Young Justice returns with the best of the season (so far)

Young Justice - Before the Dawn

DC Nation fans can rejoice this new year with the return of their favorite weekend cartoon block. This week’s CartoonClack lets you know if ‘Young Justice’s’ “Before the Dawn” will be worth the wait.


2012 was not the best year for my viewing experience. Besides Community being put on hiatus, the entire DC Nation block (Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and the animated shorts) were taken off Cartoon Network’s schedule only 12 hours before air, only to have the Cartoon Network Twitter account happily announce later that day the block was coming back in 2013. I wrote about the situation back when it happened in October, but it is disappointing that we were never given a reason for the hiatus.

Still, this Saturday marks the return of DC Nation and needless to say, I’m very happy about it. The thing is, the episodes premiering this weekend also happen to be the ones that were still sold on iTunes for about 24 hours after the hiatus started, so I’ve already seen Young Justice‘s “Before the Dawn” many times over in the last few months. So without giving away spoilers, here’s why you should watch if you’re at all a fan of the show.

So if you remember from the last episode “Darkest,” undercover operatives Aqualad and Artemis had to kidnap three of the younger team members (in particular Blue Beetle) and blow up the cave in order to keep their cover. “Before the Dawn” is entirely about the team’s multi-layered mission to get the kids back. Missions like this were the norm last season and this one gives us plenty of opportunities to highlight several of the team members while keeping the story moving. For instance, we see more of Artemis and Kaldur undercover, but we also get to see M’gann struggle with the consequences of her actions during and leading up to the mission (something speculated several times over the summer by fans, actually). We also get to find out a little bit more about the future from which Impulse escaped and how Blue Beetle ties in to all of this. In general, we’re getting a clearer picture of the invasion that the season has been leading up to while also building on character arcs.

Yes, Batgirl is awesome during this mission.

Personally, my favorite part of the episode was the focus on Batgirl and Robin. Both Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake are characters close to my heart thanks to growing up with the DCAU, but neither have had a huge amount of focus compared to the original team members and characters like Bart and Jaime. But in this episode, we get to see both of them working together to kick alien butt. And as a lifelong Barbara Gordon fan, it made me far too happy to see her take a leadership role, going as far as confidently making a very difficult but necessary decision by the end of the episode. Yes, Batgirl is awesome during this mission. Did I mention we also get an amazing cameo from another iconic Batfamily member that could potentially be foreshadowing a future team member?

So far, season two of Young Justice has had much more focus on the overarching plot and less on the characters. “Before the Dawn” is my favorite episode so far this season because it manages to balance character moments while still having plenty of action and adding to the overall story. The only negative about watching the episode was knowing that I’d be waiting months to find out what happens next, and considering there’s a pretty huge cliffhanger to end the episode … let’s just say I’ve been a very patient fan this winter. I’m definitely going to rewatch the episode this weekend when DC Nation return, but man oh man, I can’t wait for the weekend after to find out what happens next.

Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

2 Comments on “Young Justice returns with the best of the season (so far)

  1. I wonder how Young Justice is doing in the Ratings. DisneyXD canceled the similarly awesome Avengers because it wasn’t as popular as Spiderman.

    • Which is weird, because Avengers actually had slightly higher ratings than Spidey.

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