What They Say:
Targets – Red Arrow is pitted against dangerous assassins.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After far too long of a break, Young Justice returns and it puts the character of Red Arrow in the spotlight. With him being a key part at the start of the series who shows plenty of anger over being treated like a kid when he thought he was being inducted into the big leagues, he ditched the whole thing and the sidekick angle in order to get out into the world on his own. And his does things in a big way here in Taipei where, out of costume, he stops an assassin that’s about to take down the new arbitrator that was arriving to deal with negotiations between two countries. Unfortunately for Red Arrow, he didn’t realize that it was Lex Luthor that would be handling the negotiations.
Luthor’s showing his colors easily here, especially when he makes the note that he’s not an angel but that he’s on the side of angels this time. I love the way he points out to Red Arrow that there’s more profit for LexCorp in a peaceful Rhelasia combined than selling weapons to both sides at this point as it makes his character very clear yet slimy. And it’s confounding for Arrow since he knows there is a truth to it and since Luthor doesn’t deny the shell company sales of weapons. Arrow gets to go on a pretty good hunt as things progress though as the League of Shadows gets involved and he spends time chasing after them until the man at the top gets brought into the picture. The positive is that there’s a certain competence to them and Ra’s Al Ghul definitely has a fair bit of presence when he shows up.
While that story unfolds, we do get some good time spent with the Young Justice team as Connor and Megan start going to school in their assumed identities. There’s cuteness to be had with it, especially with Megan mooning over Conner, and she’s just keen to be living the school life. Conner is just angry in general about the whole thing and when he’s at school, having so many kids there with superhero logos on their shirt just pisses him off all the more. It’s understandable considering what he’s been though and the way he feels put down by Superman and the other elder heroes, so he reacts and lashes out both to that and other things he views as threats. The school side does factor into the larger story in a small way, but it’s well done to provide some context to things while not shoehorning it in through an unnatural way.
Young Justice hits all the right marks with its return here and it reminded me quickly why I so tho-roughly enjoyed the show when it kicked off earlier in the year. It has some great characters, very good animation and it works the cast well while not trying to make everyone heavily involved in each episode. There’s such a polish and confidence here that it makes me smile just watching it. It’s not free of problems though as they’re still making parts of it inaccessible, such as the two main villains that get in on the action here. It’s not until nearly the end that Sportsmaster is even named and Cheshire only a bit earlier than that. While some fans may identify them easily, the larger casual audience certainly won’t. It may be forced to do it at times, but they really need to call out the naming in some better fashion. Regardless, this was a spot on episode that gives the focus to Red Arrow who definitely needed it, solidified the relationship he has with the team and gave us a lot of good fun with Conner and Megan at school. It covered a lot of ground, played the world but still kept small and personal. Definitely a great returning episode.