When I was kid, Saturday mornings were the jam. I would get up super early and bolt to the couch, dive into a blanket my mom had laid for me, and begin the glorious tradition of watching Saturday morning cartoons. OH the choices! THREE channels?! How could I possibly make the right decision! Except I always did, “Superfriends” first, followed by “The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour”, then “Laff-a-Lympics”. There were plenty of choices in between – “Scooby-Doo”, “The Pebbles and Bam-Bam Show”, what have you but the day always began with “Superfriends”. As it should.
Nowadays there are a gazillion choices to make but if you’re like me, and if you’re reading this then you know you are, it still begins with the “Superfriends” or as they are now known (sorta) “Young Justice”. I am all OVER this cartoon! It is obviously written for my demographic and masquerades as a show for children. OBVIOUSLY. But it’s so well written and doesn’t pander. This was the problem with “Superfriends” — when you go back and watch old episodes it treats kids as less mature than they are.
I remember the goofyness of Marvin and Wendy with the Wonder Twins only slightly better. Now Marv and Wendy are part of “Young Justice” but it’s WAY cooler, more “Buffy”. For this kid, there is nothing better than venturing into a new continuity with characters you love and “Young Justice” is at the top the game in my book. Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian, Superboy, and Artemis are the tights and capes version of the Scooby Gang but with more consequences that resonate more each episode.
As proud citizen of the DC Nation I couldn’t be more stoked for the return of “YJ” this Saturday. The writers are downright bad asses, not only did they jump five years in time within the last season but the story line of Aqualad going over to the dark side but not really even tripped me up. It’s a Saturday morning cartoon folks, and I was baffled by the plot twists. If Vulcan or Super Samurai went rogue in the Superfriends it was due to alien mind control or some such not an elaborate scheme based on the death of a team member.
The biggest common thread between “Superfriends” and “Young Justice” is that I always look forward to seeing a rare character in a story. “Superfriends” broke up one long episode with mini-stories which is where you would see Green Lantern or Hawkman. “Young Justice” brings them to the forefront of the series and integrates them into the plot line. I can’t tell you how many times I rewound and watched Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl and Robin take on the Kroloteans. The animation lives up to the story and again, doesn’t insult the audience, young or old. Plus, it’s on Saturday mornings and not saturated all over Cartoon Network, this is destination viewing at its finest and major network shows should take notice (Revolution, I’m looking at you).
Steven Smith has never stopped watching cartoons nor they him, his podcast Going Off Track can be found on iTunes unless it finds you first, and he woeas actually on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but doesn’t want you to know it. Whoops.