Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Young Justice "Welcome to Happy Harbor"

Well, we've all said hello to Megan. And she's said it to herself, too. First impressions?

As an introduction to Miss Martian, this episode works really well. Like, seriously, this is textbook how-to-introduce-a-character.

We get ample time to both see and get used to her personality and quirks, and we get the seeds of several subplots for her. The plot of the episode allows her to showcase her powers and show how she works as a team. The character grows over the course of the episode, and her presence allows the other characters to grow as characters in their own right.

This episode is utterly brilliant as an introduction to the character. But is the character any good? We'll get there.


Red Tornado
You don't get much more no-nonsense than a computer. The complete lack of a emotion is a good way to measure whether or not this team is stacking up.

T. O. Morrow
He doesn't make that much of an appearance, but it's clear that he's planning for the long run. This wasn't just a random attack, and the implications will be seen down the road.

Miss Martian
As we learn in this episode, Miss Martian is a Mary Ann. A Betty. A Gwen Stacy. "The nice girl." This characterization is explained in its own right, and will provide a foil for Artemis, the eventual Ginger/Veronica/Mary Jane.

But is the character any good?

Well, she has a few annoying habits. (Her "Hello Megan"s are love it or hate it.) But her overall charm still makes her endearing. She's eager to please, and eager to fit in. We'll see the extent of that in later episodes.

But is the character any good?

She's a fish out of water... but not as much as Aquaman! (Ba-dum-tsh!)

But is...

Fine. To be honest, no. Not yet. But that's indicative of the characters as a whole. All the characters in the show, at this point, are still having their personalities established. As such, we won't get much depth out of them until they are allowed to grow and mature as characters. But having said that, the groundwork is laid here for some truly top-notch character development.

A simple one. Probably the simplest you can write. I mean, apart from the robotic twists, this plot ultimately boils down to "villain attacks." But that's not a bad thing At this point in the series, and underlying theme is that of new beginnings. For the sidekicks, a new team. For Superboy, a new life. For Miss Martian, a whole new world. A new, fantastic point of view. New friends all around. But for this episode, "new beginnings" is contrasted with "uncovering the old." The team resides in an old JL base, an old figure from Red Tornado's past menaces the team, etc. But that just serves to reinforce to "new beginnings" theme, because the search for Red Tornado leads to new plots, Speedy's refusal to join leads to new plots, the team's assembly leads to new plots. I want to go over all the subplots that are started here, but that would simply take too long. Not to mention there's little to say beside "This subplot starts" and "That subplot starts." We'll get there when we get there.

All in all, good characters, good villains, great foreshadowing, and a pretty good episode. It definitely benefits from a second watching after the events of the second season. Some of the foreshadowing is almost up to Moffat levels. No joke.

See you next time!

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