Young Justice: Season One Volume One
A new half-hour animated DC Universe series for a new generation starring ROBIN, AQUALAD, KID FLASH, SUPERBOY, MISS MARTIAN and ARTEMIS . The six raw teenage heroes are YOUNG JUSTICE the JUSTICE LEAGUE's secret weapon against the forces of evil. Based out of THE CAVE, the teen heroes will take on under-the-radar missions that would be impossible for the League proper (with its incandescent star-power) to handle covertly. In addition, these kids are in constant training to take their place alongside the great heroes. RED TORNADO will be their supervisor; BLACK CANARY will be in charge of their training, and BATMAN will hand out their assignments. And of course, Young Justice will push their missions, often turning a simple assignment from Batman into something much larger, often discovering that what they've been tasked to do is just the tip of the iceberg.
Four of DC Comics' most dedicated superhero sidekicks get their own shot at the spotlight in the energetic animated series Young Justice. Though it shares a name and some characters with Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck's comic title, the Young Justice series, produced by Greg Weisman (The Spectacular Spider-Man) and Brandon Vietti, follows its own story arc, in which Robin (voiced by actor/pop star Jesse McCartney), Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Green Arrow's teenage charge, Speedy, decide to establish their own identities as crime fighters. Despite serious misgivings from Superman (Nolan North) and Batman (Bruce Greenwood), the quartet are given their own case, which leads to the discovery of not only a cloning laboratory within the Cadmus organization, but also Superboy (also North) among the replicas. After a brief lineup shuffle that sees Superboy replace Speedy and Martian Manhunter's niece, Miss Martian (Danica McKellar), join their ranks, the newly formed group takes on such established DC villains as Bane (well voiced by Danny Trejo), Kobra (Arnold Vosloo) and his cult, and Mister Twister (John de Lancie), among others. Young Justice should win over longtime DC fans and newcomers alike with its respectful nod to the imprint's long history and characters, and the smart, breezy, and action-filled tone of the series. Unfortunately, the season-one, volume-one DVD is something of a letdown, offering only the first four episodes (none of which include Artemis, who joins the team in episode five, and is prominently featured on the box cover art) and no extras. It may serve as the impetus to check out the rest of the series, but its limited presentation lacks the impact of a full-season set, which is how this terrific series ought to be seen. --Paul Gaita