I am looking at Season Two of the Young Justice animated series, examining its origins in comic book lore and how the show develops its complex mixture of characters and plots. Spoilers for everything up to this episode.
Blue Beetle returns to the center of this storyline, beginning with a Fantastic Voyage homage as Atom and Bumblebee try to free Jaime from the Scarab from within. Like most characters on Young Justice, Karen has never had an “origin” story that explains her powers. This situation suggests she uses similar shrinking technology that Ray Palmer uses to become Atom.
Beetle has wisely decided not to keep the secret of the apocalyptic future that Impulse comes from. This show has established clearly the dangers of hidden information. I wonder if there was a specific reason Nightwing didn’t include M’gann in the circle of Team members who knew about Aqualad’s undercover mission? I also question Nightwing’s wisdom of including Arsenal on their stealth mission investigating what Lex Luther and the Reach are up to at the enhanced farming facility. Maybe Dick is forgetting that Arsenal is not the Roy Harper he knew and trusted? Clones are a pain.
The appearance of “Green Beetle” was a bit of a Deus Ex Machina, to get the overwhelmed heroes out of the mess they got themselves into. I believe he is a new character created for the show, so I wonder where they’ll go with him. In usual comic continuity Martian Manhunter is the only surviving Green Martian, but in this continuity Martian civilization seems to be thriving. I wonder if there is also a Martian Green Lantern?
A lot is actually going on within the Light, mostly from the consequences of Aqualad’s mission. Sportsmaster explosively tenders his resignation (and is replaced by Deathstroke) and becomes, for the time being, a third faction in the goings on. He’s targeting Black Manta to pay for Artemis’s death — though more more his reputation than fatherly affection.
We see the mental battle with Miss Martian has indeed left Aqualad in a vegetative state. Psimon is being brought in to rebuild his mind — but that of course will reveal the secret of his undercover mission. While we have seen that M’gann has been shaken and traumatized herself, we don’t know if she’s fully grasped the situation and revealed to Nightwing what has happened. Should we be hoping that Dick is already a formulating a plan to deal with the situation as it spirals out of control?
Plot continues to be the main focus of these episodes, but we do see that the events have personal consequences to the characters — which then feed back into the situation. Nobody, not even the “scheme within a scheme” masters of the Light know everything that is going on, and can perfectly plan in advance. We’re seeing more of the Light’s internal politics with each episode. Hopefully the heroes can also come to really learn who their enemies are and start winning on that battlefield. Otherwise it’ll be G. Gordon Godfrey getting the last laugh, and last sneer, in the end.