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15 February 2011 @ 07:21 am
Questioning Young Justice  
Cross-posted from Ars Marginal

Like many comic book fans, I’ve been watching the new Young Justice series on Cartoon Network.

In fact I just finished watching the latest episode where Artemis enters. For the most part I’ve been enjoying the cartoon. And that’s saying a lot because for me the Bruce Timm DC Animated Universe (Batman, Superman, Static Shock, The Zeta Project, Batman Beyond, Justice League) was the pinnacle of excellence and an impossible act to follow.

But the new series is showing promise and I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. However it’s already fucking up on something fierce.

Questions, I have them.



Question the first: I adore Artemis. She easily owns and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I’m also stoked that along with Aqualad the team will have two POCs. For those of you who don’t know Artemis is half-Vietnamese and half-caucasian. That said, why are both POCs on the team blond? One I could roll with, but both POCs? And given DC’s history of “vixenizing” minority characters, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in raising any eyebrow at this.

Question the second: WHY THE FUCK IS AQUALAD “HOLDING” THE LEADERSHIP POSITION FOR ROBIN?!!!! Yes Robin has more experience (you wouldn’t know it the way he behaves), but he has shown no maturity what so ever or any leadership capabilities. And his “experience” is him being the sidekick and taking orders, really different from leading a team. He’s impulsive and immature. Aqualad clearly is the best qualified leader of the group. He thinks things through, he carries himself with maturity and grace. He’s constantly the one with a plan. So how does Robin innately become worthy of the leadership role? He’ll one day grow into the role? You could make the same argument for the other members and even then I see Konnor and Artemis being more qualified to lead than this version of Robin.

This is not the Robin of the Teen Titans cartoon. That one was actually a credible leader on occasion, when he wasn’t being Emo Loner Boy and “screwing” his team over. And even then more than once Cyborg proved that he was the real leader of the team.

And this YJ Robin doesn’t even compare to TT Robin as far as being a leader goes.
And let’s be real here. If the roles were reversed, I sure as hell don’t see the writers having Robin “hold” the leadership role for Aqualad.

I see this trope all the fucking time. Anytime a POC proves themselves superior to anything over a caucasian, they’re under obligation to share their accomplishment with their inferior white peers knowing damn well that ish wouldn’t happen if the roles were reversed.

Anytime a POC proves themselves superior whether in real life or fiction, they quickly get denigrated and erased, usually replaced with an inferior caucasian substitute. And POCs are expected to accept that blatant racism with a smile on our faces. Case in point.

Question the third: Superman is the neglectful deadbeat father? REALLY?!!!! You know shit is fucked up when Bruce is telling Clark how to be a positive influence in someone’s life.

YJ, you’re showing a lot of promise and for the most part I’ve enjoyed the series. Please don’t fuck this up with the blatant racefail. And I’d go into the not-so veiled sexism of the female characters being “forced” into the boys club and having to prove themselves as peers but these ladies discuss the issue far better than I could.

Mr. Weisman, I’ve been a huge fan of yours for a minute. You’re the force behind Gargoyles, one of the most underrated and progressive and brilliant cartoons ever produced. So these critiques aren’t from a hater, it’s from a fan who genuinely wants to support the cartoon and wants to be a rabid fanboy for YJ (which was one of my all-time favorite comics and one of the most underrated yet brilliant series ever released) and for your work. Now I get the series just began and like any show, one has to work out the kinks in order to be a well-tuned machine. But please take what’s written into account. I can see this series being something special and I really want to support it.

So for now, I’ll be watching. Please make me a true believer. Please.
 
 
 
yaseen101yaseen101 on February 15th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Yay! You are posting again.

I mostly know Wiesman through his work on Spectacular Spider-man and from everything I've seen and heard on this show, a lot his influence shows through when it comes to female characters and poc's.

However, the concept of the show doesn't really appeal to me and not only am I trying to keep from digesting anything Bat-fam related but also because this sounds like one of those shows where I would be looking at the screen and counting the ways on how they could have done things better.

I love the original Teen Titans and maybe I'm just nostalgic for it and not watching the new show because of it. For me the old show was a nice blend of goofiness, fun and yes it did get really dark at times. I love the TTG!Robin. I think not having actually read the Teen Titans comics before then helped a bit. I'm not really looking for a show where being 'dark n' edgy' is the main focus but a show with a little balance to it
soukuyah: MAX Batgirlsoukuyah on February 16th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
Awesome post.

WHY THE FUCK IS AQUALAD “HOLDING” THE LEADERSHIP POSITION FOR ROBIN?!!!!

Yes, yes, and yes. In a sea of awesomeness, that part of the show was beyond irritating for me. I...I get why Robin could be second-in-command. His experience, his strategic skills, and hacking abilities are all great strengths. I wouldn't let Kid Flash near the position, Kon has too many instabilities surrounding him, M'gann's a newbie, and Artemis apparently has ulterior motives. Aqualad is pretty much all-around freaking perfect for the job, and the idea that Aqualad is “holding” the leadership for Robing is something that pisses me off. Add that to some disturbing rumors floating around the internet—which I'll leave out here—it just makes me go WTF?!!! even more. To me, it just reeks of a placating “hey, hey, there. Don't worry. We're just going to allow them a bit of time on the top, but the world-order will be soon re-instated” to the fans who hate to see a POC in a position of power.

Question the third: Superman is the neglectful deadbeat father? REALLY?!!!! You know shit is fucked up when Bruce is telling Clark how to be a positive influence in someone’s life.

First, LMAO. Oh, Bruce.

Second, I tend to bash Superman on that usually, but I get it. I mean, it is pretty effin weird to have someone that pretty much amounts to a son walking around and having nothing to do with his creation. But still...*shakes finger at Clark*

There have also been some grumbling about Kon's character not quite syncing up to the more up-beat Kon of the comics, but I tend to ♥ Kon in whatever incarnation he turns up in. What do y'all think?
yaseen101yaseen101 on February 16th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
Is that Max in the Batman Beyond suit in your icon? Batgirl Beyond?
soukuyahsoukuyah on February 17th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Yup.:D It is fanart by Shoot-O@DeviantAt
yaseen101yaseen101 on February 17th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
Wow. The yellow Bat-symbol is what does it for me. Also, thanks for the link. :D
Neo_Prodigyneo_prodigy on February 18th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Kon, I'm kinda of two minds about this. On the one hand I agree that he's now the antithesis of the cocky fratboy counterpart that's in the comics. On the otherhand, this is still in many respects canon because when Kon discovered that he's, for all intents and purposes, the lovechild of Lex Luthor and Superman (note to self: that slash fic isn't going to write itself), he did go dark even after he fought his programming, he was dark.

I like this new spin on Kon. In fact to me actually has more depth and nuance now. I wish they dial the emo back a bit but he's actually one of my favorite characters along with Aqualad and Artemis.

I think the other problem is Robin is traditionally the more serious and stoic character and in this incarnation he's the playful kid along with well "KID" Flash. So to have three of the six characters act like frat boys would be redundant.

But that's my take on things anyway.
soukuyahsoukuyah on February 25th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
Yea, I like this new take on Kon as well, mostly 'cause it just makes sense to me.