It’s always fun to watch someone enjoy something for the first time. At least, that’s what Tom thinks as he and Jimmy go through the animated Young Justice.
As it is, they’re back for more cartoon chat with the episodes “Denial” and “Downtime”.
Red Tornado asks the Team to go check up on Dr. Fate.
tomk: You mean this?
jimmy: Maybe this.
tomk: Yours looks better.
jimmy: Much. Though there may still be strobe lights and wind machines.
tomk: Less disco.
jimmy: All that said, not the real Xanadu.
tomk: Are you sure?
tomk: The greatest trick a Xanadu ever played was to convince the world she didn’t exist.
jimmy: Perhaps. But I doubt such an iconic character was ever a charlatan.
tomk: I think there was talk of this Xanadu eventually being revealed to be more of the real thing, but that never came to pass.
But in all seriousness, one of the nice things about this show is a lot of established DC characters do show up in small roles all the time.
jimmy: Nelson does make a comment to that affect.
tomk: Well, there will be more later when some of the Team start school.
jimmy: I meant about Xanadu.
tomk: Don’t we all?
tomk: Right. Have a cookie and tell me what you thought of this Dr Fate.
jimmy: Which one? The old man or the Wally West version?
tomk: Neither of them was Dr Fate.
jimmy: He just used their bodies WW1984 style.
tomk: Or something else. Neither Wally nor Kent had much control there.
jimmy: And Fate didn’t seem to care.
tomk: Nabu is a jerk.
jimmy: Not as big a jerk as Klarion.
tomk: True, but we knew about Klarion.
And everybody with real magic has a good laugh at Abra Kadabra.
jimmy: I wouldn’t laugh too much at the guy who mostly defeated The Team by himself.
tomk: Kent did.
After several taser blasts.
jimmy: Kent laughed at a lot of people.
tomk: He’s at that age where he just don’t give a flying Fig Newton
jimmy: Fig Newtons are gross. I imagine flying ones are worse.
tomk: I know what snacks to keep to myself now.
jimmy: Please do.
tomk: I also know it’s a dumb idea to lie to a telepathic girl in order to impress her.
jimmy: It seemed to work for awhile. It was the non-telepathic girl that saw right through him.
tomk: What? That spitfire Artemis?
jimmy: That’s her.
tomk: It’s almost like Wally doesn’t see who he really should spend more time with, the green girl he keeps trying too hard to impress or the blonde girl who already knows him very well despite his best efforts.
jimmy: Or neither since they both like Superboy.
tomk: Well, green girl does. Blonde girl keeps to herself. Mostly. Kinda. Hey, what’s that over there?
jimmy: It’s a blue car!
tomk: Also, someone left this plate of donuts out while you were looking at the car.
jimmy: Mmmm donuts…
tomk: That’s not a magic trick, and certainly not something delivered by a Lord of Chaos’s feline familiar.
jimmy: Mmmm chaos magic donuts…
tomk: But there were some rules set out. Either have a host body or a familiar or you can’t come to the mortal plane.
jimmy: Is that an accurate depiction of comic Dr Fate?
tomk: Yes and no. Nabu does dwell in the helm, but the human host usually has a lot more free agency.
jimmy: More of a Firestorm situation then?
tomk: That’s probably a good analogy for a more modern Dr. Fate. 1940s Fate was just a wizard with a fancy helmet.
jimmy: The JSA Fate.
jimmy: So, they said he was the JSA Fate, but used a more modern-ish version?
tomk: That seems fair. The classic character was tweaked. Like the continuity pre-New 52, Young Justice treats the JSA as being around first in the 40s and you might see one once in a while.
jimmy: So this show was like, what, 2010? If the JSA members were 20 years old, that would still put them at 90 here.
tomk: Well, that seems to be Kent’s age. But in a lot of comics, there were generally excuses that some were aging more slowly due to whatever superpowers they might have had, or they were exposed to magic stuff. There aren’t many JSA members on the show, but they pop up once in a great while.
jimmy: I gotta get me some of them slower aging super powers.
tomk: Well, I found this old power ring under the credenza in Jenny’s office.
You want it?
jimmy: Will it turn me into a duck?
tomk: Only if you word your wishes the wrong way.
jimmy: Ok. I’ll take it then and be very careful.
tomk: Good. No using it for personal gain. Don’t be a Klarion.
jimmy: I’m not a witch boy.
tomk: Good. Misuse of this ring will turn you into a frog that doesn’t know how to handle a moose. For you, that would be bad.
jimmy: That guy is obnoxious. The other is a moose.
tomk: He misused the ring.
Like Wally, who put a helmet containing a powerful Lord of Order on the souvenir shelf.
jimmy: Wally may not be the brightest.
tomk: But he sure knows his advanced science.
jimmy: Enough to give himself Flash powers at least.
tomk: Aqualad seemed to think Wally has to cling to science to explain everything he deals with every day.
jimmy: Well, when you don’t believe in magic…
tomk: Do you believe in magic?
jimmy: I took the ring didn’t I?
tomk: You might try to use quantum mechanics to explain it.
jimmy: I might? I doubt that very much.
tomk: I didn’t say it would be an accurate or scientifically correct explanation.
jimmy: Then. Maybe.
tomk: Just don’t use the ring once and decide it isn’t worth the hassle and put it on a shelf somewhere as a future plot point.
jimmy: That would just be silly.
tomk: Right. This is real life. This isn’t fantasy. We weren’t caught in a landslide in an escape from reality.
jimmy: Open your eyes, Tom.
tomk: I did. I looked up to the sky and saw.
jimmy: And what did you see?
tomk: Thunderbolt and lightning. Very, very frightening. Probably a magical duel.
jimmy: Wally does know a thing or two about lightning.
tomk: Like how not to avoid it apparently.
jimmy: While covered in chemicals.
tomk: Huh. Maybe Wally isn’t so bright after all…
jimmy: That’s what I’m saying!
tomk: You’d say a lot of things for more donuts.
jimmy: Well, the other ones are gone.
tomk: Fair enough. Here’s some jelly donuts you should share but probably won’t.
jimmy: I can’t share now; they’re gone.
tomk: That was fast, Canadian Flash.
jimmy: Equally fast, but more polite.
tomk: Not likely to lie to a telepath or a magic doorway?
jimmy: Less likely.
tomk: Fair enough. Anything else to add here? Or are you just stalling for a third plate of donuts?
jimmy: We can move on and see what deliciousness you bring next time…I mean, see what The Team is up to next.
tomk: Something involving Aqualad perhaps. I hope you like fish sticks.
tomk: These chats don’t work if you have nothing to say.
Donuts get soggy in Atlantis.
jimmy: We’ll need a more water proof snack.
tomk: I’m sure we’ll think of something. Ready to learn more about the character created expressly for the show?
tomk: Then grab a snorkel because we’re going under the sea.
The Team gets a night off, allowing Aqualad time for personal reflection.
jimmy: Did you find the little cutaways to the downtime of the other members of the team distracting?
tomk: What? You didn’t want to see Bruce being a good father to Dick, Artemis getting into a school she never applied to, Wally’s birthday party, and the egg incident that left the Red Tornado glad he isn’t human?
jimmy: They were cute, but felt out of place once the Black Manta attack started.
tomk: I see. You’re suddenly all about Aquaman and his supporting cast.
jimmy: Not really, I just found it jarring when Aqualad is fighting for the survival of Atlantis…let’s cut away to Wally eating ice cream!
tomk: But Barry and Jay were there!
jimmy: That was kinda cool, I admit.
tomk: Yes. 106 year old Jay Garrick and his wife were there. Last episode, you would have said something.
jimmy: I’ve grown since then.
tomk: Well good. Have some waffles and ice cream for your birthday. Whenever that is.
jimmy: Long passed, but I am hungry, so thanks!
tomk: Call it a late or early gift. Like getting into an exclusive private school.
jimmy: I imagine that will come up again. Seemed so random and unimportant.
tomk: Episodes like this are to mostly establish character. We have already gotten episodes focusing on M’gann, Superboy, Dick, and Wally. Aqualad makes sense for the next one since Artemis is intended to be a bit more mysterious for dramatic purposes
So, little cutaways to the others does allow for some growth while showing the most for Aqualad since he’s a new character…even as he teams up with comic book Aqualad Garth.
And this is a superhero cartoon, so a bad guy better attack at some point.
jimmy: I was fine with it all, I just wasn’t sure of the pacing. Like I said, once the attack starts, stick with that until the end.
tomk: And you probably have no idea how comics accurate Atlantis was.
jimmy: Not really. And are they wizards?
tomk: Some are. There’s a lot of magic down there. Comics Garth learned magic and changed his hero name to Tempest. Tupo was originally Aquaman’s pet octopus but there later was an octopus-headed guy by that name. Tula would go by Aquagirl and be the only hero killed in the Crisis by something other than the Anti-Monitor’s forces. She and Garth were a couple. A character named Lagoon Boy was hanging around the magic school. Oh, and Garth’s eyes were purple. His debut story showed Aquaman took him in because the city he was from drove him out because purple eyes were considered cursed.
jimmy: Old Purple Eyes they used to call him.
tomk: You sure about that?
tomk: Well, good. You get to have dinner with the king and queen.
jimmy: What were they calling Aquaman? Orin?
tomk: That was his name for a period.
But the purple eyes thing was a detail I picked up on to show how much the series was going to stick to what came before, even if this episode ends with a line about how different things would have been if Garth had been Aqualad instead of Kaldur.
jimmy: At least Kaldur might have gotten the girl in that scenario.
tomk: Yeah. Maybe.
So, what did you make of Atlantis, a place with its own frozen Starro?
jimmy: Pretty wet.
tomk: They have their own language.
jimmy: That’s not surprising. Though seeing subtitles on a cartoon always is.
tomk: Ickspin habablab horkian vanderploomp.
*Subtitles promote literacy for everyone.
jimmy: That Aquaman, always looking out for everyone.
tomk: Just like in Canada when things are in English and French.
jimmy: Yet I can’t speak French at all. Thanks for nothing, Aquaman.
tomk: He can’t teach you French. Atlantean, sure, but not French.
You want French? Ask Captain Picard.
jimmy: Don’t cross the streams, Tom!
tomk: Too late.
tomk: OK, but I do think it’s worth noting…Atlantis has a frozen Starro, and Aquaman’s brother seems rather excited about that fact.
jimmy: Where did they get a frozen Starro? Someone flush him down the toilet?
tomk: Is that where you get one? Because my toilet won’t flush anything that big.
jimmy: You flush them before they get too big.
tomk: Well, hello Mr. Fancypants.
jimmy: I’m guessing this Starro will be an important side plot like what school Artemis goes to.
tomk: You’re still mad Gotham Academy rejected you, I see.
jimmy: Just because I don’t live in Gotham. Or their country. Or universe.
tomk: Oh, it’s such a safety school these days. I heard the Moose, the Beaver, and two of the three Ducks all got in.
jimmy: Guess I’ll be going to Vassar with the Starro.
tomk: I have had enough of your constant Vassar bashing!
jimmy: Well, at least Blank Manta didn’t get away with the Starro he probably shouldn’t have known about and seems like he had inside information.
tomk: Yeah. I think Prince Orm should probably check for a security leak.
jimmy: Perhaps in a mirror?
tomk: Mirror Master is involved?!?
He’s more of a Flash foe…
jimmy: I knew you’d go there.
tomk: And yet…you set me up. Have a breakfast burrito.
jimmy: I don’t know much about Orm, but he wasn’t very friendly in the DCEU.
tomk: Or when Patrick Wilson played him in the Aquaman movie…
jimmy: …in the DCEU.
tomk: You have a problem with how Patrick Wilson played the Ocean Master?
He sure didn’t seem all that friendly.
jimmy: No, that’s why I said it.
tomk: Oh, I got confused. I thought you were referring to his appearance in the DCAU.
Too many acronyms.
jimmy: That’s what I thought. Either way, usually a jerk.
tomk: And we all know how you feel about jerks.
I mean, the Jerk Store called, and they were running out of Orms.
jimmy: That’s ok, Watson is their number one seller.
tomk: Well, so far this Orm is still invited to Orin and Mera’s Thanksgiving dinner.
jimmy: We’ll have to wait and see about Underwater Festivus.
tomk: The airing of grievances can get pretty bad.
jimmy: Good thing aluminum doesn’t rust.
tomk: Well, for now, the Ocean Master’s secret is safe with…um, not the audience.
jimmy: Hopefully that secret does not involve Baby Aquaman.
tomk: That’s…more of a horror from Black Manta.
tomk: Well, on that dark note, it sure was a good thing Kaldur got over romantic rejection that easily.
jimmy: It made his decision for him after Batman called him out.
tomk: Getting called out by Batman never goes well for people.
jimmy: Especially when he defeats the villain that’s kicking your ass by using electricity, which is like one of your main powers.
tomk: Clayface sure can beat people up.
tomk: You didn’t recognize Clayface?
jimmy: I recognized him, but wasn’t it a training exercise?
tomk: Oh yeah.
I was dazzled too much by Wally’s birthday party.
jimmy: You were angry he ate all the ice cream.
tomk: Not really. I can’t be chowing down on ice cream at my age. Why do you think I give so many snacks away?
By the way, here’s a bag of chips.
jimmy: Your secret is out! And I don’t mind.
tomk: Good. Get some dip with those chips.
jimmy: So, we got Artemis getting guilted into changing schools; Robin and Batman playing one on one; Wally at a Speed Force party; M’gann butchering another flirting attempt and Conner watching what I assume is pixel porn.
tomk: Conner and M’gann were probably battling their throbbing biological urges. And we know where that always leads.
tomk: But anyway, we got to see some of Atlantis and every DC fan who wanted Original Flavor Aqualad probably felt cruelly mocked. Anything else to add?
jimmy: I hope that last point was a dig at Watson.
tomk: I think Watson liked this show.
jimmy: I’ll take that as a “yes”.
tomk: You take a lot of things.
In fact, here’s a pizza. No pineapple.
jimmy: Perfect. Pineapple is nature’s tropical garbage.
tomk: I’m glad you remembered that. Forgetting things can be problematic
jimmy: I bet you’re going somewhere with this…
tomk: I may be. Would you like to learn more?
jimmy: I would. Hopefully I won’t forget.
tomk: That will put you ahead of the Team.
Next: Tom and Jimmy will have more chat soon when they discuss the episodes “Bereft” and “Targets”.