Well this was… interesting.
Even if – like me – one was running through this show as blind as possible, you knew Artemis was joining just from the opening credits… of the previous three episodes! (I’m giving a pass to the 2-part premiere.) Still, it seems very weird to give her a hint, sort of build her up with an offscreen appearance in the previous episode, “Schooled”, and then just introduce her with a cold opening: “Hey guys, here’s your new teammate! Hope you like her!”
Rest of the episode was pretty good and mostly just an excuse for action set pieces which… I have no problem with. It was cool getting to see a bunch of DC superheroes fighting
Spider-Man Black Spider. Still, the big reveal is that someone on the team is a traitor to the Titans Young Justice (swear I’ve heard this before). So, without even checking my data, just guessing on the reveal from my long history with this genre (and stories in general):
- It is Artemis and is so blatant, they will either confirm it really early, or drag out the reveal for so long that we’ll actually doubt it a moment before “bam!” reveal. (Yeah, Dollhouse got good at the latter.)
- It is someone else unwittingly – like Superboy or Red Tornado with subconscious programming. Which is such a cliche I’m getting tired of. When was the last time you heard of a thriller or horror story where a protagonist is hunting something and DIDN’T assume said protagonist was also the target/villain/monster/whatever. It’s interesting how our stories have evolved of late. Once upon a time, we trusted other people enough that the clergyman or mayor or local janitor being the monster (human or otherwise) was an actual shock. Until market trends of “follow the leader” made it so common that nowadays we find a trustworthy churchman or politician to be the greater shock (especially if they act like jerks). So then the stories started having close family be the monster – your spouse, your parents, your child, your second cousin. Again, the twist propagated until it was cliche, and the only surprise left is yourself – you’re the monster. Well it’s cliche now so where do we go from here? Is there anyone else?*
Still, Artemis isn’t too bad as a character and the action in this episode was top notch. Oh, and no one tell me if Chesire is supposed to be her mother, I’m betting it is and want the show to tell me I’m wrong/right.
This episode really felt like a tribute to the Timm/Dini-verse episode “The Terror Beyond” where some heroes help out Dr Fate fight some Lovecraftian horror. I did like the parallel between a science hero teaming up with a magical one to defeat a science & magic villain team-up. Still could have done without the over, “Hey everyone! We’re going to pair Kid Flash with Artemis!” Teen Titans and JL both played things more subtly and organically with their relationships. Well, as long as he keeps his hands off my M’gan…
Fairly standard otherwise. I’m going to have to start watching a lot more cartoons to get ranting material I think…
*What archetypes haven’t played villains yet? The gay best friend? An orphan with exceptional talents? The wise old black woman? The rogue cop who plays by his own rules? Shout out your own picks for who you think is due to be traitors in the next story cycle.