crash and die–so he transforms and sees his friend falling. He dives down and saves her.

Wally and Kaldur talk around the Helm Of Fate, but they aren’t in a bad enough position yet to use it.

We get a flashback to the early segment in Mt Justice, but from Batman and Zatara’s perspective. To THEM, it looks like all the world’s children have disappeared!  We flash around and see how this world is doing, and it is descending into chaos. Amidst it all, there is a heist a STAR Labs.

Zatara and Batman discuss the Helm Of Fate, but Zatara isn’t desperate enough to use that yet, either.

Captain Marvel flies to the cave and finds Batman and Zatara, and they quickly ration out what is happening. This allows Billy to act as a conduit between the two worlds, so they communicate a plan.

YJ head to their version of Roanoke to fight Klarion. The League heads to their iteration to fight the other four mystics. Zatanna finally puts on the Helm Of Fate so they stand a chance against Klarion, but she has trouble maintaining the form, as it’s her child’s body and Fate’s adult mind and soul being torn between the two realities.

During the fight, both sides figure out there are gems in the center of the symbol Klarion made, and they destroy the rocks, reconciling the two universes.

After defeating the baddies, Zatara begs Dr. Fate to give Zatanna back, but he refuses. He tells them he pushed Kent Nelson’s spirit to the afterlife so he could quit objecting over keeping the new body. DAMN, that’s harsh, Fate. But I guess he can go be with his wife finally, so is this an Everybody Wins?

Well, everybody except Zatara, who convinces Fate to take his body instead of Zatanna’s. She removes the Helm, he takes it, and he puts it on after saying goodbye.

Wally and Billy go home and see their family members; all is right with the world. EXCEPT…!

In our The Light Actually Won epilogue this episode, we see that the chaos let them steal the piece of Starro from STAR Labs. That’s not fair; that’s where he belongs. It’s right there in the name!

This whole plot was coocoo bananas just to steal a piece of a starfish from a science lab, god damn. I feel like there HAD to be an easier way to accomplish that. But hey, I’m not a (BUM BUM BUM) Witch Boy, I guess.

Episode 20

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

It’s a Wally episode, everyone! Good, because he has basically been portrayed as a schmuck whose power has been worthless all season. He stole a detonator from Bane once, and… that’s all.

We open in Central City, and it’s Wally’s 16th birthday (on November 11th, three days after my own. Scorpios Unite, Wally!). This show consistently forgets lately that Wally did not have very good parents in the comics because we see them here having made a huge birthday spread for him. Dad offers to take him to the DMV to try for his license (despite the fact there is a BLIZZARD going on outside), but Wally thinks having a car is a bit irrelevant for him.

As the scene pans upwards into the opening credits, we see there is a massive floating machine making the snow. This is how we will defeat global warming! This episode’s bad guys have the right idea, everyone. Snow machines for every state! No way THAT could backfire (he says, as if he hasn’t watched Snowpiercer, like, 4 times).

At the snow-capped Mount Justice, Wally teleports in, but as soon as he does so, the zeta tubes report they are going offline due to the conditions, despite how little sense that makes. But the plot needs it, so… FINE, I guess.

Wally keeps trying to get a birthday kiss from Megan, but she puts him off. So as a birthday present, Artemis brings him down by telling him that Megan is dating Superboy. Batman calls on the team to suit up for a mission regarding the ice storms. Awww yeah, it’s more snow gear time! Move those toy units!

After assigning everyone else to work with the League to take down the snow fortresses in the sky, Batman tells Wally HIS mission is to transport a donor transplant heart from Boston to a little girl in Seattle.


The Zeta Tubes are down, right? That’s why they can’t teleport the heart. Fair enough!

But the team also can’t teleport to the fortresses; they have to fly, which will require a lot of vehicles for the non-flying Leaguers.

Also, you’ve got superspeedsters faster and more mature than Wally.

So why not have someone fly the heart to Seattle, by their own power or by vehicle, so they don’t have to worry about snow-covered roads? Or obstacles, or not going as-the-crow-flies! Or use Barry Allen since he is fast enough to get the heart there and still join in the battle.

This just seems like a weird choice.

Anyway, Wally is perturbed he does not get to work side-by-side with The League on his birthday. He asks who this little girl is to be so important, and Batman shuts him down with a “Does it matter?”

(Turns out it does, though)

Wally doesn’t seem too glad to be on heart duty, but he makes it to South Dakota In really good time, but that is where Vandal Savage strikes! Savage expected the transport to be Barry (Me too, guy!), but he is happy to kill a sidekick instead.

Wally gets distracted by the chance to fight a big league villain for a few minutes, but he ends up remembering what he’s supposed to be doing and ultimately rushes off towards Seattle instead. He checks his little snack supply and is out of food! No carbo loading for Kid Flash!

He makes it to Seattle with 19 minutes to spare, but the nurse tells him the girl died 12 minutes ago even though the heart would still be viable. A despondent KF realizes he spent 15 minutes fighting Savage, so if he hadn’t been distracted, he would have been in time to save her.

I mean… it’s three minutes. I dunno how fast he thinks surgeons are, but I get it.

He heads into the hospital to relax after the chore, and a few nurses run up to him asking where the heart is. He says he gave it to the first nurse he saw who said they maybe use it for someone else. It turns out the girl who needs the heart is a queen, and the first nurse lied to him and stole the heart!

Wally chases the nurse down but is attacked by Count Vertigo who monologues that if the girl dies, he becomes king of their country. Wally fights off Vertigo’s powers, gets the heart back, and delivers it to the medical team.

After passing out from all of the stress, Wally wakes up to see Count Vertigo standing before him saying the queen died on the operating table. He admits to regicide, then the actually-not-that-dead queen reveals this was a plot to get him to admit his crime;  she made it through the surgery just fine. She has him arrested and thanks Wally for everything he did. She gives him Vertigo’s sword.

Wally refuses to take the sword for his trophy collection, deciding the cannister that contained the heart was far more valuable.


I really like the IDEA of this episode, but I feel it got too muddied up with the regicide plan and Count Vertigo. Why not make it about Wally pushing his limits to save a normal girl? Then he can find out it’s HER birthday, too? Wouldn’t that be more impactful than “He saves a queen”? Or maybe I’m a sap.

But when it got to the plot about Vertigo trying to become king, a lot of the emotional heart (pun!) of the story fell off for me.

Oh well.

article topics :

Young Justice, Rob Stewart