MrEko reviews Young Justice: Failsafe [Spoiler-Filled]
Tonight’s Young Justice episode involves the fall of the Justice League during an alien invasion and the attempts by YJ to fill in those large roles whilst also quelling an alien invasion and protecting earth.
Keywords: MM - Martian Manhunter, JL - Justice League, YJ - Young Justice.
You are treated to a cold open at the start of the episode, as Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Batman (in a sleek looking batwing) approach an alien ship on a warpath to earth. The exchange quickly turns to bloodshed as the alien’s beams instantly atomize Stewart and Jordan, whilst batman narrowly escapes. The batwing’s bay opens up to reveal four of the leagues heavy hitters – Superman, Captain Marvel, Captain Atom, Martin Manhunter –
All of whom quickly make short work of the aliens. The day is saved and Batman sheds a tear. Right? Far from it, all four including batman are seemingly killed in battle, whilst a video feed from JLA satellite relays the unfolding horrifying events to the rest of JL as well as Young Justice. It is quite jarring to see the top dogs and popular heroes killed off in succession, a shock that only escalates as the alien invasion continues, climaxing at the total annihilation of the entire justice league as they fight back the invaders. A scene that stands out in particular is Flash [Barry Allen] saving his wife as she reports on the chaos only for them to be laser beamed by the alien ship mere seconds later whilst the events are broad casted live to the rest of the world.
What follows next is a rapid succession in tension, action and subsequent death(s). An attack by YJ on a solo scout alien ship, goes awry when wolf and Artemis are shot down while dismantling the ship, resulting in a visibly angry Aqualad pulling of a one man ship takedown. The team regroups at the Justice Hall with a visibly distraught Wally imploring the league to take down the aliens as soon as possible. While past episodes have hinted at the sensual (hey its a kids show) tension between the two, it is quite interesting to see Wally make no effort at hiding his feelings for Artemis. A groggy, disoriented Martian Manhunter is found underneath the rubble at the aforementioned HQ, with no recollection of how he survived but a strange foreboding thought that he is supposed to remember something. An assault on HQ by the alien (as well as an introduction to General Wade Eiling) results in even more character deaths as Wade and Aqualad make the ultimate sacrifice with their lives in order to save their comrades A final attack on the main mothership is proposed in the hopes of finding the remaining justice league as Wally posits that the league might have been teleported rather than killed.
The final showdown: Superboy plays bait while the remaining YJ & MM sneak into the mothership. Moments later Conner is killed, as MM recovers his memories and drops the shocker that entire the JL is dead and there is no one to save. Robin and kid flash die in the resulting explosion while rigging up the main power supply, leaving MM and his niece as the sole survivors. And just when the escalation has reached fever pitch and the body count is overwhelming, MM proceeds to calmly runs his hand through Miss Martians heart killing her instantly.
Take a breather - It was all a dream, technically a mind exercise conducted by MM & Batman. A test, the ultimate Kobayashi Maru, an exercise designed to test JY members character in an unwinnable scenario where all the heroes are dead. A test that ended badly, when Megan subconsciously coopted her uncle’s mental exercise half way through the ordeal. As a result, all members fell into a deep coma rather than waking up after dying [Think inception 4 layers in], and were in danger of becoming permanently coma stricken. Only a traumatic event could free them from Megan’s grasp. Hence, the brutal death blow by MM to shock his niece into letting go of the exercise lest she kill her teammates unknowingly. The sinister reveal at the end is a shocked MM realizing just how powerful Miss Martian telepathy, stating outright that she is more powerful than he is, and hinting at the danger of such power remaining uncontrolled.
Cameo Roll Call:
- Captain Marvel
- Captain Atom
- Green Lantern: Hal Jordan & John Stewart
- Icon [Name only, mentioned in broadcast]
- Flash [Barry Allen]
- Red Tornado
- Red Arrow
- Green Arrow
- Black Canary
- Iris West-Allen
- General Wade Eiling
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Barbara Gordon
- Hawkman & Hawkgirl
- Aquaman[Name only]
- The Atom[Name only]
- Karen Beecher
- Mal Duncan/Herald
- Bette Kane (with Alfred, Barbara & Snapper Carr)
- Garth & Tula
- Marvin White & Wendy Harris
- Snapper Carr
-Superboy cheered as a hero by the soldiers after he saves them and being referred to as superman.
-The subtle pause after Iris West Allen thanks
Barry Allen Flash for saving her, as well as flash’s hand lingering a second too long on her shoulder before he runs off. It was a well written nod to their relationship and a pleasant shoot-out for fans out there.
-Aqualad’s self sacrifice
-New white uniforms.
-Robin stepping up as leader after Aqualad’s death.
-The terror in Batman’s & MM voice when they realize just how dangerously powerful Miss Martian is.
-Miss Martian subconsciously beating and controlling their version of a Kobayashi Maru[a term associated with star trek; an unwinnable scenario ]
-Kid Flash’s breakdown at Artemis death.
-The Dream aspect: which explained the lack of empathy at the sheer level of destruction and death around them.
-The entire episode, which reminded me of BTAS: Perchance to dream.
-Captain Marvel hugging a crying Miss Martian [Billy Baston understands way too well]
-The entire Young Justice members shocked at how the exercise turned out.
While some might feel the dream aspect was a copout, I felt it was well utilized. It was less of a “what-if” scenario and properly displayed the team’s dynamics in a deadly situation. Also, I sure as heaven was not going to believe the entire justice league was dead, leaving the safety of the world to their
sidekicks, mentees. Hence 4.765 stars out of 5. ;)
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