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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 1, Episodes 21 – 22

February 5, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 1-22 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Garfield Minus Young Justice: A YJ Retrospective, S1 E21-22

Episode 21

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Nearing the end of Season One, and we open this episode with The League coming to the cave to watch a video Batman has caught. It shows Conner training with Black Canary. After she takes him down, she pulls him up and they start kissing. Dinah is aghast and demands it never happened, but the video then shows Miss Martian turn from Canary back into herself.

The League kind of hates this—and at best, it’s creepy as heck from Conner and Megan because they are already into some role playing shit at their young age, and the role is their adult teacher—but J’onn says this is normal on Mars. Everyone role plays on Mars, guys! It’s the fun part of being naked. Or at least the fun part of whatever little outfit Black Canary wears.

Canary goes to yell at Megan, but the latter apologizes (somewhat) and Canary (kind of) forgives her.

Batman gives the team a mission: The leader of Qurac has decided to work with Queen Bee and unify their nations under her control. This goes against everything he has fought for for years! With Aqualad out on a mission with Aquaman, Robin is put in charge.

They fly over the Qurac/Bialya border and see Bialyan tanks storm across the fenced border and through an animal sanctuary in Qurac. The Bialyans are reduced to spooking animals during this time, I guess.

This causes a stampede, and a mother and son are in the way! Robin doesn’t want the team to expose themselves, but the others are insistent, so they get involved. Superboy saves the pair, while Miss Martian saves the animal they were tending to. I want to say it was some kind of gazelle? Do gazelles have horns? I’m not good at animals.

OH HEY, the son they saved is Garfield Logan, so we’re meeting Beast Boy, another famous non-member of Young Justice. For some reason, Miss Martian is a huge fan of Gar’s mom and really wants to help rebuild their fence with her. While they work on the fence, Megan fangirls out over the mom for her teenage role in a show called “Hello Megan”, which has been Miss Martian’s catchphrase all season.

Gar takes the guys inside (Oh hey, where are Artemis or Zatanna in all this? We at least had a reason why Kaldur isn’t in this one, but hose two are just MIA despite the fact that Zatanna literally lives in the cave now, I think) and mentions his mom’s show. They are about to watch it when Superboy hears aircrafts.

The Bialyan military is PISSED that the people on this farm… um, *checks notes*… refused to die in a stampede? So they sent aircrafts to blow them the fuck up. Gar gets caught in an explosion and is injured! Superboy and Megan murder the HELL out of whoever was flying those aircrafts! Just explode the absolute shit out of them.

Inside the house, Garfield needs a blood transfusion, and Megan shape shifts her blood into his rare blood type (O Negative, which hey! Mine, too, Gar! Universal donors unite!) to save his life. Meanwhile, the others finally watch Hello Megan and see how M’Gann has based everything about herself on the Megan character. Her love interest on the show was named Conner, so that explains why she named Superboy that, too. Very, very awkward.

They eventually change over to the news and see Psi-Mon controlling the Qurac leader.

They go to stop Psi-Mon and are attacked by Intergang and their Apokolips tech. Megan goes after Psi-Mon, and he toys with her for a bit and forces her to unshapeshift into her actual form… a monstrous white Martian…

This show… has never really made a thing about White Martians. So unless you know DC Comics, this reveal doesn’t mean much. Ah well. I thought we’d get a White Martian episode before we let this secret out of the bag.

They fight in the astral plane and Psi-Mon uncovers her fears of being unveiled and rejected by Young Justice, the Justice League, and Conner. Unfortunately for Psi-Mon, this just pisses her off, and she blasts him into a coma! Megan is embracing ultra violence this episode! Fuck those pilots AND Psi-Mon!

On the news, we see the Quraci leader rejecting Queen Bee, who swears vengeance and to continue her quest to take over Qurac. It’s revealed by the team watching this that it was Megan pretending to be Queen Bee to make her look like a megalomaniac for the worldwide coverage.

Wally confronts her on the Hello Megan show, and she explains her life on Mars was sad and lonely, and when she found the broadcast of the show, it lifted her spirits. They ask to see her true self, and she shows the a bald version of herself with a little different forehead. COME ON, Megan! Have you learned nothing? Superboy still likes her.

She goes in to check on Gar, and Queen Bee is there. She also knows Megan’s true form secret now from Psi-Mon’s broadcast. She threatens Megan to stay out of her way going forward.

Episode 22

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

We open in the League Watchtower, and is this the first time we have seen it on this show? It’s been talked about enough! The League is preparing for an important vote…

But on Earth, it’s Thanksgiving, and the team is preparing their meal. Superboy gets a sub-sonic message to meet someone in DC, so he takes Wolf and Super-Cycle and bails on meal prep.

This show, which I understand had a really large fanbase of girls when it was on, shows Megan and Zatanna cooking, and Superboy just waiting around to eat. So… they are doing patriarchy right! And then he heads out for an adventure while they are stuck making the food.

Also, why doesn’t Zatanna just magic the food done? Why are they actually cooking? dekooc yltcefrep yekrut! All done!

Back at the Watchtower, the League is voting in possible new members. We see them discuss Icon and Rocket, then Atom and Guy Gardner. Hal and John are direly against Guy joining up. No mention of Kyle because this was still that era where DC hated its own somewhat recent past. Sigh.

Superboy meets Less Luthor in DC, and Lex reports he is partially in charge of Cadmus now and that there is at least one more Superman clone. Conner heads off to Cadmus and barges in, demanding information.

At the Watchtower: Red Arrow is up for discussion. Which lets us cut to Cadmus and Guardian. Remember how Guardian has the same voice as Red Arrow? Well we find out that he is Roy’s uncle. He shows Superboy around Cadmus and gives him run of the place to find any hidden super-clone.

Which he does! Easily and immediately! Because this show only has twenty-some minute episodes! It’s like my worlds are crossed and the Buffy writers did this episode.

This new clone is incensed at Conner’s S-shield, and they have a brief fight. This clone can fly and use heat vision! After throwing Conner around, he makes an S-shield in his own chest with his heat vision, but it’s backwards because he did it in a mirror.

Lex tells Superboy the clone is called Match and has powers Conner doesn’t because it’s fully Krytonian, whereas Superboy was made with partial human DNA. He gives Superboy little S-shield shaped nicotine patches to suppress his human side so he can fight Match evenly.

The League discusses Plastic Man, then turn to talk about Captain Marvel and how he lied about his age. Batman reports he always knew Marvel’s identity. The League blasts him for allowing children to fight crime, and Batman notes he did what he did with Robin so the boy would NOT turn out like him.

Back at Cadmus, Dubbilex takes Conner to a deeper, even MORE hidden part of the facility and seriously, what is Guardian’s purpose here, even? He doesn’t know half of the damn place exists!

The new area is called Genomorph City and is a freer area for Genomorphs to live without being forced into menial tasks. Conner sees they have Match subdued, but as soon as Match sees Superboy, it’s back on! Conner puts on one of Luthor’s patches to fight the other clone, and after a bit of a struggle, he wins.

Back at the Watchtower, the team debates the merits of age vs maturity vs experience, especially in regards to Miss Martian (48 Earth years old) and Conner (less than 1 year old). They have several finalists for membership.

On Earth, Lex tells Superboy that his was the human DNA used to create him and insists his “son” keep the patches for future battles. Superboy goes to attack him, but Lex reveals he can shut Conner down with two words: “red sun”.

And at the Watchtower, the League has voted, but we don’t see there results.

********

I like the struggles we are seeing here with Megan and Superboy where immaturity and inexperience is going to lead them to keeping secrets they shouldn’t. These struggles make sense. Megan is afraid of, basically, racism against her. Superboy would never want anyone to know Luthor can control him, and the patches might enable him to save lives. Also, they let him be more like Superman, which he know is all he wants.

So these are tropes of heroes keeping secrets from each other, but sensible so! I dig it.

article topics :

Young Justice, Rob Stewart