Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets DVD (Season 1 Part 2)
Reviewed by Brant W. Fowler
Stars: Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak, Nolan North & Danica McKellar
Producers: Sam Register, Brandon Vietti & Greg Weisman
Price: $19.97 (list price)
Rating: Not Rated
Another round of justice has been served. Watch them battle villains and fight crime in a 2-disc 14 episode collection!
Back for another round, Robin, Superboy, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Miss Martian and Artemis join forces to take down some of the universe's most dangerous foes. From India to Cadmus Labs, these super-powered sidekicks must think fast and use teamwork in their neverending fight against The Light. Join the team as they battle the likes of the ruthless assassin Cheshire, the Lord of Chaos Klarion, the brutally powerful Sportsmaster and the deceptive Parasite. In battles that test their loyalties and reveal hidden secrets, Young Justice must use their incredible crime-fighting powers to come together and defeat their toughest enemies yet!
For those not familiar, Young Justice is one of the currently running DC and Warner Bros. animated series on Cartoon Network, and this 2-disc DVD set collects the last 14 episodes of Season 1.
I had caught the first few episodes of Season 1 when they originally aired, but both because of the time slot and the eventual mid-season hiatus, I lost track of the show. So when the opportunity came up to review a copy of the DVD wrapping up the season I was all over it. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the season that I had seen, so I was very much looking forward to watching the remaining episodes. And boy, was I glad I did!
Young Justice fills a gap in animated programming that has been left void since the end of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Sure, DC put out a bunch of other series in between, all great in their own right. But there is a certain feel to JL and JLU, very similar to the feel of Batman: The Animated Series, that those other shows just did not have. Young Justice does.
Young Justice, as the name implies, brings together the younger heroes in the DCU, including some former sidekicks like Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad. Joining them are the likes of Ms. Martian, Artemis and Superboy. Seemingly torn out of the pages of the pre-New 52 DCU's Teen Titans series, with a few twists, Young Justice tells the tale of these junior heroes coming of age under the tutelage of the Justice League. Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets sees the teens really growing into their own and making their mark on the world and in their mentors' eyes. The end of the season even sees one of the members graduate to the Justice League!
If you consider the first part of Season 1 was the introduction and set-up of these characters, Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets was the growth, seasoning and maturing of the group, and the perfect way to wrap up the first chapter of their epic story. Speaking of story, the writing and storytelling in this DVD was stellar. It was smart, but not too smart where it would alienate the younger audience. It - like many DC animated series and features - is not dumbed down and never talks down to its audience. It's intelligent and delivers sometimes adult themes in a way that is clean and understandable for children, while remaining interesting and exciting for adults. In that, Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets, and the series as a whole succeeds where too many comic books falter these days.
The art is also amazing, and is just another example why DC animation is at the top of the game when it comes to superhero and comic related programming, and animation in general in this writer's humble opinion. Just like the differences between Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and the Justice League shows, Young Justice's style is a bit different, but never lacking. The animation is smooth, the action sequences are dynamic and the colors are vibrant and fitting for the world they've created here.
In Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets, we also get to see a bunch of familiar faces from the DCU pop up, which is a real treat. There are at least two full episodes featuring the whole of the Justice League and Young Justice teams fighting together. We even see characters like Plastic Man and the Riddler, and a certain young child whom astute viewers will recognize right away as a future hero! There's even a nod to a certain wallcrawler in the guise of a web-themed villain.
Going back to the characterization for just a moment... I mentioned the growth and maturing we see in Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets. What I didn't mention is that we get a chance to look into the personal lives and pasts of each of our main characters throughout these 14 episodes. And if that wasn't enough, we also get to see each of them spotlighted in various episodes either on their own missions or other occurrences that are specific to them. The pacing throughout the DVD couldn't have been any better.
If you are a fan of DC animation, you won't even need to read this review to know how good this series is. If you are specifically a fan of the other series I mentioned in this review, specifically the Justice League shows, you will certainly want to watch Young Justice. And if you missed the second part of the season, Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets is too good to pass up! Trust me, you won't regret it. You even get a digital comic as a special feature!
I had a blast watching this DVD set and highly recommend Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets to fans of animation period.
Brant W. Fowler / Writer, Letterer, Reviewer, Columnist, Podcaster, Partner/COO/Site Manager of Comic Related
Brant W. Fowler has been a professional comic book writer, editor, flatter, letterer and logo designer for several years, and has been a freelance editor for the past five years or so. He is one of the cast members and host of the Zone 4 podcast here at Comic Related, and he letters some of the webcomics on the site. You can see samples of his works and how to hire him at Gonzogoose Design and Just-Flats.net. And catch up with him on his forums right here at CR. Brant is also a member of the core operations team at Comic Related.
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