Saturday, March 10, 2012

Zatannurday: Young Justice returns

So last week marked the return of Young Justice and young Zatanna.

Interestingly enough is not that she was back, or even made a permanent part of the team, but that YJ now airs on a Saturday morning.  Yup no longer a prime time Cartoon Network show like Adventure Time, it has been moved to that slot of our youth.  I am of mixed feelings about that.  First I think it is cool that the new DC toons are all in a block during the times I was watching The Super Friends and Batman.  But I also can't help that the show will get ignored a little here.  Time will tell I guess.

So Zee is back in "Misplaced" and it is a magic filled epsiode.  We have Zatara, Klarion, Felix Faust, Wizard, Wotan and even the return of Dr. Fate.  I liked the attention to detail in this episode too.  They had Klarion casting his spell at a crossroads for example.  I also like how it was Captain Marvel that could move between the different realities.  Not just because he could be both an adult and a kid, but but because so much of Capt. Marvel is about being in between worlds; adult/child, magic/mundane, mortal and god.

There is a nice bit of dialog between Batman and Zatara and it made me for the first want to see more about him.  I should spend some time learning more about Giovanni Zatara.

 Long story short (and there are spoilers ahead) all the adults disappear from the world due to magic (yes we saw this before in Justice League Unlimited) and Young Justice has to figure it out.

One part I felt was particularly good was when Zatanna had to use her father's locator spell.  She talked about how it wasn't as easy as just talking backwards, that was just the end part.  There was prep and power and she didn't think she was up to her father's level of skill to do it.  Of course she does do it, easily in fact.  The animators did a great job of showing the disappointment on her face when the spell worked.   Why?  Because it was proof that she was up to Zatara's level now. She was growing up. It was the theme of the episode, but it hit home with her then and there.

We discover that there are two worlds, one of kids and the other of adults.  Both sides debate on whether or not it is time to use the Helm of Nabu and call on Dr. Fate.  Both sides agree that it is not yet that desperate.

Each side battles the magical baddies in their respect dimensions.  Klarion and Zatanna have it out, but Klarion is much more powerful, that is till Zee pulls out the Helm of Nabu, unknown to all her teammates.  She puts it on and Dr. Fate is back.

They manage to destroy the magic whatzit holding the worlds apart with Fate/Zatanna and Zatara working together to destroy it.  Once the world is together again though Fate doesn't want to give up Zatanna's body.
Zatara pleads with Fate to let his daughter go, stating that he will don the Helm of Nabu.  Batman promises to look after Zee.  Zatara dons the helm of Nabu and without a word flies away.

Zatanna moves into Mount Justice in to a room next to Miss Martian.  We end the episode with Zee asking to be alone.

There is more going on in this episode than just this of course.  There is the ongoing "Light" arc (which I won't detail here) and more details of what was going on.

This was a watershed episode in Zatanna's development.  We see for the first time that she may in fact be up to Zatara's power level.  Both in terms of her magic and Zatara's own assessment of her.  We also get a Doctor Fate that is more powerful than anything we have seen before. Kent Nelson in the YJ universe was just a normal human, albeit a long lived one.  Giovanni Zatara was already a master of magic and world class magician.  His power, plus that of Nabu would make Fate very, very powerful.

It also ties up one little issue.  How do we separate Zatanna from her father.  In the comics he was just "missing" and then later dead.  Here we have a clean (cleanish) break.  Zatara could always come back of course.

Again, like I said this episode really makes me want to read more about Zatara.  Maybe even put up some M&M3/DCA stats for him.

Later today (depending on when you read this) we will have a Wally West focused episode, but I am sure there will be some Zatanna bits in it.

In other Zatanna news, DC Adventures, Heroes & Villains Vol. 2 is now out with write-ups of Zee and Zachary Zatara.


Woodclaw said...

For me misplaced is the best Young Justice episode so far. It took a mediocre storyline (Sin of Youth) and turned it into a great story.
Plus for the second time the DCAU team was able to make something incredibly cool out of the Zatara's family (the first time was retconing Zee backgorund during BtAS).

Top marks from me.

ShadeofJeremy said...

I really enjoyed this episode. And I may be misremembering, but in the comics the "World Without Grownups" was where the original YJ(Robin, Impulse, Superboy) first came about. It reminded me of that.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I totally agree with you. It would have been so much easier to kill off Zatara but the writers had enough smarts to see the story possibilities down the line AND re-introduce everyone to a cool cartoon version of Dr Fate. He has one of the best costumes. Visually he is very effective.