It’s been almost four months since Young Justice went on break, and while the show’s first episode back sidelines the alien invasion story, this Speedy-centric installment doesn’t miss a beat. Roy Harper isn’t dealing well with the news that he was replaced by a clone and no one noticed, and he decides to take revenge on the man who took away eight years of his life and his right arm: Lex Luthor. While the Speedy action unfolds, the members of Young Justice are getting some much-needed downtime, setting up future plotlines for the second half of the season. As usual, “Satisfaction” is a fine mix of high-octane action and character-based drama, and continues to push this show’s heroes in new directions.
Young Justice: Invasion’s greatest strength is its pacing, keeping things moving at a brisk pace by regularly introducing new information. This episode begins with Roy Harper in hospital bed, bitching out his former mentor and his clone, and ends with him gaining a new weaponized arm and changing his name from Speedy to Arsenal. That’s years worth of comic book material condensed into 22 minutes, and Roy didn’t even have to become a drug addict. Sure, now he’s a rageful borderline psychotic with a super robot arm, but at least he’s drug-free. The Speedy storyline is really a showcase for this series’ animation department, with some spectacular action sequences as a one-armed Roy blows up Lex Luthor, then fights his cybernetic bodyguard Mercy in a brutal parking garage brawl.
Unable to use a bow and arrow, Roy has to turn to a wider variety of weapons, from missile launchers to grenades and LexCorp-made detonating cord. Doug Murphy gorgeously directs the resulting carnage, showing how powerful these combatants are, even without superpowers. When Roy corners Luthor, he finds himself surrounded by armed (ha) LexCorp security guards, but Luthor offers Roy an opportunity to walk away with no one getting hurt. “What is it you really want, revenge or satisfaction?” Luthor asks Roy before presenting him with a new arm, and Roy picks the latter. When he runs into Green and Red Arrow after the botched assassination attempt, Roy is eerily chipper, proudly announcing that Speedy died eight years ago. Ollie is already nervous about Roy’s mental condition, and when he shows them his new limb and declares himself Arsenal, Roy starts the transition from angry one-armed boy to crazy robo-armed man.
Back at Mount Justice, the team is still reeling from Artemis’ death. Jaime is with Bart, Dick, and Mal in the tribute hall, where holograms of their fallen comrades are displayed: Artemis, Tula, Blue Beetle, and Robin. That last one is a big reveal, confirming that Jason Todd was a Robin who died in battle during the five-year jump. We can probably assume this means that Red Hood will be showing up at some point in this series, especially after the creation of Arsenal this week. Now the writers just need to introduce Starfire, which could very well happen soon considering this season’s extraterrestrial bent, and then we’d have the Red Hood And The Outlaws team, although most likely being featured in a story that is much better than their comic book.
While looking at the statue of Ted Kord, Jaime laments that he’s one of the only members of the team who doesn’t have a mentor. Bart just randomly showed up from the future, and he already has an entire Flash family, but Jaime has to learn how to be Blue Beetle all by himself. The fanboy in me is hoping that this conversation between Jaime and Bart is foreshadowing for a future Ted Kord episode via time travel or straight-up resurrection, because if there’s a show that could make Ted Kord look like a badass, it’s Young Justice. Hell, if Greg Weisman can make a one-armed Roy Harper terrifying, he can do just about anything. As the team mourns, Artemis’ family vows revenge, with Jade and Sportsmaster deciding to make Aqualad and Black Manta pay for their actions. This season has great momentum, and each event has major ripples that push the characters to take action. Artemis’ “death” has forced Jade and Sportsmaster back into the fray, which will make things difficult for all parties involved.
It’s Conner’s birthday, and no one but Wendy seems to have remembered. Wendy decides that this would be a good time to remind Conner of all the great surprise parties that M’gann used to throw him when they were together, which only puts him in a deeper fun. When Conner responds that he never liked those parties, Wendy gives him a quick therapy session and says that he secretly loved them because they made M’gann happy. Conner is surprised that Wendy knows him so well, and they share a romantic look before breaking eye contact. A Wendy/Conner pairing could be fun, especially because it would give the writers the opportunity to tackle some classic secret identity dating woes.
Although a minor part of this week’s episode, there’s a delightful subplot involving the women of Young Justice throwing Rocket a bridal shower. Wait, what? Raquel’s getting married? To whom? Further complicating matters, in the most recent issue of the Greg Weisman-scripted Young Justice comic book, Bumblebee asks Rocket to show her the latest pictures of Amistad. It’s not specified who Amistad is, but in the Icon comic, Amistad was the name of Raquel’s son. As we’ve seen with Jade, this show has no problem with characters having children out of wedlock, which seems pretty progressive for a children’s television show. Captain Cold foolishly chooses to rob a bank across the street from the superheroine meet-up, and when he freezes the city block, he finds himself faced with seven angry women standing in their best “we’re about to kick your ass” pose. After that tease, this show really needs to do an all-female episode, although the writers should find a way to get Stephanie Brown, Starfire, and Raven in there as well. This season already has a huge amount of characters, what harm could three more do?
- This week in DC Nation Shorts: The Teen Titans try to film a PSA for gamma rays and fail miserably, and the Super Best Friends Forever show that they’re equal opportunity butt-kickers when they run into a Solomon Grundy that doesn’t fight girls. I love when the girls taunt Grundy by shouting rhymes for “brain” in zombie voices.
- DeviantArt’s Rymslim draws New 52 character designs in the Young Justice style, and the results are awesome.
- I definitely took a picture at Comic-Con of the Starfire and Raven cosplayers who say, “We’ll be back with DC Nation.”
- “Gotta love modern weapons tech. Easier for a one-armed man to fire a missile launcher than pull on his pants.”
- Captain Cold: “I’m completely doomed, aren’t I?” Rocket: “100%”