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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 2, Episodes 17-18

June 10, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 2-18 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Beetlemania: A Young Justice Retrospective, S2 E17-18

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Black Beetle is pissed to kick off this episode, as he feels Mongul done screwed everything up. The Reach lost over 67% of their fleet, and the Justice League is guarding WarWorld’s key chamber. But the female leader of The Reach tells him it is fine because they captured Young Justice. Though there is one loose end…

So we cut to Arsenal on the run from an unfamiliar alien force. He is radioing for help, but no one is responding!

The Reach ambassador and Blue Beetle are running PR, and I guess the whole “hidden military fleet” thing isn’t that big of a deal because no one seems to yet care. The ambassador just talks about how Blue Beetle saved Earth and now WarWorld will be used to protect the planet. Everyone swallows it all up.

Next up, we have the runaway kids (Static Shock and the others) just… vandalizing shit. Destroying signs and billboards and ENTIRE USEFUL WATER TOWERS that advertise The Reach. How heroic! Lex Luthor calls them up and asks if they want to really hurt The Reach.

Megan and Nightwing are flying around WarWorld, and Megan can’t pick up any telepathic traces of their friends. Meanwhile, inside, Arsenal still can’t get any help, and he’s out of ammo and power in his robo-arm.

Luthor gives the runaways a Father Box to Boom Tube into WarWorld and convinces them they need to rescue the heroes who once rescued them. The kids are wary, but Virgil convinces them they can do it. So they Tube on board and are immediately set upon by the same aliens who are after Arsenal. And I suddenly and stupidly realize they are just The Reach in red armor I am not sure I’ve seen before.

The kids make short work of The Reach’s guards, attracting the attention of Arsenal, who has charged up his arm. He starts following them to find the rest of Young Justice.

Nightwing and Megan start debating who is more guilty of everything that has happened thus far (in a heroic kind of “No, what I did was worse!” kind of way), but they decide to set their guilt aside for the good of the mission. They end up finding Super-Cycle, who beeps and bloops that it can take them to Superboy.

On the G. Gordon Godfrey show, The Reach Ambassador is guest starring. But that gets cut off right quick so we can go back to WarWorld and see that Black Beetle has found the runaway kids. Arsenal shows up and pulls off the quick save.

Back on the Godfrey show, Godfrey of all people actually nuts up and calls out The Ambassador on the military fleet, taking the latter off guard.

At WarWorld, friggin’ Deathstroke teleports in to steal the key to the planet-buster from The Reach for The Light, so we’ve now got:

-The runaways and Arsenal fighting Black Beetle.

-Nightwing, Megan, and Super-Cycle looking for their friends.

-The Justice League off guarding the key room and oblivious to all of this.

-And now Deathstroke on board, too.

SO MUCH IS GOING ON. This show rarely lacks for excitement, I’ll give it that.

To add to everything else, Arsenal intentionally frees Mongul from The Reach’s imprisonment to set him after Black Beetle and cause a distraction. With Beetle occupied, the runaways are able to free Young Justice. Arsenal tries to also grab the key to WarWorld, but he sees that it is missing!

Nightwing offers the runaway kids a spot on YJ, but he also kicks Roy off of the team for his selfish actions that got the team caught in the first place. The runaways stick with Roy, and they and he Father Box off of WarWorld together, to Dick’s chagrin.

The episode ends with Roy telling the kids that Luthor is a bad egg. They blow up the laptop he used to contact them and get to work training with Arsenal…


Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Mongul and Black Beetle are still fighting when Green Beetle joins the fight to help Black. They recapture Mongul and figure out the key is missing.

The heroes return to their temporary HQ warehouse, and Impulse wants them to focus on saving Blue Beetle from The Reach’s control before he takes over the world for the baddies.

In Metropolis, The Toyman is robbing a bank, but he is easily stopped by Blue Beetle. Public reaction is split on his arrival, but they appreciate his stopping of the threat.

We cut to underwater to see Lagoon Boy and Megan now that the former’s leg has healed up. She wants to talk with him.

On the way to Jaime’s house, Batgirl and Impulse attack Blue Beetle. He shrugs off their attacks and knocks them out and is about to kill them heading into the commercial break…

When suddenly he is trapped inside an energy bubble! It’s Zatanna and Rocket. Thankfully the show has enough sense to make this a combo Beetle can’t counter; I know he’s the focus of this season, but to have him take out Batgirl, Impulse, ZATANNA(!), and Rocket would just be silly.

In the ocean depths, Megan breaks up with Lagoon Boy, calling him her “rebound guy”, WOW. She says they got together because he made her feel good about herself; he counters that that’s how it started, but it can grow into so much more. She still refuses, and LB is rightfully furious about all of this. Getting called out for being a rebound is pretty rough. And don’t a lot of decent relationships start off worse than “You make me feel good inside”? Oh well.

Mal and Bumblebee definitely have a worse relationship, but we are supposed to be happy that they are together AND happy that M’Gann and LB aren’t.

The heroes take the helpless Blue Beetle to Bialya and Queen Bee’s lair, where The Ambassador reveals that he hasn’t picked up on The Light betraying The Reach yet because he still thinks Queen Bee is his partner. The heroes make short work of Bee’s minions. But right as Zatanna gets to work on whatever their plan is, Green Beetle strikes!

With Zatanna and Rocket distracted with Blue, it’s revealed that Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Wonder Girl, and Robin are also around to help fight off Green. Zatanna does some weird-ass Beetle Magic and frees Green and Blue from The Reach’s control. Jaime’s scarab tells him that it prefers working with a free Jaime than as an operative of The Reach.

We get a bunch of backstory on how the heroes knew of the temple in Bialya and how Zatanna knew the magic to cleanse the beetles, blah blah blah time. So I said the show RARELY lacks excitement; not that it NEVER lacks for it.

Back at the temporary HQ, Megan and Lagoon Boy arrive, with the latter sulking away. Megan asks where Conner is, and it turns out he is on a date with a girl named Wendy.

We get a classic “The Light Actually Won” epilogue where Queen Bee reports to her minions that the heroes freeing Blue and Green Beetles was what is needed for them to strike at them, The Reach, and the Justice League once and for all!

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Young Justice, Rob Stewart